Heading north along Hwy. 2, after 4km (2 1/2 miles) you'll see the road to Akhziv Beach, a private beach on the left (west). It's another kilometer (1/2 mile) to the beach proper, where you'll find a parking lot, changing rooms, shelters, and snack stands, as well as freshwater showers. It's open daily from 8am to 7pm in July and August. There's a charge of NIS 25 ($6.25/£3.10) per person for admission during the summer swimming season.
Heading north again, 1km (1/2 mile) past the Akhziv Beach road, you'll pass the parking lot and entrance to Akhziv National Park (tel. 04/982-3263), with its sheltered beach, restaurant, picnic area, and changing facilities amid the ruins of a seaside Arab village. Admission is NIS 36 ($9/£4.50) for adults and NIS 28 ($7/£3.50) for children. It's a beautiful spot for a picnic, and there's a guarded but somewhat rocky beach for swimming. The park is open daily from 8am to 7pm in July and August; until 5pm the rest of the year. Tip: Off season, at sunset, you can sometimes just wander through the gates for free and head up the hill through the lovely gardens.
Akhziv existed when Joshua assigned the tribes of Israel to their various territories, and is mentioned in the Bible as a Canaanite town that the tribe of Asher, to whom it was allotted, was never able to conquer. At the Nahariya Municipal Museum, you can learn about the varied history of the town through the wealth of archaeological artifacts on view.
In more recent times, Akhziv was an Arab village, but the inhabitants fled in 1948 and the village remained deserted for a number of years. In 1952, Eli Avivi, one of Israel's legendary eccentrics, received government permission to settle in Akhziv, and promptly declared the "independence" of Akhzivland, which is just north of the park boundary. The ramshackle building that is Akhzivland's main structure houses Mr. Avivi's living quarters and his personal museum of artifacts found on and near Akhzivland. You can visit the museum for a small admission charge.
Gesher Haziv & the Akhziv Bridge
While the town of Akhziv has a history dating from biblical times, the name is most often remembered in connection with a tragic, heroic event that took place here on the night of June 17, 1946. Attempting to cut British rail communications with neighboring Arab states, a Hagana demolition team was destroying railroad bridges along this line. At the Akhziv Bridge, however, they were spotted by a British sentry, who fired a flare in order to get a better look. The flare ignited the team's explosives. The bridge was blown, but no one survived. The 14 who perished are commemorated by a large black metal monument across the road from the local youth hostel.
This dramatic site borders Lebanon, astride a tall cliff overlooking the sea. On a clear day, standing atop the cliff, you can see the coastline as far as Haifa. Beneath the cliffs are grottoes carved out by the sea, reachable via cable car; the cable-car schedule is subject to seasonal, security, and holiday changes. April to June and September Saturday through Thursday 8:30am to 6pm, Friday 8:30am to 4pm; July and August Saturday to Thursday 8:30am to 11pm, Friday 8:30am to 4pm; October to March daily 8:30am to 4pm. The cable-car ride and admission to the grottoes costs NIS 45 ($11/£6) for adults, with a discount for children and students. You can walk into the caves and passages and see the pools of luminescent water lapping the rocks. To see the artifacts that have been recovered from these caves, visit the Municipal Museum in Nahariya.
To reach Rosh Ha-Niqra, take the bus from Nahariya, which runs several times a day; sherut service is also available in front of the Nahariya Central Bus Station on Ha-Ga'aton Boulevard, though you may have to fight to have them take you all the way to the cable car. You can grab a bite at a reasonably priced self-service restaurant on top of the cliff called Mitzpe Rosh Ha-Niqra. The view is breathtaking. It's open the same hours as the cable car.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.