You may have never heard of it before: Apollonia National Park. It's an archaeological park high on the cliffs of the Mediterranean boasting breathtaking views of Tel Aviv and the endless blues of the Mediterranean sea. It is a mystery to me why this stunning place is so unknown in travel guides about Israel - Apollonia deserves to be on your list when visiting Israel.
During the week, the park usually is very quiet, allowing you to fully appreciate the breathtaking views, Roman villa, Crusader's fortress and more. Like many archaeological sites in Israel, there are thousands of years of history in Apollonia: from a Phoenician harbor to a Roman city, then changed into a Crusader's fortress. The remnants are spread out on the cliffs and all the walk you can enjoy what are some of the best views of the Mediterranean in Israel.
The great thing about Apollonia is that it's less than a 30 minutes drive from Tel Aviv. Located on the outskirts of Herzliya, it really is an easy drive. Downside is that the park is a bit challenging to reach with public transport. I don't recommend taking the bus (it takes forever and there is no direct line), but you can take a taxi from the Herzliya train station. The train from Tel Aviv costs about 18 ILS and the taxi will cost between 25 to 35 ILS one way, depending on the traffic. Entry to the park itself is 22 ILS for adults and 9 ILS for children.
A visit to Apollonia will take you anywhere between 1,5-2 hours, so it's a great short getaway from Tel Aviv, or when driving north from Tel Aviv on road 2 (the main highway to the north of Israel).
For more information about the history, opening hours and other useful information, visit https://en.parks.org.il/ParksAndReserves/apollonia/Pages/default.aspx