As I was watching the sunrise this morning at the Charles Clore Park, close to my home in Tel Aviv, I came up with the idea for this blog post. The sunrise is without a doubt my favorite part of the day, not only because it's such a healthy start of the day, but because the morning light is perfect to take photos. The early morning has a serenity, a calmness that I believe reflects in the photos and videos - can you feel it, watching the video below?
1. Charles Clore Park, Tel Aviv
This video is from the Charles Clore Park, in the south of Tel Aviv. I ranked it as the number one spot to watch the sunrise in Israel, because it is the only time of day (and night) where you can actually see the non-stop city calm. Waking up early watching Yafo turn gold in the first sunlight is well worth waking up for, I assure you! Did you know the Mediterranean sea is most calm early in the morning? It also has the most beautiful blue color - the higher the sun gets, the more the color fades.
Bring your coffee with you, sit on the rocks and watch the city slowly coming alive. For a great breakfast with sea view in the park, visit Manta Ray restaurant (www.mantaray.co.il).
Happiness is watching the sunrise over the blue water
You've probably heard of Israel's most famous fortress - high on a mountain at the shores of the Dead Sea. It's one of the top sites in Israel to visit, and the most famous spot in the country to watch the sunrise. From Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, touring companies have buses leave at 3 AM almost daily, to climb the mountain at dusk. However, these tours are very expensive and I recommend (if you have a car), to sleep at the campsite on the slopes of the mountain - from which it is a relatively easy climb (about 30 min) up the mountain. For more info about the campsite: see https://en.parks.org.il/ParksAndReserves/masada/Pages/MasadaCamp.aspx.
When at the top, you watch the sun rise over the Dead Sea and the mountains of Jordan, an experience you won't forget! Below is another sunrise photo that I took from the north side of Masada, right after the sun came up - can you see the salt pillars?
3. Mitzpe Ramon
Mitzpe Ramon is a cute little desert town in the middle of the Negev, on the edge of the famous Ramon Crater - the world's largest natural crater. From the cliffs on the edge of town, you have the most amazing sunrise view of the Negev! Imagine miles and miles of desert moon landscape - lit up gold in the early morning sun.
Mitzpe Ramon is the perfect town in the Negev to stay overnight and enjoy an early morning hike in the crater. There are many hotels, hostels and campsites in and around town from which you can easily walk to the edge of the crater to watch the sun come up. If you have the budget, stay at the world famous Beresheet Hotel (www.isrotel.com) - their infinity pool is voted to be one of the world's top 10 best pools in the world! Watching the sun come up over the crater from the pool undoubtedly is a world class experience, just make sure to book way in advance!
4. Mount Arbel
Mount Arbel is the perfect spot to watch the sun rise over the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the mountains of the Golan. It is a steep cliff, a bit north of Tiberias with breathtaking views! There is a parking lot near the entrance of the National Park en the hike is short and easy. Unfortunately, this sunrise spot is only accessible by car.
I've included Eilat in this list, because the sunrise in the Gulf of Aqaba - with the desert mountains reflecting in the sea - is a world famous spot to watch the sunrise. From any point in Eilat, you can watch the sun come up over the Jordanian mountains, which have the particular, famous red color. In the morning light, these red stones light up magically and reflect in the sea below. Trust me, this is the perfect start of your day. Just south of Eilat, there is a great little hike up Har Zefahot, from where you have the best views of the area - you can see the sun come up over all four countries in the Gulf of Aqaba! Isn't that worth a little sunrise hike? Check out this website for useful information about the hike: https://www.summitpost.org/har-zefahot/391156.