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Sunset in Nahariya
Nahariya beach promenade
Nahariya ( ) is a Mediterraneanmarker city in northernmarker Israelmarker, with an estimated population of 51,000. It is Israel's northernmost coastal city, and a popular tourist destination.


Nahariya was founded by Germanmarker Jewish immigrants from the fifth aliyah in the 1930s. Construction of homes started in 1933, and the first two families permanently settled in Nahariya on February 10, 1935, which is now considered the official founding date of Nahariya.

Nahariya was first intended to be an agricultural village, but the residents soon realized that agriculture in the area was impractical at best, and therefore used the natural setting and beaches of the area to encourage tourism. During the British Mandate of Palestine, many British officers coming from Khartoummarker stopped in Nahariya.

Despite the failure of agriculture as an economic backbone, Nahariya's hard-working, industrious inhabitants turned to manufacturing. Indeed, Nahariya is home to some of Israel's leading entrepreneurs - the Strauss, Soglowek and Wertheimer families, and several of Israel's most successful private sector industial enterprises were founded in Nahariya, e.g. the Strauss dairy company (now Strauss-Elite food conglomerate), Soglowek meat processing company, and Iscar - the high-precision metalworks and tool-making giant, which was recently purchased by Berkshire Hathaway for US$5 billion.

Just beyond the city limits is the beach at Achzivmarker, which is part of a national park. There was once an important settlement and station on the ancient coastal road that linked Egypt and Phoenicia. Jews have lived in Nahariya since the Second Temple period. The Crusaders built a castle there and called it Le'imbert.

Over the years, due to its geographic location—only 6 miles down the coast from Israel's border with Lebanon, Nahariya has been a frequent target both of direct cross-border terrorist attacks, as well as of indirect mortar and Katyusha rocket fire. As recently as in July–August 2006, Nahariya sustained a barrage of several hundreds of Katyusha rockets launched by Hezbollah from southern Lebanon. As a result, the city suffered multiple civilian casualties - with 5 fatalities. Significant damage was also inflicted on property and physical infrastructure. Furthermore, Nahariya's economy suffered a major blow, as two thirds of the city's population had to evacuate, with the rest spending weeks in bomb shelters, while the tourist season - a main driving force of local economic activity - was badly crippled.

Nahariya today

Ga'aton Boulevard, the city's elegant main avenue, runs east-west and is divided down the middle by the Ga'aton Rivermarker, from which Nahariya gets its name - nahar means "river" in Hebrew. Shaded by the thick greenery of towering old-growth eucalyptus trees and lined with numerous shops, boutiques, open-air cafes, restaurants and fashionable ice cream parlors, Sderot Ga'aton is Nahariya's main tourist attraction and its central business and entertainment district.

The beach area is an attraction in its own right, with a public park, a waterfront promenade, two public beaches, several hotels, a small marina and a lively nightlife in the multitude of beachfront cafes, bars, restaurants and nightclubs.


Highway 4, the coastal highway, is the main north–south road in the city. Highway 89 starts at the Nahariya Junction in the city, and connects it with the rest of the Upper Galilee and Safedmarker.

Nahariya's public transportation hub is located at the eastern end of Sderot Ga'aton, near the intersection with Highway 4, and contains the city's train stationmarker and central bus station. Sderot Ga'aton runs westward where the mouth of the Ga'aton Rivermarker spills into the Mediterranean Seamarker.


According to Israel Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2001 the ethnic makeup of the city was 97.3% Jewish and other non-Arabs, without significant Arab population. In 2001 there were 355 immigrant settlers. See population groups in Israel.

According to the CBS, in 2001 there were 22,200 males and 23,700 females. The population of the city was spread out with 29.5% 19 years of age or younger, 16.3% between 20 and 29, 18.8% between 30 and 44, 17.3% from 45 to 59, 4.1% from 60 to 64, and 13.9% 65 years of age or older. The population growth rate in 2001 was 4.2%.


According to the CBS, as of 2000 there were 17,916 salaried workers in the city and 1,283 were self-employed. The mean monthly wage in 2000 for a salaried worker in the city was ILS 5,736, a real growth of 7.0% over the previous year. Salaried men have a mean monthly wage of ILS 7,353 (an increase of 7.6%) versus ILS 3,950 for women (increase of 2.5%). The mean income for the self-employed was 9,078. In the same year, there were 886 people who received unemployment benefits and 3,611 people living on fixed income (Social Security.)


According to the CBS, Nahariya has 22 schools with 7,541 students, which are divided into 15 elementary schools with 4,074 students, and 7 middle and high schools with 3,467 students. In 2001, high school (12th grade) matriculation rate in the city was 56.5%.

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Nahariya is twinned with:


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