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Bat Yam is home to one of the only decent snorkeling spots in the Tel Aviv area. While this part of the coast, lined with long sandy beaches, is very exposed to surf, HaSela Beach is protected by a large rock pool. Shallow and sheltered, it allows snorkelers to observe the local sea life in good safety conditions. Exploring the rocky areas, you may spot a variety of fish including wrasse, seabream, bass, spinefoot and red mullet.

HaSela Beach, Bat Yam
Bay Yam rocky pool. The best snorkeling zone is at the foot of the higher rocker, on which you can see a flag.

How to get to Bat Yam snorkeling spot?

Bat Yam is a city located on the Mediterranean coast of Israel, just south of Tel Aviv. By car, it takes about 15 minutes to reach it from the center of Jaffa, and 20 minutes from Tel Aviv seafront.

The spot is facing HaSela Beach. It is easy to find as it is sheltered by a large rock pool. Once on the promenade, go down to the beach by the stairs descending to Villa Mare restaurant.

HaSela Beach, Bat Yam snorkeling map

Water entrance for snorkeling Bat Yam

We advise you to enter the water in front of Villa Mare restaurant. Getting into the water is easy, from a gently slopping sandy beach.

Best snorkeling conditions are found in the morning. From 10-11 am, waves start breaking on the rocks, raising clouds of bubbles and sand in the pool. Snorkeling in the morning will also allow you to avoid crowds, as this beach is very popular.

Bat Yam rocky pool snorkeling exploration tips

You can snorkel throughout the rock pool, which is approximately 400 m long and 150 m wide. Be careful, however, not to get too close to the southwest corner of the pool, where there is an opening in the rock barrier (see map).

Rocky seabed in Bat Yam pool
The typical seabed of the rocky pool.

In the pool, depth does not exceed 6 to 9 ft/2 to 3 m. The best snorkeling area is at the foot of the small island (see map). It offers very sheltered rocky areas in which many fish hide. Commonly sighted fish in these areas are zebra seabream, two-banded seabream, ornate wrasse, and occasional juvenile dusky groupers sheltering under the rocks.

Nudibranch in Bat Yam rock pool
Goniobranchus annulatus nudis are occasionally spotted on the rocks.

Nudibranchs from Goniobranchus annulatus species are also frequent in Bat Yam pool. This colorful Lessepsian migrant, native from the Red Sea, has recently invaded the warm waters of the southern Mediterranean.

The rocky areas on both sides of the pools support small fish from many species, but the water can be a bit rougher there. Among the common species in these shallow and oxygenated areas are marbled spinefoot and dusky spinefoot (which is also a Lessepsian migrant), wrasse and spotted seabass.

Zebra seabream in Bat Yam
A zebra seabream in Bat Yam pool.

The sandy areas extending near the beach, only visited by a few red mullets, are not very interesting.

Restaurants and accommodation nearby

Several beach restaurants are located in HaSela Beach, including Villa Mare, Coast Long Beach and Tiki Moana. You will also find a choice of restaurants, cafes and supermarkets along the promenade which overlooks the beach.

 

  • Level required Beginner
  • Maximum depth6ft/2m
  • Water entranceFrom a sandy beach
  • LifeguardYes
  • Visitor numbersHigh
  • Access costsFree
  • Restaurants nearbyYes

MAP Spot

These snorkeling spots are accessible to beginners and kids. You will enter the water gradually from a beach, or in a less than 3ft. deep area. The sea is generally calm, shallow, with almost no waves or currents. These spots are usually located in marked and/or monitored swimming areas. It is not necessary to swim long distances to discover the sea life.

This level only apply when the spot experiences optimal sea and/or weather conditions. It is not applicable if the sea and/or weather conditions deteriorate, in particular in the presence of rough sea, rain, strong wind, unusual current, large tides, waves and/or swell. You can find more details about the definition of our snorkeling levels on our snorkeling safety page.