Israel may be more than half desert, but we have our nearby coast which gives us plenty of opportunities to enjoy watersports almost year-round. It’s no surprise that we have the most qualified divers per person in the world, and we have some of the best diving spots in the region.

Some of my favorite spots for watersports in Israel include:

The Red Sea, Eliat

Eliat, home to the Red Sea, is the go-to spot for watersports, especially diving. Dive centers can be found all throughout the city that cater to both experienced and beginner divers.

The calm turquoise, clear waters of Eliat also make it a great spot for kitesurfing and inflatable paddle boards. It’s a great place to view marine life, and the nearby mountains serve as the perfect backdrop for your water adventure.

The Mediterranean Sea

If you enjoy diving, Caesarea’s National Park has an underwater museum that you can dive through. Caesarea is situated along the Mediterranean Coast between Haifa and Tel Aviv.

Michmoret is also along the Mediterranean Sea, a hub for SUP boarding and surfing. You’ll find a variety of beaches here. When the swell is pumping, you’ll find plenty of break points. When it’s not, you can enjoy SUP on calmer waters. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, you can paddle your way over to the Alexander River.

The Mediterranean is also a great spot for boating, if you’re looking for something a little less adventurous.

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea has a completely different vibe. This is not the place for extreme water sports – the water is too salty – but it’s a popular spot for paddle boarding.

There’s a company that does tours along the Dead Sea in the winter, and they allow you to explore places that you can’t get to on foot or by car.

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is an obvious destination for watersports. It’s a part of the lifestyle in this city. This is my favorite spot for windsurfing and sailing, but you’ll also find other people jet skiing, surfing and water skiing (South Tel Aviv).

Topsea Surfing Center is located in Tel Aviv – is a great place for both beginners and experienced surfers to get lessons. You can rent equipment here, too, if you’re not interested in lessons.

Some people like to dive off the coast of Tel Aviv, but I have yet to give it a try. Eliat, in my opinion, is still the best spot for diving.

If you’re looking for something a little more relaxed, Yarkon Park is a good option for rowing.

The Sea of Galilee

With its freshwaters, the Sea of Galilee is one of the best spots for motorboats – with tubes or wakeboards in tow. This is also a great spot for jet skiing.

While you’re in the area, you can head over to the Jordan River, which is great for kayaking, tubing or rafting. I never miss a chance to explore the waterfalls and natural pools when I’m up that way, so take your time and explore the area.