Ashdod Mini Guide
What can you Tell me About Ashdod?
The city traces its roots back to the 17th century BC, making it one of the longest established cities in the world and is mentioned many times in the Old Testament. Up to the middle of the 20th century it was an Arab village and in the 1948 war became the northernmost town that the Egyptian army controlled. Following the end of the war, the Israelis developed the area into a modern metropolis, planning the expansion of the city to ease congestion and improve air quality. Today, Ashdod is Israel’s largest commercial port and in addition to commercial goods, it acts as a cruise ship port.
How do I get to Ashdod?
Nineteen miles away from the city is Israel’s biggest airport, Ben Gurion International
to which it’s possible to fly from many European destinations. Three carriers fly there from the UK
including El Al, EasyJet and BA. The remainder of the journey is easily undertaken by regional and national bus routes or by rail from Tel Aviv
to Ashdod. Car hire is another option to consider, allowing you freedom and flexibility during your stay.
What Can I See and Do in Ashdod?
There is quite a lot to do in and around this commercial city. Outside of the main city there is a great beach lined with the villas of Ashdod’s wealthy. The beach is popular with the citizens but despite this it’s rarely crowded and so it’s a great place to spend a lazy day. South of the city is a national park helping to preserve Israel’s only sand dunes with their unique ecology. There you’ll see jackals, deer, rabbits and more. On your way back to the city, stop off at the memorial at the point where the Egyptian invasion was halted in 1948. Finally, to see life below the waves, take the glass bottom boat trip from the marina. Expert guides will explain in detail about the creatures you’ll see.
What can I buy When I’m in Ashdod?
For souvenirs or gifts for friends back home you should try the souvenir shop on Rogozin Street. The shop sells much of the junk you’d imagine but also some interesting mementos such as packs of Israeli stamps, water from the River Jordan, crosses made from olive wood and soil from ‘holy sites’.
What Should I eat in Ashdod?
Being a port with a small fishing fleet, the fresh fish cooked in the restaurants there couldn’t be better. Try to find one along the old port or near the beach for more atmosphere and look out for fish baked in local spices and served with delicious tabbouleh and fresh green salads.
What is the Nightlife Like in Ashdod?
You’ll find the city to be a quiet one where nightlife consists of conversation over coffee or a beer. There are few nightclubs and those there are suffer from a lack of atmosphere with a limited number of partygoers using them. The best nights out are often spent with locals who are happy to talk about their lives and country in great detail.
Ashdod has a wide variety of habitats for animals and plants as it’s on the geographical borderline between the North African deserts and the Israeli oases. There, all kinds of animals and birds can be found by the keen naturalist with a hire car to get around.
Another place to visit is Jonah’s Hill, the highest point of the city and where the famous biblical character is buried. The city’s lighthouse is also atop the hill. Finally take a look at the Fatimid crusader castle outside the city.