When it comes to exploring the cosmopolitan city of Tel aviv there is no doubt about it that biking is the best way to do it. The inner metropolis is flat and compact and in 2009 100k of bike paths were built in celebration of the city’s centennial.
In the Spring of 2011 a public bike hire system was launched called Tel-O-Fun- residents and visitors can pick u and drop off bicycles at 150 different stations dotted around the city. The cost is just 14-20 shekels a day, 60 shekels for the week and the first 30 minutes of rental are free.
One of the best cycle-friendly promenades runs along the Mediterranean Coast from the northern coastal cliffs to the ancient port of Jaffa in the south;
Start at Tel Baruch Beach, five kilometers north of central Tel Aviv’s Dizengoff Square. There is a wide, smooth bike path that parallels the waterline and runway so you will meet cyclists, joggers and in-line skaters on the way.
After riding about one-and-a-half kilometers south, you’ll reach the Reading Power Station façade. The wooden bridge over the mini-harbor provides a view of the nearby Sde Dov Airport’s solitary runway, the rugged coastline and Herzliya, the next city up the coast.
Cycling across an elegant wooden bridge will bring you over the Yarkon River estuary and on both ends of the bridge there are bike paths that lead inland along the Yarkon River. You will pass by sea sand flats that are frequented by a variety of winged species. Further upstream you will encounter Park HaYarkon, the largest park in the city with its vast expanses of green grass, football pitches, a small zoo, two ponds and a eucalyptus forest.
As you ride down the ramp at the southern end of the bridge you will come to Tel Aviv’s Old Port that was built in the 1930s. over the past decade the warehouses were bought up-to-date with cafes, gourmet eateries, nightspots and fashion stores. The famous waterfront café, Shalvata and Gilly, one of the finest restaurants in Israel will pass you by as you ride on. If you can’t resist the waves, at the southern edge of the port is the Metzitzim Beach with its soft sand, shelters and cafes as well as plenty of bike parking.