Ashkelon National Park

Attractions in Israel

Ashkelon National Park is home to many historic sites and some spectacular natural scenery. The park is surrounded by an ancient wall built by the Fatimid Caliphate in the mid-12th century. In addition it holds one of the oldest arches in the world to date.


In This Photo: The Ruins of Ashkelon National Park – Mudbrick Construction Dated to the Cannanite Period

Ashkelon National Park – Archeological Remains

So historians will delight in the fascinating array of antiquities and archeological remains in Ashkelon National Park. For example, a variety of different civilizations lived in the area; ranging from Canaanites and Persians to Phoenicians; Byzantines, Philistines; and Greeks. Also, there are some amazing Roman ruins to explore; such as beautiful basilicas; granite and marble capitals and columns, and statues. One of the most significant ruins in the park is a Middle Bronze Age gate dating back to approximately 1850 BCE which is believed to be the world’s earliest arch. 


In This Photo: A Sarcophagus Dated to the Roman Period. Depicting the Abduction of Persephone by Hades, the God of the Underworld. On Display at the Courtyard of Afridar Arhcaelogical Park in Modern Ashkelon

Top Attractions

The Ashkelon National Park is home to a wealth of attractions and things to see from a wealth of archeological remains to amazing natural sand dunes and kurkar landscapes, and a beautiful beach that is ideal for swimming and sunbathing in summer. 


In This Photo: The Fortifications of the Ancient Ashkelon

Ashkelon National Park is surrounded by the remains of medieval walls that were built by the Fatimid Muslims to fortify the city against the Crusaders in the 12th century. The enclosed city had four gates – the Gaza, Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Sea Gates, which were named for the directions in which they left the city. Today, the remains of the wall can be seen to the east of the Canaanite gate; which features marble columns and other interesting architectural elements. 

The Canaanite Gate and Rampart

Dating back to the 1850 BCE; the Canaanite gate is believed to be the oldest vaulted gate in the world. In fact, it is made from mud and kurkar bricks; the gate was used for 250 years before being buried under an earth rampart. A small temple was found outside the gate that held a bronze statuette of a calf thought to be related to the ritual of El or Baal; the father of the Canaanite gods. Furthermore, the Canaanite rampart is an enormous earthen rampart that was built in the Middle Bronze Age and marked the borders of Ashkelon.  


In This Photo: The Canaanite Arch at the Park

The Roman Basilica 

Another amazing thing to see in Ashkelon National Park is the remains of a magnificent Roman basilica that stand in the center of the park. No doubt about it, this is a must-visit on a guided tour of the park. Since it is dating back to the Roman period; the site features the remains of a columned structure with rows of marble and granite columns; which was once the city’s basilica and the focus of public life in the Roman city. Another site that is well worth seeing is the ancient amphitheater; which is now used to host cultural events throughout the year. 


In This Photo: Roman Ruins at Ashkelon National Park

Natural Features in the Park

Currently, the park has several beautiful natural features. Including a lovely seasonal bathing beach with showers; toilets; and lifeguard facilities; and a nature reserve that protects sand dune flora and fauna in the southern part of the park. So if you have some spare time; and after you toured all the major sites in the Holy Land; come and visit this beautiful park.

Park Opening Hours:


Summer hours:


Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 8 am – 8 pm

Friday and holiday eves: 8 am – 8 pm

Winter hours:


Sunday–Thursday and Saturday: 8 am – 4 pm

Friday and holiday eves: 8 am – 4 pm

Holiday eves: 8 am – 1 pm Yom Kippur eve: 8 am – 1 pm


Summer: Exit by 10 pm
Winter: Exit by 6 pm

Beach is open:


April–May 8 am -7 pm
June–July–Aug. 8 am-7 pm
September 8 am – 6 pm
October until Oct. 18: 8 am-5 pm


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arik-about

Hi! My name is Arik Haglili, an Israeli native who decided to dedicate his life to share my knowledge about the Holy Land to those that are interested to know more about this amazing piece of land. My career as a private tour guide started at the International School For the Studying of the Holocaust and the rest is history. 

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