Ashdod features a port dating back almost 4000 years, which receives several mentions in the Bible, making the site of especial religious significance. The city itself has been home to many different cultures with the modern city springing to life in the mid '50s after the establishment of the modern state of Israel. An important industrial center, there is also much on offer culturally here, making it a focus center of Israel tourism.
The southern beach area is home to a Fatimid citadel dating back to the Crusader period. Jonah’s Hill, named after the prophet, is believed to be the place of his burial. Located at the highest point in the city, around 150 meters above sea level the site also features the city’s lighthouse. The region is also of interest for being home to the only sand dunes in central Israel located, the largest dune being 35 meters high and over 250 meters long. The reserve also houses many varieties of protected wildlife including deer, birds and jackals, making it an important attraction for naturalists visiting Israel.