Tourist Israel is the country’s leading travel website with over 1 million visitors a year. The architecture is phenomenal for something that was built a long time ago. Set your expectations for the tour, cultures, regions and travel right and you will have an experience of a lifetime. Most tours offer additional meals, activities, and excursions at an additional cost.
Although a small country that doesn’t take too long to drive around, there is only so much on offer that you could easily spend weeks here and not see amazing sights. However, if you are the type of traveler for whom a bed and some morning coffee is a fine compromise for busy days outside and tons of sightseeing, the compromise will be worth it.
With almost four million people in the Tel Aviv area, this Mediterranean beach town has a lively, cosmopolitan atmosphere. It is the most modern city in the country and where the majority of international flights arrive. But Tel Aviv is the main arrival point.
While the city has a lot to offer, including 13 beaches, one of the main attractions is food. You can also stroll through the stalls at the Carmel Market and Levinsky Market for delicious sand-local street food. Tel Aviv also has a nightlife that would compete with New York or London.
Jerusalem, known as the Holy City, in Arabic, al-Quds, occupies an important place in three of the world’s major religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Includes so many famous and important sights that it could easily be spent on tour for several days. For Jews, the Wailing Wall, formerly the Wailing Wall is the most sacred place of prayer.
For Christians, the Via Dolorosa and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the old town mark the path of Jesus’ last path to his execution and the place of his crucifixion. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, directly above the Wailing Wall are among the holiest sites for Muslims, behind Nur Mecca and Medina.
The Dead Sea
Its coasts are the lowest point on earth and its water is so salty. This saltiness also means that you swim on the water, salt increases buoyancy, which is why you see a lot of people here snapping pictures as they swim away the day.
Salt and other minerals (such as magnesium and bromide) have historically been considered healing, which is why there are tons of health retreats lining the shore. While many beaches are only accessible through a resort, there are also several public beaches along the way, including Neve Midbar in the north and Ein Bokek in the south.
Masada National Park
One of the most-visited parts of the Negev Desert is Masada National Park. Located just 100 km south of Jerusalem on the edge of the Dead Sea, this was the ancient fortress of King Herod the Great built on a plateau. Today it is a symbol of Israeli determination and one of the country’s most popular attractions.
There is a cable car up to the fortress, but an alternative is to hike up the snake path, a 60-90 minute hike overlooking the arid landscape, the Dead Sea, and Jordan. Be aware that it can be really hot in the summer. It is better and cooler to ascend before dawn and see the sunrise over Jordan from the trail or from the summit.
Haifa, a laid-back port on Mount Carmel in the north, is another must. Haifa is an important industrial center and has a mix of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian residents, which has helped it maintain a diverse and cosmopolitan feel.
Haifa is also home to Israel’s only subway: a single line with six stops You could easily spend a few days just to see the highlights. Don’t miss the UNESCO World Heritage Baha’i Gardens in the city center, a beautiful terrace garden that houses the gold-trimmed Baha’i Shrine of the Bab. For a wonderful view, take the cable car up Mount Carmel to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery.