Israel, from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
Go to Israel.
Israel is one of the most exciting places to travel to in the world. Israel is a center of the three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Abraham, Moses, Ishmael, Jacob, King David, Jesus, and Mohammed are part of the history of Israel. Israel has 4,000 years of history, culture, and religions.
Israel is one of the most modern countries in the world: high-level education, universities with advanced scientific research, advanced health institutes, large high-tech companies, and new technologies.
Geologically, Israel is an extension of the Sinai desert, forming a rough triangle with its northern location near Beersheba, the Dead Sea and the southern Judean hills, and its apex at the southern tip of the kingdom at Eilat. The country’s geographical boundaries are the Mediterranean to the west, the Jordan Valley Rift to the east, the mountains of Lebanon to the north with Eilat Bay marking the southern tip of the country. It is an urbanized country with different climatic and geographical environments.
The diverse culture of Israel
The diverse culture of Israel derives from the diversity of the inhabitants: Jews from all over the world have brought their cultural and sacred traditions with them, creating a melting pot of Jewish customs and beliefs. Israel is the only country in the world where life revolves or moves around the Jewish calendar. Working and school holidays are determined by Jewish holidays and the official day of rest is Saturday, the Jewish Saturday. Israel’s substantial Arab minority has also left its mark on Israeli culture in areas such as buildings, music, and cuisine.
A peaceful journey is something that is necessary for everyone. The choice to visit the places that are full of natural beauty purifies the one from the deep corner of the heart. You have the feeling of forgetting your basic existence and want to immerse yourself in the beauty of the place. Israel is such a place that it is the perfect fusion of culture, sanctity and natural wonders. Israel is so inviting and welcoming. The highlands, the sea beaches, the sandy area are all too attractive to enchant the traveler. This place is a must-visit for nature lovers. Only landing in such a place says how you will enjoy the days there.
It is also believed that tours in Israel are a move to follow the path of Christ so that it can lead to discovering the source of Christian faith.
What to do in Israel
There are perhaps many more things to do and see. And the atmosphere in Tel Aviv is a very friendly city with so many lovely restaurants and people going out a lot, perhaps walking along the beach before lunch or dinner. And then there is Jerusalem a few hours away.
There is so much to see in Jerusalem, it is a very emotionally engaging experience to be there. To see and hear about the history of the place, to acknowledge and witness the religious importance and see, feel and touch the place where some of the worlds’ biggest religions were born and still are anchored spiritually and geographically.
Visit the old city of Jerusalem
The Old City of Jerusalem is a must-see, as it hosts sites of fundamental religious significance, including the Western Wall (Lamento), the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock. You can easily spend a whole day here. make a prayer among the cracks of the huge stones that make up the Western Wall, navigate among the stalls in the narrow streets of the bazaar of the Old City and visit the site of the crucifixion of Jesus.
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher and Via Dolorosa
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located on the legendary site of the crucifixion and the tomb of Jesus at the end of the Via Dolorosa, was built during the Crusades on the remains of a fourth-century basilica raised by Emperor Constantine and is a year around the place of pilgrimage for Christians. The Temple Mount is the site of 3000 years of the great temples of Judaism, presumably the seat of the mysterious Ark of the Covenant until their final destruction in 70 AD The ancient western wall, a hub for world Jewry for two millennia, is the last remnant of the temples. Many hotels in central Jerusalem have easy access to the old city.
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The Dome of the Rock, an iconic symbol with its magnificent golden dome, was built in 691 AD on the order of Abd el-Malek. The incredibly decorated structure, famous as the most beautiful Islamic building in the world, is visible throughout the city and was briefly a Christian basilica during the Crusades. The Al Aqsa Mosque is also found on the Temple Mount in the place where the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Although it is a critical point for tensions between Jews and Arabs, it is safe for tourists for some warnings: not going Friday, Israelis may be banned from entering and women are required to dress modestly (ie long skirts that extend underneath the knee and no neckline or bare shoulders).
Other spiritual landmarks include the Ascension Chapel and the Tomb of the 1st century Virgin Mary, covered by a Crusader church. The single square kilometer of the walled Old City is divided into four religious and ethnic areas, the Jewish, Christian, Armenian and Muslim neighborhoods, and surrounded by the most modern neighborhoods except for Mea Shearim outside the city walls. This neighborhood is home to the ultra-Orthodox Hassidic Jewish community of Jerusalem and offers a fascinating look at traditional Judaism.
Pool of Arches
This ancient reservoir offers explorers an unusual experience: the opportunity to row a boat in a 1,200-year-old subterranean wonder. Sliding on the water is a fantastic way to admire the massive stone pillars that rise to meet a high ceiling of elegant arches.
The Pool of Arches (also called the Pool of St. Helena and the Pool of Goats) was originally built as an underground reservoir in 789 to supply water to Ramla residents. According to Christian tradition, Saint Helena ordered its construction. And his other name, Pool of Goats, is also appropriate, as four-legged beasts used the tank in the past.
Despite the lasting millennia of earthquakes, the structure is still safe to visit for those who try to go underground and see an incredible look at some secular infrastructures.
Floating in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea and the lowest point on Earth is a special place to visit. If you need to relax, and especially if you feel ruined, the Dead Sea is the ideal place in Israel to visit. Bring your newspaper with you for the perfect desire that you were here an opportunity to photograph, suffocate a bit of that mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea and then float on your back in the warm, salty sea. Avoid diving! For more information on this extraordinary area, see our guide on things to see and do in the Dead Sea. If you are looking for a fantastic cheap tour of The Lowest Place On Earth, click here for more details.
The Carmel Market, Tel Aviv
The Carmel Market in central Tel Aviv gives you the opportunity to hone your bargaining skills and get a taste of real Israel. Starting at the end of Allenby Street, stroll through the many clothes stalls before hitting the epicenter of the market; food and spices. Incredible colors, surprising smells … listen to vendors selling stalls selling their products and challenge each other on space, prices, quality or sports teams. A great day – do not take a tour or hire a tour guide, just go and explore!
Mount of Olives
Historically, the Mount of Olives was a site of great importance and considered the center of Jerusalem. Even today, the site is a place of sacred pilgrimage for both Jews and Christians, with over 150,000 tombs (the mountain was a traditional burial site in Jerusalem for 3000 years) and a series of important Christian churches located on this wonderful mountain range.
Tower of David & The Night Spectacular
The Tower of David Citadel is located just inside the walls of the Old City, near the Jaffa Gate, but is often overlooked. Don’t make this mistake!
The Citadel is full of extraordinary history and the numerous rooms with ancient artifacts and the splendid views of the ramparts on the Old City make it a must-see. There is also an extraordinary temporary exhibition that takes place throughout the year. Don’t forget to end the day with the Night Show!
The history behind this place dates back to 2000 years ago, up until the first century. Masada, an extraordinary natural fortress in the Judean desert of Israel, was built in Roman style by Herod, king of Judea between 37 and 31 BC Perched about 1,500 feet above the Dead Sea on one side and flanked by the desert on the other side, the daunting complex was to be the king’s refuge. It was designed to include a private mansion for him, as well as administrative centers, warehouses and an arsenal.
The fortress remained intact for more than 13 centuries and all signs of human habitation slowly disappeared. It was not rediscovered until the 19th century and detailed excavations were also carried out later. The site has become a touching symbol for the struggle of the Jewish people against oppression.
The remains of many buildings of the complex have been restored, including Herod’s private palace with its hanging terraces, the bathrooms with mosaics and frescoes preserved, a synagogue and the siege ramp and the camp set up by the Romans. They bear witness to the role of the fortress in history. Note, however, that contemporary archaeologists have not yet reached a definitive consensus on the true story of the fall of Masada.
The church of the Holy Sepulcher
The immobile scale of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a religious symbol of a kind, a sort of miracle possible only through human madness. It is also one of the most powerful and iconic symbols of religious divisions and controversies in the Christian world.
Proposed as the place of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is one of the holiest places of Christianity and has been the site of pilgrimages since the 4th century.
The care for the church is shared by no less than six denominations. The main custodians are the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic and Roman Catholic church, with minor tasks shared by the Coptic, Ethiopian and Syriac Orthodox churches. The entire building is carefully divided into sections, some of which are commonly shared while others strictly belong to a particular sect. A series of complicated rules regulate the transit rights of the other groups through each particular section on a given day, and especially during the holidays.
Less than an hour’s drive from the bustling and noisy center of Jerusalem hides an extraordinary natural gem. There you will find a serene silence in the desert, disturbed only by the sound of fast-flowing water through a gorge.
Wadi Qelt is a stream that flows from the northwestern slopes of the Judean desert, just outside Jerusalem and up to the city of Jericho. It is one of the largest and only sources of running water in the Judean desert.
The area has a long human history. Look around you and you will be able to spot the ruins of the ancient aqueducts that once gave precious water to Jericho.
The ruins of the aqueduct are not the only traces of the past that you will find there since this place has attracted the monks since the early days of Christianity. The Faran Monastery (also known as the Chariton Monastery), located along the upper part of the canyon, was the first Christian monastery to be built in the Judean desert around 330 AD The Monastery of St. George of Choziba, located in the lower part of the canyon, is a 6th-century complex, complete with an old chapel and gardens. Both monasteries are built suspended on the cliffs of the canyon, creating an incredible sight to see.
Known as Tel Aviv’s gay sand strip, Hilton Beach is one of the cleanest and most beautiful options. It’s a bit secluded, just below the Hilton Hotel.
Along with the gay scene, Hilton Beach has also captured the niche market for water sports. The Sea Center Club offers windsurfing and kayaking lessons, with special lessons for beginners and children. With a myriad of restaurants offering a varied beach cuisine, the Hilton beach is perfect for relaxing, day or night, summer or winter
Diving and snorkeling in the Red Sea
Israel’s southernmost city, Eilat, has been blessed with a spectacular coral reef. The coral reef of Eilat, the northernmost coral reef in the world and a unique Israeli attraction, is the beating heart of the one-mile long nature reserve that extends across the Gulf of Eilat. Immerse yourself or snorkel near the coral reef, you will see colorful coral gardens that host a variety of colorful tropical fish: parrotfish, butterflyfish, giant mollusks and a wide selection of intriguing species that come out only in the dark. About a ten minute walk from the Egyptian border, you’ll find Israel’s southernmost dive club, a small venue with plenty of peace and quiet. The club offers an introductory diving excursion for those who have no previous diving experience.
Roman ruins in Caesarea
Caesarea is one of the richest communities in Israel, but the adjacent national park offers some of Israel’s most exciting ruins. Built by Herod the Great around 25 BC, the remains of the port city of Caesarea in Maritima include the ruins of a hippodrome, a Roman theater, an impressive collection of fortifications from the Crusader era, a temple and an imposing aqueduct. It also offers an extraordinary view of the old port, which was once the largest on the eastern Mediterranean coast.
The Dead Sea healing powers
It is said that the lowest point on earth, the Dead Sea has healing powers, and its mud should help invigorate the skin. Then dive into the turbid, mineral-rich waters and immerse yourself in high-quality mud
Up In The Air in a hot air balloon
Those looking for a unique and colorful way to start the day and get to know the vast landscapes of Israel can fly over the country in a hot air balloon. The Israeli company Rize is the largest hot-air balloon company in the country, widely experienced in flights to Israel and around the world. Shipments can be organized for sunrise and within two hours of sunset, to accommodate one to ten passengers. Help inflate the balloon with the pilot and crew, so make yourself comfortable for a 90-minute adventure. Balloons roam the skies at altitudes up to 2000 feet and follow the dawn tour with a trip to the fields, orchards and wooded areas of the Jezreel valley, where a homemade breakfast is the icing on the cake. Other options include “fiesta flights”, in which the balloon remains tied to the ground.
What To Eat in Israel
Israeli cuisine has been shaped by the melting pot of the cultures that make up the country. From traditional Jewish Eastern European stews to street food brought by Iraqi Jewish immigrants, these delicious Israeli dishes reflect the diversity of its population and will appeal to all tastes.
Israeli food is a mix of predominantly Middle Eastern, North African, Mediterranean and European Jews.
Shakshuka is one of Israel’s most popular dishes, typically served for breakfast or brunch. Warm, abundant and abundant, it is based on a tomato and pepper sauce seasoned with cumin and chili flakes, poached eggs on top and a sprinkling of parsley.
Eggplant With Baba Ganoush
Aubergine, or aubergine, is a basic dish of Israeli cuisine. Whether it’s laced tahini, smoked, coated with yogurt or some sort of mixture of all three, you’ll find it in any traditional Israeli breakfast, and most likely lunch and dinner too.
Eggplants can be served as a pleasure in itself (only with the skins) but in Israel, you will often see it also in the form of baba ganoush. This is simply eggplant mixed with tahini, lemon juice, garlic and any other flavor you want to add, and of course, served with bread.
Famous all over the world, this dip is composed of crushed chickpeas combined with olive oil, tahini, perhaps a splash of lemon juice and sometimes a pinch of paprika. Eaten as a meal with pita bread, Israeli salad and falafel, the dish is famous in Israel.
Chickpeas are a favorite in Israel. The falafel is a fried ball typically composed of crushed chickpeas and fragrant herbs. Often eaten in a pita in layers with hummus and other sauces and vegetables, falafel is not something you have to spend a lot of money on. In fact, some of the best falafels are on the road.
Tahini is a simple sauce based on sesame paste, lemon juice, olive oil, and other herbs and spices. It is generally used as a dipping sauce, a pita bread dressing, as part of an Israeli breakfast or together with hummus and falafel. Receive it almost everywhere and eat it with almost everything.
Jachnun is a Jewish dish originally from Yemen, traditionally eaten on Shabbat morning. Prepared with pasta, it is rolled and cooked overnight. The final product is a dark paste, amber in color, slightly sweet in taste. Served with tomato sauce, boiled eggs and skhug (hot sauce), Jachnun is a must try when you are in Israel.
Knafeh, a dessert
This is a delicious Palestinian dessert common throughout Israel. A sweet paste of cheese, the knafeh is soaked in sugar syrup, flavored with orange or rose water and sprinkled with chopped pistachios.
Cholent / Hamin
A traditional Jewish Ashkenazi stew of beef, potatoes, beans, vegetables and slow-cooked barley overnight for 12 hours. The result is a hearty, abundant and delicious dish, perfect for a winter evening or for a Saturday hangover. Note: the hamin is the Sephardic Hebrew variation of the colent, which replaces beans and barley with rice and beef with chicken.
Where to stay in Israel
The Drisco is a beautifully restored historic property that now houses a modern boutique hotel with only 42 sophisticated rooms. This is an elegant place in Tel Aviv, close to the Jaffa flea market and the main attractions of the city.
The East Jerusalem is perfect if you are looking for luxurious cuddles. From the stunning rooftop pool overlooking the holy city to the hotel’s superb restaurant, there is indulgence on every corner.
Cucu Hotel embodies the modern aesthetics of Tel Aviv. Just outside Dizengoff Square, this hotel offers beautifully designed rooms, delicious Israeli breakfasts to start the day and an excellent central location.
The Alegra Boutique Hotel is located in the village of Ein Kerem, a short distance from the center of Jerusalem. This historic 18th-century property offers elegant accommodation combining original exposed stone walls and Persian rugs with modern bathrooms. Enjoy 8-course dinners! A truly magnificent stay.
The East Jerusalem has Two pools, panoramic views of the holy city and the best breakfast in town: the East Jerusalem promises to please.
Hotel Montefiore In this beautiful boutique hotel, Bauhaus architecture meets contemporary style. A trendy French-Vietnamese restaurant on the lower level adds further compliments.
Be safe on your travel to Israel
It is a widespread myth, that it is not safe to go to Israel on vacation. However certain areas are perhaps not safe at a given time. Get the latest status here from the UK Gov.
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