Must sees of Israel - main tourist attractions
Tags: Israel, Travel, Attractions, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Galilee, Golan Heights, Negev, Eilat, Dead Sea
Israel is an amazing country: variety of landscapes, climates, people, all mixed with a fascinating history, religions and cultures. For a such small country, Israel is a unique spot on the world's touring map. In just a single day you can start by skiing on Mt. Hermon, proceed to the lowest place on earth - the Dead Sea - and conclude the day by scuba-diving in the southern resort city of Eilat on the Red Sea coast.
Jerusalem, the capital of the State of Israel, is definitely its main tourist attraction.
This is the city of the Bible, the capital of King David and the city
where the First and Second Temples used to be. Jerusalem is holy for three religions:
Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The Western Wall (The Kotel), the Jewish
sacred site, attracts millions of people from all around the world. Christians come
to Jerusalem to walk in the footsteps of the Jesus - the Way of the
Cross and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Dome of the Rock, the Muslim
holy site on the Temple Mount, is well known for its beauty. Walking in Hezekiah's
Tunnel, the 500m underground water system that saved the besieged city some 2700 year ago,
is an unforgettable experience. Also pay an important visit to Yad
Va-Shem Israel's official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
North: Galilee and Golan Heights
Galilee and the Golan Heights, the north regions of Israel, are known for their fascinating mix of ancient and modern history, as well as beautiful nature and hiking options. Akko (Acre) , the second capital of the Crusaders, will take you back in time to the halls and castles of middle ages. Swimming at a wonderful Akhziv Beach and visiting the Rosh Ha-Nikra grottos, the place where the mountains meet the sea, is a good good way to finish your tour in Western Galilee. If you up to the Upper Galilee, don't forget to visit Zfat (Sefad) and its unique synagogues - the city where the Jewish secret study of Kabbalah was developed. Nazareth and Capernaum are not only the key site for birth of Christianity, but also the a source of world's culture. Be a guest in a bathhouse in Roman Beit-Shean, the best preserved city in Israel from that time.
On the Golan Heights don't forget to visit mt. Bental, inactive volcano and Israeli army post open for tourists, overlook on Syria and the perfect place to discuss amazing story of battles of the Yom Kippur War (1973). If you still have some energy - go kayaking on the Jordan River - the best experience in a hot day.
It is easy to find glorious hiking trails and walks in the North. Banias trail on the Golans, described by many as a small paradise, is just one such trail, suitable for anyone. For the more adventurous there are longer trails that pass through canyons and swimming holes, climb mountains and provide astonishing views. If you are a serious hiker, ask David about the "Sea to Sea trail" - a 3-4 day hike that crosses Galilee by foot, from the Mediterranean to the Sea of Galilee. Finish your hiking day with camping on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Sample tour to Galilee and Golans.
Tel Aviv and surroundings
Tel Aviv, the first modern Jewish city in the Land of Israel, is the modern and economical center of Israel. Many tourists prefer to stay here for a few nights, enjoying its wonderful beach and famous night life. Tel-Aviv also is the home of Israeli Diamond Exchange and the fascinating Diamond Museum. Old Jaffa is known for its romantic atmosphere at the evening.
If you are close by, it would be a good idea to have a tour to "Mini Israel", a miniature park containing replicas
of buildings and landmarks in Israel. Nearby is located Armored corps museum - open-air museum displays the collection of hundreds of Israeli tanks. A good day tour from Tel-Aviv is the site of
Beit-Govrin Caves, discovering the halls and passages of ancient underground city.
Dead Sea area and Judean Desert
The Dead Sea region (Judean Desert) is a unique place. Floating on the Dead Sea,
the lowest place on earth and the second saltiest lake, is an experience not easily
forgotten. Don't forget to spot wildlife in Ein Gedi Oasis National Park and
enjoy refreshing swimming holes. From the ancient times the desert was an escape for kings, hermits
and opposers. Masada, Herod's desert palace and the last Jewish fortress
to fall to the Romans, is the number two "must see" in the country (after Jerusalem). This ancient fortress,
listed in the UNESCO heritage list, stands almost untouched for 2000 years. Hearing David
replays the story of Masada, will help you to "meet" with the characters who made
South: Negev desert
The Negev Desert, the south of the country, surpises most of its visitors. Mountains, cliffs, craters, secret oasis springs are the key elements of the desert. The Ramon Crater (Machtesh Ramon), 400m deep, is the largest crater in the Negev. Its length of 40km and width of 9km leaves no one untouched. The Ein Ovdat short hike is a good place to meet Ibex in their natural habitat. The most amazing archaeological site is definitely the Israelite Temple of Arad. Dating back to the 8th century BCE this the only Israelite temple survived ever from the Bible time. Nearby, it is possible to spend the night in a Bedouin tent, taste traditional Bedouin cuisine and ride a camel - a lifetime memory. Sample tour to Negev.
Eilat and Eilat Mountains
Eilat is the gem of Israel. The Red Sea beach, hot climate, high quality hotels and fancy night life, made Eilat as the main "laid back" destination in Israel. It is a good idea to spend there a few days relaxing in Eilat after a trip through the whole country. Snorkeling and scuba-diving is possible on a local coral reef. You could also take a day tour to Petra, secret Nabatean city in Jordan, is a good idea. Moreover, if you are looking for adventures, the Eilat Mountains are the place for you. These high granite mountains with their red colors and excellent hiking trails will surprise everyone, even the most experienced hikers. You just need to know where to go, but don't worry - David will be happy to guide you around!
Confused? So much to do?
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