Israel is one of the most fascinating destinations in the Middle East. Filled with historically rich cities, great natural beauty and many important religious sites, there are many reasons to visit Israel. Whether you’re there for business or pleasure, this small country is just bursting with breathtaking adventures.
1. The Cultural Hotspot That Is Tel Aviv
Lying on the Mediterranean coast, Tel Avia is a metropolitan hot spot. It has numerous white-sand beaches stretching along the city’s nine-mile coast that are the perfect place to surf or lounge in the sun. Tree-lined Rothschild Boulevard is a shopping paradise, as well as tons of places to try delicious food. The city also offers an exciting nightlife. You will have dozens of clubs, bars, and other after-hours hangouts to choose from.
2. Delicious Israeli Food
Israel is known for having one of the most diverse cuisines in the Middle East. The food is a mix of traditional Middle Eastern dishes, and food brought hereby the once scattered Jewish population. Try local favourites, such as falafel, bourekas, salads, tahini cookies, kanafeh, kibbeh, tabbouleh, rugelach, or stuffed vine leaves. Also, don’t miss the local fruits, especially oranges, avocados, dates, and pomegranates.
3. Visiting The Many Holy Sites In Jerusalem
You don’t have to be religious to enjoy Jerusalem. This city is considered holy by many. In the Old City, there are tons of historic sites you can visit in the Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Armenian quarters. You can head to the Western Wall where hundreds of pilgrims come to worship, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (which is a sacred site to Christians), or the Al Aqsa Mosque (one of Islam’s holiest sites) on the Temple Mount. At the western edge of the Old City is the Wailing Wall, (considered the holiest site for Jews). Don’t miss seeing the gold-plated Dome of the Rock and the Tower of David.
4. Check Out The Country’s Famous Markets
Israel is full of iconic and vibrant markets that sell almost everything under the sun. In Jerusalem, check out the open-air Mahane Yehuda Market which sells all kinds of foods, from produce and meat to pastries, spices, and ice cream (at night it transforms into a web of restaurants and bars). If you’re in Tel Aviv, visit the Carmel Market for more delicious food, or Nahalat Binyamin Street for wonderful local arts and crafts (on Tuesdays and Fridays). The Flea Market is known for its boutique shops and trinkets, while the souks in Jerusalem’s Old City and in Acre are the best place to experience more traditional bazaars.
5. The Historic Port City Of Jaffa
Located to the south of Tel Aviv is the 4,000-year-old port city of Jaffa. Kedumim Square in Old Jaffa is dominated by the towering 17th-century St Peter’s Church. On Jaffa Hill, you can see restores ancient Egyptian Gates, and nearby Andromeda Rock is said to be where the princess from Greek mythology was once chained. Don’t miss the fascinating Jaffa Museum of Antiquities (located near the remains of a Crusader fortress), the Libyan Synagogue, and the Al-Bahr Mosque with its stunning paintings.
6. Floating On The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is one of a kind; located 1,400 feet below sea level near the Sodom Mountains, it’s the lowest place on earth, and is famous for having a salt concentration of 34% (10 times that of an ocean). This results in two important features: one, the salinity means that there’s almost no life here, and two, the density means that you’ll float with no effort at all. The mineral-rich waters are said to having healing properties, while the mud pools are said to do wonders for your skin.
7. Explore The Judean Desert
The vast Judean Desert is filled with fascinating sites to explore. One of the top sites here is the ancient fortress of Masada with is set high up on a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea. On top are the ruins of King Herod’s 840-acre complex, and you can either hike the 1,312 feet up, or take the cable car. Also don’t miss Ein Avdat, a spectacular canyon in the Negev Desert that stretches for over 30 miles past poplar trees, palms, and desert springs and to a 50-foot waterfall with Byzantine-era monastic dwellings.
Also Read: Don’t Miss These 11 Things To Do In Israel
So have you been to visit Israel? If so, do share your experiences in the comments below.