Top 10 Destinations in Israel
Tel Aviv signifies the new, fresh and liberal personality of Israel. This vibrant city brings together a contemporary art scene, delicious fusion dishes, an exciting nightlife, glitzy shopping malls and a golden stretch of beach along the Mediterranean Coast. One of the city’s first districts Neve Tzedek has been beautifully restored and updated with Parisian style cafes and fashionable designer boutiques whilst keeping its old charm.
The capital city of Israel is one of the oldest cities in the world. Jerusalem is home to three of the world’s biggest religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam – all which co exist in this fascinating city. The UNESCO World Heritage Listed old walled city has winding alleys and several revered sites such as the Western Wall, which attracts thousands of Jewish worshippers each day, the Church of Holy Sepulcre - considered one of the holiest places in Christian religion and there is the iconic Dome of the Rock.
Christians believe Bethlehem to be the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth. The town is inhabited by one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. The main sites of interest are Rachel’s Tomb (considered the third holiest site in Judaism), Manger Square in the city centre and the Church of the Nativity, which has the Star of David etched into the floor and is reputed to be the oldest church in the world and the site where Jesus was born.
The Dead Sea
Straddling the border between Israel and Jordan, this dramatically beautiful body of water is the lowest point on earth and a natural phenomenon due to its incredibly high mineral and salt content. The Dead Sea's unusually warm, buoyant waters have been attracting visitors for centuries and its vivid turquoise waters and rugged landscape add to its appeal. A visit to the Dead Sea is a must-do on any trip to Jordan or Israel, where you can float like a cork on its buoyant water and give yourself a pampering mud mask.
Travellers to Jaffa are in for a treat, from the sound of the Mediterranean Sea crashing against the rocks that line its waterfront, to the exquisite architecture that fills the Old Town. Despite being just a stone’s throw from the buzzing metropolis of Tel Aviv, Jaffa belongs to a different time and has beautifully preserved its old world charm. The best way to get to grips with the area is simply to wander through its narrow, cobbled streets. Jaffa’s biggest draw card can be seen as its gastronomic scenery. Culinary delights hide behind almost every door and include, allegedly, the best hummus in the world, shwarma and falafel, all Israeli staples that you’ll just love getting to know.
Haifa’s beauty pervades every corner of the city but nowhere is it more present than the UNESCO-listed Baha’i Gardens. Lush and colourful, this oasis is considered one of the top sights in the entire Middle East. The city’s radiance can also be soaked up by a stroll along one of its promenades. If you time your walk well, you might also get to witness the spectacular sunset as it stains the water pink. For those looking for a dose of culture, a visit to Elijah’s Cave is a must as is popping in to one of the 240 synagogues and numerous mosques that pepper the region. For exquisite views of the city, make your way to the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery on Mount Carmel.
The town of Nazareth is where the Virgin Mary lived and raised Jesus and is therefore an important centre of Christian pilgrimage. Today, white modern houses run up the hillsides and are spread out in the shape of an amphitheatre, set in a green framework of vegetation. A must see in Nazareth is the beautiful Church of Annunciation, a Byzantine church that was built over the place where it is believed that the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would give birth to the son of God.
Situated in the Judaean Desert on a magnificent rock plateau, Masada is a fortress that holds a special place in Jewish history. Within the Masada complex are the remains of the lavish palace that was constructed in a classical Roman style. This site is said to be the finest and most complete example of this kind of architecture that has ever been found in the Roman world. The easiest way to get to Masada is by taking the cable car, however, this will not get you there in time to see the sunrise. Alternative routes are the Roman Ramp and the much more strenuous Snake Path, which should be climbed at 4am in order to arrive at the summit in time to see the sun come up.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, also known as Kinneret, is not actually a sea but a large freshwater lake. While this body of water is known because of its biblical significance and status as a site of Christian pilgrimage, there is plenty of modern excitement to be found both on the lake itself and in the surrounding area. Watersports are popular here and travellers can spend the day in a canoe or kayak or go windsurfing along the temperamental ripples of the water. Other nearby attractions include the Galita Chocolate Farm, where travellers can take part in a three hour chocolate making workshop, and the Korazim National Park.
Located around halfway between Haifa and Tel Aviv, Caesarea is a coastal town dominated by the ancient ruined city of Caesarea Maritima. Now protected as a national park, the highlights of the ruins are undoubtedly the incredibly well-preserved amphitheatre and the historic crusader fortress. Made all the more spectacular by the coastal backdrop, this is one set of historic ruins you won't want to miss on any trip to Israel
To help you plan your trip to Israel, take a look at our other handy resources:
Best Time to Visit - seasons and weather in Israel
Tourist Visas - what you need to know to enter Israel
Top Travel Tips - including info on money, health, food and shopping
Israel Video Lounge - a view of the Holy Land from behind the lens
Travel Alerts - latest updates on safety and security in Israel
Traveller Reviews - see what our passengers have to say