On the Mediterranean Sea you will find the Middle Eastern country of Israel. At just 22,145 km² (8,630 square miles), Israel is small, but it offers travellers an experience that they will not find anywhere else in the world. It is probably best known for its religious significance as the Holy Land for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, but that is only one of its attractions. If you are looking for a varied, beautiful, and vibrant holiday destination with one of the richest histories in the world, Israel could be the answer.
This guide provides a run-through of some of the best things to see and do in Israel.
Discover the Old City of Jerusalem
You cannot visit Israel without seeing the Old City of Jerusalem. It is only 1km², but is full of holy sites, stunning architecture, and combines the three major religions in one spiritual city. There are some excellent Israel tour operators who will guide you around the city and its major sites and attractions.
See Masada and the Dead Sea
Above the Dead Sea is the ancient fortress of Masada, which sits on a lone rock. Around 2,000 years ago, Jewish people had to choose between being enslaved by the Romans, or death. They didn’t go for the Roman option. The top of the mountain offers incredible views of the Dead Sea and the desert, and you can also try floating in the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is so salty that you will effortlessly float in the water giving you a feeling of complete weightlessness.
Explore the markets of Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a thriving metropolis that boasts great nightlife, varied and delicious street food, breath-taking Bauhaus architecture, high-rise towers, and wonderful markets. The Carmel and Sarona markets are ideal if you are looking for fresh produce or street food, while the Jaffa flea market is a great place to pick up some souvenirs if you know how to haggle.
Relax on the beaches of Tel Aviv
When visiting Tel Aviv, be sure to put aside some time to enjoy the stunning beaches. Whether you want to stroll along the shore, sunbathe, surf, swim, or have a go at the national beach game of Matkot, Tel Aviv’s beaches are a must-do.
Tour the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv
The Independence Hall in Tel Aviv is not held sacred by a religion, but it has historical significance for the Jewish Zionist movement. This is where the state of Israel was declared to be independent on May 14th, 1948, after 2,000 years in exile. To fully appreciate the site’s significance, you should take a guided tour of the site.
Scuba dive (or snorkel) in the Red Sea
In the south of Israel, you will find Eilat’s coral beach, which is a shallow water coral reef in the Red Sea. You can hire snorkelling gear for a magical experience swimming with the bright and beautiful fish through the coral reef. To see as much as possible, it is best to start by diving with a professional instructor.