The Inspiring Guide to Israel Vacations

26.09.2019
The Inspiring Guide to Israel Vacations
 

Thousands of years, events and legends… venerable Israel has long been an enigma for travelers who'd come there once could never stay indifferent to it afterward. Nestled on the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, the Promised Land simply enchants with its vibrant multilingual cities, majestic temples, and sacred places, the historical value of which is difficult to overestimate. In this piece, we would love to introduce you to the most outstanding Israel landmarks you definitely wouldn’t want to miss during your Israel travel.

 

Israel's Heart and Soul, Jerusalem

There can be lots of reasons why people put Israel on their travel agenda, whether it is a religious and historic exploration, health tourism, or simple beach recreation, but visiting one-of-a-kind Jerusalem is a “must-do” in any case. Being the most ancient hub on the territory of the Middle East, glorious Jerusalem is a holy destination for Christian, Jewish and Muslim pilgrims from around the globe who come here daily to pray, touch the relics, and get the much-awaited blessing.

The Israeli capital displays its living history craved in every stone, pulling you into the whirlpool of interlacing cultures and events. Jerusalem is divided into four quarters: Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Armenian, each providing its unique vibe and telling its own story. Obviously, modern Jerusalem has expanded much further than the territory of the Old Town but the majority of religious and historic sights are concentrated there.

Probably the most remarkable spot of the Jewish Quarter of Jerusalem's Old Town is the Western Wall.

Surrounding the Temple Mount located in the neighboring Muslim Quarter, the massive wall presents the remaining part of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 AD.

It is believed that both the Temple Mount and the Western Wall witnessed the events which took place in the Old Testament in the first part of the Bible, thus making these landmarks a magnet for religious people.

Every day hundreds of people come here to pray and put written notes about their innermost wishes between the Wall’s stones. The place has, indeed, spiritual energy which you can’t help but sense.

Western Wall, Jerusalem
 
Basilica, Jerusalem

Jerusalem is also home to the significant monuments of the Christian culture. Walk down the notorious Via Dolorosa which is believed to be the route that Jesus walked on to the place of his crucifixion, and get to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, built on the very spot of the burial of Christ.

Afterward, you can proceed to the impressive Tower of David Museum, also called the Jerusalem Citadel located by the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old Town and preserving amazing installations of Israel history.

Speaking of the rest of the quarters, the Muslim one is the most populous area in the city providing the unique Arabic flair due to the distinctive architecture and bustling markets, while the Armenian Quarter is, on the contrary, the smallest and most privacy appreciating area of Jerusalem where touristic flows are a rare thing.

 

However, despite the prevalence of famed attractions and religious shrines, Jerusalem is not only about the Old Town. As any multinational capital city, stunning Jerusalem also boasts great art and science museums, lively markets, and, to top it all, wonderful dining venues, all helping you to immerse in the local lifestyle and gather the complete image of the city.

 

Cosmopolitan Eden, Tel-Aviv

The exact opposite of pious Jerusalem, vibrant Tel-Aviv, is the city of perpetual renewal, vibrant nightlife, and the best resorts in Israel. The city, which has evolved from a small Jewish quarter to a sparkling center of rich recreational opportunities is popular among travelers throughout the year.

To dive into the energetic rhythm of the “White City”, head to the Tel-Aviv beaches. Nestled on the sun-kissed Mediterranean coast, the city has a 14 km (8.6 miles) beach line, varying from the posh Metzitzim Beach in the northern part of the city to the relaxed Banana Beach and Alma Beach.

Plus, in the evening after marveling at the stunning sunset, you have a chance to taste all colors of Tel-Aviv’s vibrant nightlife, chilling in some beachfront cafe or changing the location to some swanky lounge or rooftop terrace with live music. The list of opportunities is everlasting!

Tel-Aviv, Israel
 
Old Jaffa, Tel-Aviv

However, if your hunger for Israeli culture and history is still strong, we invite you to explore one of the most significant landmarks of ancient Israel, Jaffa (the Old Town).

Being the place where, according to the legend, Noah built his famous ark, Jaffa preserves well-restored examples of stone architecture, several churches, including the most visited St. Peter's Church, all topped by the imposing Clock Tower dating back to the Ottoman period.

Art enthusiasts won’t feel deprived either as Tel-Aviv offers plenty of museums, from the leading venues on Israel’s art scene like the praised Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, striking the imagination with the works of outstanding Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso, to smaller funky galleries providing no less extensive sources of inspiration

 

If you like peaceful strolls in picturesque surroundings, you should definitely consider including the Neve Tzedek Quarter and Bialik Street to your Tel-Aviv walking tour. Both areas consist of charming colorful buildings, petite cafes, and arty boutiques, creating a truly home-like atmosphere. Moreover, while walking around the Neve Tzedek Quarter, don’t forget to pop into the Nachum Gutman Art Museum to enjoy the works of the local Israeli painter.

 

Cradle of Christianity, Nazareth

Once you’ve discovered the most fascinating sights of the two major Israeli cities, we advise to continue your exploration to historically fascinating Nazareth. Being often overlooked by travelers, this holy city is the place where Christ spent his childhood and was believed to perform his first miracles.

The attraction which opens the list of the "must-visits" in Nazareth is the Church of the Annunciation. The church stands over the cave which is considered to be the home of Virgin Mary, the exact place where she received the message from the angel Gabriel that she would give birth to God’s son.

Apart from this sacred place, you may also explore the St. Joseph’s Church, the Synagogue Church, and the Church of Jesus the Adolescent.

Those wishing to take a look around the Nazareth neighborhood can set off on a day trip to the remains of the ancient city of Zippori, dating back to the Roman period. Nowadays Zippori is part of a national park, pleasing the eye of history enthusiasts by a well-preserved Roman theater, ritual baths, and several churches with ancient mosaics, including a notable image of a woman’s face, possibly Venus, often referred to as the "Mona Lisa of the Galilee".

Nazareth, Israel
 

Charming Oasis, Haifa

To change the scenery of white-walled cities to a green oasis, head to marvelous Haifa. The beloved destination of both, travelers and Israelis, Haifa preserves lots of wonderful surprises. Boasting an enviable location on the Carmel Mount, the city promises absolutely stunning panoramas.

Haifa, Israel

The calling card of Haifa are its famous Bahaian Terraced Gardens, a breathtaking complex designed around the tomb of one of the leading figures in the Bahai faith.

Being isolated from the bustle of the city, the gardens invite visitors to marvel at the stunning views over Haifa, so, be sure, you won’t regret coming!

One more point of interest you should definitely keep in mind while in Haifa is the Stella Maris Monastery. The 18th-century church is the home of the Carmelites, a Catholic religious order of nuns.

The monastery is located not far from the Cave of Elijah, the grotto mentioned in the Hebrew Bible where prophet Elijah used as a shelter during his journey.

 

Salty Mystery, The Dead Sea

Last but not least, the destination we recommend for your Israel journey will surely become the icing on your travel “cake” as the Dead Sea is indeed a unique place. Being the lowest point on Earth set at 430 meters (1412 feet) below sea level, this natural wonder provides genuine emotions once you take a glance at the bright turquoise color of the water and quaint salty crystals of various sizes and shapes which cover the shores and the bottom of the sea.

In fact, such a trip will be extremely beneficial for health as the hyper-salty water of the Dead Sea is so rich in minerals that it will replace a visit to any posh spa-center.

Moreover, you may combine a trip to the Dead Sea with visiting the ancient fortress of Masada, occupying a mind-blowing position on a high plateau.

The structure was built around 30 B.C. and served as home to King Herod and his family.

The remains of Masada which survived till this day include parts of the palace, Roman baths, ancient walls decorated with murals, all immersing you in the glory of Israel’s past.

Breathtaking panoramas are an indispensable part of the tour as well!

Dead Sea, Israel
 

To sum up, demonstrating a truly unique identity, ancient Israel leaves an indelible impression as despite the country's very small size, it harmoniously unites different cultures and religions in one place, making travelers feel closer to God and to the world around. Taking into account its rich potential in terms of interesting places and wonderful resort options, your Israel tour has all chances to become saturated and genuinely unforgettable. In case you need professional assistance in creating your ideal Israel itinerary, feel free to contact our travel specialists who will be glad to give you a hand with this exciting task!

 
 

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