Israel is an exciting and rewarding place to travel. The country is brim-full of ancient historical and non secular sites, impossible to believe geographic variation for such a little country, great food, usually wonderful weather, and an engaging blend of cultures. Sadly it is a country in conflict, and the portrayal of this region on the news frightened a large amount of travelers away from this interesting land.
From a geographic perspective, Israel is so different from region to area that it feels like many different states in one. The coastal plain which encompasses the cities of Tel-Aviv and Haifa features rolling sand dunes and palm trees, pretty beaches, and mild but really wet subtropical weather. It is a great area to absorb the sun, enjoy nightlife, and absorb the ambience of modern Israel’s culture. Yafo is a part of Tel Aviv, and is a restored traditional city all the way back to biblical times. Further north in Haifa you can visit the world HQ of the Baha’i faith. Further north in Akko you can visit the Medieval old city and experience its Arabic atmosphere.
To the east of Haifa and Akko lies the Galilee region, the area where Jesus was raised. Nazareth is populated mainly with Israeli Arab citizens, so you can experience the contrast with Jewish Israeli culture. This is where Jesus walked on water, and where John the Baptist was baptised. There is some beautiful views in the area, and some beautiful churches devoted to Jesus and events concerning him in the area.
In the south of Israel lies the Negev desert, the latest and driest part of Israel. Its main focal point is the resort city of Eilat, which is famous for scubadiving, snorkelling, and pleasant weather year round. The summers in Eilat , however , are freakishly hot, infrequently reaching fifty degrees. Bring a bathing suit!
And of course the jewel in the crown of any trip to Israel is Jerusalem. Lying in the Judaen hills and having a faith heritage rivalled by no other city on Earth, Jerusalem has a cultural atmosphere like nowhere else in Israel. This is the place where King Solomon ruled, where Muhammad rose to heaven, and where Jesus was crucified. The Old city of Jerusalem lies in East Jerusalem and has a Palestinian majority, so you can experience the Palestinian way of living while also seeing the Jewish, Muslim, and Christian holy sites inside its walls. The city of Bethlehem lies just to the south of Jerusalem, but inside the Palestinian autonomous area. Many travellers visit Bethlehem and it is generally safe.
Talking to Israelis and Palestinians and understanding their country, its conflict, and its cultures is a fascinating and eye-opening experience.
Billy Bobb is a zealous traveler and citizen of the world. He could be a geography nerd and can study maps for hours on end. His blog Free Printable Maps features maps and travel destination profiles such as
Billy Bobb is an enthusiastic traveler and citizen of the world. He could be a geography nerd and can study maps for hours on end. His blog Free Printable Maps features maps and travel destination profiles such as