Israel Travel Guide

by

jerusalem_israel1

Israel is not your regular travel destination, despite being a very interesting and diverse little country located in the Middle East.

Today’s article will try to change that by convincing you to go visit one of the oldest civilizations and people,  which lives on an ancient piece of land , a land which spawned Judaism and Christianity, filled with inestimable archaeological vestiges and being a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years.

Bordered by Lebanon and Syria on the northern border, the Gaza Strip and Egypt in the south-west and Jordan on the east, Israel also has an impressive coastline with the Mediterranean Sea and it neighbors the Red Sea via Aqaba (the Gulf of Eilat).

The parliamentary republic which is Israel has a population of just ~8 million and a tiny land surface of 20,330 square kilometers.

This biblical country is a truly alluring destination if you’re a history buff. I mean, from ancient times, this place has attracted visitors like no other, along with turmoil and religious wars.

Here is the place where you can go stroll on the Mount of Olives, admire the Sea of Galilee or the world-renowned port of Jaffa. Basically, wherever you go during your Israeli adventure, you’ll stumble upon ancient history and religious significance.

Just think about the city of Jerusalem, a place contested and claimed both by Palestine and Israel and sacred to all, either Jews, Christians or Muslims.

jerusalem-israel-city-holy-city-downtown-building

Despite a pretty ugly political landscape, the city of Jerusalem is stunning with its beautiful and modern skyline, along with its  magnificent bell towers, elegant minarets and don’t forget the epic Al Aqsa mosque and its fantastic golden dome.

Israel’s capital, Tel Aviv, is a different story all together. This is Israel beating heart,both in terms of politics and commerce, filled with modern architecture (skyscrapers), golden beaches and vivid street life.

There are also contemporary art galleries, top-notch restaurants and a hedonistic and diverse population, contrasting in a big way with the neighboring historic port Jaffa, a place filled with ancient markets, crumbling walls and cobbled docks.

Israel is a place where old meets new in a unique way, blending together harmoniously, where old cities like Akko and Nazareth coexist with high-end metropolises like Eilat and Haifa.

Israel is very diverse and contrasting when it comes to its landscapes too. For example, in this slither of the Middle East you’ll find deserts, mountains and fertile valleys with luscious vegetation, along with magnificent places like the coastal regions of the Red Sea, the Dead Sea or the Sea of Galilee; all these places offer unique and outstanding geological spectacles and they’re bursting with top-notch seaside tourist resorts.

damascusgate086

If you choose to visit Israel, you’ll be thrilled to discover a beguiling and beautiful nation quite unique in this world and trust me, you’ll not be disappointed.

Israel’s Main Attractions

PikiWiki_Israel_14807_Palmahim_beach

The old city of Akko is a must-see place during your Israel adventure, an ancient town boasting its church spires and dotted by beautiful minarets, together with its old citadel and imposing city walls. During its long and tumultuous history, the city was conquered by Crusaders, Turk Ottomans, French (Napoleon), the British and Israeli freedom fighters, but today Akko is an Arab town, where you can go visit a lively market and an old and somewhat anachronistic fishing port.

Jerusalem is a biblical place where you can go on a stroll on the Mountain of Olives, visit the Garden of Gethsemane, the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the Dome of Ascension, together with the old-white tombs of the historic Jewish cemetery, and admire the elegant church spires.

Nazareth is the place where Jesus spent His childhood years and it’s also where Mary’s annunciation had taken place. Obviously, Nazareth is a huge attraction for thousands of pilgrims each year, from all around the world. The city population is both Arabic and Christian, and while here you can admire a weave of mosques and churches, along with a busy bazaar.

temple-mount-jerusalem-israel

The Negev desert hosts a unique geological site, i.e. the Ramon Crater, formed on the former spot of an ancient sea which at some point in time covered this region, providing the traveler with an epic view and also loads of opportunities for climbing and hiking.

The picturesque Sea of Galilee is more of a lake in the Jezreel Valley, with dotted churches along its shores and being a hugely popular tourist destination.

Israeli Cuisine

Being a very diverse country, Israeli cuisine reflects various culinary styles. Cafe culture is very strong here and you’ll find lots of funky places where you can sit back, relax and enjoy some of the best Arabic coffees in the world.

Food specialties include falafel with pita bread and hummus, tahini and all sorts of salads, shishlik, shwarma, cholent, gefilte fish, burekas and shakshuka.

Alcohol is really expensive in Israel, but rest assured that you’ll find all the international brands of spirits and also local beers.

Temple-Mount-Public-Domain2

Visa Requirements

To enter and visit Israel, you’ll require a valid passport and no Visa if you’re an US/EU/British/Australian/Canadian resident.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: