Not a long time ago, the most asked question about Israel was “Is it safe?” Getting past that image, the Holy Land is inviting travellers, attracting them with its history and modernity, and fast becoming the country on the globe that everyone wants to explore. From religious to secular; from history buffs to beach bums; from wine lovers to foodies—Israel has some great tricks up its sleeve for all travellers and now is the perfect time to see the magic.
As a city that tugs at heart and brain, Jerusalem leaves visitors in awe. The capital city is not just religiously significant but also a major tourist attraction.
Jerusalem is a city of unique neighbourhoods each with its own distinct religious and ethnic composition.Three of the world’s biggest religions, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, co-exist in this historic city. Jewish worshippers visit the Western Wall, which is better known as the Wailing Wall; the beautiful Church of Holy Sepulcre is considered one of the holiest places in Christian religion, for Jesus was crucified here; and the Al Aqsa Mosque is the third-most important place of worship for Muslims.It’s hard not to get touched by these sacred sites and the stories behind them, no matter your religion or faith.
Tel Aviv is Israel’s vibrant city that never sleeps. It is famous for its golden beaches and nightlife, city shops and markets, and cafés and restaurants. The main attraction here is the Port area. From Friday markets and Israeli shopping brands to fancy restaurants and buzzing nightlife, the Port area is where the party never stops.
The incredibly high mineral and salt content makes the Dead Sea the lowest natural point on Earth. Straddling the borders between Israel and Jordan, this beautiful water body has been attracting visitors for centuries with its turquoise water and rugged landscape. A treat for the tourist, Dead Sea is where one can float like a tube on the buoyant water and give oneself a mud mask treatment.
Don’t miss the ultimate Galilee experience. North to the Upper Galilee will greet you with cool weather and scenic mountains with green grass, which is a refreshing contrast to the desert. The nearby historical city of Safed, the Sea of Galilee and Capernaum are a few of the many Christian sites here. The next on your list should be the picturesque Baha’i Gardens in Haifa—a UNESCO World Heritage Site that frames the Galilee Hills and the Mediterranean Sea.
For gourmet travellers, Israel is such a treat. Some of the local favourites include savoury Shakshouka, spicy Zhoug, and creamy Hummus that is everyone’s all-time favourite. Other things to try in Israel are the Dolma (stuffed grape leaves filled with rice), the famous Falafel (a deep fried ball of ground chickpeas and spices), Halva (ground sesame seeds mixed with sugar and other flavorings such as chocolate, coffee beans and almonds), and Lahmacun (a no cheese pizza with seasoned ground lamb meat drizzled with olive oil and tahini). To top these, get a glass of sparkling Israeli wine—they have those as well.