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Top Reasons to Visit Israel This Year

Home > Israel > Lists | Escape the City
by Mihaela Schwartz (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer and an avid traveler.
Published March 18th 2013
The Land of Milk and Honey
An off the beaten path tourist destination, Israel makes a great venue for all sorts of holidays. Whether you are looking for a spiritual voyage, for a wellness or beach vacation, for an active sightseeing tour or a culinary immersion, Israel is the answer to all of them. Here the top reasons to visit this young yet deeply rooted in history country:

The Holy Places

No matter if the visitors are Christians, Jews or Muslims, Jerusalem's landmarks will always be top of the list when it comes to holy places. Home to the Wailing Wall, and to the underground City of David, Jerusalem's Old Town is the top pilgrimage destination in Judaism.

Jerusalem old city, dome of the rock
The Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock

While Jesus' followers will include landmarks like the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Gethsemane Garden, the Way of the Cross and the Church of All Nations in their itinerary, Muslims will head towards the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Getting out of the Israeli capital city, you can visit Bethlehem – Jesus' native town and the place where Rachel's tomb is situated.

World Class Attractions

This young country is home to a wide range of historical and natural sites, and most of them can be reached on a day trip from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. If you are interested in Jewish history, you can visit Tsfat or Tiberias. In Caesarea you will find an interesting Roman theatre, while in Akko you can relive Christian history while touring the Crusaders' ramparts. Less popular with tourists, but nevertheless interesting, Nimrod's Fortress and the abandoned bunkers on Ben Tal Mountain (close to the border with Syria) are great venues for family trips.

Akko, Acre, Acco
Acco harbour

A magnet for tourists because of the therapeutic properties of its mud and waters, the Dead Sea is another reason to visit Israel. On its shores you will find many resorts, spa centers and beauty products shops. The whole area is dotted with historic sites and natural wonders: the ancient fortress of Massada, a panoramic observatory over a dormant volcano's crater (Mitzpe Ramon), the Qumran caves, etc.

Tasty Authentic Food

A melting pot of immigrants coming from all over the world, Israel is a paradise for foodies. Here you will have the opportunity to taste various cuisines: Yemenite, Moroccan, South American, Turkish, Ethiopian, East European, etc. Visiting Israel is like touring the world when it comes to culinary delights. You cannot help falling in love with the vegetarian falafel balls, the spiced up shakshouka, or the varied hummus dishes. This is something you find in every street corner. So, don't worry, there is no chance you can miss them.

israel, beach
Sunset on a beach in Israel

The Beaches

Despite their proximity to thriving urban centers like Tel Aviv, Eilat and Haifa, most beaches in Israel succeeded to maintain their pristine look and quality. Besides the jaw dropping views and the warm Mediterranean waters bathing them, the Israeli beaches provide many opportunities for entertainment as they are bordered by cafés, restaurants and activity centers. No matter what type of beach you are looking for, the Israeli coastline will certainly provide you with a strip of sand that suits your taste.
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