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Israel’s Top 10 Must-See and Must-Dos

There is so much to see and do in Israel that you will be spoilt for choice but you have to narrow your list down to the very best must-see and must-do things on your Israeli trip. This list will help you discover the essential places to go and things to see while in Israel.
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1. Float in the Dead Sea

Get a photo of yourself in that famous pose floating in the Dead Sea while reading a newspaper. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on Earth; it is a sea of highly saline and mineral rich water. The extreme salinity of the water means that nothing can live in the water hence the “Dead” Sea and it is also the salt which keeps swimmers buoyant. Slap on some Dead Sea mud to give yourself a do-it-yourself spa treatment and get the health benefits from the air, sun, mud and water in this special part of the world.

Picture: The Dead Sea Beach

2. Explore Jerusalem’s Old City

This is really many attractions rolled into one. Within the walls of the ancient Old City there are many fascinating things to discover – Armenian ceramics, the Via Dolorosa (the route Jesus took carrying his cross to his crucifixion), the Wailing Wall, Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and more. Walk the ramparts, visit the Tower of David, relax in the city squares and be amazed by the excavated ancient Roman Cardo.

Picture: The Western Wall, Old City of Jerusalem

3. Dive in the Red Sea

Travel south to Israel’s most southerly point, the city of Eilat on the Red Sea. This beach resort city has amazing hotels, attractions including an ice rink in the middle of a mall and camel riding. But the real star of Eilat is the sea; the Red Sea is teaming with tropical fish living in the gorgeous coral reefs along the coast of Eilat. You don’t have to swim far from the beach to encounter the local marine life. Rent a snorkel and mask or take a diving course to explore the underwater world of the Red Sea. You could even dive with dolphins at the Dolphin Reef, dine in an underwater restaurant or visit Israel’s only aquarium.

Picture: The Dolphine Reef, Eilat

4. Discover the Desert
While in the south you can go to Mitzpe Ramon Visitor Center and stand on the edge of an enormous crater. The Ramon Crater is 40km long, 500 meters deep and 2-10km wide. After catching your breath continue into the desert to visit the Alpaca Farm, climb Masada, explore the desert caves, see where the Dead Sea scrolls were discovered, cool off at Ein Gedi a desert oasis and go on an exhilarating 4X4 tour of the desert. Make time to experience Bedouin hospitality in one of the Bedouin camps where you can stop for tea or even stay overnight.

Picture: Masada, the Dead Sea


5. Gorgeous Israeli Beaches
Israel has a long Mediterranean coastline from the mystical caves of Rosh HaNikra all the way to Ashkelon. You decide which are the most beautiful beaches – there are so many to choose from. Tel Aviv’s beaches are trendy, hip and great for socializing; Natanya is favored by French visitors; Beit Yannai Beach is a wide quiet beach; Caesarea’s beach is surrounded by ancient Roman remains and flanked by a Roman aqueduct; Dor HaBonim is a hidden gem and Achziv is a laid back slice of paradise.

Picture: Hilton Beach Tel Aviv


6. See Haifa’s Baha’i Gardens

As you drive through Haifa you can’t miss the cascading terraced Baha’i Gardens flowing down Mount Carmel from the small shrine topped with a golden dome. This is a UNESCO site and a holy site to the Baha’i faith. Within the shrine lies the remains of the Bab, one of the founders of the faith who was entombed here in 1921. Above the 19 terraces which stretch for 1km there is an observation balcony terrace offering stunning views across the city and bay. The gardens are planted with brightly colored flowers, landscaped trees and shrubs. Visitors are welcome to the shrine daily from 9am to noon and to the gardens and terrace daily from 9am to 5pm.

Picture: The Bahai Gardens, Haifa


7. Party until the Sun Comes up in Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv – the Big Orange – is a city which never sleeps; its nightlife is legendary and you can find something to do, a restaurant, bar or nightclub no matter what you taste. The city has a large and dynamic gay community with several gay bars and nightclubs. Many of the nightclubs put on elaborate floor shows and there is a constant stream of international stars arriving in Tel Aviv to perform. The party gets started late in Tel Aviv with clubs and bars only starting to fill up at about 11pm but the fun continues until dawn.


Picture: Dizingoff Club, Tel Aviv


8. Go Underground in the Old City of Acre

Acre (or Akko) should not be missed! It has the same ancient mystic feel as the Old City of Jerusalem with winding stone cobbled lanes, a lively market and several fascinating historic sites. It is also right on the edge of the city with a small and quaint sea port. Explore Acre’s ancient Crusader Fortress, see the Turkish hamam, visit the Underground Prisoners Museum and walk through the Templars Tunnel. The tunnel dates back to 1187 and stretches for 350 meters below the city from the Templars Fortress to the city port. Learn about the history of the Templars and the Templar Order through projected images and audiovisual presentations in the tunnel. This is a fascinating and unexpected experience.

Picture: Acre's Old City

9. The Sea of Galilee
It was here that Jesus walked on water, calmed the storm and gave his Sermon on the Mount. As you approach the Sea of Galilee you will see the breathtaking vistas of green countryside, rolling hills, farmlands and the crystal blue water of the sea. Take a tour of the many religious sites on the shores of the sea; enjoy a fish dinner in Tiberius and take a boat excursion on the Sea of Galilee. You can also go to the beach and swim here, camp on the shore, stay in luxury hotels, enjoy natural hot springs, spa treatments and a wide variety of water sports.

Picture: Sea of Galilee

10. Eat and then Eat Some More….
Israelis love their food, at home, on the street, on the beach, in pubs, at work and on the go. Wherever you go you will see some outlet selling delicious food. There are a few must-try dishes starting with falafel, humus and shawama. Have pita bread loaded with these delicious Israeli fast foods for just a few shekels. Falafel and shawama joints can be found on most streets and let’s face it, as far as fast food goes this is a lot healthier than Western fast food. Then there are the many dishes brought to Israel by Jewish immigrants including the Moroccans, Yemenites and Tunisians. Try the couscous, the Yemenite soup and the unique Ethiopian cuisine. When in Eilat, Jaffa or Tiberius be sure to have a fish dinner and in Tel Aviv visit the Tel Aviv port for the organic fresh produce farmers market and restaurant.


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