Best Places to Visit in Israel
So you are planning a break to Israel and you want to see the highlights, but where are the best places to visit? Israel might look small on a world map but there are so many diverse and spectacular sights to see, both new and old. Check out our top recommendations today....
A trip to Israel wouldn't be complete without visiting Jerusalem. Israel's capital city is a very religous destination for Christians, Jews and Muslims. This is an ancient city with several places of interest including the Dome of the Rock, Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall which is a holy site to Jews. Exploring the old part of the city is an incredible experience and also be sure to visit the Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. If you have an interest in history then The Israel Museum in Jerusalem will appeal - here you can see various historical treasures including the Dead Sea Scrolls, the world's oldest known biblical manuscripts.
2. Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a lively vibrant city with a young population - it is also the best place to party! Founded in only 1909 this city is an incredible place to visit where you can hit the beach during the day, watch sunset and then visit one of the many bars, cafes and restaurants. This is a very liberal city which is in total contrast to other cities in the country.
Masada is an ancient 1,300-foot high fort overlooking the Dead Sea located about 20km from Arad. Here you can learn about the history of the Zealots and see ruins, many of which haven't been excavated yet. You can access the fort on foot (for the active) or via a cable car.
4. The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a world famous destination with several biblical stories occured here. At overe 1,300 feet below sea level it is the lowest point on the planet. The water is very salty and rich in minerals - this has been known to help people with skin conditions. You can also float
5. Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is a huge freshwater lake located in northern Israel. The lake is approximately 21 km long, and 13 km wide!
A popular Red Sea seaside destination where you can enjoy the outdoors lifestyle, watersports - you can even go swimming with wild dolphins here. If you would like to go snorkelling or scuba diving in Israel then Eilat is your destination. We recommend going to Aqua or Coral beaches which is a great place for views and activities.
7. Valley of Elah
Looking to experience the real Israeli countryside? Plan a trip to discover the Valley of Elah. Located around 45 minutes south-west of Jerusalem, this is the site of David's epic battle with Goliath, and which is now home to many winerys. There are lots of remote monasteries and scenic spots which make this region one of the hidden jems of Israel. Get here before the crowds arrive.
Bethlehem is one of the most well know places in the world due to being the birth place of Jesus. Thousands of international tourists visit this city which is located in the West Bank in Palestine, and is easily accessible from Jerusalem. This is the locations of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. If you would like to be more than just a tourist you might want to volunteer in Palestine.
Haifa is a picturesq city with spectacular scenery and gardens. The Terraces of the Bahá'í Faith, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, are garden terraces around the Shrine of the Báb on Mount Carmel in Haifa, Israel. These gardens are some of the most beautiful in the world.
Nazareth is a great city to check out if you are planning to visit Northern Israel, it is smaller than Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with a population of around 75,000 people. Nazareth is where The Virgin Mary lived and brought up baby Jesus and is an imporant pilgrimage destination for religious tourists. Don't leave Nazareth before visiting the Church of Annunciation.
Jaffa is an ancient port city in Israel which featured heavily in ancient biblical stories. Jaffa, also known as Yafo is somewhere you should add to your itinerary. Located on the Meditteranean sea, you will enjoy strolling around the old cobbled streets of the Old Town. Booking a tour in Israel is a great way to learn more about the history and tradition of places like Jaffa - you will get a local guide who will be able to give you more information about the places you visit.
12. Beit Shean
Beit She'an is one of the most ancient cities in the world with several archaeological sites located throughout the region. This city offer a mix of new and old, with modern buildings and shops but also ancient ruins.
Looking for a slightly less touristy destintion? Consider venturing to Caesarea, a small town located on the ocean inbetween Tel Aviv and Haifa. The Caesarea National Park is a spectacular archaeological site built by Herod the Great over 2,000 years ago. Expect ancient ruins and spectacular views. This beautiful park located on a harbor and beaches has so much for tourists to see and do. You can walk around to see ancient ruins, go shopping or if the weather is good you might want to go swimming. The amphitheater is impressive and if you visit during summer the amphlitheatre has been renovated and you can attend a theate/concert here.
Ashkelon is a city located on the spectacular Mediterranean sea, it is one of the oldest cities in the country and is becoming more and more popular with tourists. Ashkelon is only 50 kilometres from Tel Aviv and there is a good transport which makes getting here easier. Ashkelon is a desireable place to live and the city is constantly being developed with new parks and buildings which offer a mix of new and old. The national park and the ancient port are two of the best places to see.
15. Golan Heights
Ask anyone who has been The Golan Heights and they will highly recommend visting. Located in northern Iseael, The Golan Heights is one of the most popular non-city destinations for travellers in Israel due to the scenery and ancient archeological sites. You will be left in awe of the nature and beauty of this area.
Other places which didn't quite make our list but you might want to consider include:
- The Uvda Valley and Eilat Mountains
- The Negev Desert
- The Judean Desert
- Gush Etzion
- The Dan Region (Gush Dan)
- The Coastal Plain
- The Lowlands
- Jezreel Valley
- The Carmel Mountain
- The Jordan Valley
- The Hula Valley
Credit: Dan eilat resort, Dan hotels
Where to Stay
If you are looking for recommended hotels in Israel we recommend Dan Hotels which are perfect for holidays and business breaks in the country. There are 14 luxury hotels to choose from in the most popular locations in the country including many of the places we have listed above. Expect world class facilities and service, most hotels feature a swimming pool, sauna, restaurant, night club, spa, concierge, room service and wireless internet.