Israel is a small yet mighty country. Surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea in the west, Lebanon, and Syria to the north, Jordan to the east, Egypt to the southwest, and the Red Sea to the south, Israel is no larger than New Jersey. Yet, despite its size, Israel presents visitors with an impressive and diverse selection of geography, history, cultural activities, and cuisine. From the lively nightlife of Tel Aviv to the history of Jerusalem, we are breaking down the top five places you must visit while in Israel.
Tel Aviv is Israel's second-largest city and the financial and cultural hub of the country. The city is most famous for its nightlife and is also home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean. If you're looking for a more culturally enriching experience, Tel Aviv is also home to the national opera and philharmonic orchestra.
Situated on a plateau high above the Dead Sea is the old fortress of Masada. First fortified by Herod the Great at the end of the first century, Masada is known as the last Jewish stronghold to fall to the Romans in the first Jewish-Roman war. Today, Masada is a popular hiking excursion for visitors and is especially spectacular at sunset. There is also a cable car that will take you up the hill for those who don't want to hike.
Haifa is primarily an industrial and port city located along the Mediterranean, but the Baháʼí World Center is worth making the trip to. Unlike most attractions in Israel, the impressive Baháʼí Gardens are relatively new. Completed in 2001, the gardens are meant to represent the spiritual unity of all humankind.
The Dead Sea is a must-visit location with the lowest elevation on land and 10x saltier than the ocean. Not only can you effortlessly float in the water, but the mud is believed to have healing properties and medical benefits. Be sure to pick up some skincare products while you're there!
Jerusalem is regarded as the holy city for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As one of the world's oldest cities, Jerusalem features dozens of historical sites that have withstood the test of time. The historic Old City is divided into four quarters, Jewish, Muslim, Christian, and Armenian, where you'll find some of the city's top attractions, including the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock.
There are many luxury small-group tour options for travelers who want to experience this beautiful country with other like minded travelers. From the history of Jerusalem to the natural beauty of the Negev Desert and Galilee, travelers can find something for everyone in the amazing country.