January 8th 2015
Despite being a small country, Israel’s various regions are brimming with variety. From the Mediterranean beaches to the luscious green hills of the Golan to the parched desert climate of the Negev, Israel has it all. To help you get the most out of your upcoming trip, we’ve compiled this primer, so you can familiarize yourself with country’s different areas and the characteristics that define them.
The Ancient and Vibrant Capital
It’s the juxtapositions between ancient and modern that best characterize Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. The venerable Old City, surrounded by walls built in the 16th century, is believed to be at least 4,500 years old. Outside the Old City walls is the sprawling new city of Jerusalem, with its museums, academic institutions, government offices, centers of commerce, colorful neighborhoods and the 19-screen Cinema City multiplex.
Dunes, Oases and Minerals
The sparsely populated Judean Desert covers less than 600 square miles, with the Judean hountains to the west and the Dead Sea to the east forming its boundaries. But the gems that this region offers to tourists are numerous and unforgettable. These include opportunities to hike in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, to climb to the top of Herod’s Masada fortress and slathering yourself in black mud for a float on the mineral-rich waters the Dead Sea itself.
Israel’s Center of Culture and an Ancient Sea Port
Tel Aviv is the cultural and economic capital of Israel. The bustling city is filled with sun and fun at its beaches, upscale shopping and a broad array of nightlife options, including world-class dining, bars and jazz clubs, theater and dancing. The narrow streets and flea market in the Old City of Jaffa offer a welcome contrast to the cosmopolitan pulse of Tel Aviv.
Wine, Water and Open Fields
The North of Israel is a world apart from the urban vibe of Tel Aviv. There’s lots of room to breathe in the north and plenty of green upon which to feast your eyes. The freshwater Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) is the region’s most well-known landmark and home to the tourist haven of Tiberias. The ancient, mystical city of Tzfat is nearby, and the region is brimming with wineries.
If it’s beaches you’re looking for, Israel’s Mediterranean Coast offers them in abundance. Most of Israel’s “west coast” is beachfront property. The majority of Israel’s population lives in the Coastal Plain area, including the cities of Ashkelon, Rishon Lezion, Tel Aviv, Haifa and Caesarea
If you really want to get to know the Land of Israel and all of her various personalities, ask your tour consultant to include sites from every one of these regions in your itinerary.