Because Israel is a land of extreme adventure, religious recreation and artistic infatuation, there are a series of things to do in order to make the visit in Israel worthwhile.
Diving in the Red Sea, precisely in a gulf named Aqaba, is one of the world’s most spectacular underwater adventures. In there you can see a wide variety of astonishing and brightly colored coral reefs and fish: everything from a venomous lion fish to a moray eel, sharks, sea turtles, and manta rays.
Not a diver? You can still enjoy the magnificent coral reef from the surface using a snorkeling mask. If you want a really unique view, a submarine that holds 50 people and goes 2000 feet in the underwater safari is available. One of the newly installed attractions in this place is the Dolphin Reef, where one can swim, dive and have fun with the dolphins.
The Dead Sea is famous for the cosmetic and healthy benefits that its salty water can cause the body. Because of it, the Dead Sea became a spa resort where any tourists can lather their bodies with the Dead Sea’s thick mud. Every tourist can also bathe under the Israel sun while floating on the lake of the Dead Sea. One’s fear of drowning can be taken away when swimming in these waters.
Fishing, sailing, surfing, water-skiing and yachting are all available in Israel. There are also marinas in Acre (Akko), Jaffa and Tel Aviv that provides this kind of water adventures.
Because Israel is known as an arid, desert place, it is a surprising fact that there is a full skiing and snowboarding season happening at Mount Hermon located at the northern border of Israel. Among annual sports event is the famous Tel Aviv Marathon that rouses 10,000 Israelis from their beds. Basketball and football are popular and many hotels have tennis courts. There is a fine 18-hole golf course at Caesarea. Horse riding, hiking and camel riding are available all throughout the country. Bicycling is also popular. There are excellent facilities at kibbutz sports grounds and in cities.
Strolling along the streets of the ancient sites is also a rewarding experience in Israel. The buildings in every street tell a different story. Every curb is a new direction that portrays another episode. Retracing the steps of Jesus Christ in Via Dolorosa is meditating. Walking beside the Western Wall stimulates the soul. Visiting Masada is awe-inspiring.
In Israel, there is more than meets the eye. Because Israel’s essence runs very deep, deeper than what history books recounts; vivid than the vibrant pictures; and real than the palpable presence of the people.
In Mea She’arim, for example. As you stroll its streets, you’ll immediately feel like you’re in pre-war Europe. Because the Jews in this place strictly observes their tradition of following their East European fashion of dressing.
Kibbutzim refer mainly to agricultural, tightly knit, cooperative communities. These fascinating communities are found all over Israel. They are known to be friendly, hard working and extremely hospitable. The Kibbutzim have good facilities for tourists so one can become acquainted with the kibbutz lifestyle. The kibbutz way of life is offered for tourists so one could experience it. These communities promote a more active social life.
The spooky Hezekiah’s Tunnel is a mysterious tunnel that holds a legend. This tunnel looks like the perfect set for Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones film. The tunnel serves to bring spring water to the Pool of Siloam. It was mentioned in the Bible that this is the place where Jesus healed a blind man. Visiting this place is like entering a river cave. You will need shorts, sandals and a strong flashlight.
If you’re a gourmet craving for a variety of mouthwatering cuisine, then Israel is the perfect place for you. Like the thousand churches and mosques that’s scattered around the country, Israel also has a sweeping number of restaurants. “Israeli cuisine” is in essence is a combination of Asian, Middle Eastern and Western tastes, with an additional distinct flavor brought by the many nationalities that populated Israel.
The traffic-free centre of Jaffa, the oldest working port in the world, on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, is the place to tuck in to freshly caught fish.
Some of Israel’s national dishes include the Humus, a yummy spread made from the mashed vegetable called chickpea; the Falafel, a ball of chickpea deep fried to perfection; Tahini, a paste of grounded sesame seeds, Shashlik, a grilled, skewered juicy meat; the world famous Kebabs, and a variety of chicken soups garnished with chopped liver. Some of the native drinks that best matches the Israel cuisines are the wines ranging from the colors of light white to dry red; sweet rosé; beer from Gold Star and Maccabee; Arak the unsweetened aniseed flavored distilled alcoholic drink; Hard Nut an alcoholic drink mixed with walnuts from Eliaz winery; and Sabra an Israel produced, chocolate-orange liqueur.
A visit to some of Israel’s famous restaurants makes the entire Israeli trip an outstanding experience. If you’re looking for a dining place where you can enjoy fresh fish dishes inspired from Jewish and Middle Eastern specialties, then the Beni Fish Restaurant is the perfect place. An outstanding ensemble of exotic sauces such as olive and almond sauce, apple and mushroom sauce, and banana sauce, will accompany your fish.
The restaurant also serves scrumptious Kosher shrimps broiled with mushrooms and nuts and a mouthwatering baked trout. If you need a restaurant that has culinary excellence and a legendary hospitality, then Darna is the place to be. It is one of the restaurants in Jerusalem that takes pride on its authentic cuisine created by chefs of Moroccan descent. Its specialty is Couscous, served in a very large bowl bowl with a variety of toppings from meats to vegetables. Its famous Sahlab, a fragrant and delicious dessert made with soy milk and rosewater, should not be missed.
The award-winning chef, Moshe Basson, runs another restaurant in Jerusalem called Eucalyptus. The herbs and mushrooms used to make the cuisines that are served in this place are freshly picked from the hills surrounding Jerusalem. The place serves dishes that reflect the Jewish and Arabian cultures. The Holy Bagel Factory is the nirvana for bagel lovers, offering an amazing variety of fresh bagels, cream cheeses with finger-licking toppings. Muffins, croissants and borekas are among the pastries that are baked daily.
If you’re already filled up with the delicious dishes, then dance the night away at Haoman 17. It is the ultimate party destination in Jerusalem. Haoman 17 features the best DJ from around the world and launches weekly themed parties and entertainments such as the jaw-dropping trapeze dancing, fabulous fashion shows and poi dancing.
Where to Shop
Shopping in Israel offers a wide selection of choices from the local and traditional handmade products to the high-end fashion products. Bargaining is the name of the game when shopping outside the boutiques and street markets of Israel. Both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem provide shoppers with a selection of boutiques and outdoor markets. Tel Aviv and Jerusalem is the wonderland of the fashionistas and the shopaholics.It is even safe to give your kids some shopping money to purchase souvenirs in these places. Special purchases include shoes, clothing, bags, jewelries made of precious stones, ceramics, embroidery, wines, holy books, etc.
The alleyways of Jaffa in Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv is a great start for your shopping spree. Jaffa’s famous flea market is a haven for antique lovers. The entire place is adorned with for sale carpets, furniture and antiquities that can be bargained. A fantastic collection of antique junks is also sold in the backstreets of the Jaffa flea market.
If you’re in for shoe shopping, then head off to the extensive and stylish Gazith Shoes shop. What they sell are hits even for international celebrities and tourists. It presents an endless array of fashionable footwear ranging from sassy and sporty styles to formal and chic-casual. Another great place to shop for shoes is Shaul Shoes shop located in Jerusalem. It specializes on shoes that are worn for comfort as well as shoes for extra wide and large foot.
If you’re a shopper who have a fetish for comfortable textiles, then head off to Jaffa’s wonderful Gabrieli Weaving shop. It is the shop that features and sells a variety of hand-woven traditional Jewish items. These include Jewish prayer shawls and decorative works with Jewish themes. Though traditional, the styles are unmistakably modern and original, with vibrant colors and a novelty of sewing designs. Dresses, shawls and handbags can also be personalized and hand-woven in this place
Activities for Children
Israel is also a place for children. Children and young adults can visit Bloomfield Science Museum where science is learned on a first hand experience. Exhibits themselves are interactive, which means that you learn while you touch, hear, and see. At the Bloomfield Science Museum, the importance of scientific and technological knowledge in the lives of people is given priority.
Another kid friendly site is the Time Elevator. This thrilling simulator ride will take you back to 3000 years of Jerusalem’s history. A simulated journey with earthquakes, fires, and the destruction of the city, takes the seat-belted audience through 25 minutes of fascinating and realistic history from the times of King David to the Six-Day War in 1967 and concludes with a beautiful aerial ride over modern Jerusalem.
Israel is truly an amazing place to visit. But first hand experience is more satisfying than just reading this article. So what are you waiting for? Contact your travel agent now and visit Israel!