Israel is an incredibly fascinating place. Stories about Israel go back thousands of years, and it’s wonderful to contemplate how many people through the centuries have walked Israel’s shores and roads. Of course, it’s unnecessary to walk everywhere in Israel. Book an car rental in Israel and visit as much of Israel as you possible can.
Start in Haifa in the north and Eilat in the south for art, sports, science, history, and religious activities. No one gets bored in Israel.*
Haifa and Galilee
People from Judeo-Christian cultures enjoy visiting Galilee to see places mentioned in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Galilee is the place where Jesus lived and later delivered the powerful Sermon on the Mount. Regardless of religious interest, though, the area is ruggedly beautiful. It’s a perfect place to hike, kayak, or go rafting.
Haifa, located on the Mediterranean, has must-visit, perfectly azure beaches. Here are some favorite beaches to check out:
Bat Galim is a family-friendly and delightfully historic place. It’s close to Rosh HaCarmel and Galim districts of Haifa. Plenty of free parking, a playground with a giant pirate vessel, and benches everywhere make this beach a perfect place to picnic and people-watch.
The south part of Bat Galim is a favorite spot for surfing and windsurfing, and the rest of the beach is an ideal place to swim. The breakwater near Haifa Bay keeps the waters calm.
Hof Hashaket is situated behind the breakwater of Haifa Bay. The water here is something like a giant just-the-right-temperature saltwater swimming pool. Israelis refer to Hof Hashaket as a serene place.
Visitors should note that men may visit Monday, Wednesday, and Friday while women are allowed to visit Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Men and women may visit the beach together on Saturdays.
Dado Zamir is considered one of the most popular spots in Haifa. The promenade runs from the south of Dado Zamir to the north point that touches Carmel Beach.
Some of the best beachy restaurants and bars are located here. Plan to enjoy Israeli folk dancing at Dado Zamir’s arena. And for those who want to use electronic devices at the beach, Dado Zamir has WiFi!
Located west of Nave David is Carmel beach. The waters are also calm and many swimmers enjoy a relaxing crawl or backstroke here. Sports facilities, sitting areas, children’s playgrounds, and lots of benches make Carmel a great place to visit alone or with a group.
Kiryat Haim, located next to the Kiryat Haim suburb in north Haifa, is especially known for its bountiful gardens. A walk on the boardwalk is especially pleasurable—it’s so beautiful.
Plan to enjoy a barbecue if visiting here in the summer months or join the dances. This beach segregates men and women visitors so, if visiting as a male-female couple, arrange the visit on Saturday.
Finally, take a break from the gorgeous sand and visit Ein Hod Artist Village and the amazing Baha’I Gardens.
Visit the Carmel Market and take a picnic to Park Hayarkon. This is a wonderful place to go boating, attend a concert, visit the aviary and tropical gardens, hike, or bicycle. At the end of the day, enjoy dinner and theatre at Nalga’at Center. BlackOut Restaurant is an incredible experience. Blind waiters serve delicious food in complete darkness. Actors are also blind and deaf-blind.
Science enthusiasts should visit the Clore Garden at Weizmann Institute. The range of science exhibits includes a solar ignition furnace, a moon walk (simulates the experience of walking in low gravity), and so much more.
A visit to Israel must include Jerusalem. Plan to stop at the Israel Museum, one of the top repositories for antiquities in the world. Five hundred thousand of the world’s most fascinating objects, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, are found here. The art of Rodin, Lipschitz, Oldenburg, and Picasso is also here. For those interest in Holocaust history, the Yad Vashem Museum is a life-changing experience. Survivors’ testimonies, artifacts, and a walk through The Hall of Names reveals personal perspectives of the Holocaust.
The Old City
The Old City of Jerusalem is divided into quarters. Jews, Muslims, Christians, and Armenians live in this city-within-a-city. The Dome of the Rock is located here. According to the holy Koran, Mohammed’s ascension occurred here. The Western Wall, an important Jewish site, is also found here. For millennia, people have placed written messages to God in the wall’s cracks.
Another must-see spot is the Dead Sea. Plan to visit Ein Gedi Park as well as the Masada. Ein Gedi National Park is a thrilling desert oasis complete with wonderful hiking trails. Goats, desert leopards, and ibex live here. The Masada, located atop a cliff, is a 2,000 year old fortress. One thousand Jewish soldiers fought the Roman army for two years. These brave men chose death rather than slavery, and committed group suicide.
Located at the southern tip of Israel and the north of the Red Sea, Eilat is a place to swim, boat, water ski, or swim with wild dolphins. The coral reefs are worth exploring at the underwater observatory or during a scuba dive. The Red Sea Jazz Festival, a local event since 1987, is energizing and a perfect way to spend an August day in Israel.
* Note that some sites are closed for the Sabbath on Friday and Saturday.
What are your favorite places to visit in Israel? Leave us a question or comment below!