With a mixture of stunning natural beauty, incredible historical sites spanning major religions, and a warm welcome awaiting you, Israel certainly deserves a place on your bucket list. But with so much on offer, what do you have time to squeeze in on your trip to Israel?
In this post, we’ll look at some of the best things you can do in Israel. Hopefully, it’ll help you plan your trip and really make the most of your time in this incredible country!
Float in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. But that’s not the thing that makes it so epic! The salt levels in this inland sea are so high that no fish can live here. And you can’t swim! No matter how hard you try, the water will push you back up to the top and you’ll float. It’s a totally unique experience.
Not only is the Dead Sea a wonderful experience, but it’s also very good for your body. The mud here supposedly has healing powers and is wonderful for your skin. Of course, you can buy products all over Israel with Dead Sea salts, but there’s nothing quite like putting the mud on at the sea yourself.
While you’re at the Dead Sea, you could also stop off at the Ein Gedi kibbutz or visit the ancient fortress of Masada.
Embrace the epic nightlife in Tel Aviv
While natural beauty and historic sites are big on the menu in Israel, Tel Aviv’s nightlife is something you should definitely factor into your Israel itinerary. There’s something for everyone, with everything from small neighbourhood bars where you can chat with friends and locals to megaclubs that host the biggest named DJs. Most bars are open until dawn, and they’re scattered all across the city.
If you do end up with a hangover, you could spend the next day on one of Tel Aviv’s many beaches or exploring the beautiful Old Jaffa. There’s are wonderful markets and museums too. Tel Aviv really does have everything!
Go surfing on the Mediterranean Coast
When you think of the Mediterranean, Israel may not be the first place that springs to mind. However, with 273km of coastline, there are plenty of spots you can choose to surf. You’ll definitely see people on the beaches at Tel Aviv with their surfboards, but that’s not the only place you can practice surfing in Israel.
While it’s the most popular spot, you can also surf in Herzliya, Netanya, Caesarea, and Haifa. 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv, there’s even a surf school that has turned out Olympic medalists!
Chill out with a spot of SUP
Surfing a little too hectic and white knuckle for you? Perhaps you might be better off trying one of the sport’s cousins. Stand up paddle boarding is the fastest growing water sports in the world, a great workout for the core, and it’s a wonderful way to take in the stunning picturesque landscapes of Israel.
The Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have walked on water, is a great place for SUPing as the waters are flat and calm. Don’t forget the proper gear for your paddleboard session. Head for Michmoret and you can paddle on both the Alexander River, or the Mediterranean Sea (if you want to give surf SUP a go). SUPing is a wonderful way to experience the Dead Sea and Red Sea too.
Explore the ancient sites
Israel is unparalleled when it comes to history. In a land that has been conquered by many, there are signs of all those who have been here before. The mountaintop fortress of Masada looks out over the Dead Sea and this UNESCO World Heritage Site is an important symbol of Ancient Israel.
Masada isn’t the only Roman Site, with the remains of an amphitheatre at Caesarea and the beautifully preserved remains of a city in Beit She’An. Wherever you look in Israel, you find places that have either religious or historical importance.
Navigate your way through the Old City of Jerusalem
No trip to Israel is complete without a visit to Jerusalem’s Old City. Within one kilometre, you have holy sites that are important in Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. While the Western Wall is considered a holy Judaism site, anyone can visit and pay their respects. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is said to be the final resting place of Jesus Christ, with the Via Dolorosa the way he supposedly walked to his crucifixion. The Dome of the Rock is said to commemorate the Prophet Muhammed’s journey to heaven and while tourists can visit, it’s best to do a little more research into times when you arrive in Israel.
For all of these sites, be sure to dress modestly. As well as Jerusalem’s important religious site, there are a number of markets and the food in the Old City is delicious!
Go skiing (yes, really) in Golan Heights
Skiing in the Middle East? Surely not. Well, it is possible – Mount Hermon has a network of skiing trails standing just over 2,000 metres above sea level. It’s open for around 50 days a year and you’ll have views into Syria, Lebanon, and over the Sea of Galilee.
If you’re planning to visit here for skiing, you will have to come between January and March. That shouldn’t put you off visiting at other times of year though, as go-karting, mountain biking, and kayaking are all possible. There’s even an alpine roller coaster which is sure to be fun for families.
So, now you know the best things to do in Israel…
It’s time to plan your trip. Whether you want to experience the unique feeling of floating in the Dead Sea, scale a mountain to reach an ancient fortress, or practice surfing and SUPing at the country’s beaches, there’s something for everyone in Israel.