Despite its small size, Israel is an amazingly diverse country that contains a wealth of important and impressive historic, religious, and cultural landmarks. Besides all its incredible archaeological ruins and millennia-old holy sites, it boasts an enticing array of landscapes and settlements with its capital Jerusalem being one of the most captivating yet contested cities on Earth.
Set alongside both the sparkling Mediterranean Sea and a tiny segment of the Red Sea in the south, Israel is bordered by Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine. Very arid on the whole, its long, narrow landmass encompasses everything from beautiful beaches and dramatic mountain ranges to vast valleys, fertile plains and the desolate Negev and Judaean deserts. Some of its defining features include the incredibly salty Dead Sea, the Jordan River and the large, low-lying freshwater lake of the Sea of Galilee.
The first place everyone visits is of course Jerusalem which is packed full with some of Christianity, Islam and Judaism’s most sacred sites. Asides from seeing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock and Western Wall, you can also walk along Via Dolorosa, haggle at its age-old outdoor markets and explore its atmospheric Old City.
After experiencing the Holy City, most visitors head to either nearby Tel Aviv to enjoy its brilliant beaches, lively vibe and pounding nightclubs or Haifa which is home to lovely gardens, museums and a thriving arts and culture scene. The vibrant resort city of Eilat also attracts lots of people as do Akko, Nazareth and Tiberias for their interesting historic sights and old towns.
Aside from delving into the country’s rich history and culture, many tourists also come to float in the hyper-salinated Dead Sea, visit the stunning fortress site of Masada and hike, bike or drive along the rugged Ramon Crater.