Stunning coastal cities, rugged desert landscapes and friendly locals make Israel one of the most captivating destinations in the Middle East. The country is complex and multifaceted, with sacred religious sites and centuries-old architecture standing alongside sun-drenched beach resorts and bohemian neighbourhoods.
Things to do in Israel
Tel Aviv charms visitors with its beautiful Bauhaus architecture and cinematic setting on the Mediterranean Sea. The city is fringed by a 14-kilometre-long stretch of sand where you can bask in the sunshine and sip cocktails. After dark, Tel Aviv turns up the heat with legendary nightlife.
In Northern Israel, Haifa cascades down the slopes of Mount Carmel. The port city is famous for the enchanting Baha’i Gardens. Just below the terraced gardens, the German Colony is filled with beautiful historic buildings reimagined as cafes, boutiques and galleries.
Floating in the mineral-rich waters of the Dead Sea is a signature Israeli experience. The lively resort town of Ein Bokek boasts some of the best beaches. Just inland is Ein Gedi, a lush desert oasis nestled between a pair of canyons. Venture into the nature reserve to discover a wonderland of cascading waterfalls and spring-fed pools.
An escape to the Galilee wine region offers views of rolling vineyards and forested hills. Tasting tours at boutique wineries offer a chance to see world-class red and white grape varietals being produced. Many feature on-site restaurants where you can enjoy sumptuous mezze platters loaded with creamy hummus, smoked aubergine, fresh-baked flatbread and other Israeli specialties.
Sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, Jerusalem attracts pilgrims from around the world. The Old City is dominated by Temple Mount, a sprawling complex that houses the Dome of the Rock shrine and Al-Aqsa Mosque. In the Christian Quarter, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre has been welcoming pilgrims for more than 16 centuries.
Getting around Israel
Major cities such as Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa are pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Local buses are a fast and affordable way to travel between cities, while rental cars offer the freedom to explore Israel at your own pace. Ben Gurion Airport is a 25-minute drive from Tel Aviv.