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Israel is a popular travel destination known for its rich history, beautiful landscapes, and unique culture.Tourists can explore popular destinations such as Galilee, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Negev, Eilat and the Dead Sea, and participate in various activities and tours.
The Palestinian Territories of the West Bank and Gaza are still very much an appendix of Israel.
Israel is bordered by Lebanon to the north, Syria to the north-east, Jordan to the east, and Egypt to the south-west. It also shares coastlines with the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Red Sea to the south.
Israel, officially known as the State of Israel, is a small country located in the Middle East.
The State of Israel was established in 1948.
The political situation in Israel and the broader Middle East is complex and subject to change. It is advisable to consult up-to-date sources and news outlets for the latest information before travelling in the region.
Historically, the region of modern-day Israel has been a significant centre for various civilisations, including the ancient Israelites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, and British.
However, the establishment of the modern State of Israel is closely linked to the Zionist movement, which sought to create a Jewish homeland in the early 20th century.
Israel declared independence on 14th May, 1948, following the United Nations' partition plan for Palestine.
This led to a conflict between Israel and its neighboring Arab countries, resulting in several wars, including the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, the Six-Day War in 1967, and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
These conflicts have had a lasting impact on the region and shaped Israel's geopolitical situation.
Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and it is the country's largest city.
The status of Jerusalem is contested, with Palestinians also claiming East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Israel has a rich cultural heritage, blending Jewish, Arab, and Mediterranean influences, which can be seen in its cuisine, music, art, and traditions.
Israel is famous for its cultural and historical atractions, including religious sites such as the Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Despite its small size, Israel has made significant advancements in technology, agriculture, and science.
It has a strong economy, particularly in sectors such as high-tech innovation, defense, agriculture, and tourism
Israel is known as the 'Startup Nation' due to its vibrant technology sector and entrepreneurial culture.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a central issue in the region, with ongoing tensions and disputes over land, settlements, and the status of Palestinian territories.
Efforts to achieve peace and a two-state solution continue to be the focus of international diplomacy.
Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a president as the head of state and a prime minister as the head of government.
Its political system is based on proportional representation, with a multi-party system and regular elections.
Israel has a diverse population, with a majority of Jewish citizens.
There are also significant Arab Muslim and Christian populations, as well as other minority groups.
Hebrew and Arabic are the official languages of Israel, and English is widely spoken throughout the country.
In the year 1741 BC, Abraham began his long journey from Haran to Canaan - a journey which would change the history of the world and have a profound effect on the development of most major religions.
When planning a visit to Israel, there are several key destinations and attractions to think about.
Situated at the lowest point on Earth, the Dead Sea is famous for its high salt concentration, which allows visitors to effortlessly float on its surface.
The mineral-rich mud found in the area is also popular for its therapeutic properties.
If you're interested in beach resorts and diving, Eilat, located on the Red Sea, is a popular destination.
Its crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs make it a paradise for snorkellers and scuba divers.
The region of Galilee, in northern Israel, is known for its picturesque landscapes, including the Sea of Galilee, which is associated with many biblical stories.
The area is also home to historic towns like Nazareth and Tiberias.
A major port city in northern Israel, Haifa is known for its beautiful Bahá'í Gardens, which are an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The city also boasts a vibrant mix of cultures and a diverse culinary scene.
This ancient city holds great religious significance for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.
It's home to important sites like the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock.
This ancient fortress is located atop a mountain plateau near the Dead Sea.
Masada is an UNESCO World Heritage Site with great historical significance and stunning views of the surrounding desert.
Known for its vibrant nightlife, beautiful beaches, and modern atmosphere, Tel Aviv offers a contrast to the historical sites found in other parts of Israel.
The city is renowned for its cultural events, contemporary architecture, and bustling markets.
When visiting Israel, it's important to be aware of the cultural and religious sensitivities in the region.
Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites, and respect local customs and traditions.
It's also advisable to check the current travel advisories and any entry requirements before your trip.
The Israeli Ministry of Tourism is a government office that is responsible for the planning, development, and marketing of policies in the tourism industry in Israel.
The ministry aims to increase economic activity through tourism and to foster the growth of the industry in Israel.
When thinking about Where to Go in Israel much depends on the time you have available and your main interests.
A lot can be achieved within a ten day visit to Israel.
If your time is limited and you want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus these are the essential Christian Pilrimage Sites in Israel and Palestine.
Be aware that the geopolitical situation in the Middle East can be complex and subject to change.
It's recommended to stay updated with the latest information and follow any travel advisories issued by your government or relevant authorities.
Jerusalem (al-Quds in Arabi) is Israel's largest city and has been designated the country's capital.
This is not recognised by the United Nations and many countries continue to maintain their embassies in Tel Aviv.
Jerusalem is also considered sacred by Jews, Christians and Muslims but rather than live peacefully side by side some extremists want to call The Holy Land their own.
On December 6th, 2017 Donald Trump - as President of the United States of America - officially recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Naturally this didn't go down so well with the Palestinians.
Founded in 1965, the Israel Museum in Jerusalem has achieved world class status with collections ranging from prehistoric archaeology through contemporary art.
Located at 11 Ruppin Boulevard, near the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), public transportation to the Israel Museum is available on buses 7, 9, 14, 35 and 66.
Line 100 also runs to the Israel Museum from Tel Aviv.
Visit the sights, taste the typical foods, see the common costumes, meet the prominent people, and drink from the water systems of the period and those that follow.
The Western Wall (or Kotel, in Hebrew) was part of the most magnificent building Jerusalem had ever seen, which was the Second Temple, built by the great King Herod.
If you're looking for the most super deluxe hotel in Jerusalem, with the best location in town, look no further than the King David Jerusalem Hotel and marvel at the fabled skyline of the old city; watching how the sunset works its magic on the legendary Golden City in the evening.
Situated in the heart of Jerusalem and overlooking the old city, the King David Jerusalem is a member of the 'Leading Hotels of the World'.
King David Jerusalem Hotel: 23 King David Street, Jerusalem.
This majestic historic building, with captivating ambience terrace set in beautiful gardens overlooking the old city, is within walking distance of both the old and new city.
The King David is a Jerusalem landmark and probably Israel's most famous hotel. A unique combination of modern facilities, gourmet restaurant and traditional atmosphere makes the King David Jerusalem a regular host to world leaders and celebrities.
Tel Aviv - Jaffa
The historic district of Jaffa Port is to the south of modern Tel Aviv, and the winding streets of the old Arab town are extremely interesting.
The history of the settlement goes back 4,000 years, and includes military visits by all the major powers ebbing and flowing across the region.
Tel Aviv (Hill of Spring, in Hebrew) was established by Jewish settlers in 1909, and grew rapidly during and after the Second World War as Jewish immigrants escaped from Nazi Germany.
Israel in general - and Tel Aviv especially - is so much different than what you may expect. Tel Aviv alone has more then 800 restaurants, cafes and bars. The night scene and cultural scene is one of the best in the world and there's always something to do.
The weather is great, even during the winter.
Tel Aviv has a rather small city centre, which you can divide into five parts and spend a day/night in each of them. Newe Zedek, the oldest neighbourhood of the city can be a great place to start.
Many of Tel Aviv's residents are self-employed or work in shifts, which is one of the reasons why you can find people on the streets almost any hour of the day.
Tel Aviv is known for its amazing beaches, great nightlife offerings and excellent food culture. With a choice so vast it’s sometimes difficult to decide where to eat.
The cafes and restaurants in Tel Aviv are always full, which might give the impression that in Tel Aviv, no-one works.
You can walk into a restaurant on Monday evening and it's packed. Or walk down to the beach on a weekday only to discover many young Israelis relaxing in the sun.
When thinking about where to stay in Tel Aviv, your first choice might be to consider if you want stay in the beach area, city centre or Old Jaffa.
Dan Panorama Tel Aviv Hotel: 10 Kaufman Street, Tel Aviv.
Cross the road and you're on the great beaches and soft sands of the Mediterranean. Take a stroll along the seafront promenade and you're in ancient Jaffa's harbour.
With all the dynamic and sophisticated attractions of Tel Aviv on the doorstep, stay at the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv Hotel and you're close to everywhere you want to be.
Hilton Tel Aviv Hotel: 205 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv.
Relax by the outdoor pool or be pampered at the spa. Dine on sushi at Yakimono Sushi Bar or Mediterranean dishes at King Solomon. Relax with a cocktail at the Lobby Lounge.
The Hilton Tel Aviv Hotel occupies a unique location, perched on a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean, in the heart of Independence Park. It goes without saying that well appointed guestrooms and impeccable service is something you can count on at Hilton Hotels.
Orchid Tel Aviv: 79 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv.
Situated in the heart of Tel Aviv's beachfront promenade, the hotel is still only minutes away from all the excitement that Tel Aviv has to offer.
Overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the four-star Orchid Tel Aviv faces Tel Aviv's famous beach promenade and is within walking distance from the old city of Jaffa.
Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel: 121 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv.
While visiting the heart of Israel this hotel offers a great location directly on the beach and within easy access to business, shopping and entertainment.
Perfectly located on the Mediterranean shoreline, with direct access to the beach, the Renaissance Tel Aviv Hotel provides traditional service to a contemporary clientele.
Located on the Gulf of Aqaba, Eilat is Israel's southernmost city.
April to May is a good time to visit Eilat; before the sand gets unbearably hot and swimming underwater is the only place to be.
This is the region in northern Israel, around Lake Tiberias (Sea of Galilee).
Haifa's exquisite beaches are simply not to be missed, as well as its numerous holy sights that are spread out around the city and the reconstructed German Colony at the foot of Mount Carmel.
Haifa can be divided into three areas, according to their topographical distribution: The Carmel region, on the upper reaches of Mount Carmel offers stunning views; Hadar, with its varied and colourful architecture is lower down; and at the foot of the Carmel is the glorious stretch of Haifa Beach and the area known as 'Down Town' - where you'll find the authentic markets, churches, mosques and stone houses of the Templar era.
The Haifa Tourist and Leisure Board is located at 48 Ben Gurion Avenue, Haifa.
Situated in lower Galilee, Nazareth is where Mary and Joseph lived and it was the childhood home of Jesus - or so they say.
Nazareth is still a place of pilgrimage and contains many shrines commemorating its biblical associations, some of them have been rebuilt after they were destroyed by the Muslims during the Middle Ages.
The archangel Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary at the church of the Annunciation, and the church of St Joseph is traditionally the site of Joseph's carpentry shop.
The Israeli railroads infrastructure has been upgraded significantly.
While until 1996 most of trains and railroads were bizarre collections of British 'leftovers' from the mandatory occupation that lasted until 1948, nowadays Israeli trains can take you almost anywhere in Israel and (almost) right on time.
Ein Hod is a picturesque artists' village, the only one of its kind in Israel and one of the few such villages in the world.
Nestled in natural vegetation and bordered by an ancient olive grove, it lies on the western slopes of Mt Carmel (south of Haifa), in a breathtaking landscape looking out toward the sea and the Crusader fortress of Atlit.
Weather in Israel goes from hot to cool/cold. Wear layers. Travel with a swimsuit. Drink plenty of water all day, and wear sunscreen and a hat.
Passionate about Israel and the Holy Land, Judith has been designing boutique travel for a variety of clients, including small synagogue and church groups, families, groups of friends, individual travellers and travel agents.
David Schoenfeld lives in Givat Zeev and enjoys leading people on tours of Israel and showing them the many fine and unique restaurants and hotels that Israel has to offer.
The Christian traveller to Israel has unique expectations, interests and needs.
For customers of Israel Christian Tours visiting the Holy Land of Israel is more than a tour through history, it is an experience of a lifetime.
This dedicated Christian tour operator provides full packages, private tours and day tours to the Holy Land with a unique, spiritual, educational and fun approach.
With offices in New Jersey and Florida, Israel Travel Advisory Service (ITAS) has been bringing families and their friends to Israel to explore their rich Jewish heritage for over 50 years.
From Jerusalem to Safed and Tiberias, ITAS Tours experienced Israel tour guides guarantee to take you on a trip of a lifetime.
Zel Lederman was born in Australia, settled in Jerusalem over twenty years ago and now offers tour guide services for individuals, couples, families and small groups visiting Jerusalem with an interest in discovering the region.
His Israel Travel Company operates as a small, select team of recommended guides; a diverse group, each with their our own style and approach but all committed to the highest level of professional and personal service.
Individual guides can accompany you for your whole visit or a number of guides can spend a day or more with you as part of a unique Israel travel experience.
Join a team of Israel-obsessed locals on the trip of a lifetime to relish the hidden gems and exciting hotspots that real Israelis enjoy, full of exotic flavours, colouful local secrets, modern cities and ancient history.
After working as a tour guide, studying every inch of Israel, and later as a restaurateur serving meals to Israelis of different backgrounds, traditions, and faiths on the streets of Jaffa, Avihai Tsabari launched Via Sabra, in 2012, to share what he’d learned.
Avihai wanted to take guests beyond everyday travel experiences, to relish the hidden gems and exciting hotspots that real Israelis enjoy.
The History of Israel
The history of Israel is complex and spans thousands of years.
The region known as Israel today has a rich ancient history.
It was home to various ancient civilisations, including the Canaanites, Israelites, and Philistines.
The Israelites, led by figures like Moses and Joshua, established the Kingdom of Israel around the 12th century BCE.
This kingdom was later divided into the northern Kingdom of Israel and the southern Kingdom of Judah.
In the 6th century BCE, the Babylonians conquered the Kingdom of Judah and exiled many of its inhabitants to Babylon.
This period, known as the Babylonian Exile, lasted for several decades.
Eventually, the Persians conquered Babylon and allowed the Jewish people to return to their homeland.
This marked the beginning of the Second Temple period.
In the 1st century CE, the Roman Empire took control of the region.
The Jewish people revolted against Roman rule twice, resulting in the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
The Jewish population was dispersed, and the region was renamed 'Syria Palaestina' by the Romans; with the merger of Roman Syria and Roman Judaea, shortly before or after the Bar Kokhba Revolt.
The name change from Judaea to Palestine is attributed to the Roman Emperor Hadrian, although the precise date and motivation behind the name change are not certain.
It is said that the name 'Palestine' was used by Greek writers to refer to the land of the Philistines in the 12th century BCE, and was later revived by the Romans in the 2nd century CE, to designate the southern portion of the province of Syria.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Zionist movement emerged, advocating for the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
The movement gained momentum, and in 1948, the State of Israel was officially established.
This followed the United Nations' partition plan, which proposed the division of Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states.
The establishment of Israel led to conflicts with neighboring Arab countries.
In 1948, several Arab states attacked Israel in what is known as the Arab-Israeli War.
This was followed by the Suez Crisis in 1956, the Six-Day War in 1967, and the Yom Kippur War in 1973.
These conflicts shaped the geopolitical landscape of the region and had a significant impact on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Over the years, various peace initiatives and negotiations have been attempted to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
These include the Oslo Accords in the 1990s and subsequent peace talks.
However, a lasting resolution has yet to be achieved, and the conflict remains a major issue in the region.
In recent years, there have been ongoing tensions and conflicts between Israel and Palestinian groups, such as Hamas.
These conflicts have resulted in significant loss of life and have drawn international attention and concern.
Please note that this is a brief overview, and the history of Israel is much more complex and nuanced.
Israel Maps and Travel Guides
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