Last updated on January 20th, 2023 at 12:03 am
Israel is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. In fact, according to Statista, an impressive 149,000 American tourists visited the country in 2021 to explore its rich history, culture, and natural beauty. This article will highlight five must-see places and activities to add to your Israel itinerary.
From experiencing the unique sensation of floating in the Dead Sea to climbing the ancient fortress of Masada to dancing the night away in Tel Aviv’s lively nightclubs, this guide will give you a taste of the best that Israel has to offer.
If you’re planning your first trip or returning for more, add these experiences to your itinerary for a truly memorable vacation in Israel.
1. Swim in the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake located at the lowest point on Earth and is known for its high mineral content and buoyancy. The salt and minerals in the water, as well as the high mineral content of the surrounding mud, are said to have healing properties for the skin and are known to be beneficial for people with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Swimming in the Dead Sea is an unforgettable experience. Per Science Focus, the Dead Sea has a salinity of almost 33.7%, which is approximately ten times more than normal seawater. The water’s high salt content makes it extremely buoyant, so it’s almost impossible to sink. As a result, visitors can float effortlessly on the surface, reading a book or relaxing.
The Dead Sea is also home to several beach resorts that offer visitors a chance to swim in the sea and use their facilities, such as showers, sun loungers, and other amenities. Some of these resorts also offer mud treatments, where visitors can spread the mineral-rich mud from the Dead Sea onto their skin for a unique and rejuvenating spa experience.
It’s important to note that the water in the Dead Sea is incredibly salty and can be harsh on the skin. Be sure to shower off any residual salt after leaving the water, and use a moisturizer to rehydrate your skin.
2. Visit Masada
Another stop you’ll want to include on your Israel itinerary is Masada. This ancient fortress, located on a mountaintop overlooking the Dead Sea, is one of the most important historical sites in the country and offers visitors a glimpse into the past.
King Herod built Masada as a palace and fortress in the 1st century BCE. It played a significant role in the Jewish Revolt against the Romans in the 1st century CE and is best known for the mass suicide of the Jewish rebels who chose to die there rather than be captured by the Roman army.
Masada is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is a testament to its historical significance and cultural importance. It is a must-see destination for history buffs and anyone interested in learning about the Jewish Revolt and the history of the Roman Empire.
Visitors can hike to the top of Masada, following the Snake Path, a steep and winding trail that takes about an hour to climb. Alternatively, they can take a cable car to the top. Once on top, visitors can explore the extensive ruins, including King Herod’s palace, the Roman siege ramp, and the defensive walls.
One of the highlights of a visit to Masada is the opportunity to watch the sunrise or sunset over the Dead Sea. It is an unforgettable experience and an ideal way to end the day. A visitor center also offers audio guides, exhibits, and information on the site’s history.
3. Have Fun in Tel Aviv Nightclubs
Tel Aviv is known for its vibrant nightlife scene and is a popular destination for party-goers visiting Israel. The city is home to various nightclubs, bars, and lounges, catering to all types of music and crowds. Whether you’re looking for a trendy rooftop lounge, a techno club, or a traditional Israeli music venue, Tel Aviv has something for everyone.
One of the most popular nightlife destinations in Tel Aviv is the Carmel Market area, which is a lively neighborhood known for its bars, clubs, and street performers. The city’s port area also has a great selection of bars and clubs, which offer a unique experience with sea views.
Visitors should also check out Rothschild Boulevard, a popular nightlife spot. This wide street is lined with trees, benches, and street performers, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.
It’s important to note that the Tel Aviv nightlife scene is active all week long, but the busiest days are Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. So, whether you’re looking to dance the night away or simply enjoy a drink with friends, be sure to add a few of the top TLV nightclubs to your Israel itinerary. There’s something for everyone in the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.
4. Visit the Western Wall
The Western Wall is an important Jewish holy site and the last remaining part of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is a place of pilgrimage for Jews from all over the world, who come to pray and place written prayers into the crevices of the wall.
The Western Wall is divided into two sections—the men’s section and the women’s section. Visitors can approach the wall to pray or simply observe the tradition. It is also possible to participate in a guided tour of the Western Wall Tunnels, which offers a unique perspective on the history and archaeology of the site.
The Western Wall is also a popular spot for Bar and Bat Mitzvah ceremonies, which are held on the men’s side of the wall. Visitors can witness these celebrations and learn about the customs and traditions of the Jewish faith.
The Western Wall is not only a religious site but also a place of historical significance, and it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a must-see destination for history buffs and anyone interested in learning about the Jewish faith and the history of Jerusalem.
5. Visit the Church of the Nativity
A visit to the Bethlehem Church, also known as the Church of the Nativity, is an important stop for those interested in Christianity and religious history while vacationing in Israel. The church is located in the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, considered the birthplace of Jesus Christ.
The Church of the Nativity is thought to be one of the oldest churches in the world and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is built over the Grotto, where, according to tradition, Jesus was born.
The Grotto is located in the basement of the church, and visitors can view the manger where Jesus is said to have been born. The church also features beautiful mosaics and frescoes depicting scenes from Jesus’ life.
The church is shared by the Greek Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, and Roman Catholic denominations, and visitors can see the chapels and altars representing each denomination. Visitors can also visit the Milk Grotto Church, a small church close to the Church of the Nativity, believed to be where Mary breastfed Jesus.
Bethlehem is in the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority’s control. Therefore, visitors will need to pass through a checkpoint to enter. Visitors must also remember that the church is holy and should respect religious customs and traditions while visiting.
Israel is a country that has something for everyone. Whether you’re a beach lover, a history buff, or a party-goer, there’s something to keep everyone busy in this vibrant country. This article explored five important things to do and places to include on your Israel itinerary to make your vacation a memorable experience.
Each of these experiences offers a unique and memorable opportunity to learn about Israel’s history, culture, and natural beauty. For example, the Dead Sea offers a chance to float on the surface of the water, while Masada offers a glimpse into the past and a chance to experience the beautiful views of the Dead Sea. On the other hand, Tel Aviv’s nightclubs showcase the modern side of the country.
Finally, visiting the Western Wall and the Bethlehem Church are important stops for those interested in Judaism and Christianity and their religious history.
Overall, Israel is a country that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, and there’s always something new to discover. Make sure to include these experiences in your Israel itinerary for a truly unforgettable vacation.Vacationing in Israel? Add These 5 Stops to Your Israel Itinerary | #Israel #travel Click To Tweet