Things to do in Israel
If you’re interested in religion, Israel is the place for you. Of course, Jerusalem is the Holy City for the three monotheistic faiths and there’s plenty to see and do here no matter what religion you follow or are interested in. The Old City of Jeruselum is a must-see and features many religious sites of significance including the Wailing Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock. There are four holy towns in Israel, each with their own unique flavour.
Christians can follow the 60-kilometre Gospel Trail by foot, bike or car and recreate the trip along the mountains and valleys Jesus and his disciples are said to have walked; or recreate the life of the Virgin Mary in the streets of Nazareth and see where angel Gabriel appeared. Those interested in Judaism will be busy, from the Wailing Wall, Judaism’s most sacred site, to Yad Vashim, a moving tribute to holocaust victims and the City of David where Judaism began, the history and culture here appears endless. It’s possible to travel around Israel on tailored religious tours or independently. Muslims…
The Dead Sea is a great place to relax in the mineral rich waters, said to have healing properties. For a good view, head to the mountain fortress of Masada. Don’t confuse the Dead Sea with the Red Sea, the latter is where you go to snorkel or dive and explore a rich underwater sea life in towns like Eilat which also boast and underwater observatory. The magical gardens of Baha’i in Haifa are spectacular, as as the sunsets over the Mediterranean in places like Tel Aviv before you head out for the night. Sand surfing and off-road driving are both fun ways to explore part of the expansive Negev Desert.
The holiest of Jewish sites, the Western Wall is a remnant of the wall that once enclosed the Second Temple. It is also known as the Wailing Wall as Jews have gathered here over the century to touch the wall and mourn the loss of their temple, an emotional site to behold.
In the Old City of Jerusalem on the Temple Mount lies the Dome of the Rock, named so as the rock (also known as the Foundation Stone) at the heart of the structure is significant to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.
On the top of an isolated and barron rock plateau to the east of the Judaen Desert in southern Israel lies the ancient fort of Masada. It houses palaces built by Herod the Great between 37 and 31 BCE and quite possible views and relics different to anything you have seen before.
The Dead Sea is the lowest point on the Earth’s surface with the year-round warm water so salty and full of mineral deposits no plants or animals can survive. It’s relaxation and history personified.
One of the most spectacular gardens in the world, the Bahá’í Gardens or Terraces features gravelled paths, hedges and flower beds as well as nineteen terraces connected via staircases. Complete with panoramic views of the Galilee Hills, the Mediterranean Sea and the city of Haifa, it is easy to see why this is a focal point of the Bahá’í faith.