Israel is the ultimate land of contrasts. A tiny country on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, it has absolutely everything to offer today’s discerning tourist. Israel is a part of history. A nation of ancient archaeological ruins, biblical landmarks, sacred pilgrimage sites, ever changing scenery and a rich diversity and charm. So much tradition, religion, beauty and history all squeezed into a small strip of land between the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and Jordan River.
In one day it is possible to ski on the slopes of Mount Hermon in the north during winter and end the day relaxing on the warm beaches of Eilat in the south.
Israel, being the Land of the Bible, has antiquities on view and archaeological excavations galore in every nook and cranny. Contrast this with its world renowned and highly advanced 21st Century hi-tech industry, the benefits of which are seen and felt everywhere one goes.
Explore the religious sites which are holy to the three monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Visit the Temple Mount to see the Western (or Wailing) Wall, the holiest of sites for Jews and the only part of the second Jewish Temple which still remains. To Muslims, al-Aqsa Mosque on the southern side of the Mount is their third most holy site, together with the Dome of the Rock which was built in 692 CE. The iconic picture of the golden dome is synonymous with Jerusalem. Close by, within the Old City, is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is the holiest site on earth to Christians. Numerous other religions have their own areas in Israel, most notably the Baha’is, who have built the most beautiful terraced gardens in Haifa and Acre – both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Their leader is buried in the Shrine of the Báb in the Haifa Gardens.
Visit Mea She’arim where the most religious of Jews live, to see them going about their business in their long black coats and fur hats, then compare this picture with Tel Aviv, the fun and entertainment capital of Israel – the City that Never Sleeps. This colourful and vibrant cosmopolitan city is the financial capital of Israel. It has world renowned modern architecture as well as Bauhaus style buildings which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site; glorious beaches; clubs, pubs, bars, cafes and restaurants; and a rich cultural life, with theatre, ballet, opera and the world famous Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
Shop in ultra-modern malls for top national and international brand names, or haggle in age old souks and flea markets; stay in five star luxury hotels or youth hostels; eat at stalls in the streets or the best international restaurants – the choice is yours to discover when you visit this amazing country.