Israel has always been an interesting place to visit and has captivated the minds of westerners since biblical times to present day with it's extraordinary historic relics, remarkable religious structures, stunning natural beauty and impressive archaeological wonders. This tiny Middle-Eastern country truly represents diversity in unity as it is a Holy Land to Jews, Christians and Muslims. It's important to see beyond the political turmoil that has plagued this Eastern Mediterranean nation and truly appreciate it for being a bewitching and extraordinary country.
Truly, kick-start the trip by touring the ancient and historical Jerusalem. The capital of Israel is known for being home to one of the planet's most famous skylines, with the golden helmet of the Dome of the Rock shimmering above the old city. Walk down the winding and narrow alleyways of the old district and soak in the atmosphere of ancient metropolis with it's deeply-embedded religious significance and a glorious heritage that has an enthralling tale to narrate.
While sauntering down the Old City of Jerusalem, do drop by at the Western Wall, known to be the remnant of the Herodian retaining wall that once sheltered the Second Temple. It is also referred to as the 'Wailing Wall' by Europeans as for several centuries, Jews have assembled to express their dismay over the loss of their temple. Some of the notable highlights to visit are: Mar Elias Monastery, Monastery of the Cross, the Israel Museum - largest museum in Israel where Dead Sea scrolls are stored in the 'Shrine of the book' and so forth.
If Jerusalem is all history then head over to Tel Aviv to catch a glimpse of the cosmopolitan and urban flavor exuded by the megalopolis. Tel Aviv is a thriving and dynamic 21st-century metropolis with it's bustling night-life being one of the best seen in Israel and is known as 'the city that doesn't stop'. This party town is spruced with an array of hip bars and trendy dance clubs where visitors and locals love to groove until the wee hours. The Tel Aviv club scene can even be compared to those found in most European capitals. The extravagant parties thrown in this vibrant and colourful metropolis is sure to rival big cities. Head over to the soft-sandy beaches to lounge around and take in the mesmerizing sight of the sun disappearing behind the deep-blue waters.
The Dead Sea is known to be one of the most bizarre natural wonders of all time. Known to be the lowest point on earth, the mineral-rich and overtly salty waters ensures that you float all the time and do not drown. The Red Sea, Sea of Galilee and other Mediterranean coastlines is brimming with breathtaking spectacles to marvel and at the same time offer splendid beach-side holiday retreats that are well worth the visit. Climb aboard the mountaintop fortress of Masada and hike the winding Snake Path, to enjoy gasp-inducing panoramic vistas from atop.
Visit Akko and Jaffa to view the incredible harbor packed with colorful and vibrant bobbing fishing boats. Nazareth is known since ages as one of the major pilgrimage sites in Israel. Jesus Christ was brought up in this holy city and the site where Annunciation occurred. Don't forget to visit Bethlehem, for it is the birthplace of Jesus Christ. Stroll around the Baha'i Gardens in Haifa and marvel at the impeccable green spaces.
When it comes to shopping, Israel appeals to one and all. Be it premium and swanky shopping complexes, chic designer outlets, traditional markets and antique shops, Israel has it all. Dead Sea products are particularly popular and gold & silver jewellery, Judaica, Christian religious items and arts & crafts are interesting souvenirs. As for Israeli cuisine, do try out for the scrumptious and delicious falafel - small fried balls of mashed chickpies served in a pita bread with hummus, French fries and vegetable salad. Another popular delicacy is the the Shawarma - sliced turkey or lamb meat, served in a pita. Try different brands of Israeli beers from any of the bars and clubs spruced in the country.
Israel is brimming with numerous stay options. The richie-rich seeking the best luxury hotels and private apartments can find plenty of choices catering to their tastes. At the same time, budget tourists looking for modest and cheap accommodations will find numerous options as well.
Israel experiences Mediterranean climate in the northern and coastal areas. Overall the climate is between the temperate zone and the tropical zone. Spring is the best time to visit the country for the temperature is conducive and beautiful for travelling.