A land so steeped in history that it can seem like a quality of the very air, Israel welcomes nearly 3.5 million visitors to its shores annually, making it one of the most popular places to visit in the Middle East. While most tourists to Israel are keen historical sightseers, eager to check out the incredible attractions found in the Old City of Jerusalem, there are plenty of other things to see and do in Israel.
Tourists looking for a party can check out bustling, backpacker-heavy Tel Aviv, a vibrant, modern city with a cosmopolitan atmosphere and a gorgeous, perpetually-sunny Mediterranean coastline. The city is also home to the famous Carmel Market, where shopaholics will find more than enough to satisfy their wants; as well as a host of interesting museums and art galleries.
Outdoor types will be pleased to learn that there are lots of exciting activities on offer in Israel. Diving in the Red Sea near Eilat on Israel’s southern coast is considered by many to be one of the best diving experiences in the world; while Galilee is celebrated for its beautiful scenery and wide range of hiking trails and health resorts.
Of course, another huge reason for visiting Israel is its status as the centre for the major religions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Followers of all three faiths make the pilgrimage to Israel each year to connect with the historical source of their religious convictions – and even non-religious tourists will find themselves awe-struck by the beauty and majesty of some of the most famous churches, temples, mosques and synagogues in the world.
As the the birthplace of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Israel is densely packed with enough religious and historical attractions and experiences to last a lifetime.
For lovers of sun, sand and sea, head to the renowned Red Sea and enjoy floating in its crystalline turquoise waters; or for a rejuvenating experience, visit one of the many Dead Sea spa resorts and while you’re in the area, head to Israel’s most popular tourist destination of Masada, located in the Judean Desert.
Some of the country’s most fascinating attractions include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Citadel of David. Bethlehem is worth a visit, as is Nazareth – two of the most important Christian holy sites where Jesus was born and spent most of his life – while Yad VaShem is a moving and interesting memorial to the Holocaust providing a multifaceted tribute to the millions of Jews who died during World War II.