Israel

Israel stands much larger on the world’s stage than it’s tiny size would suggest. The natural beauty, from the vast deserts in the south, to beautiful Mediterranean beaches on the west, to craggy mountains in the north is reason enough to visit.  Yet, the natural beauty is not what attracts visitors, it’s the religious significance attached to the places such as where Jesus walked on water, where Muhammad ascended to heaven, and Judaism’s Holy of Holies.  These same holy sites attract the visitors, turmoil and attention.  To the uninitiated in the religions the sites may not impress, but to those living lives of faith Israel is the Holy Land.

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DON’T MISS: The Dead Sea.  The tales of being able to float like nowhere else are true…and it’s a crazy feeling.
MUST SEE: Jerusalem. Witness or take part in sacred rituals on the holiest locations for major religions.
MUST TASTE: Most of it’s foods are favorites throughout the Middle East, but being a wealthier country they make them with better ingredients.  Try the hummus, bagels, and shakshuka.

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TRIP PLANNING: 10 days is enough to see the major sites.  Flying in/out of Jordan or Egypt will save on airfare, but the Israeli “exit tax” will negate most of the savings.
GETTING AROUND: The bus system is incredible, connecting major cities with air-conditioned, wi-fi equipped buses.

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OUR COST PER DAY (2 ppl): $60.98
COST OF A BEER: $3 (liquor store).  $7-10 at a bar.  Generally expect European prices.
KEY MONEY-SAVING TIP: Israel is expensive.  If you aren’t going for religious reasons it’s cheapest to skip it altogether.

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YOU NEED TO KNOW: Visiting Israel is a personal choice, but visitors are advised to learn about the country’s history, treatment of those it has conquered, and continuing apartheid/segregation policies.
IF WE KNEW WHAT WE KNOW NOW: We would have studied up more on the sites before visiting to understand their significance better.
HELPFUL LINKS TO LEARN MORE: Tourism in Israel, Wikitravel.

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WE WERE THERE FOR: Two weeks.
OUR HIGHLIGHT: Hanging out with Israeli friends we’ve met while traveling.
WHERE WE WENT: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Givet Heim, Tel Aviv, Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee, Shakanya
WE REGRET MISSING: Nothing, we gave it a good turn.

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Israel Highlights

The holy city of Jerusalem, the wild national parks and the metropolitan city of Tel Aviv make up the highlights of Israel- take the tour in just 19 photos.

19 Photos

Bethlehem

Bethlehem is a city located in the central West Bank, neighboring south Jerusalem, with a population of about 25,000 people. It is the capital of the Bethlehem Governorate of the Palestinian National Authority. The economy is primarily tourist-driven as people come to visit the Church of the Nativity. This is the place where Jesus Christ was said to be born.

14 Photos

Jerusalem

Jerusalem is the oldest city in Israel and the largest city in both population and area. During its long history, Jerusalem has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, attacked 52 times, and captured and recaptured 44 times. As one of the holiest cities in the world, holding great significance for Jews, Christians and Muslims the sights and history are fascinating.

21 Photos

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv was founded by the Jewish community on the outskirts of the ancient port city of Jaffa in 1909. Jewish immigration caused the growth of Tel Aviv to outpace Jaffa, which had a majority Arab population at the time. It is located on the Mediterranean Sea and provides a cosmopolitan vibe to counter the old city charm of Jerusalem.

12 Photos

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