With incredible historic and contemporary significance for several religions, Israel is known as the greatest Holy Land in the world. Explore the ancient meccas, archaeological gems and incredible Mediterranean nature. It’s surprisingly easy to travel in Israel, thanks to its modern infrastructure and advanced technology, as well as friendly locals. Find out why and how you should travel this incredible country in this Expat Explore Israel travel guide.
Population: 8,7 million
Currency: Israeli Shekel
Land Area: 22 072 square km
Home to the birthplace and life of Jesus, as well as the ascension of Muhammad. Israel is regarded by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. It features vitally in both the Bible and the Quran, making it a religious and cultural hub. And of course, the beautiful landscape that includes the iconic Dead Sea.
Israel is a great place to visit all year round. In the north, you’ll find a Mediterranean climate, and in the south, an arid climate. It’s hot through most of the year. We suggest you go in the spring or autumn months when the temperature is milder. But if you don’t mind the heat, summer is also lovely, and there are many religious festivals to enjoy.
Israeli food is unique and delicious. While the country has no universally recognised national dish, you’ll find plenty of spicy falafels, hummus, and pita. Expect light meze served for any meal, as well as shakshuka and shawarma.
Israel is a great country for vegetarians, as locals provide most dishes with both meat options and without. Vegans, however, may need to pay close attention to ingredients as many of the meals are made using yoghurt and cheeses.
Israelis also love their sweet dishes! Be sure to look for baklava, kadaif, and halva. Much like what you’ll find in Greece and Turkey, these desserts have spread with the Jewish diaspora, and are unlike anything else. You have to try them!
For such a small country, Israel is startlingly diverse! With historic and cultural significance across its landscape and beautiful natural oases, you just have to know what you’re looking for. Nazareth is a beautiful old city, with Middle-Eastern charm and great religious value. The Sea of Galilee is the largest lake in the country, and the sight of many biblical miracles.
Besides the historic sights, Israel is also very contemporary – Tel Aviv is the entertainment hub of the country. With gorgeous beaches, authentic markets and a vibrant nightlife, you’ll see how incredibly the ancient city has ushered in the modern world. Israel is an incredibly technologically successful country.
Of course, you can’t go to Israel without visiting Jerusalem! The holiest city in the world, it is the sight of countless pilgrimages through the ages and is one of the top things to do when in Israel. Visit the historic museums to learn more about the complex history of the area, and explore the old city to feel like you have been transported back in time.
On the Highlights of Israel and Jordan tour you’ll see all of these religious hubs, historic monuments and so much more. Experiencing multiple pilgrimage sites and natural oases, like Mount Zion and the Dead Sea, you’ll leave with a far greater appreciation of the holy country’s immense historical and spiritual significance.
The most important thing to pack for Israel is lightweight clothing – even in winter, only light jackets are necessary (unless you are quite far north where it can become incredibly chilly). Include some sunscreen and a hat – although of course, if you forget it, you can find it all as soon as you land. For the religious sites, you’ll need more modest clothing, covering your shoulders and knees. Bring or buy a light scarf or shawl to throw on when you need it.
So there you have it! If Israel is the next destination on your bucket list – we hope you’re prepared and excited! If you want to read more about this amazing destination, we’ve got an insider’s perspective!
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