Israel is the cradle of world religion and, of course, a country with a rich history. But there is so much more to do in Israel than just this. Israel is has a vibrant range of incredible cultural activities, is a country of immense geographical diversity, a melting pot of societies, and a center of modern commerce and industry. Here are some things probably didn’t know you could do in Israel!
Starting in the south of the country and the Negev, a desert which accounts for over half of the country’s land area. Israel is the only country in the world which is reversing desertification, and the Negev is a vibrant center of agricultural industry. The desert also hosts some incredible natural landforms including the Ramon Crater, one of only five makhteshim in the world, a phenomena unique to this region of desert created by water erosion thousands of years ago. The Negev is also a center for outdoor pursuits with biking, hiking, caving, and canyoning, among the possible pursuits.
Moving north, past the city of Beer Sheva, we enter Israel’s Coastal Plain, a flat plain which is home to the country’s major population centers. Among these, the city of Tel Aviv is Israel’s cultural and economic capital – dubbed by the New York Times, “the Mediterranean Capital of Cool”, the city has a vibrant nightlife, beachlife, and cultural-life. It is Tel Aviv that the world’s leading musicians come to give concerts in Israel, and Tel Aviv is undoubtedly where Israel plays!
Inland of Tel Aviv is Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, and a center of religion and history. There is probably nowhere else in the world with such intense and fascinating encounters with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, to be had. As well as this there are a number of great museums in Jerusalem, including some of the best museums in Israel.
The north of Israel is also a land full of adventure! The Galilee and Golan region is an area of lush green scenery, somewhat akin to Tuscany. When planning what to do in Israel, visiting the Galilee is definitely somewhere not to visit – there are hundreds of things to do, from visiting the places mentioned in the Bible, to visiting the Sea of Galilee or River Jordan, taking a jeep tour through the hills, or hiking or biking through the pleasant scenery.
On the edge of the Galilee, on Israel’s Northern Mediterranean Coast, is the city of Haifa, Israel’s third city which is home to the world center for the Bahai Faith (yes, another religion based in Israel!) and their beautiful gardens. Just north of Haifa is Akko, recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautiful ancient port, whilst south of Haifa is King Herod’s Port, Caesarea.
This article barely scratches the surface of the incredible array of things to do in Israel – there is so much diversity that it is hard to pinpoint one interest that the country will appeal to but almost certainly, no matter what your interests are, Israel will be of interest to you!