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Top 9 Things to Do in Israel

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View of of alley and famous Tower of David in Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

With a riveting biblical history, beautiful Mediterranean beaches, and distinct culinary culture, travel to Israel offers memorable experiences we share in our top nine things to do in Israel.

Spend summer days soaking up the sunshine or swimming in the sapphire sea across from bustling promenades. Join pilgrimage tours and strolls to biblical sites that shed light on the country’s spiritual history. As you explore Israel, taste world-class wines at glamorous estates, circle reefs in search of shipwrecks, float on the Dead Sea, and more.

These top nine things to do in Israel provide a foundation upon which you can build your dream vacation.

Overview

  1. 1. Indulge in the Sand, Sun, and Sea
  2. 2. Discover the Past
  3. 3. Uncover Natural Wonder
  4. 4. Explore Unforgettable Galleries
  5. 5. Sample Delicious Flavors
  6. 6. Unravel the Secrets of the Bible
  7. 7. Scour Reefs and Shipwrecks
  8. 8. Cycle the Open Land and City Streets
  9. 9. Enjoy Surprising Wines and Vines
  10. Experience the Top Things to Do in Israel

1. Indulge in the Sand, Sun, and Sea

Ancient bathhouse beach in Caesarea, Israel

Caesarea, Israel

The best beaches in Israel are boundless, spreading along the Mediterranean coastline. You can experience them on city tours or day trips, with each offering something unique.

Tel Aviv’s beaches are busy and there is plenty of fun to be had on the silky sands alongside that exude an energetic atmosphere. You can also escape to quieter shores near Caesarea or head to the scenic Eilat beaches on the Red Sea. When at the Dead Sea, you can float in the rejuvenating salty water in unique desert surroundings.

Embrace the sunshine and distinct atmospheres on the best beaches in Israel, while indulging in sumptuous culinary creations.

Best Beaches to Visit: Tel Aviv Beach • Caesarea Beach • Jisr Al-Zarqa Beach • BeitYannai • Herzliya Beach

2. Discover the Past

Ruins of the North Palace in Masada, Israel

Masada, Israel

The history of Israel comes to life at phenomenal sites sprinkled throughout its old cities, colorful countryside, and desert seas.

The best tours of Israel reveal the reasons these ancient sanctuaries are sought-after. Guided tours of Jerusalem’s Old City put the towering limestone surfaces of the Western Wall and the dramatic Via Dolorosa walking route into religious context. Trips to the top of the Masada fortress share panoramic views of the Dead Sea and Jordan Valley, while spotlighting the region’s Roman history.

You can also cross the emerald valleys of Galilee to the ancient city of Tel Megiddo or discover more recent historical stories within the Independence Hall in Tel Aviv.

Best Historical Sites to Visit: Jerusalem Old City • Caesarea Maritima • Masada • Tel Megiddo • Avdat

3. Uncover Natural Wonder

Cliff over Ramon Crater in Negev Desert, Israel

Negev Desert, Israel

There are many reasons to make time for Israel’s breathtaking reserves.

Ein Gedi Reserve, for example, is an oasis west of the Dead Sea that boasts tranquil springs and rushing waterfalls, with wildlife freely roaming this paradise beneath the cliffs. Suitable for all ages, Safari Ramat Gan is a modern, ethical zoo with open spaces mimicking an African safari. The Rosh HaNikra grotto is a must-see, featuring surreal views of the sea through the natural rocky window within the cave.

You can also spend time wandering the landscaped lawns of Bahá'í Gardens Haifa or crossing the Negev Desert and hiking to remarkable rock formations dotting the barren desert.

Best Nature Reserves to Visit: Ein Gedi Reserve • Rosh HaNikra • Baha'i Gardens Haifa • Negev Desert • Safari Ramat Gan

4. Explore Unforgettable Galleries

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel

Museums in Israel enshrine the country’s dramatic history, paying respect to its most turbulent times and commemorating its triumphs and archeological finds, while galleries highlight its artistic endeavors.

Israel’s Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem, is one of the most significant sites and its evocative gallery preserves the memory of those who fought against the Nazis. The Tel Aviv Museum of Art is a modern and contemporary gallery that showcases masterpieces by visionary local and international artists.

You can also set aside time to enjoy the Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, the archeological artifacts at the Eretz Israel Museum, and the innovative architecture of the Design Museum Holon.

Best Museums to Visit: Yad Vashem • Tel Aviv Museum of Art • Steinhardt Museum of Natural History • Eretz Israel Museum • Design Museum Holon

5. Sample Delicious Flavors

Sabith Pita served at a restaurant in Tel Avid, Israel

Tel Aviv, Israel

Israel boasts a brilliant collection of Mediterranean and regional restaurants where travelers can sample the country’s delicious coastal cuisine and unique farm-to-table dishes. During your vacation, you can visit the country’s best restaurants to introduce your palate to exquisite flavors.

Food tours can take you to glamorous restaurants on the coast that serve sensational Mediterranean meze. You can also visit eateries that focus on generational cuisine, where you can sip wines paired perfectly with dishes that have their origins in biblical times.

Culinary tours in Israel can include cooking classes to give you a new perspective on local bites, guiding you through each region’s unique preparation and allowing you to indulge in your authentic creations, while sharing stories with friendly chefs and family cooks.

Best Places for Food Tours: Tel Aviv • Nahariya • Haifa • Eilat • Acre

6. Unravel the Secrets of the Bible

Pater Noster Church in Jerusalem, Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Israel’s holy lands are as breathtaking as they are spiritually inspiring, and you can partake in biblical tours to immerse yourself in the secrets of the Bible.

Pilgrimage tours can take you from the religious sites within the Old City of Jerusalem to the phenomenal churches of Bethlehem. The Church of Nativity is said to lie at the very birthplace of Jesus Christ, the Chapel of Saint Catherine is an ancient complex with steps leading underground to caves beneath the pews, and the Pater Noster Church on the Mount of Olives traces centuries of spiritual history.

You can also experience the beauty of the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized, sail the Sea of Galilee as the disciples did centuries ago, and visit the Mount of Beatitudes to envision Jesus imparting his Sermon on the Mount.

Best Biblical Sites to Visit: Church of Nativity • Chapel of Saint Catherine • Pater Noster Church • Mount of Olives • Mount of Beatitudes

7. Scour Reefs and Shipwrecks

Marine life in Israel

Coral Reef Beach, Israel

Israel is a surprise hit for snorkeling and scuba diving, its coastline concealing coral reefs teeming with marine life.

Eilat Coral Beach Nature Reserve is a picturesque marine sanctuary with a collection of colorful coral gardens that cover the seafloor of the Gulf of Eilat. A variety of fish, including crocodile fish and lionfish, put on a stunning show in the shallow waters. In other parts of Israel, you can snorkel with dolphins or swim with stingrays and eels.

Scuba diving and snorkeling in Israel can also reveal shipwrecks in which archeologists have found ancient relics and artifacts that may help us better understand human history.

Best Places for Diving and Snorkeling: Coral Reef Beach • Dolphin Reef • Princess Beach • Migdalor Beach • Caesarea National Park

8. Cycle the Open Land and City Streets

Street in the city of Galilee in Israel

Galilee, Israel

You can cross the open landscapes and weave through the city streets on cycling tours that bring you to the best beaches, desert plains, and countryside.

Cycling on the bustling promenades of Israel’s Mediterranean coast is a great way to explore the charms at a leisurely pace. You can easily cruise from one hotspot to another, stopping to soak up the splendors of the best beaches or city sights. You can also follow trails off the beaten path through woodlands, forests with panoramic views, or navigate the rocky desert landscape of Negev.

Each cycling opportunity, whether in the wild or the vibrant cities, allows you to explore as much of Israel as possible.

Best Places for Cycling: Hermon • Galilee • Judean Desert • Negev Desert • Tel Aviv

9. Enjoy Surprising Wines and Vines

Vineyard in Neveg, Israel

Negev, Israel

Wine production in Israel dates back to biblical times, yet the burgeoning blend of Arabian and Jewish wine-making heritage is only now becoming more prominent. Today you can visit a selection of vineyards to taste the best the country has to offer.

Estates in the Golan Heights remain favorites for traditional wine-making techniques that are shared by Napa natives and other world-renowned winemakers. The Galilee region is also a coveted place for wine-tasting tours as the rocky, volcanic soil grows incredible grapes that produce premium varietals. These are but a few of the fabulous wine-making regions to discover.

At each you can sip vintages and blends as your sommelier shares the history of the estate, accounts for each wine's unique profile, and pairs your glasses with an assortment of local snacks.

Best Wine Regions to Visit: Golan Heights • Galilee • Mount Carmel • Jerusalem Hills • Negev

Experience the Top Things to Do in Israel

Jerusalem at sunset in Israel

Jerusalem, Israel

Step foot on the silky white sands of the best beaches in Israel, cross the Mediterranean coastline to the stunning Sea of Galilee, indulge in authentic Jewish cuisine, and make a pilgrimage from the Old City of Jerusalem to the churches of Bethlehem. These are a few of our top nine things to do in Israel.

Our customizable Israel Tours include several of these essential experiences and more, letting you enjoy the pleasures of Israel’s Mediterranean coast while unpacking the country’s immense history.

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