Saturday, September 26, 2015

Top tourist destinations in Israel

1 ) Akko/Acre

The old city of Acre (Akko) is a large walled city on the shores of the bay of Haifa. As the largest natural port in the Galilee and Israel, it has a long history of conquests and ruling empires. It was one of the main Crusaders’ fortifications and ports. Acre was once a leading port in the Middle East, in the same league as Alexandria and Constantinople. Today, it is home primarily to small fishing boats. A part of the kingdom of Israel, Acre was incorporated into the empire of Alexander the Great after his conquest in 332 B.C.E. The city was subsequently seized by the Egyptian king Ptolemy II, who renamed the city Ptolemais in the 2nd century B.C.E. This name stuck until the Muslim conquest in the 7th century CE, when its ancient name was restored. Confusion over what to call the city was compounded by the Crusaders’ conquest in 1104, after which it became known as St. Jean d’Acre, or Acre for short. Napoleon landed in Palestine and assaulted Acre in 1799, but he was unable to take the city. His Middle Eastern campaign subsequently collapsed and he withdrew to France.

2 ) Dead Sea

The surface of the Dead Sea is over 1,300 feet below sea level. The very bottom of the sea, in the deepest part, is over 2,300 feet below sea level. The Dead Sea has some of the most saline water on earth; as much as 35% of the water is dissolved salts! The Dead Sea is completely landlocked and it gets saltier with increasing depth. Deep in the Jordan Valley and 55 km southeast of Amman, is the Dead Sea, one of the most spectacular natural and spiritual landscapes in the whole world.

It is the lowest body of water on earth, the lowest point on earth, and the world’s richest source of natural salts, hiding wonderful treasures that accumulated throughout thousands of years. Scientifically speaking, its water contains more than 35 different types of minerals that are essential for the health and care of the body skin They also provide the raw materials for the renowned Jordanian Dead Sea bath salts and cosmetic products marketed worldwide.

3 ) Eilat

A resort town of 20,000 and bustling port, combining sea and desert, Eilat lies at Israel’s southernmost tip. The sun always shines in Eilat (it rains about a half dozen days a year) and the average daytime temperatures rarely dip below 70°F (21°C), even in winter. The main attraction of Eilat is diving in the Red Sea (actually an inlet from the sea known as the Gulf of Eilat or Aqaba), one of the world’s most spectacular underwater preserves. You can see brightly colored coral and fish and may see everything from a venomous lionfish to a moray eel to a shark to a sea turtle to a manta ray. Breathtaking scenery of the magnificent Red Mountains and the crystal-clear Red Sea gloriously lap this exciting fun. Eilat provides its visitors with the ultimate relaxation, given greatly by the magical beauty of the desert-like nature. All this, along with the endless sun and the pleasant, warm winter, makes Eilat the leading tourist city in Israel, preferred both by foreign visitors (European charters mostly) and Israeli vacationers.

4 ) Haifa

Haifa is not the most beautiful city in the world, nor is it the most exciting. It is not the biggest city in Israel (it is the third), and unfortunately not the most interesting city in Israel. Nevertheless, Haifa is my hometown, I was born and raised in it, and I have grown to like it. Haifa is situated on and around the beautiful Carmel mountain, next to the Haifa bay in northern Israel. The picture above was taken from my apartment in Ramat Chen, a neighborhood overlooking Nave Sha’anan (a large neighborhood on the Carmel), and the small Ziv neighborhood in particular. More pictures of Haifa are included below: The first picture below is of a part of the Haifa Bay Industrial Zone (at the foot of the Carmel mountain), as seen from the Nave Sha’anan neighborhood on the Carmel mountain.

A 2007 report commissioned by the Haifa Municipality calls for the construction of more hotels, a ferry line between Haifa, Acre and Caesarea, development of the western anchorage of the port as a recreation and entertainment area, and an expansion of the local airport and port to accommodate international travel and cruise ships.

5 ) Jerusalem

All branches of the Israeli government are located in Jerusalem, including Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and the Supreme Court. Jerusalem is home to the Hebrew University and to the Israel Museum with its Shrine of the Book. The Jerusalem Biblical Zoo has ranked consistently as Israel’s top tourist attraction for Israelis. The popular Teddy Stadium is considered one of the leading football stadiums in the country. Jerusalem plays an important role in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The 2000 Statistical Yearbook of Jerusalem lists 1204 synagogues, 158 churches, and 73 mosques within the city. Jerusalem’s religious landmarks today remain the top draw for foreign visitors, with the majority of tourists visiting the Western Wall and the Old City.

6 ) Sea Of Galilee

The sea of Galilee has a hot and dry weather, sweet water, and calming atmosphere. This makes it a favorite vacationland. During almost year round the lake is full of tourists, and especially local tourism on the weekends. The entire lake is surrounded by public and private beaches, and high-rising hotels in Tiberias. The Sea of Galilee, known to Israelis as Lake Kinneret, is only 13 miles by 7 miles, but is one of the most well-known bodies of water in the world. It was on these beautiful shores that Jesus delivered sermons and performed miracles. Many famous sites are located around the lake, including Capernaum, home to at least five of the twelve disciples. The Church of the Beatitudes is said to be where the Sermon of the Mount was preached and Tabgha, believed to be the site where Jesus fed 5,000 followers from five loaves of bread and two fish, is marked by The Church of Multiplication. The nearby lakeside town of Migdal is the hometown of Mary Magdalene.

7 ) Mount Tabor

Mount Tabor is a hill rising 500m above the Jezreel Valley in the region of Galilee. Due to its strategic location along the north-south road, it has been an important fortress since ancient times. Christians have identified a rock atop Mt. Tabor as the place of the Transfiguration of Christ since the 4th century AD. Mount Tabor is located in Lower Galilee, at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, 17 kilometres (11 mi) west of the Sea of Galilee, in Israel. It is believed by many Christians to be the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus and site for the battle between Barak and the army of Jabin, commanded by Sisera. Mount Tabor can be seen from miles around and there are fine views across the Jezreel Valley from the top, demonstrating its strategic importance. The 13th-century walls can still be seen around the summit, which is divided into Greek Orthodox (northeast) and Latin Catholic (southeast) areas.

8 ) Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv insider is a tribute to the great city of Tel Aviv – Yaffo. These pages are all about the genuine Tel Aviv experience, the “insider” stuff. The small places that only the locals would know about. The information given here, you will not find in any tourist travel guide. It was written by Tel Aviv residents for those wishing to learn or visit Tel Aviv. Come visit us in sunny Tel Aviv and enjoy its sandy, lively beach scene, even during winter months. If you are coming on an israel tour during winter from cold US eastern coast or Europe, you will be delighted with the mild weather and easy going spirit.

The unique Bauhaus building style of Tel Aviv has earned it the “white city” title and from 2003, a world heritage site by Eunesko.Enrich yourself with the building culture and historical assets of the first Hebrew city. The story of Tel Aviv is interwoven with the marvelous revival of modern Israel itself. But Tel Aviv is not just history. Present day Tel Aviv is one of the liveliest cities you will come across. Enjoy a very rich night life scene. Whether you are into clubbing, restaurants, coffee shops, or smoke-filled bars, Tel aviv has something for you.

9 ) Tiberias

Tiberias has been a popular destination for tourists for more than 2,000 years. As early as Roman times, this thriving recreation spa, built around 17 natural mineral hot springs more than 600 feet below sea level, welcomed visitors from every part of the ancient world. Built by Herod Antipas (one of Herod the Great’s three sons who divided up Palestine after their father’s death), the city was named Tiberias in honor of the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Many churches were also built outside the walls of the Old City. Concerts are occasionally held in the modest basalt Church of Scotland, founded by Dr. David Watt Torrance – also the founder of Tiberias’s first hospital, or in its lush gardens on the shore. Across the way is the Scots Hotel, serving Christian pilgrims visiting the area.

10 ) Nazareth

Nazareth is a town of about 60,000 people in northern Israel, about 88 miles north of Jerusalem. It is the capital of the northern region of the country and the largest Arab city in Israel. Jesus grew up in Nazareth with his mother Mary, making the city one of several Christian pilgrimage sites in the Holy Land. A real visit to Nazareth is much more than just a tour of the Old City. One of the basic rules for understanding Nazareth is to get to know its surrounding landscape: a horsehoe-shaped bally whose concave side faces the Jezreel Vallry. At one end of the horseshoe, on the open side, a large cliff steeply drops down to the vally’s fields. The heart of Nazareth is the Old City, which is comprised of two parts: the nucleus – the historical and religious core – and the “casing” – the markets, mansions, and houses on the slope of the Nebi Sa’in Ridge. The expansion of the city’s tourism area will bring the visitors to the top of the ridge and from there to the city and its chrches.

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