Me and my wife like to travel not like a tourist but like a local. So we try to avoid destinations with hoards of people and commercial activity. Recently while checking the possibilities for a new trip, ‘Israel’ was the name that came up. I was not much aware of it so to plan a trip to Israel a little more enquiry on tourism made me realize that subconsciously this is the place I have always wanted to explore.
Last year 40,000 Indians have visited Israel enjoying exclusive travel experiences. Also soon bollywood is going to film its first movie in Israel. So I plan to visit Israel to capture some memorable experiences with my ladylove before bollywood. Below is my list of places to visit in Israel which I would like to share with you.
Check the surreal video by Israel ministry of Tourism in India: Begin your journey to Israel now
Dead sea : Float baby float !
This place has caught my fancy since childhood (I am sure yours too). A sea where you won’t drown! That is definitely so cool. I know it would be absolutely cliché but who wouldn’t want to picture themselves reading a newspaper floating on water (even if i can’t read Israeli newspaper).A trip to Israel is incomplete without this picture.
At 427 metres below sea level Dead Sea is also the lowest point on earth. Just check for a sign saying the same and tadaaa you are ready for a selfie.
The reason it is called Dead Sea is because of the fact that no life can survive in this water due to its high salinity. The water here is 8.5 times saltier than normal sea water so make sure none of it gets into your mouth. Also you shouldn’t have any open wounds on your body or it will burn like hell. Although there are few microscopic bacteria which are known to live in it.
Cleopatra’s beauty secret:
Apparently the water of Dead sea is also said to have some rich minerals which makes the mud on beach good for the skin. There are also a lot of other therapies that one can explore. In the ancient days the Dead Sea water and salt were exported to Italy by Romans, while plants growing near the Dead Sea, especially the balsam tree, produced in-demand cosmetics, perfumes and medicinal goods. Their economic importance was such that wars were fought over them, including Mark Anthony’s conquest of the area for Cleopatra.
Fortress of Masada
Overlooking the Dead Sea on an isolated rock cliff at the western end of the Judean Desert is the fortress of Masada. What you see here is not the full fort but the remains of it. This fort is a very important monument to the Jewish people symbolizing their resolute to live their lives with a free spirit.
At a height of 100metres, the fortress gives beautiful views and vistas of the surroundings and the Dead Sea. The fort can be reached by foot climbing the stairs or there is a cable car service that takes you across in 3 minutes.
My tip : Visit Masaba to catch up the sunrise and then head to Dead sea for the day.
Jerusalem : A melting pot of culture and religion
Being an architect, I love historical spots and visiting Jerusalem would be definitely in my priority. One of the oldest cities of the world, Jerusalem is a holy city with meeting point of three Abrahamic religions – Christianity, Islam and Judaism. In the ancient days Jerusalem was also known as ‘urusalima’ meaning ‘the city of peace’. The city of Jerusalem retains its old age charms with its cobbled roads and the small market areas alleys. The great walls that encased the old city are 500 years old although now the city has extended beyond it. This old city of Jerusalem is one of the most fought over cities in the human history.
The Old City interests many people for many different reasons. Within the walls of the Old City, sits the Western “Wailing” Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Dome of the Rock. You can trace the last path of Lord Jesus in Jerusalem and his tomb in Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Few other places that one can explore here are Yad Vashem, a memorial site to the millions of Jews lost in the Holocaust.
The Tower of David Citadel, located right within the walls of the Old City, next to Jaffa Gate. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking it.
The vibrance of Tel aviv
This city is a very lively, young and energetic city with great food, entertainment and nightlife in the offering. Tel Aviv is a city located along the Mediterranean coast so if you are a lover of the golden sand and open sky then this is a place to be. Along with its beautiful beaches Tel Aviv is renowned for its exquisite cuisine and restaurants. When in Tel Aviv do not miss its market areas and authentic restaurants. I just love the combination of yummy hummus, pita bread and tabouleh.
For the nightlife lovers the scene at Tel Aviv is very active. With countless numbers of clubs, discos, theaters, galleries, and concert halls Tel Aviv can keep you entertained whole night, every night.
Ein gedi nature reserve
Not far from the Dead sea is the Ein Gedi nature reserve one of the most popular escape spots for Israelis. Offering over nine hiking trails, the hiking experience here impresses everyone from family groups to seasoned hikers. Take the Wadi David route to get more options on your hiking routes. The contrast that the wadi provides in its lush green landscape, compared to the surrounding desert is the first astonishing thing you will notice. As you continue, you will soon reach the beautiful David’s Waterfall and the pools in which people will be swimming.
Take a trip to Galilee
Located in the rugged, mountainous region of Northern Israel, Galilee is home to some beautiful scenic location and wildlife. It also courts the largest freshwater lake called the Sea of Galilee. This is where Jesus performed some of his best known miracles. You can visit the Church of Multiplication, where Jesus fed five thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. Not far from here you’ll visit Capernaum, home to the apostles and Yardenit, a baptismal site on the Jordan River where Jesus walked on water.
If you are one who loves to sit besides the water retrospecting life or takes boat rides then Sea of Galilee is the place to be in. This calm tranquil place with its beautiful small restaurant along the sea side is just too beautiful. The restaurants here are famous for the variety of fish cuisines they offer. So enjoy your day in a calm and relaxed atmosphere.
With so many amazing experiences Israel definitely should be on your bucket list. Then why wait? Plan your trip to Israel this winter and let me know how it was! In fact on the way return you can travel to Gulf Countries after having Israel visa stamp on your passport.
This is a sponsored post by Israel Ministry of Tourism. For any further details about Israel check this official site by Israel Ministry of Tourism . Let us know your thoughts on Israel in the comments section below, I am waiting to hear from you.