Israel: An uplifting winter travel destination
There is no place on earth like Israel. Imagine traveling to a place that is rooted in history and steeped in spirituality, while at the same time possessing fast-paced urban culture and nightlife, and great hotels and restaurants. It is also home to some of the world’s most outstanding natural wonders. With warm days and cool nights, winter is for many the ideal season to tour Israel.
Israel’s major cities and areas of interest provide a diversity of experience that will make your winter vacation unbelievably memorable.
History, spirituality and romance
Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, is replete with history and spirituality, boasting sites that are key to three of the worlds’ major religions. Judaism, Christianity and Islam are represented respectively by the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock. Alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are modern tourist attractions for lovers of culture, the arts, theatre and music, architecture and gastronomic delights.
Tel Aviv was recently chosen as one of the world’s top 10 travel destinations by Lonely Planet in its Best in Travel 2011. According to Lonely Planet, “Tel Aviv reveals itself as a truly diverse 21st-century Mediterranean hub.” It has more than 20 museums and hosts both the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli Opera Company. Tel Aviv is also a centre of nightlife and is filled with nightclubs, dancing, restaurants, pubs, coffee houses, discotheques, and movie theatres. Located on the shores of the Mediterranean, Tel Aviv’s beaches are often very pleasant in the winter and a walk down the waterfront promenade is always romantic.
Sun, sea and healing in the Holyland
And no winter vacation in Israel would be complete without a trip south to the Dead Sea and its surrounding attractions. The lowest point on Earth at 400 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea has been chosen as a finalist in the selection of the seven new wonders of nature. You can float on and be healed by the sea that has the highest concentration of salt of any body of water on Earth. The resorts and spas in the area will pamper you and the hotels and restaurants will delight. The Dead Sea region also hosts other great natural and historic sites like Masada, the waterfalls of Ein Gedi and the Qumran caves.
Eilat is Israel ‘s southern most city and is regarded as Israel’s winter playground. December temperatures are often in the low 30’s, providing the opportunity to spend a couple of days soaking in the sun. With its tropical Red Sea location, the bay is one of the major attractions, thanks to the beautiful beaches, the developed water sports and some of the best diving spots in the world. Dolphins and amazing species of tropical fish can be viewed in the area’s observatories.
Israel is literally dotted with places of history, religion, beauty, culture and interest. Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, is a fascinating mix of modern neighborhoods and older districts; churches and mosques; mountain and sea. It is home to the World Center of the Bahai Faith and a phenomenal number of museums and art galleries. Safed (Tzfat) is nestled in the breathtaking Galilean hills and is a fascinating city filled with artists and mystics. Tiberias, a modern resort town with an ancient background is located on the shore of biblically famous Sea of Galilee.
Article courtesy of EL AL, Israel’s national airline. With a wide variety of air, hotel, drive and touring packages, EL AL can create a winter vacation that will fit your budget and keep your soul warm throughout the season. Visit EL AL for more info.