Petra, The Rose City, or The Lost City, goes by many names, and for good reason! This unique world wonder is worth the visit for more than just being featured in Indiana Jones. Adding a Petra tour from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem while you’re visiting the Holy Land will only enrich your trip and add another layer of wonder and adventure. While many people will simply cross the border into Jordan, explore Petra for a half day, then head back, our Mazada Tours travel experts know that there is far more to see in and around Petra. Let us show you just a few of the wondrous reasons to take a Petra tour from Tel Aviv and discover the stunning Rose City for yourself!

1. History

petra tour from tel aviv_historyPetra used to be a bustling trade center and the heart of the Nabatean empire from 400 B.C. to A.D 106. The Nabataeans were a group of Arab Bedouins (nomads) and traders. They used Petra for it’s proximity to the trade routes. There is a long history of empires and kings coming to conquer Petra, however, it was believed to be abandoned around the 8th century A.D. It wasn’t until 1812 that Swiss traveler, Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, disguised himself as a Bedouin and snuck into “The Lost City.” Slowly, the rest of the world began to take note of its existence, and in 1929, archeologists began to officially excavate and study the area.

2. Archeology

petra tour from tel aviv_historyTo the casual observer, Petra is home to a bunch of pretty carved rocks. However, these rocks hold a lot more significance and are even more impressive once you know a bit of background. Petra is host to tombs and temples that have been carved into pink sandstone, hence “The Pink City.” The most stunning and undeniably most iconic structure is The Treasury. Visitors get a first glance at the Treasury after walking through a sandstone canyon with 250-foot-high walls.

3. Petra by Night

petra tour from tel aviv_petra by nightOnce you’ve decided on a Petra tour from Tel Aviv, working in a night to visit the site is a definite must-do. Viewing The Lost City at night while the grounds are gently lit by 1,500 candles is nothing short of magical. Though you’ll definitely find Petra absolutely breathtaking during the day, seeing it at night is like experiencing it again for the first time. Petra by night is an incredible sight not to be missed!

4. Bedouin Hospitality

petra tour from tel aviv_bedouinIf Petra is Jordan’s most famous attraction, than Jordanian hospitality is its second. The Bedouins in Jordan are second-to-none when it comes to hosting visitors. If you’re visiting Petra or any other site nearby, be prepared for dozens of invitations to dinner and tea. The Bedouins are very welcoming and they want to give visitors to their land the best experience possible. Asking your guide for recommendations for a traditional Bedouin dinner is recommended. It will definitely be one of the most unique experiences during your Petra tour from Tel Aviv!

5. The Views

petra tour from tel aviv_viewsWhile you’re on your Petra tour from Tel Aviv, why not add some more adventure into your trip. Hike up to the top of the canyon for an even more spectacular view. From the high vantage point, you’ll be able to enjoy a hot cup of tea from the local Bedouins while looking down at the gorgeous views of The Treasury from above.

6. Sleep Under the Stars

petra tour from tel aviv_sleep under the starsWhen booking accommodation for your Petra tour, consider staying in a Bedouin Camp or in a unique dome pod hotel. Both of these options will enrich your experience. It will allow you to admire the vast night sky and all its stars from the quiet of the desert. In fact, the Dana Biosphere Reserve not far from Petra. It is considered one of the best places in the world to go stargazing. If you stay in a dome hotel, you’ll be able to sleep in a small but luxurious private room within a see-through dome so you can watch the stars as you fall asleep.

7. Jordanian Food

petra tour from tel aviv_foodIf you’ve opted to head to a Bedouin camp for the night or even just for a visit, you’ll be delighted with all the flavors of Jordanian cuisine. Expect to have more food than you’re able to eat pushed in front of you! Try local dishes like Manshaf, Jordan’s national dish which consists of camel or lamb meat spread over rice. There’s also Maqluba. This dish is made up of fried vegetables, meat, and rice which are all placed in a pot and flipped upside down when served. Tabbouleh, a fresh salad made with parsley is another common dish you’ll often find in Jordan.
While we could list far more reasons why taking a Petra tour from Tel Aviv is undeniably worth it. The proximity to places of interest like Amman and Wadi Rum, and it’s strong safety record to name a few. However, the best way to discover The Rose City is to pay a visit yourself! Our guides are professionals and experts of the region. We’d be happy to show you around Petra, introduce you to local Bedouins and their delicious food, and show you exactly why Petra is one of the new 7 wonders of the world! Contact us today to get started on your booking, we’re positive this will be a trip you’ll never forget.

You’ve covered yourself in mud and floated on the Dead Sea, climbed Masada before the sun came up, explored the enchanting old city of Jerusalem and the vibrant beaches of Tel Aviv, devoured your bodyweight in hummus, and maybe even innocently fell victim to the charm of a beautifully bronzed Israeli. Now that all the ‘must-dos’ are out of the way, you ask yourself what is left to see in this tiny Middle-Eastern country. As it turns out, you’ve only just scratched the surface of things to do in Israel. From the northernmost border to the edges of the Red Sea in the south, there’s no lack of adventure to satisfy every kind of traveller.

1. Enjoy two seasons in a day

Skiing isn’t the first activity that comes to mind of things to do in Israel. Though the country is primarily desert, during the winter months you can hit the slopes on Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights, a mountain which straddles the borders of Lebanon, Syria, and Israel. Since Israel is so small, you can spend your morning enjoying the winter wonderland and still have time to relax by a Mediterranean sunset on the beach as your après ski.

In Tel Aviv for the winter? Here are 8 cool things to do on your visit.

2. Kayak through the grottoes

On the border with Lebanon you’ll find Rosh Hanikra, a huge white cliff with impressive views of the Mediterranean coastline. The short cable-car ride to the foot of the cliff is the steepest in the world. It’ll bring you to a plateau where you can learn more about the history of the place and take a walk through caves overlooking picturesque turquoise grottoes. For a unique viewing point, you can organize an excursion to kayak to the grottoes and explore them from the sea.

3. Visit the fortified city of Acre

things to do in israel_acreAcre, or Akko, is unique within the country because it’s one of the few places that boasts a truly mixed population. It is home to Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Baha’i people. This makes it a diverse city full of culture and history perfect for a day trip. You can walk along parts of the old city walls for a panoramic view, stroll through the old town, and visit historic sites like the Hospitallers Fortress or the Templars’ Tunnels. Arguably the best part of the city is the classic Middle-Eastern food. The city’s diverse cultural background comes alive in the flavours on your plate, and many Israelis agree that the country’s best hummus can be eaten here.

4. Wind down with some wine tasting

Israel’s wine industry is some serious business. The northern region of the country boasts dozens of wineries that distribute internationally. A good place to begin your self-guided wine tour is at Tishbi Winery. It’s the first modern winery in Israel, where you can participate in a wine and chocolate tasting. At the Golan Heights Winery, you can take a tour of their vineyards and guzzle down some of their award winning selections.

5. Spend the day in the Garden of Eden

Gan Hashlosha, also known as Sachne, is one of the most beautiful places in the country. The local Israelis have dubbed it “The Garden of Eden.” This national park has natural pools that are constantly at 28 degrees, in other words, perfect for swimming year-round. Pack a picnic and spend your day among the lush greenery within this real-world paradise.

6. Stuff your face in Nazareth

A short stop in Nazareth is just enough time to load up on sweet Arabic delicacies. Though the city is a hot spot for religious tours, some could argue that Jesus of Nazareth is no longer the main event. Foodies love Nazareth for all the tasty street food, that stars of which are the honey-drizzled pastries. Be sure not to leave without trying some homemade baklava, knafeh, and awameh.

7. Take in some local art at Ein Hod’s artist village

Ein Hod is a small artist’s colony near Haifa. Israeli painters, sculptors, musicians, and writers call this eclectic little village home. In Ein Hod you’ll find multiple museums, galleries, and workshops. If you’re the type who prefers exploring on foot, you can wander through the town’s winding streets lined by the artists’ striking work.

What else do you need to know about traveling in Israel? Here’s our top tips.

8. Take a graffiti tour

things to do in israel_tel avivThe street art in Tel Aviv is abundant and part of what makes the city so colourful. You can either sign up for a guided tour, or easily put together a DIY version. While street art can be found almost anywhere in the city, it is a lot more common in the south, particularly in the Florentine neighbourhood.

9. Take a tour of Tel Aviv’s vegan cuisine

Israel has the most vegans per capita. It’s no surprise that Tel Aviv is one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world. Not only does nearly every restaurant have vegetarian or vegan options, but Tel Aviv is home to some of the best vegan restaurants. It’s not just the falafel; you’ll find many adventurous vegan eats such as Ethiopian or Georgian restaurants.

10. Desert road trip

A few friends, a car, and a good playlist are all you really need for this one. Israel’s Negev desert begins about one hour away from Tel Aviv. It stretches all the way down to Eilat in the south. Route 40 is well paved and full of fun stops along the way, like the Mitzpe Ramon crater and Ben Gurion’s grave located in a desert oasis. The drive itself is scenic with endless sand and mountains as far as you can see. Pay attention to the signs and watch out for crossing military vehicles and camels!

12. Visit the desert inhabitants

things to do in israel_hai barThe desert is home for many different animals, and there are a couple great places to observe them. The Hai-Bar Nature Reserve aims to preserve and breed endangered species. Here you can drive through the park and see different breeds of oryx, wild donkeys, large felines, and curious ostriches that like to poke their beaks into cars. Another option is an alpaca farm near Mitzpe Ramon. Here you’ll be able to feed crooked-toothed alpacas as well as camels and horses.

11. Spend a night in the desert

If you’re looking to escape the constant commotion of Tel Aviv, spending a night in the desert is the perfect way to reenergize. Picture this: a calm night spent under a starry sky surrounded by friends and a hookah where the only sound is the crackling fire. There are a few designated campsites and even some rustic accommodations that allow you to take in the incredible spectacle that is the desert at night.

13. Swim with the fish in the Red Sea

The Red Sea is known for it’s spectacular underwater life and diving conditions. The waters are shallow and the visibility is clear. You don’t even need to put on your scuba gear to get up close and personal with the corals and sea life. At the Coral Reef Nature Reserve in Eilat, you can spend your day snorkelling and admiring the colourful world under the sea.

Check out our picks for the best beaches all over the country.

14. Explore the desert highs and lows

things to do in israel_timnaWhen looking for things to do in Israel, it’s a no-brainer to visit the expansive desert. Not far from Eilat there are several great hikes to do. Aside from gorgeous scenic views, Timna Valley Park holds a number of geological and archaeological sites. There are hiking trails to suit different levels and you’ll be able to observe stunning nature and wildlife along the way. The Red Canyon hike is not to be missed. You’ll be running to get your photo-op when the sun hits the red canyon walls to create an eye-catching mix of lights and shadows.

15. Watch the sunrise over 4 countries

Mount Tzfachot is about as south as you can get in Israel. It’s undeniably worth waking up in the pitch black to take in one of the most unforgettable sunrises. A short hike up this mountain will reward you with an incredible peaceful view over four countries. With your feet planted in Israel, you’ll be able to see the sun come up over Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.

As you can see, there are no shortage of things to do in Israel. Did we miss something that’s an absolute “must do?” Let us know in the comments below!

With 273km of stunning coastline, there are quite a few choices for sunbathers and beachgoers in Israel. While some people prefer the hustle-and-bustle of the lively city beaches, some may prefer a quieter retreat to nature. Thankfully, Israel has it all covered when it comes to beach options. From north to south, and everywhere in between, here are our picks for the best beaches in Israel.

Achziv Beach, Rosh Hanikra

rosh hanikra beach

You can begin your tour of the best beaches in Israel at the northern-most tip of the country, Rosh Hanikra. After spending a few hours touring the stunningly-blue grottoes and learning about the location’s history, head down towards Achziv Beach for a relaxing break. In the summer months, this beach is known for the hatching sea turtles that are released back to the sea. You can also find other interesting sea life here, including octopi and sea urchins. With the looming cliffs of Rosh Hanikra as your backdrop, this beach is the perfect relaxing spot for those who want a quiet break from the noise.

Kinneret Beach, Galilee

kinneret beach

If you find yourself exploring the beautiful sights of the Galilee region, a stop at the Kinneret, or Sea of Galilee, is defintiely worth it. Though it doesn’t have the sandy appeal of the Mediterranean, the Kinneret boasts warm, calm water perfect for swimming. If you don’t like salt water or big waves, this is a great place to cool down after a day of touring all the fantastic religious sites in the area. There is plenty of shade as the sea is lined with palm trees and other greenery, making the Kinneret great for families and young children. It’s also popular, especially with young Israelis, to camp on the banks of the water. So if you want to spend the night outdoors, pitch a tent and enjoy a barbecue and a night among the stars in the open fresh air of the Galilee.

Galilee Holy Sites Tour

Dor Habonim, Haifa

dor habonim beach

The best beaches in Israel are all unique and offer something different to cater to all beach-going styles. If you’re more outdoorsy and like to work before you relax, then Dor Habonim beach and nature reserve is the ideal spot for you. Located south of Haifa, this area offers a few beautiful hiking trails with gorgeous panoramic views of the Mediterranean blues. On the trails, you’ll find a few different beaches set between rocky grottoes where you can relax for a while. While it’s not the easiest beach on the list to get to, visitors are rewarded with rugged beauty, tranquility, and smaller crowds.

Caesarea

caesarea beach

Caesarea should be a stop on your Israel tour regardless of the beach. Known for its ancient Roman ruins, this site makes for an interesting tour on your trip to Israel. If you want to fit both history and beach time into your busy schedule, this is the perfect spot. After visiting the amphitheater and other ruins, go for a dip in the water at the beach set by an ancient Roman aqueduct dating back to 1 BC. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also visit the underwater museum. Go for a dive to discover a whole other set of treasures and ruins on the ocean floor. As a mix of adventure, history, and natural beauty, Caesarea is easily one of the best beaches in Israel!

Western Coast Private Tour

Netanya

netanya beach

The beach in the lovely city of Netanya is a fantastic spot to kick-back and catch some sun. Set beneath the city cliffs, visitors to this beach need to take a glass elevator down to the sand. The waters here are calm enough for a relaxing swim. There are also fun activities like surfing lessons or volleyball. On the weekends the beach gets busier, and at night you might find a DJ and a dance party going on as well.

Tel Aviv

tel aviv beach

When discussing the best beaches in Israel, Tel Aviv’s coastline is a clear contender. As one of the main attraction of Israel’s most modern and lively cities, this beach definitely isn’t the place for people looking for a quiet break. Tel Aviv’s beaches are almost always busy. In the summer months it can be hard to find a spot unless you go early. However, don’t let that deter you. The beach is wonderful for people-watching, cooling down after exploring sunny Tel Aviv, and absorbing the international vibe of the city. The city’s beaches are divided by location. There’s Banana Beach, Hilton Beach, Gordon Beach, and Metzizim Beach, just to name a few. Generally, the farther north you go on Tel Aviv’s beaches, the quieter it gets. However, many people enjoy the non-stop atmosphere of the busy sections, where you can almost always find surfers, a volleyball competition, musicians playing on the boardwalk, and people from all walks of life enjoying the sun and salty air.

Palmachim Beach, Rishon Lezion

palmahim beach

Not far from Tel Aviv near the city of Rishon Lezion, you’ll find Palmachim Beach. This beach is relaxing and scenic. It’s also surrounded by some cliffs perfect for walking along to get a panoramic view of the place. Unlike the neighboring Tel Aviv beaches, there aren’t many amenities here. Visitors like to pack a cooler full of food and set up a spot to spend the day and enjoy a family picnic.

Dead Sea

dead sea

This is undeniably one of the most memorable beaches in Israel. The mineral beaches of the Dead Sea make for an amazing day trip. As the lowest point on earth, The Dead Sea is a “must-see” when coming to Israel. Visitors love to cover themselves in mud, walk into the still waters, and float on the surface as if by magic. Since it’s in the desert, the weather here is perfect. The beach can be visited at any time of the year. While you’re visiting, you can make your stop here even more memorable by booking a spa day or massage overlooking the Sea.

Dead Sea Spa Tour

Coral Beach Nature Reserve, Eilat

coral beach nature reserve, eilat

We’ve finally reached the most southern-point in Israel: Eilat. The Coral Beach Nature Reserve is definitely one of the main draws of Eilat. Eilat sits on the Red Sea. Unlike the Mediterranean, there is much wider variety of marine life going on here. Rent a snorkel at the Coral Beach Reserve and dive into the calm waters to explore the world underneath it. There’s a huge variety of fish to be seen. The best part is that you don’t even have to be a diver to see them. They’re very visible even if you’re just floating on the surface. If you have the time, you can also head to the nearby Dolphin Beach, where there are often dolphins who swim up to shore to say a quick hello.

Now you have a better idea of the best beaches in Israel. We challenge you to pick your favorite ones and visit them on your tour to Israel! Of course, if you want to see them all, you’ll need to consult with the experts to fit them all in your itinerary. We can help you see the most magificent beaches in the Middle East AND a variety of other fascinating historical and cultural sites. Contact us today to start your planning!

Have you found yourself curious to explore the home of the Pyramids, ancient mummies, and thousand-year old temples? We don’t blame you! Traveling in Egypt is one of the most rewarding and special experiences, and we want you to experience it to the fullest. Read on to discover some important Egypt travel tips before you go.

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When should I go?

While Egypt is beautiful and mostly temperate all year long, the summer months are particularly hot. The farther south you go in Egypt, the hotter it gets, sometimes even unbearably so. The best time to go to Egypt is generally between October to April, however, this is peak tourist season. While it gets sweaty in the summer, the upside of traveling to Egypt during this season is that there are far less tourists. You might even find yourself with a temple to explore all by yourself!

Book your Egypt Tour

What should I pack?

One of the most important Egypt travel tips we can give you is to pack clothes that are modest yet breathable. As we mentioned, Egypt can get very hot, so you’ll want to pick lighter clothes that won’t leave you sweltering. However, the locals expect a certain degree of modesty, especially when visiting holy sites like mosques or wandering around ancient temples. In some tourist attractions, women are required to cover their shoulders. We recommend bringing a light scarf or shaul and keeping it in your bag to cover up quickly when you need to. Of course, don’t forget to pack an adapter and/or converter. Egypt uses the classic European two-prong plug and runs at 220-240 V. Be sure to also pack tons of sunscreen and bug spray, especially if you’ll be cruising by The Nile!

Is Egypt safe?

Like any country, the content we see in the media is rarely what tourists experience when they arrive. Though it has suffered from a bad reputation in recent years, in general, Egypt is a safe country to travel to. Egyptians are kind and helpful, and tourist attractions usually have guards and security.

With that being said, we do strongly recommend visiting Egypt on a tour instead of on your own. While it is safe, there are some areas that would be more difficult to travel on your own. It’s much easier to navigate the country with a local guide who understands the language, culture, and landscape. Egypt is a large country, and it’s tricky to get around with public transportation. Booking a tour not only helps ensure your safety, but also saves you time and the headache of doing things on your own. If you are going to head out on your own, we suggest consulting with a local you trust to ask for recommendations on areas that are ok to wander alone. When booking a taxi, it’s always best to ask a hotel concierge to order one for you so that they can explain directions and help you negotiate the cost.

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What should I bring back?

When giving clients our personal Egypt travel tips, we always recommend they do one thing while visiting this beautiful country: SHOP! Egypt has a wealth of natural and artistic beauty, and you can commemorate your trip by bringing a few things home for yourself and your friends (we also won’t blame you if you don’t want to share).

Some things we definitely recommend are papyrus art. This is a staple of Egyptian culture. Beware to go to reputed papyrus dealers, as there are shops that sell fake knock-offs. Ask your tour guide to bring you to a reputed papyrus store. Another thing Egypt is known for is their perfumes, which date back to Ancient Egypt. There are great original perfume stores around the country where you can pick up your favorite scent or choose out a unique new one. Of course, as the home of Egyptian cotton, we definitely recommend picking up some scarves or comfy pants. Lastly, the spices in Middle Eastern food is second to none, so be sure to collect your favorite flavors to pack up and bring home.

Visit Cairo, Aswan, and The Nile

What should I eat?

Egypt has some great and simple culinary options suitable for all diets. Of course, like many Middle Eastern countries, food like falafel, shawarma, and pita are staples. Another authentic Egyptian dish is Koshary, a dish made with rice, pasta, lentils, chickpeas, onions and tomato sauce. It’s vegetarian-friendly, filling, and absolutely delicious! Be sure to also try ful, aka fava beans, which is a common street food dish. For meat lovers, you can find great kebabs or kafta in most places to satiate your hunger.

Is there anything else I should know?

When it comes to Egypt travel tips, there are a few other things to keep in mind:

Stay hydrated

Incase we didn’t emphasize it enough, Egypt can get HOT. It’s important to bring a water bottle with you everywhere and stay hydrated. The tap water isn’t potable, but bottled water can be purchased for no more than a few EGP in most places.

Tipping

Tips for service is expected in Egypt, especially of tourists. It’s common to tip servers like waiters, bellboys, or the concierge. In restaurants, usually 10% is recommended. It’s also common for locals, especially those who hang out in popular tourist attractions, to offer to take your photo in exchange for a tip.

Bargaining

This is the Middle East, bargain for everything! Test out your haggling skills by visiting the Khan el-Khalili market in Cairo.

Cameras

It’s a no-brainer to bring your camera along with you to Egypt. You’re walking through Ancient Egypt, where pharaohs once walked! The Egyptians know this and have decided to monetize it in some places, therefore it’s common for there to be a “camera fee” if you want to bring your camera along into popular tourist attractions. Note that a few temples don’t allow photography at all.

Weekends

Keep in mind that the weekends in Egypt are Friday and Saturday, unlike in most of the western world. Therefore, tourist attractions will be particularly busier on these days.

Armed with these Egypt travel tips and an amazing tour to Egypt, you’re ready for the adventure of a lifetime! Contact us today and we’ll help you turn these Egypt travel tips into the most unforgettable tour in one of the world’s most interesting countries!

Need some more Egypt travel tips or have any questions we didn’t cover? Ask us in the comments below!

See Cairo & the pyramids in 4 days

The colder months are upon us, and while many choose to hide away in layers of sweaters at home, there are some things in Tel Aviv that are just better in the winter. Tel Aviv’s sweltering summers may be too much for some, but visitors can rejoice in knowing that the winter in Tel Aviv can be just as fun. Here are 8 cool things to do this winter in Tel Aviv:

1. Take a Surf Lesson

The Mediterranean isn’t know for it’s big waves like many other bodies of water. In the summer, the sea is calm with some pleasant waves. However, during the winter, they get bigger, enticing droves of Israeli surfers to strap on their wet suits and hit the waves. The winter in Tel Aviv is the best time to catch some waves, and if you’re new to surfing, there are plenty of lessons available to wannabe surfers of all ages.

2. Enjoy the Stormy Weather

winter in tel aviv

It’s a fact that some people just prefer the smell of rain to the feeling of sun on their faces (I know, we don’t understand it either). Winter in Tel Aviv can be quite wet, with regular rain, wind, and storms. While this forces most people indoors, wandering around the boardwalk can bring some beautiful sights of crashing waves and thick clouds. Make sure to bring a cover for your camera so it doesn’t get too wet!

3. Watch a Stunning Sunset

winter in tel aviv

Every Tel Avivian knows that the winter sunsets are far superior to the summer ones. When the storm clouds settle down and the rain clears, the sun sets and brings with it bright colors that are hard to miss from anywhere in the city. The beach is a popular place to watch the sun go down, but we recommend finding a spot closer to Old Jaffa. The sight of the setting sun and colorful sky behind the old Clock Tower of Jaffa is like a painting and is worth seeing if you’re here for the winter in Tel Aviv.

Want to get out of Tel Aviv? Here are 10 cool things to do around Israel during the winter.

4. Grab Some Seasonal Fruits in the Carmel Market

winter in tel aviv

Regardless of the season, Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market is always bustling. Most of the produce in Israel is local and not imported, which means we have the freshest fruits to choose from on a daily basis. However, you have to enjoy them while you can because the produce available in Israel really depends on the season! During the winter months, the local citrus fruits are king. Make sure to pick up some juicy oranges, grapefruits, clementines, and pomelos to snack on during the day.

5. Watch the Wind and Kite Surfers

winter in tel aviv

Unless you’re experienced, we don’t suggest taking up this hobby on your trip to Tel Aviv. However, on a windy day you’ll notice tons of people out on the boardwalk watching the brave wind and kite surfers fly over the surface of the water. On any windy day during the winter in Tel Aviv, you can look up and notice the different colored parachutes dotting the sky.

6. Warm Up With a Cup of Sachlav

winter in tel aviv

If you’re wandering around the city and looking to duck in to a coffee shop to warm up from the cold winter in Tel Aviv, be sure to ask for a sachlav. Sachlav is a Middle Eastern drink that hits the spot more than any hot chocolate can. Its base is made up of warm milk thickened with ground sahlab orchid bulbs. The base is typically scented with vanilla, orange, or rose water, and then sprinkled with cinnamon, dried fruit, or nuts. It’s the perfect thick drink to warm up with on a cold winter day.

What else should you eat on your trip to Israel? Find out our suggestions for the dishes you just can’t miss out on!

7. Visit Some of Tel Aviv’s Museums

winter in tel aviv

Tel Aviv has some great museums to visit on a rainy afternoon. Pop into the Tel Aviv Museum of Art to enjoy both local and international artists. The permanent collection includes Picasso, Klimt, Dali, and more. The Museum of the Jewish People is also a great museum with displays about the history of the Jewish diaspora over thousands of years. The smaller Bauhaus Museum is also worth checking out for those interested in Tel Aviv’s unique architecture.

Looking to escape from the rain? Here are our top ten things to do in Israel when it’s raining.

8. Go for a Pampering Spa Day

winter in israel
Image from Sheva Spa.

Lastly, you deserve a day to relax and unwind. The winter in Tel Aviv can be dark and tiring. However, you can easily lift your spirits by enjoying a pampering spa day overlooking the stunning Mediterranean sea. Our personal favorites are the Sheva Spa at the Hilton Tel Aviv hotel, and The Setai Hotel Spa in Jaffa. Whichever spa day you choose, you definitely won’t be disappointed that you spent your day rejuvenating indoors and away from the rain and wind!

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments below how you’d spend your day during the winter in Tel Aviv!

While we say goodbye to 2018 and the record-breaking amount of tourism it brought to the Holy Land, we look forward to another incredible year before us. 2019 is exciting for so many reasons: new luxury hotels, international concerts, and festivals that are bigger and better than ever before. If you’ve been constantly planning & putting off your trip to Israel, an Israel tour in 2019 is a fantastic idea, and here are 19 reasons why:

1 – Eurovision

israel tour in 2019_eurovision_netta

Last year’s Eurovision got the whole nation together for two reasons: to rally behind winner Netta Barzilay, and to collectively get excited to host the world’s biggest song contest in 2019. Expect appearances from the infamous Dana International and other previous Eurovision winners. Additionally, it is rumoured that the event will be hosted by none-other than the stunning Israeli supermodel, Bar Rafaeli. Be sure to book your accommodation way ahead of time, since many people are planning their Israel tour in 2019 around this event!

2 – Jon Bon Jovi concert

Another huge musical event taking place in July 2019, is Jon Bon Jovi’s return to Tel Aviv. The rock legend will be playing in Hayarkon Park in Tel Aviv. As always, it’s expected to be a great show. His 2015 show saw 50,000 audience members singing along to “Livin’ on a Prayer.” We’re sure the 2019 show will be even bigger!

3 – Elections

While not quite a tourist attraction, the Israeli elections were called earlier than scheduled and will now be held in April of 2019. Anyone with an interest in Middle-Eastern politics will surely keep a close eye on the campaigning and lead-up to election day. There’s never a dull moment when it comes to Israeli politics!

4 – Slash Concert

Israel always gets a few big acts that pass through each summer, and 2019 is no exception. If Eurovision and Bon Jovi weren’t enough to keep you satisfied, you also have the chance to see Slash in concert in July 2019. The legendary frontman of Guns N’ Roses will be playing with Myles Kennedy and The Conspirators in Tel Aviv. Get your tickets in advance!

5 – Virgin Atlantic Flights

Since Israeli Shai Weiss became the CEO of Virgin Atlantic, he’s been trying to compete for popular routes to Tel Aviv. Lookout for new Virgin Atlantic flights between London and Tel Aviv starting this year. In May, Virgin hopes to fly in 200 fans from London to Tel Aviv to enjoy the Eurovision Song Contest!

6 – Even More Tourism

2018 was a record-breaking year for tourism to Israel. Before that, 2017 was a record-breaking yea for Israeli tourism. (Notice a pattern here?) There’s no doubt that with new airlines coming in, beautiful new hotels, and Eurovision, there will be a huge influx of tourists visiting the Holy Land. With all the excitement, accommodation and entertainment are sure to get booked up quickly, so if you’re planning an Israel tour in 2019, get a move on and contact us so we can help you plan before it’s too late!

7 – Pride Parade

israel tour in 2019_pride parade

Tel Aviv Pride is a yearly event that sees thousands of tourists coming each June to celebrate love and the LGBTQ community. Tel Aviv’s parade is known internationally as being one of the best. Last year, there were over 250,000 parade attendees! In 2019, the parade is expected to be even bigger, so if you’re planning your Israel tour in 2019 for June, be sure to pack some rainbow-colored clothes and join in on the fun!

8 – The Dead Sea

Fodor’s listed The Dead Sea as one of the top 50 places to visit in 2019, and we can see why. They describe it “like nowhere else on earth. This shimmering saltwater lake appears in the distance like a mirage in the desert. It’s somehow both otherworldly and right in the middle of it all, surrounded by Israel, Palestine, and Jordan in the heart of the Middle East. It’s undeniably special here and the kind of place that you’re not likely to forget.” Need more reasons to visit The Dead Sea during your Israel tour in 2019? Check out our list of cool facts you didn’t know about The Dead Sea.

Book your Dead Sea Tour

9 – Midburn

Another yearly even that happens in the Negev desert is Midburn. The event is modelled after Burning Man, which takes place in the deserts of Nevada. The Israel version features tons of incredible art installations, different types of wellness events, parties, and show-stopping costumes. Many people fly in from outside Israel just to attend this unforgettable week in the desert.

10 – Michael Jackson Tribute

Another one of the great concerts happening in 2019 in Israel. The Michael Jackson tribute concert will be touring around the country in February, so you can be sure to catch it during your Israel tour in 2019. The “I Am King” performance will include a Live Orchestra, broadway dancers, and classic hits in 20 shows around the country

11- Eilat Ramon Airport

In addition to the new Ovda Airport 60km north of Eilat, a new airport, Eilat Ramon, is set to open in 2019. The new airport will replaced Eilat’s current Eilat J. Hozman Airport. The opening of Ovda Airport saw tons of new low-cost international airlines flying directly into Israel’s south. We’re sure to see more exciting routes when the new airport opens in 2019!

12- Crusader Wall Tour in Caesarea

A new tourist attraction will open in 2019 in the ancient Roman city of Caesarea. Tourists will now be able to walk on the ancient walls with the new Crusader Wall Promenade. This is part of a project to increase tourism to the city. Caesarea has always been a magical place to visit with it’s 2,000 year-old history and archeology, this is sure to be an exciting addition!

Book your Caesarea Tour

13- Eilat Jazz Fest

The Red Sea Jazz Festival takes place in February, and features both local Israeli acts and international artists. Definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in live Jazz music!

14 – Six Senses Shaharut Hotel Resort

israel tour in 2019_six sense shaharut
Six Senses Shaharut photo courtesy of Six Senses

A luxurious hotel resort by the Six Senses chain is slated to open in 2019. The hotel will be in Israel’s Negev desert in the Arava Valley. It will include 58 suites and villas with private pools, and a private high-end spa for guests. The hotel is focused on sustainability and wellness. It will also include a Camel ranch and an open amphitheater, and Bedouin-style tents for an authentic Middle-Eastern experience.

15 – Jerusalem Marathon

Run 5k, 10k, a half-marathon, or the full 42.2KM in the annual Jerusalem Marathon! (We also won’t blame you if you just want to stand on the sidelines and cheer). Due to its hilly terrain, the Jerusalem Marathon is known to be a tough one. Runners from around the world come to participate in this challenging event. Is 2019 your year?

16 – Tel Aviv White Night

Tel Aviv’s annual White Night falls at the end of June. It typically includes a night of fun live musical shows, art installations, street parties, food stands, and more. The event is popular with locals and internationals, and has fun events for the whole family.

17 – Christmas in Bethlehem

If you didn’t get to spend your 2018 Christmas holiday in the Holy Land, then let’s help you get here for 2019. There’s no better way to spend Christmas in the Holy Land than visiting Bethlehem for an unforgettable midnight mass. See what else you can do for Christmas in Israel here!

18 – Purim

Another annual holiday and event that takes place around the country is Purim. Typically, children dress up, bake triangular shaped cookies, and enjoy a fun day to celebrate this holiday. However, leave it to Tel Aviv to turn this children’s day into a massive party! Every year, thousands of people get decked out in incredible DIY costumes and attend any of the hundreds of street parties and events happening around the city. Jerusalem is also known for having huge Purim events. Iff you’re here for an Israel tour in 2019 in the month of March, be sure not to miss out!

19 – White City Center

Known for it’s unique Bahaus architecture, Tel Aviv is known as the White City due to all the white buildings that dot the Mediterranean Sea. A new center, set to open in a historic building in 2019, will preserve this historic architecture and tell its story. It will also be a place for events, and it will offer tours related to the beautiful architecture.

As you can see, there are no shortage of things going in in Israel this upcoming year. Contact us today to help you plan your Israel tour in 2019!

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If you find yourself visiting during the month of December, there are plenty of ways you can celebrate Christmas in Israel. Despite the fact that the majority of the country is Jewish, there are still very unique ways in which you can celebrate the holiday. In fact, the Christmas you spend in the Holy Land might become your most memorable Christmas of all! Take a look at all the amazing events happening around the country, and feel free to reach out to us if you need help planning your own special Christmas tour in Israel.

Christmas in Israel_chrismas in jerusalemChristmas in Jerusalem

Israel’s capital city is magical year round. However, tourists agree that during the holiday season, there’s just an extra spark that makes visiting there even more special. Here are some things to see while you’re celebrating Christmas in Jerusalem:

  • Wander around the Christian Quarter of the Old City and visit the iconic Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where you can enjoy a beautiful midnight mass.
  • The Jerusalem YMCA usually puts on Christmas events, such as a youth choir concert which will be happening this year on December 24th.
  • Stroll down the Via Dolorosa, where visitors reenact Jesus Christ’s famous route with a cross on his back. To make this even more special, experience it with hundreds of others on Christmas Eve.
  • Also at the YMCA between December 15-18, you’ll find an exciting Christmas market with something fun for everyone. Children can enjoy clowns and visit Santa Claus, and there are live shows, music, Christmas lights, and food and drink stalls for the whole family.

Christmas in Israel_Christmas in tel aviv and jaffaChristmas in Tel Aviv & Jaffa

Chances are you’ll find yourself spending some time in Israel’s most metropolitan city when you visit. Though Tel Aviv doesn’t have as much Christmas cheer as many other cities, it’s still possible to get into the holiday spirit while you’re here.

  • Go for a stroll in Old Jaffa. On your way, admire the gigantic Christmas tree by the clocktower that is gorgeously lit up.
  • Also in Jaffa, you’ll find a winter market on December 22nd and 23rd. You can enjoy some warm winter treats, an exciting fair, and even an ice-skating rink! Bring your whole family for what’s sure to be a fun day.
  • While you’re wandering around Jaffa admiring the sparkling lights around you, you can also find Christmas events happening at different churches in the area. Check out the Franciscan St. Peter’s Church, Immanuel Letheran Church, or the Armenian St. Nicholas Monastary, all of which are opened for visitors.

Christmas in Israel_christmas in NazarethChristmas in Nazareth

If you’re spending your Christmas in Israel, visiting Nazareth is a no-brainer. As the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Nazareth is a fantastic place to get into the holiday spirit.

  • The city will officially light its Christmas tree on December 17th.
  • Visit the Christmas fair & market, where everyone can enjoy different stalls of food, drinks, and crafts. The fair takes place between December 17th-22nd.
  • Nazareth’s annual Christmas parade will be held on December 23rd and begins at 3:30pm. It’s advised to go early so you can get a good spot!
  • All the churches in Nazareth will have a Christmas mass. The most popular one is at the Basilica of the Annunciation, and it begins at 7:00pm. There will also be a festive mass at 10:00pm.

Christmas in Israel_christmas in bethlehemChristmas in Bethlehem

Christmas in Israel isn’t complete with a visit to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. This city is known for it’s incredible and spiritual celebration, which is attended by many people every year.

  • Wander around Bethlehem, where you’ll find Churches with many different holiday events going on. Admire the stunning lights and decorations around the city, and nativity scenes adorning the streets of Bethlehem.
  • The most popular Christmas event in Bethlehem is the midnight mass on December 24th. Thousands of people, Christians and Muslims alike, gather at Manger Square for this special day. Many people attend and it can be difficult to get into the Church of the Nativity, so it is best to leave it to the professionals to organize. Contact us to plan your visit to Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

Christmas in Haifa

It’s also possible to celebrate Christmas in Israel in the north of the country. Jews, Muslims, and Christians living together in harmony in this unique city. If you’re in Haifa for Christmas, there are a number of interesting things to do:

  • There are events happening nightly on the streets of Haifa, where you can enjoy a lit up Christmas tree, arts & crafts displays, and live music. The area around the German Colony is particularly known for its Christmas decorations and events.
  • The yearly Holiday of Holidays festival celebrates the holidays of the three major religions found in the city: Hanukkah, Christmas, and Eid-al-Adha. For an especially unique way to celebrate the holiday this year, head to Haifa and learn about different cultures and traditions. The event runs between December 6th-22nd.
  • The Stella Maris Monastery hosts a Christmas mass as well as a Christmas morning mass. Visitors can also go here to enjoy singing Christmas carols.

Wherever you may be for the holidays this year, whether you are spending Christmas in Israel, at home, or somewhere else, all of us at Mazada Tours wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year! If you need help on making your holiday tour in Israel even more special, contact us today and let us help you plan a perfect Christmas.

How to get rid of the autumn’s grey weather and feeling? Come to Israel and ask us! This year the country hosts some nice music festivals from around the world, giving you an impression of having travelled the globe! So, music fans, attention, here come the ultimate events in the second part of November:

We start our guide with the RAGGA Festival, held on 16th of November in Arava desert and featuring pure Jamaican vibe. With a desert dance into the night, the festival gives a unique opportunity to sleep in tents under the open celestial sky.

 

Another big event uniting two nightlife cities, Tel Aviv and Istanbul, will take place on 19th of November at the infamous Barby in Tel Aviv. This year, the Soundports Festival will also open his harbour for the finest music from Marseille and a hot female duo Brigitte combining a pop, retro-folk lounge and cabaret with an authentic hippie production.

As if this wouldn’t be enough, Tel Aviv offers another series of musical performances about the most fascinating cities in the world – Mexico, New York, Buenos Aires, Dubrovnik, Rome and Moscow. You can attend this event starting 21st of November at the Museum of Art and enjoy audiovisual shows with the best hits, songs and folklore.

 

 

For the third time, the Jerusalem Jazz Festival will be held in the late November, the 29th through the 1st of December at The Israel Museum. International, as well as local jazz artists, will fill the galleries with spectacular performances. In the same time, the Tel Aviv Jazz Festival will take place at the Museum of Art – and unite the Eternal City with its younger, dynamic sister.

Need help to combine a visit to both cities? Take a look at our City Break tours which we can adjust exactly to your needs!

The autumn officially arrived in Israel and the beach season is over… But no reason to become sad because there’s still plenty of things to do (as always)! With comfortable temperatures and still sunny days, no way you can stay at home with the warm blanket, join us at the November activities!

What can be more beautiful than Halloween in the Holy Land? (Just the Christmas, but psst, that’s in December). For our fellow Christian friends, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, the Dormition Abbey and Notre Dame Center in Jerusalem hold a special mass for All Hallows Eve on 1st of November. For all secular people – Tel Aviv is your city with parties all over starting the 30th of November.

 

Since the temperatures are more bearable, why not to run in style and for a good cause? The NATAL race for life in color raises the awareness of the transparent injury such as nightmares, flashbacks, introversion, nervousness etc. caused by war and terror, and funds for the treatment of liberated civilians and combatants who become a victim on 2nd of November in HaYarkon park.


Or if you’re more of a night jogger, you will have the unique opportunity to join the Tel Aviv Night Run kicking off the Rabin Square on 13th of November. The race fits every age over 14 but requires a note from your doctor. Good news – you can get a running kit for free!

Rather athletically challenged? Well, we have activities for you, too. How does the Print Screen Festival sound to you? Taking place on 31st of October in Holon, a city close to Tel Aviv, this festival features art shows, premieres of the stage and music shows, movies, performance art, video, computer games, workshops, a market, lectures and conferences with artists and researchers from all over the world.

Fans of the virtual reality will find their joy on 5th of November at AWE Tel Aviv, the world’s largest rugged and virtual reality expo. Either for business or just for fun, this conference is definitely a place you shouldn’t miss.

Same applies to the TechnoArt Live at Tel Avivian Museum of Art on 15th of November.  This event brings together global entertainment rock stars with local talent, innovative artists, emerging technology companies, industry experts, entrepreneurs, investors, creators and more.

And to top this beautiful list of November activities, we offer you a unique experience of a movie screening in the desert, the Arava Film Festival, taking place from 8th till 17th of November. Imagine – the best films from the world’s most prestigious festivals and an open, starry sky.

To make your experience in Israel even more unforgettable, combine any of these activities with our services – we promise you won’t get bored 😉

Can’t get enough from our previous post? Didn’t manage to attend all the events? Don’t be upset, the second half of October offers new exciting activities all over Israel which you too can participate in!

Anination 2018

If you loved Frozen, Moana, Minions, and the rest of the animated films that captured audience hearts, you will love Anination, the International Animation Festival. The four-day festival will be held in Israel’s capital city, Jerusalem, and will, of course, feature animated films from Israel and from around the world. But that’s not all—the festival will also feature workshops for burgeoning artists and animators, lectures by leaders in the field, and art exhibitions. The Anination festival will be held from the 24th ‘til the 27th of October.

Spirit Festival 2018

If you’re not into animated films, but want still want to see some incredible heartwarming movies, head to the Spirit Film Festival. As the name suggests, this festival shows short- and feature-length films, as well as documentaries, that reflect the spirit of humanity and life on Earth. This festival, which is from October 25 ‘til the 27th, will also have workshops, talks, and lectures where participants will trade insights not only on film but also how to reach a higher state of living.

Piano Festival

Perhaps a visual medium isn’t your thing, and you prefer a sonic experience. Head to a concert that is part of the week-long Piano Festival, which starts on October 20th. With over 40 shows on the calendar, you have plenty of chances to hear some of Israel’s finest classical music.

Wine on Canvas

Art and movies can be fun, but what makes the experience more exciting is a couple of drinks. The Wine on Canvas event features a live-painting performance by Solomon Souza, with the added bonus of unlimited wine at the bar.

No matter what your interest, there is plenty to do this October. Mazada Tours can help you book and organize the experience of your dreams in Israel. With our insider knowledge, you can be sure that you’ll have a unique experience that features much more than the basic historical sites.