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!