Israel’s Negev Desert offers a ton of fun travel opportunities. Visitors love spending time in the Negev for its stunning landscapes, magical oases, and unique Middle-Eastern wildlife. Whether you’re looking to relax by the Dead Sea or embark on a thrilling desert hike, there is something to suit all tastes in the Negev. So, if you’re planning a Negev Desert tour, let our experts guide you in the right direction and have a look at our top recommendations.

See the Sunrise from Masada

masada-israel-Mazada Tours

As one of the most visited places in Israel, Masada is an essential stop on your Negev Desert tour. Originally built by King Herod the Great, Masada is famous for its story. At this site, an entire Jewish community committed mass suicide in favour of surrendering to their enemy, The Romans. It is very common for tourists to hike up Masada for the sunrise as the view from the top is spectacular. There is also a cable car that can bring you to the top if an early-morning hike isn’t for you. Masada is rich in history and sweeping desert scenery, making it a favorite site for visitors of all ages.

Have an Adventurous Jeep Ride

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If you want to get up close and personal with the Negev Desert, then one of the best ways to do this is by heading off on a Jeep ride. For those looking for a little more adventure on their Negev Desert tour, a Jeep ride offers the opportunity to enjoy amazing views and even a light breeze. Visit the different desert canyons, or stop for a short hike. Either way, you’ll be sure to fully immerse yourself in the desert landscape with a Negev Jeep tour.

Ride a Camel

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If Jeeps are too quick for you and you want to travel at a slower pace, then we definitely recommend riding a camel. As part of your Negev Desert tour, you simply can’t avoid encountering some Israeli camels! While you may often see them standing or sitting by the side of the roads in the Negev, there are plenty of places that offer you the unique experience of riding one through the desert. Let us know if you’d like to ride a camel on your Negev Desert tour and we’d be happy to arrange this for you!

Float in the Dead Sea

The Dead Sea of Israel - Mazada Tours

You can’t come to Israel without visiting the Dead Sea. Like Masada, it is one of the most coveted tourist destinations in the country. Therefore, it should definitely be included in your Negev Desert tour. When visiting, it is customary to cover yourself in the mineral-rich Dead Sea mud and then float in the waters. The mixture of the mud and the minerals from the water will make your skin feel baby-soft when you come out! Since it’s in the desert, the weather is good year-round, making this the perfect spot to visit at any time of the year.

Did you know that the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth? Learn more amazing facts about the Dead Sea here!

Discover Mitzpe Ramon

mitzpe ramonNo Negev desert tour is complete without a visit to Mitzpe Ramon, one of the most recognizable sites in the desert. The crater is a perfect stop for those interested in geology. Discover more about the crater’s interesting history and origins at the welcome center and learn all ab0ut your surroundings. In the crater itself, you can enjoy a variety of activities. Mitzpe Ramon is perfect for those who want to check out some of the hiking trails or discover local wildlife.

Learn About Sde Boker Museum & Desert Oasis

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Sde Boker is the kibbutz and desert home of the first prime minister of Israel, David Ben Gurion. After his passing, Ben Gurion was buried here and the site was transformed into a museum as well as a desert oasis. Sde Boker is still an active kibbutz, so visitors can opt to stay there overnight. This site offers fantastic insight into Kibbutz life, as well as the opportunity to learn more about Ben Gurion himself and his vision for Israel’s Negev Desert.

Experience Bedouin Hospitality

bedouinWho better to explore the desert with than its nomadic inhabitants? The local Bedouins in the Negev Desert are extremely hospitable and always keen on sharing their culture and way of life with visitors. Learn about how these nomadic tribes live in the harsh desert climate, enjoy a traditional Bedouin meal, and learn about how they sustain themselves and their communities. This is a unique opportunity to have a peek into a culture and tradition that has existed for centuries. We strongly recommend booking a tour with us for visiting a Bedouin village, as it needs advanced planning and you can’t usually just drop in for a visit.

Explore Timna Park

things to do in eilat_timna park

Located north of Eilat, Timna Park is a fantastic spot to stop at on your Negev Desert tour. Aside from some great hiking trails, the jaw-dropping scenery will surely impress everyone who visits. There are many geological and archeological sites in the park that will delight all ages. Additionally, there are hikes to suit all levels and some desert wildlife to spot along the way.

Visit a Negev Winery

Israel wine tour_yatir winery

Growing food in the desert is not easy. However, producing wine in the desert is even harder, but some wineries have gotten it down to an art. Due to the climate, the wine-making process in the Negev Desert is unique. Therefore, wine aficionados will love visiting Negev wineries to learn about the wine-making, from the growing process, to how the vines are harvested, and the different grape varieties. Visiting a winery on your Negev Desert tour is sure to be an enjoyable experience!

Interested in a full wine tour of Israel? Check out or most recommended wineries!

Cool Down at Ein Gedi

 

ein gedi

The Negev Desert can be scorching hot, especially during the summer. If you still want to do a hike but worry about the high temperatures, then Ein Gedi is definitely the place for you. This desert oasis is home to seven waterfalls and small pools. It’s the perfect trail to hike as you can stop every so often for a refreshing dip in the water. This area is also home to some classic Israeli wildlife, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for animals like the desert ibex!

Admire the Night Sky

Lastly, if you haven’t had enough of seeing the Negev Desert during the day, then perhaps seeing it at night will satiate your desert desire! During the day, the desert is vast, hot, and extraordinary. However, at night it is a completely different atmosphere. Experience the absolute stillness and silence of the desert at night. You can even set up a star-gazing tour where you can get a completely clear and unfiltered view of the night stars hanging over the Negev mountains.

Read more about the starry night sky in the Negev

With so many fantastic choices, you can spend a week alone exploring Israel’s Negev Desert. If you’re crunched for time and not sure how you might fit it all in, have no fear! That’s what our travel experts are here for. Simply contact us and let us know what you’d like to see and do, and we’ll be glad to create a personalized Negev Desert tour just for you.

A bar mitzvah is an important milestone in any young man’s life, as well as a landmark celebration for the whole family. While some choose to throw big parties with tons of family and friends, some people opt for a family trip in order to celebrate the momentous occasion. A Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel is an unforgettable experience for everyone involved, and will surely make a special milestone even more unique. Our Israel travel experts have put together the highlights for a Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel so you can get a better idea of all the wonder that awaits!

Discover Tel Aviv and Jaffawinter in tel aviv

After landing in Tel Aviv and taking some time to relax and unwind in your hotel, it’s time to explore the White City and learn more about its history.

To begin the day, start by visiting the Old City of Jaffa where you can explore the charming stone streets, wander through the Shuk Hapishpishim flea market, and marvel at the stunning architecture. Stop for a quick bite to eat or a fruit shake and admire the Mediterranean coast and the small harbour.

Next, visit the Independence Hall on Rothschild Boulevard. This spot is important on any visit, especially on a Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel, due to its historical significance. It is the spot where Israel’s declaration of independence was signed in 1948.

Near Tel Aviv is also the Ayalon Institute Museum, which is on a kibbutz and was once an ammunition factory. The museum now exhibits interesting machinery and weaponry as well as explanations of the site’s historical significance.

Looking for more things to do in Tel Aviv on a budget? Check out our expert tips!

Explore Tzfat and the Golan Heights

blossoming-golan-Mazada Tours

Next on your Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel, visit the holy city of Tzfat. Here, you can get an introduction to the interesting secrets of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism. Aside from Kabbalah, the city itself is beautiful and offers the opportunity for a lovely stroll through the ancient streets. Be sure to also visit the artist’s colony in Tzfat where you can purchase some unique Judaic artwork.

After Tzfat, you can stop at Mount Carmel to take a look at Nimrod Fortress. Everyone will enjoy the stunning hike and learning the history of this amazing place.

What’s a visit to the Golan for your Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel without some adventure? Rent some kayaks and go floating down the Jordan River for a refreshing afternoon activity. You can also hire some 4x4s or Jeeps to go off-roading for an up-close view of the surrounding mountainous landscape.

Jerusalem, Old & New

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It goes without saying that any Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel must have a stop in Jerusalem. While you’re in the ancient holy city, make sure to leave enough time to explore both the old and the new attractions.

In Jerusalem’s Old City, wander around the Jewish Quarter and learn its history, dating back to ancient kings. You can also stop to shop at the marketplace, where you can sample delicious Israeli treats and also pick up a few precious keepsakes. In the City of David, the entire family can enjoy learning about the archeological site. Discover how it is tied to both the history of the city and Judaism itself.

In the newer part of Jerusalem, you can visit a few museums and also get your hands dirty. The Yad Vashem is a powerful Holocust memorial museum, which we always recommend visiting as it is an important place to stop and reflect on your Jewish heritage and history. Another worthwhile museum is the Israel Museum, where everyone will love visiting the exhibits of archeological digs, the fun sculpture garden, and especially the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Lastly, stop at the Jerusalem Forest, where the whole family can enjoy a bonding experience of planting a tree in Israel in honor of a family member or in honor of the Bar Mitzvah milestone.

Want this itinerary in a day? Visit Jerusalem on an organized day tour.

Bar Mitzvah Ceremony at the Kotel

bar mitzvah tour in israelWhile we do recommend spending in a few days in Jerusalem as there is so much to see, many families opt to have a full day in Jerusalem dedicated entirely to celebrating the Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel (Western Wall). This allows you enough time to cherish the momentous occasion, and also to get together for a family lunch or dinner, or simply take the time to relax and allow the moment to sink in. Contact us to organize a Bar Mitzvah at the Kotel. We’ll be able to tailor the ceremony to you specific religious needs.

Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, and Masada

masada-israel-Mazada Tours

The next stop on your Bar Mitvzvah tour in Israel is a little more south, as we venture into the desert to visit some exciting spots.

Spend the morning hiking or taking the cable car up to Masada and learn about the ancient fortress site and what happened there. Many families also opt to perform the Bar Mitzvah ceremony at Masada instead of the Kotel. If this is your preference, let us know and we can arrange it for you.

Drive to Ein Gedi, where you can go for a leisurely hike through the desert oasis and stop for some refreshing cool dips in the cool springs and waterfalls. Make sure to keep an eye out for some ibex!

The last stop on this fun-filled day is at the Dead Sea. Cover yourself in some Dead Sea mud and float atop the sea at the lowest point in the world.

Learn more about Israel’s incredible Dead Sea!

The Negev and Sde Boker

sde bokerOn the last day of your Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel, we recommend visiting Israel’s Negev Desert.

In the small town of Sde Boker, visit the burial site of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister. His burial site is also a desert oasis, where you’ll find a quaint garden and many desert animals. The nearby Kibbutz he lived on has been partially converted to a museum. This a great opportunity to learn more about Ben Gurion himself as well as Israel’s Kibbutz life and culture.

Visit the welcome center at Mitzpe Ramon and learn more about how this massive crater was formed. While you’re in Mitzpe Ramon, you’ll have another opportunity to take a Jeep tour through the desert if you so wish.

As the Negev Desert is home to many Bedouins, an authentic Bedouin-style lunch or dinner is on the menu for today! Learn about this interesting way of life as the whole family gathers around the table for a delicious feast.

Your Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel can be completely customized to meet your needs. If you’d like to change or add something that we didn’t include on this sample itinerary, simply let us know. We can create a bespoke tour just for you! Contact us today to get started on your Bar Mitzvah tour in Israel.

As the home to the three major world religions, Israel has no shortage of holy sites to see. There are several world-renowned churches in Israel that are worth visiting and admiring. With the churches in Israel spread across the country, it can be tricky to see them all. Our experts have compiled a list of the best-known churches in Israel to help you decide which ones to see on your visit.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem

things-to-do-in-jerusalem_church-of-the-holy-sepulchre

Undeniably the most famous church in Israel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre should be on your itinerary regardless of your religious affiliation. Located in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is known for being the site where Jesus was crucified and where he was resurrected. Within the church and surrounding it are the stations of the Via Dolorosa, where there are often processions recreating the crucifixion. The church is shared among many different denominations of Christianity, making this a definite must-see for anyone affiliated with the Christian faith. The church itself is grand and beautiful on the inside, and it is considered as one of the most frequently visited sites in Jerusalem.

If you have more time to spend in Jerusalem, here are some of the most amazing things you can do while you’re there.

Church of the Annunciation, Nazareth

Basilica-of-The-Annunciation-in-Nazareth-Mazada Tours

The Church of the Annunciation was built in 1969 and is the biggest Catholic church in the Middle East. The church itself was constructed on top of former Crusade and Byzantine churches. According to Catholic tradition, the church is on the same site of the house of the Virgin Mary and where the angel Gabriel told her that she would give birth the Jesus. Therefore, this site is revered by Christians and considered to be one of the holiest religious sites. The church contains some lovely mosaics of Jesus and Mary, which have been donated by Catholic communities from all over.

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

things to do in bethlehem_church of the nativityConsidered to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ, this site is one of the holiest in Israel. It also has the distinction of being one of the oldest continuously used churches in the world, with its establishment dating back to 325. While largely unchanged since its construction, there have been renovations and additions throughout the years. Today, the expanded church is now made up of three different monasteries: a Greek Orthodox one, an Armenian Apostolic one, and a Roman Catholic one. The Church of the Nativity is one of the most important things to do in Bethlehem, and it’s a site that should not be missed!

Looking for other things to do in Bethlehem? Check out our blog post to find out all the best things to do.

Church of All Nations, East Jerusalem

Also referred to as the Basilica of Agony, the Church of All Nations is located on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem. The Church of All Nations is said to be the place where Jesus prayed before he was arrested. Inside the Catholic church there are several mosaics that are meant to represent the 12 nations that assisted in the church’s funding. It sits next to the Garden of Gethsemane, which is both beautiful and historically significant due to its 2,000 year-old olive trees.

St. Peter’s Church, Jaffa

St. Peter’s Church is located in the Old City of Jaffa, not far from Tel Aviv. The church is dedicated to raising Tabitha from the dead, which was an act performed by St. Peter in Jaffa. The church itself is striking because of its tall brick exterior and bell tower. It is actually the largest building in Old Jaffa and is very recognizable due to its bell tower. The interior looks similar to many cathedrals in Europe, containing stained glass, marble walls, and high ceilings. The artwork inside the church depicts the life of Saint Peter and his miracles. The church is also home to remnants of the 13th century St. Louis’ citadel, including two rooms where Napoleon was said to have lived in 1799.

Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes, Galilee

Another one of the famous churches in Israel, this site is renowned for being the location where Jesus multiplied a few loaves of bread and two fish in order to feed thousands of his disciples. There are several beautiful 5th century mosaics in the church, and the most prominent one shows two fish surrounding a bread basket, which represents the miracle that happened there. A slab of limestone rock is meant to be the place where the meal was made. The church is less than 100 years old, however, it was built in the aesthetic style of an original Byzantine-era structure.

Church of the Beatitudes, Galilee

The Church of the Beatitudes is know to be the site where Jesus spoke some of his most famous phrases: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth” and “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they are the children of God.” The phrases are meant to be uplifting and inspiring to his believers and the world. As a representations of Jesus’ eight beatitudes, the church has eight sides. It is surrounded by serene nature, and its small stature does not impose on the beautiful area that overlooks the Sea of Galilee.

While there are many more churches and religious sites to be visited in the Holy Land, these are the most popular churches in Israel to visit. If you have enough time to visit all of them, each one offers something unique and inspiring. However, if you’re short on time, we suggest contacting our travel experts so that we can build an itinerary that fits your schedule and includes the best churches and other sites.

Haifa is a gem of a city sitting on the slopes of Mount Carmel edging the Mediterranean coast. As the third-largest city in Israel, it has some unique stopping points for visitors to admire. However, while some tours may only take you to the Baha’i Gardens before moving on to the next stop, slowing it down and taking a couple days to explore Haifa is definitely worth your while. Here are our suggestions for the best things to do in Haifa.

Baha’i Gardens

things to do in haifa_bahai gardensIt goes without saying: the Baha’i Gardens are an unmissable attraction in Haifa. It’s not only one of the most popular sights in the city, but in the entire country itself! The Baha’i Gardens are a world heritage site, and its easy to see why. The stunningly manicured gardens are relaxing and beautiful to walk through. The view from the top over the length of the gardens and the bay is one of the most iconic of the region. There are daily tours that can take you through the tranquil gardens for a closer look at its natural beauty.

Louis Promenade

things to do in haifa_louis promenade

One of the highly recommended things to do in Haifa, the Louis Promenade is a fantastic place to take in the surrounding sights. Located on Mount Carmel, this 400m long promenade is the most picturesque walkway in the city. From here, you can take in the view from the top of the Baha’i Gardens, as well as the port of Haifa on the Meditteranean Sea. On a clear day, you can even see the city of Acre in the distance as well as the Galilee Mountains.

Looking for things to do in Jerusalem? Check out our suggestions!

Stella Maris Monastery

things to do in haifa_stella marisA stunning monastery situation on Mount Carmel, the Stella Maris is one of the most unforgettable things to do in Haifa. The current structure dates from the 19th century, but the sites history goes all the way back to the 13th century. Both the inside and surroundings of this church are extraordinary. The Italian art and painted ceiling on the inside makes the Stella Maris a grandiose sight. From the grounds surrounding it, you can also get a wonderful view over the city and coastline, making it the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset.

Visit Haifa & The Western Coast

Beaches

things to do in haifa_beachesHaifa is a city built on the side of a mountain, so walking around up and down hills all day can be quite tiring. Take time to enjoy the beaches of Haifa and relax in the sand and sun. There are a few beaches to visit in and around the city. If you’re arriving by train, the Hof Hacarmel train stop sits right in front of the beach, so you’ll be greeted to the stunning blue shades of The Med as you step off the platform. The Dado and Bat Galim beaches are also popular spots for locals and tourists alike.

Haifa Museum of Art

things to do in haifa_haifa museum of artDating back to 1951, the Haifa Museum of Art is one of the biggest in Israel. If you’re looking for things to do in Haifa on a rainy day, or simply to escape the heat for a little while, this museum is the perfect choice. With exhibits of contemporary art from both local Israeli artists and international ones, the museum is a must-see for art lovers.

German Colony

things to do in haifa_german colonySitting at the foot of the Baha’i Gardens, Haifa’s German Colony is a popular and vibrant neighborhood to explore. Originally built by German Templars in the 1860s, the German Colony has now been restored and is considered to be THE place to be in Haifa. The main road, Ben Gurion Boulevard, is lined with cute cafés, boutiques, and restaurants. It’s a great place to slow down and relax on your visit to Haifa. It’s also a popular area to enjoy the nightlife of the city. If you’re visiting, a trip to the German Colony is absolutely one of the best things to do in Haifa.

Wadi Nisnas

things to do in haifa_wadi nisnasWadi Nisnas, often referred to simply as “The Wadi,” is an Arab neighborhood in Haifa. There are a few things to do here that will surely fill up an afternoon. The bustling market offers a ton of local delicacies, including coffee, herbs, olives, traditional Arab pastries, and much more. There are also stalls with lovely Jewish and Arab artisinal products. The area itself is full of winding narrow alleyways that are a treat to explore. Be sure to come hungry, because this neighborhood is home to some of the best Israeli foods, particularly falafel, you’ll likely eat.

Planning on going to Eilat? See our 9 must-do activities!

Carmel Park

things to do in haifa_carmel parkBoasting 21,000 acres, the Carmel Park is one of the top things to do in Haifa if you’re looking to escape to nature. There are paths for both bikes and jeeps, offering something for all levels of adventurers. There are also fantastic observation points to take in the lush surroundings. The archeological remains on the mountain are also a draw for many visitors. If you have enough time to stop and rest on the mountain between all the fun things there are to do, you can enjoy a picnic or a quick nap by the running streams.

As you can see, there are no shortage of things to do in Haifa! You can easily spend a few days exploring this magnificent city, and still have things to do when you come back on your next visit.

Want to begin planning your tour to Israel and Haifa? Contact us today to get started. Our experts will be happy to create the perfect itinerary for you.

The Israeli Kibbutz is an attraction for many visitors due to its completely unique style of communal living. While you’re visiting Israel, we definitely recommend visiting one of the many Kibbutzim to get a better understanding of this different way of living. The name itself, Kibbutz, means “gathering” or “clustering” in Hebrew, as it was a place for people to gather together. Aside from offering an alternative lifestyle, Kibbutzim are intrinsically important to the history of Israel as a country. Before taking a Kibbutz tour, here is a short background to help you understand their importance and place in Israeli society.

History of the Kibbutz

The first Kibbutz, Degania, was established in 1909 by pioneers. It sits just south of the Sea of Galilee and was originally focused on agriculture. The Jews who created this Kibbutz worked on draining nearby swamps in order to establish agriculture and make the land more inhabitable. Once Degania Kibbutz was officially established, many other similar community settlements popped up around the country.

kibbutz tourBy 1920, there were approximately a dozen Kibbutzim in Israel, with more popping up regularly. Due to the escalating conflict, the Kibbutzim took on a more military purpose, with some of them manufacturing or purchasing weapons for defense. In fact, the location and economies of the Kibbutzim became important to the country’s establishment as well as to its military strategy:

“The planning and development of pioneering Zionist were from the start at least partly determined by politico-strategic needs. The choice of the location of the settlements, for instance, was influenced not only by considerations of economic viability but also and even chiefly by the needs of local defense, overall settlement strategy, and by the role such blocks of settlements might play in some future, perhaps decisive all-out struggle. Accordingly, land was purchased, or more often reclaimed, in remote parts of the country.” – Yigal Alon, Israeli soldier & statesman

Kibbutz Economy

As you’ll notice on your Kibbutz tour, these communities place a high importance on agriculture. In fact, this was their main industry when they were first established. In the original Kibbutzim, many members worked in the fields, or did other necessary jobs such as working in the kitchens or schools.

kibbutz tourToday, the Kibbutzim have branched out to several other industries. You’ll find Kibbutzim with economies based on tourism, public services, and manufacturing industries.

The economy on Kibbutzim works with social values. All income from the community and its members are put into a common pool. Then, this money is used for multiple purposes: to continue running the Kibbutz, offer aid to its members, and make investments. This money is also divided equally between families based on their size, however the alloted budgets are never based on job titles or positions.

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Kibbutz Ideology

The Kibbutz ideology is fairly simple, but it took a lot of thought to create an integrated community that functions still to this day on shared values. Let’s take a look at some of the main factors that contribute to the unique style of living found on a Kibbutz.

Raising Children

Children were raised in communal environments, where their parents were not the only ones responsible for raising and educating them. Historically, there were children’s houses, where kids would spend most of their days. Here, they would learn, play, and sleep, under the supervision of trained nurses. The children then spend the afternoon with their parents once they were done with work. The environment fostered by these children’s houses were made to promote creativity, individuality, and trust. In this way, it was not only up to each parent to raise their children, but also to the whole community to raise the children together.

Education

The education is tied closely to the children’s houses, with children receiving education from a young age according to their age group, just like in a regular elementary or high school. Since the Kibbutzim were originally based on agriculture, higher education was not seen as a necessity. However, and more specific industry developed on Kibbutzim, there was a need for skilled workers, and university education became more popular. In keeping with the communal model, the Kibbutz would often pay partially or in full for a member’s university education.

Gender Equality

In order to establish their vision for a Utopian society, it was important that there were no gender gaps within this communal settlement. Therefore, women and men were seen as equal. The children’s houses allowed women to continue to work instead of focusing entirely on raising them and running a household. At the beginning, even marriage on a Kibbutz was different. A man and a women would request a room together, and that would be enough to consider them “married.” This was in order to avoid a patriarchal society with male and femlae roles. Many women worked in the same or similar positions as men on the Kibbutz. However, today the system is more modernized. Women can choose to be officially married and even to stay home and raise their children if they wish.

kibbutz tourWhere to Visit on Your Kibbutz Tour

Now that you have some background on the history and ideology of the Kibbutz, you may be wondering where to go visit! At this point, there are around 270 Kibbutzim in Israel, each one unique and interesting. Here are our picks for the best ones to visit for a Kibbutz tour:

Degania

As the original Kibbutz, this is a popular choice for those looking for a Kibbutz tour. There are two on-site museums that showcase the history of the place and its development over the last 100 years.

Sde Boker

Kibbutz Sde Boker is another popular destination on a Kibbutz tour. It is famous for being the home of influential Israel prime minister, David Ben Gurion. Located in the Negev desert, this Kibbutz is unique for its geographical location, and desert terrain. It is important as it was paramount to Ben Gurion’s dream of seeing Israel’s “desert bloom.”

Magaan Michal

Located on the Mediterranean coast, this Kibbutz is one of the largest in Israel, with approximately 2,000 members. This Kibbutz is unique for being a place where many new immigrants go. It is especially popular as a place to learn Hebrew in a communal setting once they arrive to the country.

As you can see, there are so many interesting facets to the Kibbutz way of life. Once established out of necessity to grow and protect the land, Kibbutzim today offer a sustainable alternative to city life. Your Kibbutz tour will show you exactly how these communities function and why they are so important to Israeli society.

Contact us today to start planning your Kibbutz Tour!

“Tel Aviv” and “budget” are not often found in the same sentence. Known as one of the world’s most expensive cities, this Middle Eastern city is generally not a wallet-friendly destination. With everything from the price of hotels to a glass of beer costing more than the average European getaway, it can seem tricky to make a vacation in Tel Aviv work according to your own budget. However, with a few tips and tricks from our local experts, you can enjoy a holiday in Tel Aviv that doesn’t break the bank. Here are our top tips for seeing Tel Aviv on a budget.

Visit the markets

Tel aviv on a budget

The Carmel Market lies at the heart of Tel Aviv and a few minutes walk from the sea. Here you’ll find everything from popular souvenirs, food shops, and tons of fresh local produce. While simply walking around this constantly-bustling market is entertainment in itself, visitors can snag some great deals here. Of course, that all depends on how much you’re willing to bargain. Twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays, there is also a local crafts fair right next to the Carmel Market on Nachlat Binyamin. Here you’ll find artisans from all over Israel coming to sell their work. You can find some truly unique gifts here that won’t break the bank.

Another great place for shopping in Tel Aviv on a budget is the Shuk Hapishpishim in Jaffa. This market is more for recycled second-hand items, and you’ll see a lot of locals shopping around to furnish their apartments. However, there are also some great vintage finds like jewelry and clothes.

Enjoy the street food

tel aviv on a budget

There are tons of chef restaurants to sample if your wallet allows. However, if you’re visiting Tel Aviv on a budget, then the local street food will do just as well to satisfy your tastebuds, if not better! Typical Israeli foods like falafel, sabich, shawarma, or a bowl of hummus typically cost between 15-40 shekels, making these lunches filling and good for those wishing to save on the cost of fine dining. The markets are also a great place to try both Israeli food and dishes from around the world that offer a Mediterranean twist. Not only are foods like falafel, sabich, or shawarma budget friendly, but having your food stuffed into a pita means that you can take it with you to continue sightseeing so that you don’t miss a beat!

Use public transportation

tel aviv on a budget

The public transportation in Tel Aviv is a great way to get around. Between buses, trains, and shared taxis, there is virtually no area of the city that isn’t covered. You can buy a bus pass, called a Rav Kav card in many grocery stores or pharmacies, fill it up with your desired amount, and use the bus system to tour the entire city. No need to rent a car and sit in traffic, there are buses that go everywhere. You can also use the train to go from the south of the city to the north in just a few minutes. That way, you can explore different neighborhoods and attractions, like Hayarkon Park, in no time at all.

It is important to know though, that public transportation does not operate on Shabbat, Friday afternoons until Saturday night. However, there are still shared taxis available that pick up the slack for some major bus routes. Simply flag one down when you see it, jump in, pay the driver, and let him know when you want to get off. Share taxis, otherwise known as a Monit Sherut, are an absolutely necessity if you’re visiting Tel Aviv on a budget.

Tel Aviv City Tour

Self-guided tour with bikes & scooters

tel aviv on a budget

If riding in buses or taxis isn’t your thing, not to worry. You’re still not forced to take an expensive taxi or rent a car. There are tons of shared low-cost transportation options in Tel Aviv. If you want to bike around the city, then bicycles from Tel-o-Fun or Mobike can be easily rented from your phone for as long as you want to use them. Otherwise, there are tons of electric scooter companies that have recently set up shop in the city. You’ll find tons of Bird, Wind, and Lime scooters all over Tel Aviv, and even more people using them to get around! Using one is as easy as downloading the app. Then you can easily explore the city at your own pace and budget with the wind in your hair.

Did someone say happy hour?

tel aviv on a budget

Bar hopping in Tel Aviv isn’t the cheapest. But, if you go to the right places at the right times, you can have a great night that won’t leave your wallet feeling too light. During the week, a lot of bars have great happy hour specials where you can get deals on both drinks and food. Check out the bars on Dizengoff street, such as Spicehaus. You can get great cocktails at a 2 for 1 price and a discounted food menu usually until around 8:30pm. Salon Berlin is another great option, with a happy hour that extends until 1am. Many bars in Tel Aviv have outdoor seating. It’s great for people watching, enjoying the beautiful evening weather, and mingling with locals.

Budget accommodation

tel aviv on a budget

While the city has some great hotel chains and boutique hotels, they’re not always the best if you’re trying to see Tel Aviv on a budget. Hostels have become a popular choice. Depending on the season, you can get a bed for around $25 a night. Over the last few years, the hostels in Tel Aviv have become a lot higher quality, so even the most weary traveler will find it to be a pleasant stay. There are also a ton of Airbnb options so that you can feel like a local in your own Tel Aviv apartment.

Hang by the beach

tel aviv on a budget

Lastly, if there’s anything that you should be doing when visiting, it’s the beach. If you’re here visiting Tel Aviv on a budget, there’s no better way to do it than by relaxing by the water. You can rent a beach chair and umbrella for around 20 shekels. Or you can simply bring a towel and some watermelon and enjoy the Mediterranean sun and waves. On the weekends, walking down the tayelet (boardwalk) is a hectic but enjoyable experience. You’ll likely see a variety of different street performances in a stretch of only a couple kilometeres.

Tel Aviv is an expensive city. If you know where to go and when, you can make your visit here a lot more budget-friendly. What you save in accommodation, food, and shopping, can easily go towards fun day trips to get you out of the city for a few hours. Check out our amazing day trips from Tel Aviv and start planning your next vacation with Mazada Tours!

Contact Mazada Tours

Jerusalem is a special city for everyone who visits. As a home to three major religions, visiting Jerusalem is a spiritual experience for many people. There are countless things to see and do when visiting this holy city, and it can be difficult to cram so many things into a short visit. We’ve handpicked the most essential things to do in Jerusalem in order to help you plan your trip to this wonderful city.

The Western Wall

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This iconic wall goes by many names: The Western Wall, The Wailing Wall, and The Kotel to name a few. Found at the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, this wall is absolutely not-to-be-missed on your visit. The wall itself is probably the most holy site in the Jewish religion, as it is the last remnant of an ancient temple. You can observe many Jews visiting the wall, touching or kissing it, and scribbling prayers down on small bits of paper and pushing them into the cracks. Visiting The Western Wall is undeniable one of the most amazing things to do in Jerusalem, and we strongly suggest not skipping it.

Mount of Olives

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Admire sweeping views of the entire city of Jerusalem, both old and new, from the top of Mount of Olives. Located in the east of the city, the site is significant in a few religions. It is important in Judaism as it is the site of over 150,000 graves. In the area surrounding The Mount of Olives, there are many different Christian churches to visit. The mountain is also a prominent site for both Jewish and Christian pilgrims due to its biblical significance.

Jerusalem Old & New City Tour

Yad Vashem

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Visiting the Yad Vashem museum is definitely one of the more difficult things to do in Jerusalem. However, the impact of your visit will last a lifetime. This museum is an official memorial site to the six million Jews lost during the Holocaust. There are several indoor and outdoor exhibits. These include a memorial to the murdered children, a sculpture garden, and memorials to The Righteous Among the Nation (non-Jews who helped save Jewish people during WWII). The museum is both haunting and beautiful, and a somber yet important education experience for everyone.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre

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The site of this iconic church is believed by Christians to be both where Jesus was crucified and resurrected. It is a major stop on Christian pilgrimages due to its religious significance. Many visitors pour in and out of the church daily to admire the 4th century construction, and to visit the empty tomb of Jesus Christ. It is considered as one of the most sacred places in the world for Christians, and is therefore one of the essential things to do in Jerusalem.

Dome of the Rock

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This stunning example of Islamic architecture dates back to the 7th century. The Dome of the Rock, also known as The Temple Mount and the Al Aqsa Mosque, is one of the most prominent landmarks of the Jerusalem skyline. The massive gold dome is striking and one of the most recognizable domes in the world. This site is holy for Muslims as it is said to be the site where Mohammed ascended to the heavens.

Machane Yehuda

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Any visit to Israel must include a stroll through a market, or shouk. If you’re looking for things to do in Jerusalem, The Machane Yehuda market is one of the liveliest places to be, day or night. The market is constantly bustling with locals and visitors shopping for souvenirs, locals foods, fresh produce, or sampling the tastes of fresh Israeli cuisine. Going on a Friday before he Jewish Sabbath begins is an unforgettable experience, but not for the faint of heart! The market is busier than normal while all the locals are out shopping for Friday night Shabbat dinner. On Thursday nights, the markets pack up and close and give way for DJs and bars to take over the area, turning it into the most hip bar-scene in the city.

Old City of Jerusalem

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Getting lost in the Old City of Jerusalem might just be the highlight of your visit to this city. With it’s winding stone roads that zig-zag though historic sites and a colorful bazaar, there is so much wonder in this small concentrated space that will delight all your senses. Aside from sites like The Western Wall, Tower of David, or Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Old City itself gives off a magical feeling to all those who enter. While you’re getting lost, you’ll be sure to happen upon some local culinary delights. Not stopping to sample some local hummus or knafeh would be a sorely missed opportunity.

Private Tour of Jerusalem

Tower of David

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The Tower of David is located next to Jaffa Gate in the Old City. The citadel is home to many permanent exhibitions that tell the history of Jerusalem. There is also an amazing view over the Old City from the ramparts. In the summer months, there is the Night Spectacular Sound & Light show. An unforgettable 45-minute show about the history of the city is projected onto the stone walls. This event is definitely not to be missed!

Israel Museum

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Another major museum in the city, the Israel Museum is one of the things to do in Jerusalem that will be fun for the whole family. The massive amount of exhibits range from ancient artifacts to local art to an impressive sculpture garden. The Shrine of the Book exhibit puts the once-lost Dead Sea Scrolls on display. There is also a large Second Temple model to admire.

The Knesset

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This building is the parliament building for the Israeli government. Though often skipped by many visitors, this is definitely one of the more unique things to do in Jerusalem. There are daily free tours offered in a selection in languages. Visitors can learn more about Israel’s governmental system and history in a short amount of time.

As you can see, there is clearly no shortage of things to do in Jerusalem. Whether you want to see the holy sites, immerse yourself in local culture, or learn about the city’s rich history, there is something for everyone to enjoy here.

If you’re still feeling overwhelmed and don’t know where to begin, let our experts handle everything for you. We can create an amazing Jerusalem tour for you with a 1-day or multi-day itinerary. Contact us today to get started!

At the southernmost point of Israel bordering Jordan and the Sinai Peninsula, Eilat is a bustling vacation destination jam-packed with activities for the whole family. Visitors can relax by the beach or choose any of the many exciting attraction in and around the city. Check out our guide for some of the best things to do in Eilat.

Go for a Hike in The Red Canyon

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One of the best things to do in Eilat after a couple days is actually to get out of the city. Not because you’ll get sick of it (trust us, there are endless things to do), but because the surrounding nature is stunning and worth exploring. The Red Canyon is like a much smaller scale version of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. This simple hike involves walking through some stunning canyon walls, climbing up them, and seeing the canyon from both the top and the bottom. If you’re looking for hikes in this area, then the Red Canyon hike is definitely one of the best.

Explore the Rock Formations at Timna Park

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An easy tour from Eilat, Timna Park is home to over 15,000 acres of land. In the park, you’ll find some interesting rock formations, as well as great desert hikes. The park is also home to a hidden desert lake, where you can go a cool down after hiking. Timna Park is great for those interesting in nature and especially geology. The main draw of the park is its mushroom-shaped red sandstone rock pillars that dot the area. Here you’ll also find the world’s oldest copper mine. Timna Park is definitely one of the more interesting things to do in Eilat.

Tel Aviv - Eilat Flights

Go Snorkelling or Diving

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The Red Sea is home to crystal clear warm waters and some of the best coral reefs in the world. If you’re looking for things to do in Eilat, exploring the underwater world is an absolute must while you’re there. You can visit the Coral Beach Nature Reserve, relax on the lovely beach, and rent a snorkel for the day. That way, you can jump in and out of the water whenever you want and swim with the fish. If you want a more in-depth view of the sea life, then diving in the Red Sea will be an unforgettable experience. You’ll be able to get an up-close-and-personal view of the colorful fish and marine life, which will be much more interesting than what you can see when floating on the surface.

Visit the Dolphin Reef

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Dolphin Reef is another one of the many fun things to do in Eilat. Spend a day by the beach in this area, with the added perk of encountering dolphins in their natural habitat. There are a few observation points from which you can watch the dolphins, or you can opt to jump in the water in order to swim and interact with them. You can also dive with the dolphins to watch them swim under the water. While at the Dolphin Reef, you can also enjoy a water relaxation spa experience or relax by the beach bar.

Looking for interesting things to do throughout the country? Check out our recommendations of 15 off-the-beaten track things to do in Israel!

See the Fish at The Coral Beach Underwater Observatory

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If your preference is staying dry but you still want to see the marine life, then the underwater observatory is the place to go. Boasting a large variety of aquariums, the whole family can enjoy seeing stingrays, turtles, an array of fish, and even a shark tank. Once you’ve resurfaced to land, you can relax by the Peace Terrace in the observatory tower. From here, you’ll be in amazed by the surrounding view of the bay that joins Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

Boating on The Red Sea

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As you may have noticed, most of the things to do in Eilat involve water, and for good reason. The Red Sea is unique in it’s geographical location, and also for the variety of water sports people can experience. If you want to get out on the open sea without doing something as involved as windsurfing or scuba diving, you can easily rent a boat. Head to the marina, where there will be tons of people offering boats of multiple sized for a fun little tour around the bay. Our personal recommendation is to book a trip for the sunset. That way, you won’t be sailing in the heat of mid-day, and you can enjoy a gorgeous sunset from the water with a view of four surrounding countries.

Take a Day Trip to Petra

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Depending on how much time you have in Eilat, we definitely recommend a little trip over the border to neighbouring Jordan. From Eilat, you can easily take a day trip to Petra, where you can discover the ancient Nabatean world. Take a camel ride through the canyon, see the grand Treasury, and explore the Rose City carved into the beautiful pink sandstone walls. The beauty of this day trip is that you can head over to Petra in the morning, and be back in Eilat by dinner time. Or, you can opt for a longer trip to Jordan and also visit places like Amman and Wadi Rum. Whatever you decide, we have the perfect tour to Petra already set up for you.

Jordan Tours from Eilat

Relax with Some Shopping

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While tourists head to Eilat for the relaxing beaches, warm weather, and variety of water sports, Israeli’s go south for a different reason: tax-free shopping. The shopping in Eilat is some of the best in the country. You’ll find everything from fun outdoor markets with unique souvenirs, to big malls where you can go to escape the heat. In fact, if you want to confuse your senses, you can even go ice skating at the Eilat Ice Mall! Take a break from the sweltering heat, enjoy some leisurely shopping, and stop for a quick skate before heading back to your hotel.

Explore the Desert on a Jeep Safari

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Since it’s close to the desert, one of the most fun things to do in Eilat is to head out on a jeep safari. You’ll be able to take in the incredible desert views while enjoying the breeze in your hair. On the jeep safari, you can visit different canyons (called wadis), or you can hike up nearby Mount Yoash for an amazing view of the surrounding desert landscape. Alternatively, you might want to check out a night safari. This way you can enjoy some desert stargazing and discover the area’s nocturnal animals.

There are so many great things to do in Eilat that will be fun for the whole family. The only problem is it may be hard to choose just a few things to occupy your time while you’re there! That’s why you should leave it to our experts to help you plan your amazing getaway. Contact us today to start brainstorming your trip to Eilat.

With the first signs of spring comes the most popular holiday in Israel: Easter. Every year, thousands of visitors travel to Israel to spend a memorable Easter in Israel’s holy and historic sites. The crowds and options can be overwhelming. Therefore, we’ve created the ultimate guide for you to get the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime experience of Easter in Israel. Read on to find out where to go on your trip, as well as information about all the 2019 Easter events.

Palm Sunday

easter-in-israel_palm-sundayIn 2019, the fun begins on April 14th, which is Palm Sunday. On this day, many Christians head up the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. They do this to recreate Jesus’s entrance to the holy city of Jerusalem. Next, you’ll proceed through the iconic streets of Old Jerusalem and join the procession that goes down the Via Dolorosa. On the way, you’ll pass some beautiful sites, such as Saint Anne Church and Steven’s Gate. You can choose to either take part in this amazing procession, or join the onlookers lining the sides of the streets. Whatever you choose, this is sure to be an unforgettable experience! There is definitely no better way to kickstart your Easter in Israel trip than Palm Sunday in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Over the next week until Good Friday, there are daily masses happening at a few locations in Jerusalem, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Garden of Gethsemane church.

The schedule for Palm Sunday in Jerusalem is as follows:

  • 8:00am: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Pontifical Mass
  • 3:10pm: St. Savior’s Church, Pilgrimage and Washing of the Feet service
  • 9:00pm: Garden of Gethsemane, Prayer and holy hour

Discover our expert tips for traveling in Israel to make the most out of your Easter in Israel experience!

Good Friday

easter-in-israel_via dolorosaIf you’re here for Easter in Israel, then celebrating Good Friday is a given. This year, it falls on April 19th (which is also the same date as the Jewish holiday of Passover). Good Friday will also see tons of visitors lining the streets of Jerusalem. Many visit the Old City to recreate the pilgrimage of Jesus’s journey to be crucified. The Way of the Cross procession will begin around noon. However, be sure to arrive to Jerusalem with plenty of time, as there will be massive crowds who all want to be a part of the amazing procession. Pilgrims will head down the Via Dolorosa, and many of them will carry crosses on their backs to symbolize Christ’s walk to his crucification.

The Good Friday schedule is as follows:

  • 7:15am: Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, Celebration of the Passion of Christ
  • 12:15pm: Via Dolorosa, The Way of the Cross procession
  • 8:10pm: Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre, “Funeral Procession”

Looking for ideas on where to spend next Christmas in Israel? See our roundup of Christmas events here!

Holy Saturday

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On Holy Saturday, huge crowds of Christian pilgrims go to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. You can also go witness the incredible Holy Fire annual miracle. The Holy Fire starts as two candles lit by the Patriarch of Jerusalem over Jesus’s tomb. He prays and uses these two candles to light the candles of other pilgrims. The light gets passed around from pilgrim to pilgrim, until every candle is lit. It is said that the Holy Fire does not burn, and you can often witness many pilgrims waving their hands through the flames (though we do advise caution).

On Saturday, you’ll also find an Armenian parade, consisting of a marching band with drums, bagpipes, and procession to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

There is also an English sunrise service at The Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Here is the schedule in Jerusalem for Holy Saturday:

  • 6:30am: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Easter Vigil
  • 3:30pm: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Entry and solemn procession
  • 6:00pm: Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Solemn Vespers the Holy Tomb

Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday are the main events. However, on Easter Sunday and Easter Monday, there are further processions and masses at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

After you’ve experienced a traditional Easter in Israel, there are still tons of other holy Christian sites for you to explore! Stick around for a few days and visit the towns of Bethlehem and Nazareth. Furthermore, you can also enjoy the natural sites of the Holy Land with a visit to the Sea of Galilee, the Negev desert, and the Dead Sea.

Holy Land Christian Sites Private Tour

Contact us for help in planning your perfect Easter in Israel tour. Leave the planning to the experts and we’ll make sure you don’t miss out on any part of this important holiday!

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!