FOTR - Families on the RoadZion NP

4 Tips for Traveling in Israel

If you're considering traveling to Israel, there are an endless number of tips to take in. Research online, get books from the library and contact tour guides in order to get the full picture. These four tips, however, will set you on the right path to getting the most out of your time there.

1. Take in the countryside

When thinking of Israel, it can be forgiven for the mind to jump straight to Jerusalem. A magnificent city it is, but the countryside of the nation cannot be ignored either. Israel is more than the sandy, desert like appearance that springs to mind. The Hula Valley in the north of the country is a remarkable place to watch migrating birds, while the Mediterranean coast of Israel is home to excellent beaches and romantic sunsets.

Following religious trails along winding walks brings you to small towns and villages that are a world away from the bustling cities - but which are every bit as fascinating.

2. Sample the cuisine

Israel is home to some delightful delicacies such as shakshuka, shawarma and falafel. Falafel, along with hummus, is perhaps the most familiar food from this region with those in the USA or the UK. The main ingredients are:

  • Chickpeas
  • Herbs
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Trying fresh, hot falafel in the streets of Jerusalem is one of the great delights of the Holy City. To know where to explore, find a tour operator in Israel who can point you to the best restaurants, hottest street food hubs and trendiest bars.

3. Visit the Dead Sea

It would be difficult to travel in Israel without making a beeline for the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is a lake of saltwater, locked between Jordan and Israel. It is the lowest body of water on the surface of the Earth and is famous for its natural buoyancy, allowing those who swim on it to float incredibly easily.

If you visit the Dead Sea, remember not to stick your head underwater - unless you have an incredible resistance to getting your eyes stung with saltwater - and don't be tempted to take a cellphone or camera with you. Get your photo taken from one of the serene Dead Sea beaches instead.

4. Try out Jaffa Flea Market

One cultural site that you should try and see is Jaffa Flea Market. Jaffa is an ancient port which has given rise to the modern city of Tel Aviv. The flea market generally opens every day of the week, offering clothes, jewelry and more. The port city is also filled with bars and restaurants, attracting a young crowd late into the night. This area sees old meet new and is one of the most vibrant scenes you will come across while traveling the country.

Getting a good tour guide and planning ahead are essential to any important trip. Israel has so much to offer visitors, so if you can't pack it all in, consider going back another time.