We continue apace from Masada and the Dead Sea for an extended jaunt bound for Tiberias, a historical resort town on the Sea of Galilee and one of Israel’s four holy cities.
We drive through a Palestinian town in the West Bank in the Jordan Valley on the way to the Sea of Galilee. Not much to see here, but we sure get a sense of the disparity between this disputed area and other parts of Israel. Much of the first part of the drive is spent gazing at the mountains of Jordan, rising from the banks of the Jordan River and the Jordan Valley.
In the Jordan Valley, an electrified fence equipped with motion sensors separates the actual border from the road in the form of a No Man’s Land. Trespassers will be stopped or worse. Though Jordan is one of two of Israel’s neighbors actually to recognize Israel (the other being Egypt), there is no love lost between most of the general public of these countries.
There are very few places in this world that invoke a feeling of passion like Israel does, thanks to its massive geographical, political and religious importance in the world. The endless valleys, tall hills, unique strangeness of the Dead Sea, ancient alleys of Nazareth and complex political backdrop, make Israel one of a kind in every sense of the term. There’s something for everyone here, and hence it comes as no surprise that I strongly recommend that you visit this Mediterranean gem in 2018.
If you’re convinced already, you can book an immersive package by ezeego1 to this beautiful place right away. But if you’re still looking for concrete reasons, find 10 of them below that are bound to convince you to go.
1. Experience the raw intensity of Jerusalem’s Old City
The Old City is located within the modern Jerusalem city, and adds to its charm.
Laura Francis explores the distinctive International Style of Tel Aviv’s UNESCO-protected White City, reputed to be the only ‘Bauhaus city’ in the world.
Tel Aviv is a city flushed with youth. Perched on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and barely a century old, it is renowned for it’s long beach, its nocturnal party scene, and its religious and sexual tolerance. When I visited for the first time this September, I was overwhelmed by the incongruously Western atmosphere of the city, its familiarity – more a sunny outpost of Barcelona or San Francisco than a gateway to the Holy Land.
It’s a feeling that’s enhanced by the prominence of modernist, and distinctly European, architecture.
Israel, one of the world’s most kid-friendly countries, offers plenty for families to do, from adventures in birdwatching and cave spelunking to racing down water park slides and lazy days at the beach. Children are highly valued in Israeli culture, and locals will dote on little ones, even welcoming children into upscale restaurants and weddings (and sometimes lecturing parents on best childcare practices!).
Travelling with children in any region in Israel is as easy as ABC. Here are our top picks across the country.
A major stopover for birds migrating between Africa, Europe and Asia, Israel is a serious destination for birdwatchers of all ages.
I love Israel. I first visited age 16, and have returned again and again, drawn in by the vast array of experiences and landscapes this incredibly complex, achingly beautiful country offers.
There aren’t many places so small or so diverse you can travel from holy cities to ancient fortresses to surreal salt lakes in just one morning. Where you can find beach nightclubs, desert hikes and iconic religious sites sitting practically side by side.
And even in spite of the region’s uneasy politics, it’s growing fast as a tourist destination.
In fact, the most-recent World Tourism Organization Travel Barometer listed the Palestine Territories as the fastest-growing travel region in the world.
Here at Intrepid, we were really happy to hear that.
The residential tower features a unique screened façade.
Tel Aviv has a new architectural marvel. Today, Richard Meier & Partners officially completed its Rothschild Tower, a modern residence with deep aesthetic ties to its city’s history and vernacular architecture. Set along Rothschild Boulevard in Tel Aviv’s White City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the building fits in seamlessly with the approximately 4,000 Bauhaus-era buildings that give the city the record for the largest concentrations of Bauhaus buildings in the world. “The great thing about the site is that it’s related to the whole city; it’s related to all of the wonderful buildings of the 1930s and to the historic buildings of Rothschild Boulevard,” said Meier in a statement. “It makes me very happy to be in such company.”
Historic settlement mounds, known as tels, are characteristic of the flatter lands of the eastern Mediterranean, particularly in Lebanon, Syria, Israel and eastern Turkey. Of more than 200 such mounds in Israel, the three sites of Megiddo, Hazor and Beer Sheba are representative of those that contain substantial remains of cities with biblical connections and are strongly associated with events portrayed in the bible.
The three tels extend across the State of Israel; Tel Hazor in the north, near the Sea of Galilee; Tel Megiddo 50 kilometers to the south west; and Tel Beer Sheba near the Negev Desert in the south.
The three sites reflect the wealth and power of Bronze and Iron Age cities in the fertile biblical lands.
Great cities often embody a special blend of characteristics, from food and culture to retail and park space.
The best are their own unique, global brands that feature a distinct look, feel and promise. But most often, it’s a city’s landmarks and unique architecture that make the strongest first impression.
One can’t think of Barcelona without imagining the sweeping curves of Antoni Gaudí’s masterpieces, from La Sagrada Família to La Pedrera.
Miami conjures images of Ocean Drive, lined with Art Deco-inspired hotels in bright yellow, pink and blue. And flying over Tel Aviv, the first thing we see is the iconic “White City” skyline, a sea of Bauhaus-style buildings recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Pritzker Prize-winning architect I.M. Pei once said, “Architecture is the very mirror of life.”
From the World Heritage inscription or the Sites of Human Evolution at Mount Carmel:
The four Mount Carmel caves (Tabun, Jamal, el-Wad, and Skhul) and their terraces are clustered adjacent to each other along the south side of the Nahal Me’arot/Wadi el-Mughara valley. The steep-sided valley opening to the coastal plain on the west side of the Carmel range provides the visual setting of a prehistoric habitat.
Located in one of the best preserved fossilized reefs of the Mediterranean region, the site contains cultural deposits representing half a million years of human evolution from the Lower Palaeolithic to the present. It is recognized as providing a definitive chronological framework at a key period of human development.
Tel Aviv is perhaps best known for its nightlife and as the most cosmopolitan city in a country that is often mired in conflict, but it is also home to the highest number of Bauhaus-style buildings in the world. A Unesco-designated World Heritage Site, its White City district is home to over 4,000 listed buildings and makes a good spot from which to commence an exploration of the country’s often surprising design and architectural heritage.
The Bauhaus style was brought to Israel in the 1930s by German-Jewish architects, alumni of the Staatliches Bauhaus school of art, and was characterised by the prioritisation of function over aesthetics and the use of inexpensive materials, which was ideal for the emerging city. Some of the best examples of Bauhaus and other historic styles are found on Bialik Street, Tel Aviv’s most picturesque avenue.