Israel

Spotlight on Israel

Everyone has their own perception of what Israel is about: it’s a package of beaches and sun; it’s the Promised Land of the Jews; it’s the birthplace of Christ. And while it is all of these things, it's much more. Israel is a bustling, noisy, modern country. It’s best not to arrive with preconceptions of spiritual epiphany at the risk of missing the best this fascinating country has to offer. To understand Israel, visit the new, cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv, dive the Red Sea at Eilat, explore some of the country's thriving national parks and float for hours in the salty stillness of the Dead Sea.

Jerusalem - Situated high in the Judean Hills, Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel, is one of the most extraordinary cities in the world, presenting a unique combination of ancient history, spiritual sanctity and colorful cultures. Established 3000 years ago by King David, Jerusalem is a fascinating city of many contrasts and diversities. It is a city where old and new, holy and secular, pure nature and beautiful architecture mix into magical harmony of smells, sounds and sights. Sacred to the world's three main religions, Jerusalem is a captivating city, whose visitors are left touched and inspired by the shining glow of its religious shrines, picturesque scenery and magnificent golden limestone. It is home to the Israeli parliament, the President's Residence and the government offices. A visit to Jerusalem, known as the "City of Gold" is an unforgettable experience.

Tel-Aviv - Stretched along the beautiful beach of the Mediterranean, Tel-Aviv is Israel's largest city and biggest commercial center. It is a busy metropolis, which inspires visitors with an atmosphere of excitement and fun. With its seafront skyscrapers and exclusive hotels, Tel-Aviv presents a lively combination of entertainment venues, shopping malls, exotic markets, nonstop active nightlife, gorgeous golden beaches, and wonderful restaurants. It is also the country's greatest cultural center, a home for a variety of museums, galleries, theatres and concert halls. By contrast, the ancient port city of Jaffa, has a medieval appearance. This special blend of Mediterranean ambience, seaside resort and modern facade is what makes the city so uniquely appealing.

Dead Sea - There are many reasons why the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth and the largest "Natural Spa" in the world, is also one of the world's true natural wonders and a unique tourism destination. Starting with the Dead Sea itself, it is a one-of-a-kind body of water, 1,373 feet below sea level with mineral-rich waters and mud flow with natural health and beauty benefits acclaimed globally. Visitors to the Dead Sea come to a world of blue skies, year-round sunshine, magnificent natural landscape, and extraordinary touring options, such as thrilling encounters with history and exploration of the living desert. Less than an hour's drive from Jerusalem, the Dead Sea is also a Sea of Peace, joining Israel and Jordan. Recognized as a mini-universe with its own micro-climate, the Dead Sea is the saltiest and most mineral-laden body of water in the world. The unparalleled buoyancy and warmth of the water has everyone floating. And its health promoting thermo-mineral springs and world famous cosmetic black mud have been praised by visitors for millennia.

Galilee is the northern region of Israel. It is a mountainous region with waterfalls and beautiful views across the green bush-covered mountains. There are national parks, nature preserves and mineral baths in this area. The Sea of Galilee is an area closely associated with the life and time of Jesus making it a religious center for both Christians and Jews. Galilee has many religious shrines and historical sites of interest. Today it is a popular vacation spot offering year-round water activities, hot springs, health resorts and magnificent national parks.

Haifa - Holy Land to three of the world's major religions, Israel has a great emotional and spiritual effect on its visitors through its magnificent religious shrines and tenacity of a nation that, against all odds, made the desert bloom. As a center of shipping, banking, foreign commerce and wholesale trading, Haifa boasts institutions for higher education and for scientific research, a theater, a concert hall, museums and places of culture and entertainment. The residential areas and major hotels are situated along the ridge of Mount Carmel, about 900 feet above sea level. Clandestine Immigration & Navy Museum features the ship which ran the British blockade during the Mandatory period. Mane Katz Museum is dedicated to the world-renowned Jewish artist of the same name who left his home, paintings and other works of art to the city. Gan Ha-Pesalim, a lovely garden overlooking the bay, is home to over 20 bronze sculptures by Ursula Malbin. Elija’s Cave, known as the center of the prophet’s activities, is holy to Jews, Christians, Moslems and Druze.

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Agents who have been to Israel...