Tet Aviv – Jaffa

Tel Aviv, often called “the city that never stops,” was the first modern Jewish city built in Israel, and is the country’s economic and cultural center.  It is a lively, active city with entertainment, culture and art, festivals, and an active night life.

Situated on a 14-kilometer-long strip on the Mediterranean seacoast, Tel Aviv extends beyond theYarkon River to the north and the Ayalon River to the east. Hundreds of thousands of workers, visitors, tourists, and partygoers move about the city each day until the early hours of the morning, seeking out the city’s nightclubs, restaurants, and centers of entertainment.

History

Tel Aviv began its history in Jaffa (Yafo)  – the ancient 3,000-year-old adjoining city that lies to its southwest.  The current Old City of Jaffa was built during the Ottoman Empire and its stone houses and narrow alleyways now house the picturesque artists’ quarter and tourist center.

Among the main attractions of Old Jaffa are Gan HaPisga – the Summit Garden with its restaurants, galleries, shops with Judaica, and unique atmosphere, the seaside promenade and walls of the old city, the visitors’ center in the old courtyard, and the fishing port.

There are also several important Christian sites in Old Jaffa such as the Church of Saint Peter, which dates back to the 17th century, the house of Simon the Tanner where Peter had his vision of the non-kosher animals, and the tomb of Tabitha, whose righteous deeds enabled Peter to raise her from the dead.  Around Jaffa  there is the Ottoman clock tower, a vibrant flea market that is always worth visiting, and the Ajami neighborhood.

The White City

Tel Aviv hosts a wide range of architectural styles which were influenced by various schools of architecture – among which was the International Bauhaus style.  The central portion of Tel Aviv – which is known as “The White City – contains the largest group of buildings in the world built in the International Bauhaus style.  For this reason the White City has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.  This style originated in Germany and was based upon clean geometric shapes and asymmetry, and flourished from the 1930s until the establishment of the State.  It soon attracted other city architects as well.

The White City extends from Allenby Street to the south to the Yarkon River to the north, and from Begin Boulvard to the east to the sea.  There are large concentrations of buildings of this style onRothschild Boulevard and in the area of Dizengoff Center.  Park HaYarkon is in the northern part of the White City on the banks of the Yarkon River.  The Tel Aviv port lies at the northwest corner and has a large concentration of entertainment centers, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Culture and Entertainment

Tel Aviv is Israel’s center for culture and entertainment.  The city has more than 20 museums, the most important of which are the Land of Israel (HaAretz) Museum and the Tel Aviv Art Museum. Other Tel Aviv museums include the Museum of the Diaspora, the Israel Defense Forces HistoryMuseum, the Etzel Museum, the Haganah Museum, the Palmach Museum, The Lekhi Museum, and the Nachum Guttman Museum.

The city hosts the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and the Israeli Opera Company, as well as most of the national dance and theater companies.
Tel Aviv’s important historical sites include Bialik House, Ben Gurion House, Dizengoff House, the old cemetery on Trumpeldor Street, and Reuven House.  Nature lovers can visit the garden at Abu Kabir, HaYarkon Park, and the Botanical Gardens near Tel Aviv University.  Families with children can enjoy an action-filled amusement park.

The city has several plazas, the best known being Rabin Square, HaMedina Square, andDizengoff Circle.

Eleven of the city’s churches, monasteries, and mosques, such as St.  Peter’s Church and the Franciscan Monastery, are located in Jaffa.

Vacationers in Tel Aviv can lodge at any of the dozens of hotels, boarding houses, and youth hostels scattered throughout the city.  These offer every type of accommodation ranging from luxurious rooms to simple, pleasant lodging.

The Dead Sea

The breath taking landscape…the therapeutic air and mud…the luxury spas…a visit to this incredible area will leave you feeling anything BUT dead!

 

So why is it called the Dead Sea?  The salinity (salt content) and minerals in this amazing body of water inhibit the existence of most life forms.  However, it’s these same salt & minerals that provide the perfect environment for those who want to treat their body and mind.  Here are a few interesting facts about this extraordinary area:

  • It’s the lowest location on Earth – 400 metres below sea level
  • The unique properties of the water mean that even non-swimmers can float effortlessly
  • It’s one of the best locations in the world for sunbathing, as the extra layers of atmosphere help block the suns harmful radiation and let the beneficial properties through
  • The air contains extra oxygen and bromine, which causes a relaxing effect
  • The area is virtually pollen-free, so great for those with allergies
  •  The combination of mud, sea & air is highly beneficial for those suffering from skin ailments as well as those with joint problems (arthritis, etc)
  • There are many spas offering a multitude of health & beauty treatments
  • The area experiences an average of 330 days of sunshine per year

Those are just some of the facts and health benefits of staying in the area.  But after all the relaxing and pampering, what else can you do?  Well, a lot.  Allow us to name a few:

  • Massada National Park – The major historical / archaeological site in the area and home of Herod’s mountain fortress. Also location of the Masada Sound & Light Show
  • Qumran National Park – Home of the caves where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered
  • Ein Gedi Nature Reserve – Desert Oasis between David & Arugot canyons with waterfalls, pools and many types of flora & fauna.

You’ll also be able to arrange plenty of activities as well, from jeep tours to camel riding.

On top of all the health benefits, fascinating tourist sites and activity possibilities, you also have a great selection of accommodation to choose from.  There are 5* luxury spa hotels, kibbutz accommodations, guests houses and even a few youth hostels – a choice to suite every budget.

 

Treat yourself to a Dead Sea experience – it will make you feel alive!

Haifa

Haifa, Israel’s third largest city and northern capital is the heart of it all! Situated in a broad natural bay between the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and the inspiring Carmel Mountain, the city’s terraced landscape offers a rich variety of breathtaking panoramas, giving the observer the sensation of being on a heavenly peninsula. To the Northeast, across the sparkling waters of the harbour sits the medieval walled fortress city of Acre. Directly North, if the weather is good, beacon the heights of Rosh Hanikra, the white cliff, checkpoint on the Israel-Lebanon border. Further East towers the snow capped peak of Mount Hermon.

 

Haifa is home to 250,000 inhabitants, members of five different religions, living side by side in harmony, peace and mutual respect. A rich tapestry of contrasts and colours, varying cultures, and ethnic groups makes up the fabric of life in Haifa. Secular, Religious and Ultra-Orthodox Jews live side by side with Christians, Muslims, Bahai and Druze.

Wadi Nisnas, with its colourful souk and bustling streets is an authentic Middle Eastern neighbourhood. Nearby, the Orthodox Geula Street, recalls the sights and sounds of an East European community.

Close at hand, reside the carefully manicured bahai gardens and the glittering gold dome of the Bahai Shrine, World Centre of the Bahai faith.

The Carmelit monastery of Stella Maris (“Star of the Sea”), headquarters of the Roman Catholic Order resides on the summit of the Carmel above Haifa, on a spot considered holy since the dawn of time. Oracles and shrines were built here for the pagan god Carmel, Canaanite Baal and Roman Zeus.

All city synagogues, mosques and churches are open to the public.

According to some sources Haifa derives its name from “Caiaphas”, the High Priest during the time of Jesus. Other traditions trace the name to the blending of two Hebrew words “Hof” and “Yafe” or “beautiful shore”, embracing Mount Carmel, “The Vineyard of the Lord”, as far as the eye can see. Here Israel’s largest national park of over 10,000 hectares, scattered with dozens of observation points and hiking trails, offers magnificent views and thrilling adventures for nature lovers, picnic fans and people in love.

Just over the crest of the mountain, minutes away from the park, are the picturesque Druse villages of Usfiyah and Daliat el Karmel. The Carmelite monastery, Mukhraqa, where Elijah the prophet challenged and defeated the priests of the Canaanite god Baal, is also nearby.

Haifa is a city on the rise, built on three levels: Downtown (old city, port and coast), the middle city (Hadar HaCarmel) and the upper city (Carmel and Ahuza). The change of altitude over such a short distance is emphasized by the only subway of Israel, the Carmelit, which travels from almost sea level downtown, through the middle city to the Central Carmel (280 meters above sea level) in 6 minutes.

To emphasize these three major sections of the city, quaint old stone houses alternate with modern glass walled towers as the eye follows the natural rise of the city slope. Red tiled roofs of the German colony dating from the Temple period (1869), bustling commerce and noisy produce animate the downtown district at the base of the mountain. The Hadar district, midway up the mountain, offers well kept pedestrian malls and colourful shops. Finally, at the top, the Carmeldistrict features elegant, tree lined streets and residential neighbourhoods.

Haifa breathes culture with more than a dozen museums exhibiting a large variety of collections. Trains, boats and plains, archaeology, art and sculpture, whatever subject amuses your fancy,Haifa holds a variety of wonders. The Haifa Museum of Art, the National Science Museum, theMaritime Museum, the Railway Museum, the Tikotin Japanese Art Museum, the Natural HistoryMuseum and Zoo and the Prehistoric Museum are open all year round. The Haifa University offers a visitors’ center and the Hecht Museum with rare archaeological artifacts and French Impressionists paintings. The Mane Katz Museum, formerly the artist’s home, exhibits his works and collections.

Music and film are at home in this magnificent city with an annual international film festival as well as a Jazz and Blues festival in the port of Haifa. Park concerts and evening delights presented by the Haifa Symphony Orchestra await concert lovers everywhere.

Comedy and drama, Israeli and foreign alike, are staged by the internationally acclaimed Haifa Municipal Theatre, for the pleasure and amusement of theatre fans of all ages.

Dazzling by day, sparkling at night, Haifa is alive with sun and sand, cool mountain breezes, deep forest trails, beauty and the joy of living. Traditional, contemporary, sophisticated, relaxed, Haifa is a winning combination. Theatres, museums, cinemas, restaurants, side walk cafes, discos, elegant hotels, boutiques and air-conditioned shopping malls, pearly beaches, water sports bay cruises, a Central Park and Zoo – we have it all. Haifa is a party for the kids, for the family, for you. Dazzling by day, sparkling at night, Haifa is alive with sun and sand, cool mountain breezes, deep forest trails, beauty and the joy of living.

Haifa, the gateway to the north of Israel, less than an hour away from exploring the adventures of the past, makes an ideal base for touring the exciting, colourful, historical sites of Megiddo, Acre, Caesarea, Safad, Nazareth and Tiberias with their Biblical, Crusader, Roman and Cabbalistic legacies. At the day’s end, Haifa welcomes you home to a romantic view of the port when the sparkling lights of the bay and the city join the glittering stars to turn Haifa into a dazzling jewel.

Jerusalem

What has not already been said about the holiest city in the world, the city that has been united, the eternal city first built thousands of years ago, whose history can be heard in the whispering of the wind along the walls, where every stone tells a wondrous story of a city that has drawn millions of faithful pilgrims for thousands of years. Such is Jerusalem, the capital of Israel, the only city in the world that has 70 names of love and yearning, the city that in old maps appears at the center of the world and is still adored like a young bride.

Jerusalem is a city of overwhelming emotions, a city that promises a religious and spiritual experience, excitement and pleasure, interesting tours and entertaining adventures. Here, alongside Jerusalem’s fascinating historic and archeological sites, there are amazingly modern tourist attractions for all lovers of culture, the arts, theater and music, architecture and gastronomic delights.

At Jerusalem’s heart is the Old City, which is surrounded by a wall and divided into four quarters – Jewish, Armenian, Christian, and Muslim. Inside the walls are the important holy sites of the three major religions: the Western Wall, which is holy to the Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount. The Western Wall plaza is visited by millions of worshipers. Here, at the base of the massive wall that is a remnant of the Holy Temple, prayers are offered and notes containing heartfelt wishes are wedged between the crevices.

Surrounding the Western Wall are other important Jewish sites – the Western Wall Tunnels, the unique Davidson Center the Jewish quarter with its magnificent Cardo and David’s Citadel, towering proudly in its beauty. South of the Old City is the City of David, from which the ancient Can’anite and Israelite Jerusalem grew. This is a fascinating site with amazing findings that provide an unforgettable experience.

Jerusalem is also very important to Christianity, as Jesus Christ lived and died here. The Christian quarter alone houses some 40 religious buildings (churches, monasteries and pilgrims’ hostels). One of the most prominent and important sites in the Christian quarter is the Via Dolorosa, the “Way of Sorrows,” Jesus’ final path, which according to Christian tradition led from the courthouse to Golgotha Hill, where he was crucified and buried. Many pilgrims come to Jerusalem to follow Jesus’ footsteps along a route that starts in the Muslim Quarter, at Lions’ Gate, and passes the 14 stations of the cross, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Several of the most important Christian relics are housed in this church, including the anointing stone (on which Jesus’ body was laid before his burial) and Jesus’ grave. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is a pilgrimage site for millions of Christians from all over the world.

Southwest of the Old City is Mt. Zion, where the Dormition Abbey was built on the site Christian tradition believes Mary spent her last night. The abbey was built about 100 years ago and in the basement there is a statue of the sleeping Mary. Beside the abbey is the Room of the Last Supper, where Jesus ate his last meal.

East of the Old City is the Mount of Olives, where there are other important Christian sites, and several churches: The Ascension, Pater Noster, Dominus Flevit, Mary Magdalene, Gethsemane, Lazarus and Abraham’s Monastery. According to Christian tradition, Mary’s tomb is in the Kidron Valley, below the Mt. of Olives.

Young people who like to go out in the evenings will love Jerusalem’s main night life regions: the German Colony, the Ben Yehuda pedestrian mall, Nakhalat Shiv’a, Shlomtsiyon HaMalka Street, and the Russian Compound.

The Galilee

The Galilee is not a large region. A mere 80 miles separate its northern border-the peak of Mount Hermon from its southernmost boundary along the Jezreel Plain, the site of biblical Armageddon .

Its eastern reaches, on the far edge of the Golan plateau, lie only 50 miles from the Mediterranean sea in the west, but these 5,000 square miles encompass amazingly beautiful and contrasting scenery: mountains and valleys, fertile plateaus and stark cliffs and glimmering seacoast.

The dirve just one hour from one end of the Galilee to the other, and it is also a short hop from major attractions all around Israel: a two hour drive to Tel Aviv, under three hours to Jerusalem or the Dead Sea.
Six thousand years ago, the Galilee was already bustling with human activity. The natural forests that covered Galilee mountains were cleared, and replaced with farms and villages. on the plains, large cities sprung up.

About 4,000 years ago, Hazor, of biblical fame, was a world famous trading centre.

Some 3,500 years ago, Joshua and the Israelite tribes conquered the Galilee and settled there, side by side with the pagan indigenous population.

 

The Galilee mountains were the birthplace of Jewish mysticisim. Shimon Bar Yohai, regarded as the first Jewish mystic, lived in the Galilee in the second century CE.

In the sixeenth century, the small town of Safed became the birth-place of Kabbalah.

 

The Galilee today is still a relatively unknown destination. Its tourism facilities have developed slowly but in the past few years the hospitality of its people, and the growing world wide interest in agro-tourism and eco-tourism, have made the region increasingly popular. The Galilee’s ancient sites have been preserved and restored-the old city of Acre, the town of Safed, the antiquities of Hazor and Dan, to name a few.

Natural treasures, such as the sources of the Jordan River, the Hula National Park, and the Biriya forest, await the visitor who loves the great outdoors.
The Galilee as a travel destination is a place to take in slowly, a place to sit in the shade of an ancient olive tree, bask in the sun on a quite beach, or walk along a cobblestone lane still echoing with footsteps of countries. Its mystical atmosphere takes the visitor far away from the frenetic world we live in today.

 

We hope to welcome you to the Galilee, and help you to discover a new and rewarding travel destination.

Eilat

Over the years, the city of Eilat has become the ultimate resort city with hotels and beaches packed with thousands of Israeli vacationers and tourists from around the world, who come to relax in the country’s southernmost spot. 

In the winter it mainly attracts tourists from Europe who prefer vacations in a warmer and more pleasant climate while Israelis flock to the city in the summer. The secret of this little city’s charm is its special location in the northern end of the Bay of Eilat. The combination of a hot climate, a tropical sea and a breathtaking background of wild, bare granite mountains has turned it into a tourist gem all the year round. 

Eilat’s location made it strategically significant during the many historical periods in which it served as a port – starting in the days of King Solomon (who built a large fleet of ships which he sent to Ophir), through the Nabataeans, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Crusaders, all of whom ruled the Land of Israel. 

The modern city of Eilat was established in 1950. In the early 1950s, a quay was built in the new city, and subsequently a port which became the basis for the new city’s economy. Towards the end of the 1960s, the tourism industry started developing in the city, and today Eilat is a paradise for tourists, travelers and vacationers. 

The bay is one of the major attractions, thanks to the beautiful beaches, the developed water sports and some of the best diving spots in the world. In the south of the city is the Coral Reserve, with splendid tropical fish among the reefs. Within the precincts of the reserve is the Underwater Observatory, with a marine museum that displays collections of fascinating sea animals. Not far from the observatory is the Dolphin Reef with its resident school of dolphins. 

The city’s many and varied restaurants suit all tastes, and there are also clubs, colorful shops and a promenade along the northern shoreline which holds vibrant bazaars during the summer. There are additional attractions for youngsters and families, such as an amusement park, a new “Kings City” (a high-tech theme park for all the family based on the Bible and Bible stories). Eilat also has an IMAX movie theatre offering a 3-D experience, and many more leisure time activities. 

The Arava region north of the city and the Eilat Mountains is an arid desert. But in between the exposed mountains there are many nature and beauty spots as well as archaeological and historical sites, which makes Eilat a good starting point for special trips in the area, such as camel treks, jeep tours and more.