Tel Aviv means hill of spring. Dubbed the Mediterranean Capitol of Cool by the New York Times, it is where all international flights to Israel land. Not surprising, there are 14 km of beaches, nonstop nightlife, museums, graffiti and stands selling halva ice-cream. But what is really cool is the architecture. Tel Aviv has more Bauhaus style buildings than anywhere else in the world. German-Jewish architects, fleeing the Nazi persecution in the 1930 built more that 4500 structures. UNESCO designate the inner city a world heritage site which is helping to save these distinct buildings.
Israel makes wine. Lots of wine. There are more than 300 wineries. Wine has actually been made here since biblical times, but it was not until Baron Edmond James de Rothchild, owner of Chateau Laffite-Rothchild , brought his French vines and know how to Israel in the 1880’s that modern wine production started. His Carmel Winery is still going and is the country’s biggest producer. Israel was long known for its quantity over quality sweet ceremonial wine but since the 1980’s many producers have changed focus producing award winning world class vintages.
You can snorkel with ancient ruins. In 30 BC King Herod was given all of Judea including this beautiful seaside town nicknamed Pompeii by the beach . He immediately built a fancy port and wisely renamed it Caesarea after Augustus Caesar, his gift giver. It became the Roman capital of the region known for its decedent lifestyle. Governors wanted to live here rather than ‘boring’ pious Jerusalem and a huge amphitheater was built to entertain sailors. You can still see concerts here. This northern part of Israel played a big part in the early history of Christianity, Paul spent time in the city and its jails before being sent to Rome to be executed. Early Muslims, Crusaders ant the Ottomans all left ruins. The underwater museum is a must for divers! They even have waterproof maps.
A lot to do in a little space,. Israel is about the size of New Jersey. It has a population of just over 9 million, most of whom speak English. While the dominant religion is Judaism more than 50% of tourists are Christian. Among the lesser known things to do in this small country…you can ride the Carmelit one of the worlds shortest subways, only 6 stops in 1.8 km but it does rise 274 m; you can row a boat in a 1200 year old cistern called the Pool of Arches, you can eat at a diner devoted to Elvis, you can get a degree in medical clowning at Haifa University or you can go skiing on Mount Hermon which has 45 k of slopes and 9 lifts.
The dead sea is the lowest place on earth. Israel borders on four seas, the Dead, the Med ,the Galilea and the Red. A swim in the Dead Sea super salty water is a must. A mud bath will leave your skin unbelievably soft while providing the ultimate Instagram photo. The famous scrolls are on display in Jerusalem in the very cool abstract Shrine of the Book building of the Israel Museum.
Jerusalem is a center for 3 faiths. It is one of the oldest cities in the world and a holy place for Judaism, Islam and Christianity. These three Abrahamic religions are all monotheistic and worship the God of Abraham. The city has been destroyed twice, besieged 23 times, captured 44 times and attacked 52 times with various occupants building monuments, walls and places of worship. It has always had symbolic importance and therefore conflict. It is no surprise that The Old City has been deemed a UNESCO site of outstanding cultural value. Within the one square meter walled area you can visit 220 historic monuments including the Wailing Wall, the Dome of the Rock and the Church of Holy Sepulcher.
Beresheet resort provides luxury in the desert. The rooms are amazing, the spa is divine, the architecture exceptional but you come for the views. The hotel is situated on the edge of the Ramon Crater and it worth paying up for a room close to the cliff. While there you can go mountain biking, rappelling and hiking or just hang out by the pool and look out over the desert.