Incredible Israel holidays
Embark on a spiritual discovery in this awe-inspiring holy land.
Whether you’re travelling to Israel for the history, the architecture or the culture, an enchanting myriad of discoveries await.
From the ancient city of Jerusalem to the metropolitan beach resort of Tel Aviv, and from the arid Negev desert in the south to the Sea of Galilee in the north, Israel is a destination of stunning contrasts.
Despite its share of unrest, Israel has long been a place of pilgrimage, due to its religious roots in Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Visitors have come to Israel for centuries, to look for answers and to explore the history and archaeology of this ethereal land.
A journey to this part of the world isn’t complete without a visit to the old town where you can take in Mount Zion, the setting for the Last Supper, and the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed afterwards. Other religious sites include the Wailing Wall, the Lithostrotos and the Mount of Olives.
The Dead Sea is a salt-lake situated at 400m below sea level – the lowest altitude on earth. Its high salt content gives a buoyancy that keeps swimmers from sinking. Floating on the calm surface of the Dead Sea is on many a visitor’s agenda - especially as it’s a disappearing wonder (it's currently drying up by over a metre a year). Or, for those who prefer to stay dry, perhaps take a cable car up to Masada National Park.
Famous for being the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Bethlehem is a top spot on the tourist map. Here you can visit the Church of the Nativity at the top of the town, with its nave containing old Crusader paintings. Pay a visit to the Milk Grotto, where the holy family hid from King Herod, and perhaps make your way to the Greek Orthodox Mar Saba Monastery. If after all this you want to learn even more, you can head to the Old Bethlehem Museum.
Aside relaxing on one of Tel Aviv’s white sandy beaches and cooling off in the Mediterranean, visitors can explore the city’s art galleries and trendy restaurants in the old town. Perhaps take a stroll through Carmel Market or Neve Tzedek to browse the craft and antique shops and enjoy the local jazz cafes.
Galilee in northern Israel is a luscious green mountainous region and is home to the Sea of Galilee, a freshwater lake on which Jesus was said to have walked on water. Here you can visit the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus delivered his sermon on the mount, or take a boat trip on the Sea of Galilee. There’s also the Golan Heights Winery to explore.
The predominant language spoken in Israel is Hebrew, although Arabic and Russian are also quite common.
Israel is 3 hours ahead of GMT.
Tipping in restaurants is discretionary but expected, with 12% being the average. Tipping is not expected in taxis.
The flight time from London to Tel Aviv is about 5 hours.
Israel is largely subtropical. In the northern and coastal regions, it enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and cool, rainy winters. The southern and eastern regions are dry and arid. The rainy season is from October until May.
Visitors to Israel must hold a passport valid for at least 6 months from their return date to the UK. You do not need a visa.
For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.
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