Israel – World’s Religious Junction
Israel, located on the Mediterranean Sea’s eastern shore in West Asia is an ancient holy land where world’s three major religions, Judaism, Christianity and Islam come together. Along with the ancient religious heritage, the nation also has a lot to offer to today’s adventure lovers.
Israel is considered to be a sacred land by the Jews since the Biblical times. Between the 11th century B.C Israelite Kingdom and 7th century Muslim conquests, the land has been controlled by Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Persians, Sassanians, Romans and Byzantines. After ruling Israel for several centuries, the Muslim rulers finally lost to the Ottomans in 1516 who ruled the place till the 20th century. The holy land has seen several wars with its neighbouring Arab nations and Palestinians after its independence in 1948 from United Kingdom. The region is yet to realize an agreement for long-term peace.
Popular Places and Attractions
Masada, a fortress located on mountaintop is Israel’s most popular attraction. It provides spectacular views of the surrounding desert and Dead Sea. Another historic Jerusalem attraction is the Church of Holy Sepulchre. These two sites are symbols of Judaism and Christianity in Israel. Jerusalem is full of religious structures like Via Dolorosa, Western Wall, Temple Mount, and Citadel.
The Tel Aviv Art Museum, Eretz Israel Museum and Jewish Diaspora Museum are some of the most popular Israeli museums. Israel is also blessed with great landscapes and wildlife. The Hamat Tiberias, Beit She’an and Gan Hashlosha National Park in Galilee are also important historic, cultural and natural sites in Israel. Also a visit to Israel can never be complete without paying visit to the holy land of Nazareth and Bethlehem.
Planes, trains, boats, egged buses, taxis, sheruts and rented cars are the various modes of transportation available for helping tourists guide their way through Israel’s attractions and cities
Places for Entertainment
Restaurants, clubs, bars, cafes, pubs, cinemas, and shopping centres are the usual places for entertainment in most of the Israeli cities. Winery routes, bird-watching, water sports on the beaches of Tel Aviv and the annual cultural and social festivals are also very interesting. It is believed that over 500 million birds twice cross the Israeli skies every year. Offroading, rappelling, cycling, trailing and hiking opportunities are also available for providing you with a chance to explore Israel’s spectacular landscapes and countryside. The Israel National Trail and the Jesus Trail are really nice.
Discos and nightclubs of Jerusalem, Eilat and Tel Aviv attract music lovers from all over the world. Tel Aviv is home to 18 of Israel’s 35 centres for performing arts, including contemporary as well as mainstream forms such as classical music, theatre shows, ballet and opera. Israel’s Shuks or outdoor markets are best for buying ceramics, glassware items, religious literature, embroidery, wines, jewellery and precious stones.
Luxury hotels, youth hostels, private residencies (zimmer), holiday apartments, guesthouses, kibbutzim (bed and breakfast) and budget hotels are available for fulfilling tourist accommodation requirements.
Israel has adopted the New Shekel (ILS) as its official currency. News regarding the latest exchange rates can be found in various print and media publications as well as Internet so that currency can be exchanged in authorized banks, hotels and bureaux de change. Traveller’s cheques in U.S Dollars and credit cards are also widely accepted.
Group accommodation in Israel | Youth Hostels & Cheap Hotels