Top 10 Recommended Experiences When Touring Israel
The most important experiences when touring Israel are really gained when visiting certain sites, and that is described in a different list called “top 10 recommended sites“.
This list presents general my personal list of experiences I recommend for any one touring the Holy Land.
- Walk in the old city of Jerusalem: The people, the faces, locals, the tourists, the outfits, the shops, the souvenirs, the smells, the tastes, the food, the desserts, the drinks, the views, the buildings, and the stones, so many stones.. Between the Muslim quarter, the Christian Quarter, the Armenian quarter and the Jewish Quarter, you get a multi dimensional experience like no where else in the world!. And I recommend you complement it with passing thru Mea Shearim, the heart of the ultra orthodox communities.
- Bath in The Dead Sea: 33% salt (and other minerals) make the Dead Sea the second most salty body of water in the world (!), 10 times more then the ocean (!). The result is a body of water that cannot sustain any life or vegetation in it, but is actually healthy for the human skin. The salty, oily-like-feeling is very unique, and being so salty, the body actually floats in the water even if you just lie still!.
- Swim in the Red Sea: Either scuba diving or with a snorkels and goggles, don’t miss the opportunity while touring Israel to explore the rich and colorful coral reef in the gulf of Eilat. And if swimming is not an option, you can join a glass bottom boat ride, or visit the underwater observatory.
- Try the local coffee: Either good strong Arabic coffee in the Old City of Jerusalem, or a good latte at Aroma coffee chain. Will change your opinion about what is good coffee.
- Try Hummus / falafel: A fresh made hummus plate is a totally different experience compared to the canned version you may have tried in your country. Make sure to try it at least once!, will probably make you too become addicted to this magical tasty paste. And Falafel is the same chickpeas, but fried with spices to little ping pong size balls. To be consumed with hummus, or with a salad in pitah bread.
- Try the local wine: Israeli wines are winning international competitions in recent years, and are praised by critiques. And they are constantly improving. Make sure to try at least once one of the locally made wines. Check also my list of wineries I recommend.
- Watch / join a religious procession: Either the weekly “good Friday” procession of the Catholics along the “Via Dolorosa“; the Muslims assembling in huge numbers on the Temple Mount on Ramadan, or the Jewish-Israeli parades along Jaffa street during the feast of tabernacles. Such events demonstrate the extent of the rich and diverse culture of this land in the most lively way.
- Stroll along the beach promenade in Tel Aviv: The place to go to see, and be seen. The place to show your bathing suite, and see others’. Along the promenade itself, or on the sand next to the water. Also the place to swim; to run; to cycle; to tan; or to play “matkot” – the Israeli national beach game, whose purpose is, well, not to drop the ball..
- Try Live Shooting: What almost every Israeli experiences during his obligatory army service, is also an optional experience for tourists. Several firing ranches offer live shooting of AK-47; Galil; UZI; M16; and the new mighty TAVOR.
- Try Samaritan food and hospitality: The Samaritans are a very special small and proud religion and culture. Numbering merely 700 members, their center is Mt. Gerizim, and they also have a community living in Holon, SE of Tel-Aviv. Visiting their synagogue, chatting with the representatives, and joining them for dinner, is a special cultural and gastronomical experience.