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There is, perhaps, no other place on earth as famed, as historic, as loved, and yet as controversial as Israel. For Jews it is the ‘promised land’ of milk and honey; for Muslims it is the site of the Prophet Mohammad’s ascent to heaven; for Christians it is the setting for Jesus Christ’s ministry, crucifixion, death and resurrection. As the centre of the world’s three great monotheistic religions, this land has also been at the heart of continuous conflict throughout the millennia. The intractable dispute between Israeli and Palestinian is ever-present, but provides a unique opportunity to learn, listen and debate. Leave your preconceived notions behind when stepping off the plane.
Whether you want a sun-and-sea beach break, are on a religious pilgrimage searching out spirituality, have your backpack strapped on and a limited budget in your pocket, or are a fitness fanatic craving strenuous hiking and biking, this land really does have it all. Smaller than Belgium, Wales or the state of New Jersey, the range and diversity of attractions crammed into Israel and the Palestinian Territories is incredible. Within just one day you can lie on the beach, pray at the site of Christ’s crucifixion and finish off with a beer in a fashionable bar.Read more
Jerusalem is the historical, spiritual and political focus for the country. Regardless of their inevitable preconceptions, visitors cannot fail to be stunned by this city’s extraordinary archaeology, weighty history and intense spirituality. Among many, many highlights, the iconic image of the Dome of the Rock becomes inseparable from any visitor’s memories of Jerusalem. Beyond Jerusalem are countless religious and historical sites, rich in biblical associations: the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, for example, or the remains of ancient Qumran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found.
But though the tangible sense of history and the wealth of archaeology are almost overwhelming, Israel is a place where past and present live side by side. For every holy site, there is a café, bar or restaurant where you can recover from the rigours of sightseeing and sample Israel’s varied cuisine, which incorporates Mediterranean, Arab and Jewish elements. Finally, for the ultimate relaxing experience, soak in the steamy Dead Sea waters and take time to reflect on the wonders of this extraordinary country.
Places of interest in Israel
Jordan’s most unusual topographical feature, the Dead Sea is actually a huge inland lake whose salt-laden waters...
Jerusalem is of fundamental spiritual importance to one third of humanity, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims...
Tel Aviv, after Jerusalem, is the second most populated city in Israel. The city is situated on the Mediterranean...