The top destinations in Israel are an interesting mix of history, religion and natural attractions. Blessed with a long coastline facing the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, Israel is an often overlooked tourist attraction in the Middle East and is actually in the continent of Asia. It is part of the Holy Land, so expect to see a lot of historical landmarks and sights in the country. But it’s also an economically developed country, with vibrant cities and towns.
Here are some of the top destinations in Israel:
Nazareth. This city is mentioned mostly in the New Testament of the Bible as the hometown of Jesus. But today, it is the largest Arab city in Israel. But don’t fret: Nazareth has a quite mixed population of Muslims and Christians who live harmoniously among each other.
A number of places in Nazareth are associated with Jesus, Mary and Joseph, such as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangel Gabriel, which was built over the freshwater spring known as Mary’s Well, and the Greek Catholic Synagogue where Jesus was once believed to have taught in.
The Basilica of the Annunciation is also another popular landmark in Nazareth as it is believed to be the home of the Virgin Mary and where she received the Annunciation or the imminent birth of Jesus Christ.
Quick tip: You can take the Jesus Trail, the pilgrimage route which takes you to various sights in the Galilee Region which is associated with the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Jerusalem. The capital and one of the top destinations in Israel, Jerusalem is the largest city in the country. It is the holy city of 3 religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is also one of the oldest cities in the world. Jerusalem is a city of contrasts, where the old meets the new and where picturesque old towns and neighborhoods are juxtaposed with high rise apartments and office towers.
Don’t forget to visit the Old City, which is now declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rosh Haniqra. This dazzling white rock formation in the Northern coast of Israel is blessed with the sweet smell of limestone and beautiful azure pools. The northern coast also boasts of inlets, lagoons and small beaches.
*Image of roofs of Old City with Holy Sepulcher Chirch Dome, Jerusalem, Israel via Shutterstock