Brave the bullets and bombs to visit among the historically richest lands on the Mediterranean coast: Israel.
Israel has been in the news recently for all the wrong reasons. In fact, most of the time it is in the news for the conflicts with its neighbours. But that still doesn’t stop tourists from flocking to this country. Last year, official figures show that over 2.5 million tourists travelled to Israel. Considering the current scenario, though, it looks unlikely that figure will be surpassed, or even matched.
Nevertheless, the country is full of archaeological wonders and promotes heritage tourism in a big way. Jerusalem is one of the oldest cities in the world and houses some of the world’s best museums, most notably the Israel Museum.
Considered to be among the leading art and archaeological museums in the world, it has an extensive collection of rare manuscripts, fine pieces of art from across the globe, in addition to artefacts and ancient sculptures.
The Old City of Jerusalem and its walls are a UNESCO-declared World Heritage Site, and home to several religious landmarks.
Tel Aviv, a Mediterranean city, is considered one of the top destinations by tourists from around the world. The city, just like Jerusalem, is famous for its museums, apart from some beautiful parks. Tel Aviv has some of the finest Modernist-style buildings and is the financial capital of the country.
Haifa is another ancient city in Israel and one of its main sea ports. The city has a lot of beaches, but the main attraction is the Bahai World Centre, considered a pilgrimage site by followers of the Baha’i faith. There are also the Mount Carmel ranges, which offer some great sightseeing options to tourists.
Tiberias, which lies on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, is another destination coming up in this country. Most places in Israel are not easily accessible, and there are lots of unexplored places of historical as well as archaeological significance around the country.
If one really wants to explore the country, then following the Israel National Trail would be the best way to do so. The 1,000 km trail crosses historic places, archaeological sites and unique landscapes while it zigzags its way from the northern border with Lebanon to the Red Sea past the Sea of Galilee. Of course, that’s only if you are interested in hiking.