So you want to plan the perfect Israel trip, but you don’t know where to start
Israel is an incredible country to visit, and there are so many things to see and do while you’re here. There are bustling cities, ancient sites, stunning landscapes, and natural wonders unlike anywhere else in the world. But of course, when planning the perfect Israel trip, there are many things to figure out, like where to go, what to do, and where to stay.
Traveling In Israel: Where To Visit
When planning the perfect Israel trip, it’s first important to understand a little bit about the geography of the country, and map out where in Israel you want to visit. Here is a breakdown of some of the most notable cities and places in Israel.
Cities: Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Nazareth, Eilat, Haifa, Acre
Jerusalem: Jerusalem is one of the most famous cities in the world, and its history dates back thousands of years. Here you can find incredible sites that are sacred in many of the world’s major religions, many of which are inside the walled-in Old City of Jerusalem. Abraham is currently operating a free Jerusalem walking tour which gives you an overview of the Old City, as well as the Holy City tour, which gives you a more in-depth tour to the significant sites with a knowledgeable guide. Be sure to also visit other parts of the city of Jerusalem, such as the Machane Yehuda Market (a shuk, that’s the most famous in the country).
Tel-Aviv: The bustling heart of Israel, Tel Aviv is a thriving metropolis perched on the Mediterranean Sea. It has a vibrant nightlife scene, and is known for its excellent restaurants and cafes. Tel Aviv is extremely walkable, and highlights include the beaches, Shuk haCarmel, the Florentine neighborhood, and the historic port city Jaffa (where Abraham is currently operating a free walking tour). If you’d like to visit Jerusalem while staying in Tel Aviv, you can check out our Jerusalem day tour from Tel Aviv.
Eilat: In the very south of Israel, by the borders with Egypt and Jordan, you’ll find the sunny city of Eilat. Eilat is located along the Red Sea, which is world-renowned for its diving, snorkeling, colorful reefs, and abundant aquatic wildlife. When you’re in Eilat, you can take a scuba lesson, enjoy the views of the red mountains, and even go on a yacht ride in the Red Sea.
Nazareth: Tucked away into the mountains in the north of Israel is Nazareth, another city in Israel with historic and biblical significance. In the Old City of Nazareth you’ll find new shops and restaurants on ancient cobblestone streets. Notable attractions in Nazareth include the Basilica of the Annunciation, the White Mosque, and the Greek Orthodox St. Gabriel’s Church, and nature lovers, keep in mind that you’re at the starting point of The Jesus Trail.
Haifa & Acre: There are two other notable cities in the north of Israel worth visiting: Haifa and Acre (also called Akko). These cities are located along the Mediterranean coast and Western Galilee, and have a mixture of natural beauty, ancient heritage, and religious significance. Abraham Tours operates a tour that takes you to Haifa, Acre, and on an olive press tour.
When you visit these four cities, Abraham is waiting to welcome you. We have locations in Israel including Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Nazareth, and Eilat. While each location has unique features, we’re sure you’ll love your stay with us.
Other notable places: The Galilee, Golan Heights, The Judean Desert, The South
Aside from the cities listed above, there are some other parts of Israel that should definitely be part of your perfect Israel trip.
The Galilee: This region of northern Israel is famous for its biblical roots, and it’s home to stunning natural landscapes and features, such as the Sea of Galilee (a large lake, also called the Kinneret) and the Jordan River. The Galilee is a wonderful region of Israel to explore, and you can visit nature reserves, taste local wine, tour places with religious significance, and swim in the refreshing Sea of Galilee.
Golan Heights: The Golan Heights, also called the Golan, is a rocky plateau in the very north of Israel. It is home to beautiful landscapes, but it is also politically significant, and today, you can look at Syria from certain points.
Keep in mind that both the Galilee and the Golan Heights can be difficult to reach without a car. Abraham operates a tour of the Galilee and Golan Heights that takes you through both regions in one day. For a complete experience in northern Israel, you can check out our Northern Israel Package, which takes you to all of the highlights of the north during a three-day tour.
The Judean Desert: This stretch of desert in central Israel is an other-wordly landscape, and in this region you’ll find some of the most famous places in Israel: Masada (an ancient fortress), the Dead Sea (the lowest point on Earth), and Ein Gedi (a lush nature reserve). The climate here is very different from the climate in the north of the country, and it’s typically dry here, and warmer than the rest of the country.
The South: The south of Israel is home to vast desert landscapes that stretch into neighboring countries. In the south of Israel you can find Mitzpe Ramon, a desert city known for its famous crater, and the city of Eilat (which we discussed above, and which is the southernmost city in the county). If you’re dreaming of an incredible experience in desert landscapes, Abraham has the tour for you. Our Ultimate Desert Experience is a 5-day tour which takes you to the incredible wonders that are Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan, to Eilat (where you’ll go sailing in the Red Sea), and to the Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi.
Things to Keep in Mind for your Israel Trip
As you can see, there’s no shortage of things to see and do during your Israel trip. But aside from deciding where you should go, there are plenty of other things to keep in mind when planning your trip.
Getting around Israel
Israel is a fairly small country (it’s typically compared to the size of the state of New Jersey in the US), and getting to the major cities is usually manageable on public transit. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are the two most common destinations in Israel, and transit to those two places is frequent. To get to other cities in Israel, you can take either a train or a bus, depending on where you’re going. Getting to more remote places (such as places in the desert or in the north, for example) can be more challenging with public transit alone. In order to plan your trip on public transit, you can use Google Maps (which works fairly well for Israeli public transit) or the app Moovit, which is commonly used by locals here.
Safety in Israel
Israel is typically a very safe country, particularly for tourists (even solo travelers). English is common in all of the major cities in Israel, and tourists usually find that Israelis are very hospitable and helpful. Travelers here should take safety precautions they would take traveling anywhere. Of course, before visiting any country, travelers should check the safety guidelines distributed by their home country.
The weather in Israel
Understanding the weather in Israel can help you have a more pleasant trip.
May to August: From May to August, Israel starts to get extremely hot and dry. These temperatures peak during mid-August and can last until mid-September. If you visit Israel during these months, keep in mind that you should be prepared for high temperatures and strong sun. Packing things like a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen is recommended, and you’ll likely need to drink much more water than you usually do. Also keep in mind that the deserts of Israel are even hotter than the rest of the country during these months, and vigorous outdoor activity might not be possible during the daytime hours.
September to December/March to May: During these months, the weather in Israel is typically very pleasant. It is cooler than the summer, and there is usually generous amounts of sun with a smattering of rain. If you visit Israel during these months you might want to pack some pants, light sweaters, and a rain jacket (just in case). If you visit the south (or places like the Dead Sea), you might still find temperatures hot enough to swim.
December to March: These months are typically the coolest in Israel, although winters here are mild when compared to winters in Europe and North America. You will need to bring some warm clothes and jackets, but might find that the days are still quite warm, depending on where in the country you are.
Planning your dream Israel trip can be incredibly exciting, as there is an incredible amount to see and do here. Israel is truly the perfect destination for every traveler, and when you’re ready to visit, Abraham is waiting to host you.