Twinned with Miami Beach, Florida, Nahariya may not gleam as brightly as its US counterpart, but it's enormously popular with sun-seekers. The town's focal point is 1km-long HaGa'aton Blvd, which runs along both banks of the eucalyptus-shaded Ga'aton River (actually a concrete canal) and is lined with cafes, ice-cream joints, flower shops and places to eat.
The only village in Israel with a Maronite (Eastern Catholic) majority, serene hillside Jish is a relaxing spot to spend a few days, dining in the excellent local restaurants and exploring the nearby Dalton Plateau and its wineries. Jish was settled by migrants from what is now Lebanon in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Founded sometime in the 5th millennium BCE, Beit She’an – strategically situated at the intersection of the Jezreel and Jordan Valleys – has the most extensive Roman-era ruins in Israel. The struggling modern town has little to offer the visitor except a youth hostel and some restaurants.
Part of a nature reserve, the summit of this volcanic ash cone affords fantastic panoramas. From old Israeli trenches and bunkers, you can see the Hula Valley, Lebanon, Mt Hermon, the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan and Mt Bental's volcanic twin, Mt Avital. The clearest views of the Quneitra area are in the late afternoon.
Jisr Az Zarka
Most drivers along Rte 2 (the Tel Aviv–Haifa expressway) barely look as they zoom past Israel's only remaining Mediterranean seaside Arab village. High unemployment and crime levels have given Jisr Az Zarka a bad rep, but the establishment of local guesthouse aims to change the fortunes of this maligned former fishing town.
Ani'am Artists' Village
This quiet Israeli settlement is home to nine attractive studios and galleries arrayed along a brick-paved pedestrian street. The artists – including two ceramicists and a New York–born goldsmith, Joel Friedman of Golan Gold, who makes exquisite braided gold jewellery – are happy to tell visitors about their crafts.