Beaches

Hedonists preen and bronze along the Mediterranean, while at the Dead Sea they float and apply mud packs. At the Red Sea the most colourful creatures are under the water. The Sea of Galilee offers old-fashioned family fun.

Metzitzim Beach A family-friendly half-bay just south of the Tel Aviv Port dining and nightlife area.

Coral Beach Nature Reserve Eilat’s best beach is a utopia for snorkellers.

Ein Bokek Beach Broad, clean and sandy – the Dead Sea’s finest free beach.

Sea of Galilee Some are free, others come with fees and amenities, all are refreshing on a scorching summer’s day.

Herzliya Fine Mediterranean sand between the marina and some of Israel’s most expensive villas.

Akhziv National Park About as far north as you can go along Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

Hiking

Israel’s hills and valleys burst into flower after the winter rains, making spring the ideal season to hit the hiking trails. Marked routes range from easy strolls for the whole family to multi-day treks requiring topographical maps.

Israel National Trail Israel's longest footpath links the Lebanese border with the Red Sea.

Ein Gedi Two spring-fed canyon oases are home to a profusion of plant and animal life.

Makhtesh Ramon Nature Reserve Hike through this vast desert crater, famous for its multicoloured sandstone.

Banias Nature Reserve Cool, burbling spring water tumbles over waterfalls and nourishes Edenic vegetation.

Yehudiya Nature Reserve Canyons, waterfalls and pools on the western edge of the Golan.

Jesus Trail Walk from Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee.

En Avdat National Park A hidden spring-fed oasis deep in the Negev Desert.

Wine Tasting

Grown here since biblical times, grapes thrive in Israel’s varied microclimates, producing wines of surprising richness and subtlety that have won international awards.

Golan Heights High altitudes, a cool climate, well-drained volcanic soils and top-rate savoir faire.

Ramat Dalton High in the Upper Galilee, ‘Israel’s Tuscany’ produces some of the country’s top vintages.

Negev Highlands Hot daytime temperatures, cool nights, the latest drip-irrigation technology – and inspiration from the ancient Nabataeans.

Zichron Ya’akov A winemaking centre since the late 1800s, this town has a typically Mediterranean climate.

Ancient Synagogues

Impressive ancient synagogues, some adorned with ornate stone carvings and gorgeous mosaics, have been unearthed all over the country.

Beit Alpha Synagogue Famed for its extraordinary mosaics depicting a zodiac circle, a menorah, a shofar and a Torah ark.

Hamat Tveriya National Park Mosaics in Tiberias feature two seven-branched menorahs and a zodiac.

Korazim National Park Decorated with exceptionally fine basalt carvings depicting floral and geometric designs.

Tzipori National Park Byzantine-era synagogue with an exceptional mosaic floor.

Bar’am National Park Solidly built of finely hewn limestone during the late Talmudic period.

Ancient Katzrin Park A Talmud-era synagogue made of dark local basalt.

Gamla Nature Reserve One of the world’s oldest synagogues, believed to date from the 1st century BCE.

New Testament Sites

The historical Jesus was born in Bethlehem, grew up in Nazareth, preached in Galilee and was crucified in Jerusalem. Many sites associated with his life and ministry have become places of Christian pilgrimage.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre The traditional site of Jesus’s crucifixion, death and resurrection is Christendom’s holiest site.

Church of the Nativity Believed to be the site of Jesus’s birth since at least the 4th century.

Basilica of the Annunciation Where many Christians believe the Annunciation took place.

Capernaum Jesus’s home base during most of his Galilean ministry.

Qasr Al Yahud Reputed site of Jesus’s baptism by John.

Mt Tabor Traditional hilltop site of Jesus’s Transfiguration.

Nightlife

Sip Galilee wine on the seashore, nurse a local microbrew in a dark pub, watch live music under the beams of an old warehouse, or dance the night away on the beach or inside a disco.

Tel Aviv Seafront cafes, fine dining, music venues and all-night boogying.

Cameri Theatre Stages contemporary Israeli plays in Tel Aviv, with English subtitles on some nights.

Israel Philharmonic World renowned for its performances of the Western classical repertoire.

Eilat Plenty of bars, pubs and clubs, some open till dawn.

Haifa Haifa's trendy bars and clubs attract a young, studenty crowd.