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Israel

Welcome to this holiday edition of Zaneta’s Destination Series. My pick this week: Israel.There is no other destination more worthy of mentioning during this Christmas Holiday Season than the Holy Land of Israel with millions of Christians around the world celebrating the holiest holiday of the year

Israel, bound by the Mediterrranean, Egypt,   Jordan,Syria and Lebanon

Israel’s alluring attraction for travelers is rooted in its history, civilizations, traditions, religions, the arts… so intricately intertwined, precisely the reason to visit at least once. It had survived invasions by countless empires; Persians, Romans, Ottomans…each leaving their mark, making it the sacred land for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam…

Israel is a country of immense natural beauty, culture, unparalleled history and interesting people.

TEL AVIV

Tel Aviv, also known as the ‘White City’, is the country’s most cosmopolitan city and Israel’s gateway to Jerusalem. When I first visited Tel Aviv, I was taken aback by the beautiful, vast beaches spread along the Mediterranean coast, a vivid reminder of the contrast between the old and the new coexisting in this remarkable city. But Tel Aviv is best known for its central area where you will find over 1,000 of more than 4,000 original homes built in the Bauhaus architecture back in the 1930’s when many German-Jewish architects fled Nazi persecution. This part of the town became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

CAESAREA AND HAIFA

Head out north of Tel Aviv and you will soon reach Caesarea, named by Travel & Leisure as the best tourist spot in the Middle East in 2020. It is known for its Roman heritage, as Herod dedicated it to the Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. One can almost picture the chariot races that took place at the hippodrome, and the performances locals were treated to at the amphitheatre, still used in modern day.

Continue driving north, and you will find yourself in beautiful, lush Haifa. It is a thriving port city and the home to the international headquarters of the Baha’i Faith, and the Baha’i Shrine and Gardens on Mount Carmel.

From Haifa, you can reach Akko (or Acre), one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world known for its Crusader’s history, the mythical Sea of Galilee where Jesus gathered his first disciples and where Jesus Boat was found in 1986, and Nazareth, the home of the Church of Annunciation.

JERUSALEM

There is no other city in the world more significant for the Judaism, Islam and Christian religion than Jerusalem. Solomon Temple with its iconic Western Wall, the Dome of the Rock, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, to name but a few, all coexist here, one can almost say harmoniously.

Then there is the more recent and sombre monument of Yad Vashim -The Holocaust Memorial Museum –a stark reminder of the dark times Europe and the world endured during the WW II, dedicated to preserving the memory of the victims of the holocaust.

MASADA AND THE DEAD SEA

No other place in Israel tells the story of life in 1st-century Roman Judea as Masada, a fortress built on a plateau on the cliff top of a desert mountain, where the last Jewish resistance to Roman rule was crushed in 73 CE.
A Unesco World Heritage site since 2001, it is a testament to the resolute character of a nation determined not to surrender.

THE DEAD SEA

The Dead Sea is a salt lake, and the lowest place on Earth at 424 meters below sea level. Known for its healing properties, the lake was one of the world’s first health resorts and has attracted visitors for thousands of years ever since.
Just a one-hour drive from Jerusalem, the sea is a place where Israeli’s head to for relaxation.

FOOD AND WINE IN ISRAEL

No account of Israel’s attractions will be complete without a mention of its food and wine. Geography has a large influence on Israel cuisine, and foods common in the Mediterranean region, such as bread, olives, chickpeas, cheese, fish, and vegetables such are prominent in Israeli cuisine. Israeli food is absolutely delicious and reason enough to visit the country in and of itself.

Israelis prefer to have their main course for lunch, much like in the rest of the Mediterranean region, and their light evening meals consist of various types of cheeses, yogurt, olives, and a variety of breads.

Wine has been produced in Israel for thousands of years, yet, up until a few decades ago, Israeli wine was not really recognized. With just about the perfect climate, Israel makes some excellent wine and today it is one of the most exciting, vibrant wine-producing countries in the world.

Inspired to visit Israel and learn more about this ancient land?
Ask us about our 15-day tour of Israel and Jordan
hosted by our own Tal McKelvey, native of Israel,
departing in October 2022.

Feel free to share this information with friends and family

Watch for my next Destination Series report coming your way a week from today. No doubt it will highlight another bucket list destination for us to explore.

Cruise Holidays of Clarkson
Tel 1 866 919 2111
info@clarksontravel.ca