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(2022 - Winter Issue)


Few countries come with as many high expectations for the visitor as Israel. And few countries live up to them quite so much. From the moment you arrive, you’re amazed at the diversity of the landscape, at Israelis’ live-for-the-moment energy, and at the intense emotion you feel walking on ancient and biblical paths.

But let’s not forget the beautiful beaches, the swaths of cultural and outdoor offerings, the cuisine and the perfect weather!

There’s something for everyone.

A Tale of Two Cities…

Tel Aviv, revered as the country’s cultural and financial capital and high-tech hub, is moving the needle for work-hard/play-hard city status. There’s thrumming energy to its start-up culture of innovation, which boasts countless restaurants and cafés, atmospheric markets, hipster neighbourhoods, including a wealth of Bauhaus-style architecture. To boot, Tel Aviv hosts one of the most exuberant Pride Weeks in the world!

Then there’s the beach: the 14.5 kilometres of Mediterranean white sand beach is a large part of Tel Aviv’s special brand of dolce vita where the weather is glorious year-round. It’s where locals start the day swimming, running or biking along the newly renovated beach promenade known as Tayelet. After the morning workout, see residents juice up at a local fruit stand or spot them relaxing with a coffee and sweet treat from a kiosk, such as Café Habima (We Like You Too).

If Tel Aviv is the exuberant little sister, Jerusalem is the enigmatic older sibling. Jerusalem is of course a city unique in the world: mythical, mysterious, enchanting. Walk on ancient roads and discover important biblical sites, immerse in the beauty of the millennia-old honey-coloured stone walls, and explore newly excavated tunnels that peel away layers of history. But Jerusalem also has a contemporary side. Downtown is the heart of the modern metropolis, and the backdrop to numerous festivals and museums, including the Israel Festival, and the world-renowned Israel Museum. From history to art and culture, Jerusalem is more than meets the eye.

…And Two Landscapes

The Galilee in Israel’s lush green north is home to the famous Sea of Galilee and Jordan River. The region is also full of pine and cypress forests and olive groves, pearl white cliffs and ancient sea caves. Spend an afternoon wine tasting in Rosh Pina, one of the charming historic hillside villages where quaint stone houses and small art galleries can arguably resemble Provence. Stay at a luxury boutique hotel on an organic farm, which might win the shortest farm-to-table sprint for food and beverages. In the morning, hike the hills and valleys to original sites of historical battles and biblical events.

The southern part of Israel is only a short drive from the top of the country, but it feels like another world. Instead of lush landscapes, there’s the heat-scorched flora of the Negev desert. This extraordinary region is where some of the earliest civilizations began.

Today, the Negev desert is becoming Israel’s ultimate luxury playground. Hike the “Martian Landscape” of the Ramon Crater—the world’s largest erosion crater—or go for the outdoor adventure at Timna Park where purple, black, red and gold sand drifts through otherworldly prehistoric rock formations. During the day try camel rides, yoga retreats, or goat milk ice cream sundaes. At night enjoy slow dinners, wine from desert vineyards and star gazing. Or plan your trip to coincide with Midburn, the Negev’s version of “Burning Man,” a five-day desert fiesta of creativity, art and radical self-expression.

At the Forefront of Accessible Tourism

Israel is also becoming known as a leader in accessible tourism. City infrastructures, hiking trails, and archaeological sites, including the historically impenetrable desert fortress of Masada, accommodate visitors with disabilities. Israel is also one of the only countries in the world to have mandated making hotels accessible.

Yalla. Do it All.

Israel is slightly smaller in size than Vancouver Island, making it easy to visit many attractions at a relaxed pace. A new high-speed train, 10 years in the making, connects Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in under 30 minutes. Likewise, there’s a train from the Ben Gurion Airport Station to Jerusalem. By road, it’s a 2.5-hour drive from Jerusalem to the Sea of Galilee. It’s just under an hour from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea. The highways are well-marked with signage in both English and Hebrew.

While there’s plenty to appreciate in the county, Israel also gives guests easy access to its neighbours in the region such as Egypt, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates so you can see more of the Middle East.

A country so rooted in the past and so innovative about the future can only offer a unique holiday. A trip to Israel offers the perfect balance of meaningful travel—learning, exploring, connecting—and vacationing. There’s a perfect season to visit and that season is 365 days of the year.

The Land of Milk and Honey Has Become a Gastronomic Destination

Modern Israeli cuisine is a mix of culinary traditions of Jews from around the world, and Arab influences that mix together, creating a sophisticated but casual dining scene. Thanks to exceptional produce, Israel has become known for show-stopping dishes. Take Jerusalem. It’s the home of star chefs Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi.

The Dead Sea is a Must See

It’s fair to say you haven’t lived till you’ve experienced the Dead Sea. Situated in the Judean Desert of southern Israel, the Dead Sea is a unique ecosystem with the saltiest water on earth at the lowest land elevation. You can’t really swim here, as the salty sea keeps you buoyant. So just relax and float while you bask in the warm water full of nourishing mineral properties for your skin.

Two new extraordinary hotels have opened: Six Senses Shaharut in the Negev and The Pereh hotel in the Golan Heights. These architecturally stunning properties are both environmentally sensitive and are fine examples of responsible tourism. They’re located in regions that have often seen economic challenges. Their presence is part of an increasingly dynamic tourism-led economic engine.

sixsenses.com/en/resorts/shaharut; • https://pereh.co.il/en/

Travel Planner

For a fully immersive experience of Israel, itravel2000.com is offering a special 2-week guided Jewish Heritage: Jeremiah Tour.

Visit significant historic settings, biblical sites and ancient cities. Other highlights are the Judean desert to the Dead Sea and the Negev desert to Timna Park plus so much more. This land package includes accommodations, two dinners, and tours.

For reservations contact itravel2000.com 1.866.WOW.DEAL (969.3325) and for more travel information about Israel visit Israel.travel.

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