In no particular order is this list of our favorite locations in Israel.
1. Tel Aviv has great international food, a very active community and opportunities to do a lot outdoors. There’s the beach, parks, running trails, walkable neighborhoods, outdoor dining, flea markets & Carmel craft market to name a few.
The food is fresh, well-made, fun (we went to a chocolate restaurant for dinner!), exceptional fresh squeezed fruit juices and outstanding Israeli fare particularly for breakfast.
Tel Aviv is like a smaller New York of the Middle East.
2. Dead Sea and local beaches
When you visit you are at the lowest point on earth. That’s cool enough (or should I say hottest because it does get warm) but on top of that you get in the water and can’t swim underwater but only bob up and float.
Crystallized minerals on Little Man
There’s a lot to enjoy here with the beauty surrounding the sea but a few things to be aware of.
You get out and you feel oily. I can’t describe it but you just feel yucky. I thought it would be like salty and gritty but the combination of minerals makes it a oily post-experience. But you also have salt crystals on your body, it’s wild!
If you have any cuts or open wounds, they will sting but it might not occur until afterwards or later on in your swim. We had a great time until our kids started fussing about the water burning, 15 or 20 minutes into the visit.
3. Sea of Galilee & Nazareth
Beyond the Biblical and historical significance of this region, the beauty is incredible.
There are many short drives to a lot of sites. Cana (Jesus turns the water into wine), Tiberius, Mt. Of Beatitudes (Sermon on the Mount), Nazareth, Mt. Tabor, Capernaum & Bethsaida.
Learning how to thread the wool
Below is the place believed to be Peter’s home and where Jesus spent the night.
The Sea of Galilee and the surrounding hills are beautiful!
Pack food as you may find yourself without restaurants depending on the time of day or location.
4. Ein Gedi is an oasis among the Dead Sea desert-like land. King Solomon wrote of it in Song of Solomon and mentions of the Henna trees of Ein Gedi.
This is also the location of David’s cave and where he cut off part of King Saul’s robe.
The kids had a grand time being out in nature and using sticks for walking.
If we lived nearby, we would go there often!
Warrior Pose in David’s cave
It was beautiful and warm. Be prepared for sunny weather and wear clothes accordingly. There’s several fresh waterfalls and pools. It was a delightful way to cool off.
5. Jerusalem, we can’t forget this rich in history city. Via Dolorosa is the path Jesus took with the cross. Mount of Olives was also a significant stop. An hour trip outside leads you to Bethlehem.
Though this city is divided between Armenians, Muslims, & Jews, it’s a relatively friendly and fun city. Be aware of the situation and mindful.
We followed the footsteps of Jesus as he was arrested and carried the cross.
Where they believe Jesus’ body was crucified
Inside the church built over the crucifixion site
An altar for Jesus’ tomb
The wailing wall-West Wall inside Old City Jerusalem
Garden of Gathsemene
This trip was wonderful and we were so thankful to go on it! I know this is such a thrown together post but it gives our highlights!