As the birthplace of Christianity, Judaism and Islam, Israel is densely packed with enough religious and historical attractions and experiences to last a lifetime.
Lovers of sun, sand and sea should head to the renowned Red Sea and enjoy floating in its crystalline waters; or for a rejuvenating experience, visit one of the many Dead Sea spa resorts. Israel's popular tourist destination of Masada, located in the Judean Desert, is a must for anyone in the area.
Some of the country's most fascinating attractions include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Citadel of David. Bethlehem is worth a visit, as is Nazareth - two of the most important Christian holy sites - while Yad VaShem is a moving and interesting memorial to the Holocaust, providing a multifaceted tribute to the millions of Jews who died during World War II.
The best time of year to visit is during the spring (March/April) and autumn months (September/October), when the weather is cooler and more tolerable for tourists. Since travelling distances are not great in Israel, it's often better to drive to some places than to catch a plane. There are good public transport systems in place in the major cities. The best way to experience Israel is to hire a car and take a relaxed approach to seeing the country and exploring all the religious and historical sites it has to offer.
The mountaintop fortress of Masada (sometimes spelled Massada) is one of Israel's most popular and remarkable tourist attractions. Situated in the Judean Desert and overlooking the Dead Sea, this site is where 967 Jewish Zealots rose against Rome in 66 AD, taking their own... see full details
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
As the site of Jesus' crucifixion, burial and resurrection, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is the holiest Christian place in Jerusalem. Emperor Constantine constructed it in 326, and its structure has suffered frequent damage over the centuries. Repairs have been undertaken by the... see full details
Temple Mount (Al-Haram al-Sharif)
Temple Mount is tremendously important to Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. Located within the Old City's walled section, its glinting, golden Dome of the Rock is easily Jerusalem's most distinguishable feature.
From a Jewish and Christian perspective, the large rock is said to be where... see full details
The museum documents and commemorates the events of the Holocaust, and also furthers education through ongoing research into the period. In this way, it honours the millions of Jews who died during World War II.
Visitors will find the world's largest and most comprehensive collection... see full details
Citadel or Tower of David
Called the Tower of David, Jerusalem's Citadel is a medieval fortress with architectural elements from later periods. Its tallest tower, the Phasael, is the best place to appreciate its magnificent view of the city.
The Citadel contains the excellent Museum of the History of Jerusalem,... see full details
Bethlehem is just six miles (10km) south of Jerusalem, and is a major tourist attraction for pilgrims and visitors alike. Reputed to be the birthplace of Jesus, the town is charming despite its tourist-centred commercialism. The Church of the Nativity is the focal point... see full details
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea and its immediate environment have many natural wonders. Wellness travellers are most interested in the high salt and mineral concentration found in its waters. Besides enabling visitors to float effortlessly on the surface, the mix gives the region's black mud tremendous... see full details
Eretz Israel Museum (The Land of Israel Museum)
The Eretz Israel Museum's unique layout and character make it more like a park than a standalone establishment. It is clustered around the ancient mound of the Tel Kasile, where ongoing archaeological excavations are in progress.
The museum consists of various pavilions, each displaying different... see full details
Beit She'an National Park
Beit She'an was established in the 5th century BC. Its hilltop location made the settlement strategically valuable, meaning that many over the centuries sought to conquer it. It was the seat of Egyptian rule before falling to the King of Assyria, and was... see full details
Herod the Great established the ancient port city of Caesarea 2,000 years ago as a tribute to the Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar. Before this, it was known as Straton's Tower after its founder Straton, who may have ruled Sidon in the 4th century... see full details
Nazareth is one of the most important Christian holy sites, attracting pilgrims from all over the world. Jesus spent most of his life in the area.
Today, the city has both Muslim and Christian residents. Visitors can expect a quaint mix of red roofs... see full details