Evocative, exciting and poignant, a trip to Israel has a long lasting and profound effect on those making the decision to travel to this beautiful yet troubled land. Prepare to be received with warmth; prepare to be challenged; but above all, prepare to be moved.
Why we like Israel
The old city of Jerusalem is one of the most atmospherically compelling cities on earth, steeped in history, vibrant and mysterious. Where else can you find Nigerians, Brazilians, Goan Indians, Mexicans and countless other nationalities all mingling together in narrow streets as they travel in pilgrimage along the route of the cross towards the Holy Sepulchre?
What to expect on your Israel holiday
Be prepared for strict and unavoidable security measures which start before you board an El Al flight in London. On arrival you should also be ready for large crowds in Jerusalem, particularly over Christian festivals. Israel currently attracts over two million visitors and Jerusalem's old town can frequently feel full to bursting with tourists often outnumbering the locals.
A private guide can help you navigate the narrow twisting streets, avoiding the tourist stalls, taking short cuts to avoid retracing your steps and accessing rooftops for views across the town.
The city of Jerusalem, at the heart of the Holy Land, is without doubt the main highlight. This holy city remains a mixture of cultures and creeds and although the city has its different quarters, there is more intermingling than one might imagine. Wandering the narrow, walled streets amidst so many sites of great religious and historical significance is completely absorbing.
Outside of Jerusalem is an impressive roll call of Roman and Crusader sites as well as the world’s oldest city at Jericho, and the world’s oldest church in Bethlehem. The contrast between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is symbolic of Israel as a whole. Tel Aviv hums with energy and excitement and the Israelis do not hesitate to compare it with New York and Paris.
Some ideas for an Israel holiday
- A few days spent wandering the old city of Jerusalem is an absolute must.
- The biblical sites of Galilee, Nazareth and Bethlehem are evocative and filled with Christian pilgrims from all over the world.
- Float in the dense waters of the Dead Sea.
- The cobbled streets of old Jaffa hold a thriving artist’s community and the many cafes add to the street atmosphere.
- In stark contrast to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv is a secular and cosmopolitan city, where, the sun and sea set the rhythms of life.
Our Israel Expertise
Katie is our Israel travel expert. Her particular expertise lies in interpreting your particular views and creating a suitable itinerary accordingly.
Masada, on the edge of the Judaean Desert, is an ancient fortress and UNESCO world heritage site. Visitors can either take the hike to the summit or opt for the cable car ride, but will not be disappointed by the stunning views and ancient ruins that await them at the top. For those wanting to experience local life and relax, then the stunning area of Old Jaffa is the perfect place to enjoy the local brew while enjoying the sea breeze and beautiful architecture.
Alcohol is available in Israel at bars and restaurants (and usually found in hotels), and should only be consumed at these locations. Drinking in Arabic/Islam areas should be avoided altogether.
Israel is not as strict on dress codes and for women, short sleeved shirts and knee length shorts or dresses are ok, but when visiting religious sights we advise taking a shawl or long sleeved shirt to cover up either arms or legs. Men are allowed to wear shorts and t-shirts, although certain sites will require trousers, and hats must be removed in churches.
Transfers will primarily be done by car due to the shorter distances between attractions. This is a great way to see the country, without time being lost travelling.