The annoying question most people who haven’t been to the Middle East ask is always, “is it safe?” There is no safer place than Israel...then again, while the State has you protected, taking part in the country’s most extreme sports may be slightly more dangerous. Take a walk on the wild side, try out these fun things to do in Israel from river tubing in the Golan Heights to wake boarding in Tel Aviv, surfing in Herzliya and snuba-ing down south in Eilat, we dare the most daring to tackle our thrill seeker’s guide to Israel, one crazy experience at a time.
A guide to Israel's adrenaline-packed activities
For adventurous locals and vacationers, Tel Aviv’s Begin Park offers Lake TLV, a man-made lake with world-class cable waterskiing facilities. Though the lake, open year-round, hosts tournaments for athletes in October and May, July is the high season for families and beginners. First-time visitors watch a short instructional video and receive safety tips from instructors before diving in. Some quick learners might advance to the lake’s seven obstacle courses, which contain jumpers and gliders frequented by professionals. But if you’re exhausted, you might conclude your visit by sipping a cold drink at Lake TLV’s quaint outdoor bar-café. For young athletes, Lake TLV provides one and two-week long summer programs, where campers learn Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) and acrobatics as well as cable water skiing.
The southernmost city in Israel, Eilat, has been blessed with a spectacular coral reef. The Eilat coral reef, the northernmost reef in the world and a unique Israeli attraction, is the beating heart of the one-mile long nature reserve that stretches across the gulf of Eilat. Diving or snorkeling near the reef, you will see colorful coral gardens home to a variety of multi-hued tropical fish: parrotfish, butterfly fish, giant shellfish and a wide selection of intriguing species that only come out in the dark. About a ten-minute walk from the Egyptian border, you’ll find the southernmost scubadiving club in Israel, a small venue with plenty of peace and quiet. The club offers an introductory underwater excursion for those who have no previous diving experience.
If you’re seeking a more adventurous water activity to pass the time, the Kfar Blum wet river experience and attraction centre in the Galilee has just the thing. From high-speed “kayaking” (rafting) down fast-flowing waters to lazing down the Hatzbani stream, Kfar Blum guarantees fun for the entire family. For an additional adrenaline rush, don’t miss their "Top-Rope" adventure park. The site also offers campground accommodations for a reasonable price.
Those looking for a unique and colorful way to start the day and get acquainted with Israel’s vast landscapes can hover over the country in a hot air balloon. Israeli company Rize is the largest hot air balloon company in the country, widely experienced with flights in Israel and around the world. Expeditions can be arranged for sunrise and within two hours of sunset, accommodating one to ten passengers. Help inflate the balloon with the pilot and crew, then get comfortable for a 90-minute adventure. Ballooners roam the skies at altitudes of up to 2000 ft, and follow the sunrise tour with a trip into the fields, orchards and wooded areas of the Jezreel Valley, where a homemade breakfast is the ultimate icing on the cake. Other options include “fiesta flights,” where the balloon remains tethered to the ground.
A unique way to see Jerusalem is by rappelling off the side of the Tayelet or Gei Ben Hinom, with a view of the Old City. The guide, Yaakov, a rock climbing champion, is patient and experienced, making him the perfect person to show guests the ropes. If your kids can’t stop climbing walls and trees, why not take them on an adventure they won’t soon forget? Yaakov knows how to make the excursion accessible for all, so bring the whole family! Suitable for children ages four and up, with younger guests snappling with the guide.