We know, Tel Aviv is great - hipster hangouts, all-night party scene, the best street eats in the country; but as they say, the key to Holy Land success is to "live in Tel Aviv, yet spend as much time as possible exploring outside of it." It's time to leave the White City behind and explore all that Israel has to offer. After all, you have no excuse since everything is so close. From a relaxing float in the Dead Sea to a food fest in Jerusalem's top Israeli market to unbeatable sites in the Galilee and unbeatable reefs in Eilat, these five Israeli hotspots are worth traveling to.
Leave Tel Aviv behind, explore Israel instead
The Dead Sea may be the lowest place on earth but a visit can leave you feeling really high, mainly because it’s so relaxing. After feeling energized by the magical salty water and nutrient-rich mud, the Ein Gedi nature reserve offers plenty of great hiking options as well as refreshing natural springs to cool off from the intense desert heat.
With so much history, Jerusalem is a city that never gets boring - there is always a new layer to discover. With its boisterous atmosphere, great selection of local produce and plenty of hidden gems, Machne Yehuda Market is just as much a cultural experience that showcases Jerusalem’s diversity as it is a great place to pick up a bargain.
Enjoying stunning mountain scenery and a diverse population, the Galilee region instantly captures hearts. Shaped almost like a half-sphere dramatically rising from rather flat surroundings, Mount Tabor in the Lower Galilee is not only an important Biblical site, but also offers incredible views and plenty of interesting hiking options.
Makhtesh Ramon is an enormous crater-like geological feature unique to Israel’s Negev desert, and is the country’s very own version of the Grand Canyon. Offering breathtaking views across the entire Makhtesh as well as a fascinating interactive museum, the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center is a great place to check out before exploring the area either by foot, jeep or helicopter.
Eilat offers laidback beaches, soothing spas, non-stop activities both in and out of the crystal clear waters, world-class shows, hot and happening nightlife, high calibre restaurants, and... everything is VAT-free. Sitting at Israel’s southern tip, the city of Eilat enjoys spectacular desert mountain views as well as tropical seas. Timna Valley Park, which is around 25 km north of the city, is a 15,000 acre horseshoe-shaped valley surrounded by steep cliffs, with Mount Timna, the world’s first copper mine, standing tall in the center.