We take a look at all the sights and sounds of the Holy Land.

Caitlin Marceau

Reprinted with permission from ynetnews.com

Deciding where to go while on vacation can be a hassle, especially when visiting a country like Israel, where culture and history intersect at every corner.

And while it’s essentially impossible to cover every restaurant, every cafe, every beach, we can most certainly look at the essentials.

There are many people who visit Israel often, but don’t step outside of Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, or visit any tourist attractions. But with this list, we at Shalom Life have got you covered.

Honorable mentions:Caesarea National Park,Jerusalem Biblical ZooEilat, the Negev and Ramon Crater.

 

Photo: Amit Garon

Photo: Amit Garon

10. Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Starting our list off at number 10 is the Tel Aviv Museum Of Art. One of the leading institutions of art from around the world, this museum features artists like Gustav Klimt, Michal Na’aman and various others. Its collections range from focuses on modern art to the classics, and an entire collection of Israeli art. Its architectural design alone is something to marvel at.

 

Photo: Dana Shtainberg

Photo: Dana Shtainberg

9. The Galilee and Sea of Galilee

The Galilee is a rather large region in Northern Israel brimming with history, with the Sea of Galilee being where, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ walks on water. Also part of the Galilee are the ancient cities of Safed and Acre, Tiberias and the Jordan River. Like other locations on this list, it’s simply a beautiful feast for the eyes.

Photo: Ron Peled

Photo: Ron Peled

8. Jaffa Port

Jaffa Port is one of the most famous ports in all of the world, having been mentioned in religious texts from an array of different faiths. In 1917, Jaffa Port was taken as part of the Mandatory Palestine, until it was released to a newly Independent Israel. Currently, the port is still open but is more of a tourist attraction than an international business hub. With a lighthouse, cafes and a brilliant history, Jaffa Port is a must see for those visiting Israel.

Photo: Guy Shahar

Photo: Guy Shahar

7. Baha’i Gardens

Surrounding the shrine of Bab, the Baha’i Gardens are a sight to see. Extending up the northern slope of Mount Carmel, the gardens feature an array of beautiful plants and flowers that are all arranged in complex geometric shapes. Nineteen terraces make their way up the mountain all connected by gravel paths, trimmed hedges and decadently groomed flower beds. While many of the terraces have their own design, love and compassion link them all together.

Photo: Shutterstock

Photo: Shutterstock

6. The Dead Sea

Who hasn’t heard of the Dead Sea? With its surfaces being 1833 ft below sea level it’s the world’s lowest elevation on land, deepest hypersaline sea (over 1200 feet deep) and has the world’s highest salt concentration, it’s no wonder everyone wants to see it. The insane salt concentration also means that people can float easily in the water, but that it makes for too harsh of an environment for animals to survive in, hence the name. The Dead Sea is also historically important, and it was a main source of mummification supplies for the ancient Egyptians.

Photo: EPA

Photo: EPA

5. Temple Mount and Dome of the Rock

Construction of this beautiful temple began in 20 B.C. and has since been a temple to serve as a place of worship for three religions since being built. Currently under Muslim control, Temple Mount is considered a holy place by all. Erected near the Western Wall and home to Dome of the Rock, a temple built in what’s believed to be the place of the Islamic miracle Isra and Miraj. While there is a history of debate and conflict over who should control Temple Mount, it’s a beautiful and sacred place to visit. Not to mention the Dome of the Rock’s golden roof is certainly a sight to be seen.

Photo: Motti Kimchi

Photo: Motti Kimchi

4. Frishman Beach

A stunning city beach, Frishman Beach finds itself a hotspot for tourists and locals alike. With clean water, it’s own private eateries, DJs, volleyball, and the fact that it’s located closest to the city, you need to get there early if you want to get a spot. Known for being one of the trendiest, and up and coming places, Frishman Beach was voted one of the top 10 urban beaches in the world.

 

Photo: Boaz Fyler

Photo: Boaz Fyler

3. Yad Vashem

The official memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, Yad Vashem was created with the objectives of educating others of the atrocities of the Holocaust, so that they never be repeated again, with a particular emphasis on researching, documenting, and commemorating those who risked their lives to save others. With those declared Righteous Among the Nations, Yad Vashem honors the men and women who acted courageously during the Holocaust. It’s a somber experience, yes, but a necessary and educational one, and the second most visited tourist site in Israel.

Photo: Lowshot.com

Photo: Lowshot.com

2. Masada

This ancient fortress sits in the rocky mountains in the Southern district of Israel and is a revered symbol of Jewish independence in the wake of the Roman invasion centuries ago. While time has destroyed some of the MasadaDesert Fortress, remnants of ancient bathhouses, storehouse complexes, and the stronghold where the Jewish people defended themselves against the Romans can still be seen. The ancient architecture of the fortress, the history behind the building, and the harrowing tale of the people who lived there makes the Masada Desert Fortress a location to visit.

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

1. The Western Wall

Considered to be the holiest place in the world, it’s no wonder that the Western Wall makes the top spot on this list. Located by the Temple Mount, this wall has been a source for Jewish prayer, and pilgrimage, for years.

People to this day pray at the wall and, at times, there can be tens of thousands of people in prayer at a time. The wall also features incredible architecture, with arches inside a passageway standing 25 feet high (although it used to be even higher when the tunnel was deeper). The individual stone pieces that make up the wall are staggering in size, with some of them over 500 tons and 40 feet long. An incredible structure with a fascinating history, make sure to visit the Kotel during your next trip to the Holy Land.

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