What to see in Israel
To see Israel in all its diversity, you will have to devote several holidays to it: a huge number of cultural and natural attractions are concentrated on a small area, and there is also an excellent beach holiday in the Red and Mediterranean Seas and a lot of entertainment for every taste and budget.
Those who are interested in the excursion program should start acquaintance with Israel with the “visiting cards” of the country. You should definitely see the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the Basilica of the Nativity of Christ in Bethlehem, the ancient port city of Jaffa and the ruins of the ancient city of Caesarea.
Fans of measured beach holidays in the Mediterranean should go to Netanya, Herzliya or Tel Aviv. And with the real beauty of the underwater world you can get acquainted off the coast of Eilat, diving with a mask or diving with scuba diving.
The best medical resort in the country is Ein Bokek, located on the shores of the Dead Sea. You can also improve health in the waters of the thermal mineral springs of the Hamat-Gader health complex in the Galilee.
The only ski resort in Israel is located on Mount Hermon at an altitude of 1600 m. The season for skiing and snowboarding is from December to March, the total length of all pistes is 45 km. Here you can ride on a mountain sleigh. In summer, tourists climb the mountain by funicular and enjoy breathtaking panoramic views.
Even if you buy a ticket six months before the trip, the price is not too different – you can save only on sales. You can fly to Israel much cheaper if you choose a flight with a transfer. Pegasus Airlines, a Turkish company, often has advantageous offers: a flight without luggage will cost almost half the price, and the total flight time, taking into account the connection, is 6-7 hours.
You can also buy a cheap AirSerbia, AirFrance or Aegean flight ticket and see Belgrade, Paris or Athens on the way to Tel Aviv. In the last two cases, an open multi-Schengen is needed.
There are no direct scheduled flights from Russia to Eilat – only charters bought by tour operators fly. It is cheaper for independent tourists to get to Eilat by Israeli public transport.
TIPS AND LIFE HACKS IN ISRAEL
1. Any tourist can be deployed at passport control and sent for an additional interview. You can sit in line for up to four hours, but in order to get permission to enter Israel, it is important not to be nervous and not to offend security officials, including in personal correspondence with loved ones. During a conversation with security guards, in no case should you voice false information and show aggression – this threatens deportation. And in relation to polite and calm tourists, the security guards are friendly.
2. On Shabbat – from Friday evening to Saturday evening – almost all cafes and shops are closed, public transport stops walking. You can buy food on Friday morning, or you can eat on time in Shabbat in Arab cafes: the prices are slightly lower than in Jewish cafes, and the food is tastier, since it is not subjected to “kosher” processing.
3. Israel is a safe country for girls traveling alone: sexual harassment is severely punished, but no evidence is required. Even at the central bus station in Tel Aviv, nobody cares.
4. Do not spend too much time and money on shopping in Israel: only local cosmetics deserve attention, but its unique properties are greatly exaggerated. Tourism shops sell items made in India, Morocco, Tunisia and Thailand in the Jerusalem market, while many local designers, under the guise of handmade work, offer clothing and jewelry from a well-known Chinese online store.
5. Along the entire Mediterranean coast of Israel, beach resorts are located. Almost all beaches are municipal, but you need to pay for the rental of sunbeds and umbrellas. There are practically no private beaches belonging to specific hotels.
6. To save on cellular communications, tourists are advised to buy prepaid SIM cards: Talkman from Cellcom, BigTalk from Partner or PreTalk from YouPhone. You can buy a SIM card in any cell phone store or operator’s office. As a rule, local SIM cards make it possible to make unlimited calls to Israeli numbers and receive incoming calls for free.