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What to do in Israel

Pray at the Western Wall (Wailing Wall)

Western Wall

The Western Wall, located in Old City, Jerusalem, is the remnant of King Herod’s enclosure structure, which supported the Second Temple, an important Jewish shrine.

The Romans destroyed the temple in 70 AD to the utter grief of the Jewish people. For centuries, Jews lamented at this wall for the destruction of their temple, prompting European observers to give the wall the moniker “the Wailing Wall.”

Today the Western Wall remains a sacred Jewish site and has evolved to become a prayer site. Jews visit the wall on a regular – even daily – basis to recite prayers, chants, and the whole Book of Psalms.

You can of course visit the Wall, regardless of your religion. If you’re male, you need to cover your head with a hat or with a head covering offered for free at the site. If you’re female, you should wear a skirt that falls below the knees and have your shoulders covered.

Keep in mind that males and females have separate praying areas.

If you want, you can also write your prayer on a piece of paper and slip it into the gaps of the Wall. It’s widely believed that prayers are more effective when done this way.

Follow the Jesus Trail

Follow the Jesus Trail

If you want to connect the New Testament Israel to its present-day version, hiking the Jesus Trail will be perfect for you. The Jesus Trail is a 65-kilometer hiking adventure that lets you see and experience the places Jesus frequented during his ministry in Galilee.

The four-day hike starts in Nazareth and leads to Sepphoris, Cana, Kibbutz Lavi, Horns of Hattin, Nebi Shu’eib, Arbel National Park, Migdal, Kibbutz Ginosar, Tabgha, the Mount of Beatitudes, and Capernaum.

The routes are properly marked, leading you correctly to your destinations. Of course, you can always consult a map or a GPS device as well.

Transportation, food, and water are available along the route. Accommodations are not a problem either, since you can check in at any of the hotels, bed and breakfasts, and campsites in the villages and towns you pass by.

Whether you hike the trail on your own or join a hiking club, the Jesus Trail will give you a once-in-a-lifetime experience of walking the paths Jesus walked and seeing what he possibly saw in his time.

Get into a cycling adventure

Get into a cycling adventure

Cycling is a great way to travel across Israel, as it allows you to savor the breathtaking view while engaging in a fun physical activity.

Since cycling has become a popular sport in the country, cycling paths continue to grow in number in urban and rural areas and along off-road routes.

The cycling paths are designed for different skill levels. There are paths for families (easy), recreational cyclists (moderate), and experienced cyclists (difficult).

Bringing bicycles to Israel is very much possible. In fact, some airlines charge no extra fees for bikes.

When bringing your bike to the riding site, you need to haul it on a bus and pay an additional 50%. If you don’t have a bike of your own, you can rent one at the riding site or at any bike rental in the country.

The law requires cyclists to wear helmets, so make sure to wear one. You should also bring water and a map. If possible, go cycling with a licensed tour guide.

Hit the beach

Hit the beach

The Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea all have shores in Israel’s territory, which explains why the country has plenty of beaches.

The Dead Sea, Eilat, Caesarea, Galilee, and Tel Aviv are havens for any beach bum.

Beaches in Israel boast of their individual charms: the Sea of Galilee beaches are serene, mainly banking on the sea’s biblical significance. The Dead Sea beaches are known for their therapeutic value. The Tel Aviv beaches are vibrant and often packed with people chilling out after a busy day. Set against a historical setting, the Caesarea beaches are quaint and lovely. Beaches in Eilat offer different water activities and a beautiful view of the Red Sea.

Ride a kayak along the Jordan River

Ride a kayak along the Jordan River

While the Jordan River of biblical times was an image of spirituality, the Jordan River of the present day is a popular kayaking destination. Tourists are treated to a view of lush vegetation as they navigate the lengths of the famed river.

The Jordan River may not provide an experience as action-laden as other kayaking trips, but it still offers pure fun. You get onto an inflatable boat and paddle your way along the routes, which can either be rough or calm. The narrower parts, specifically, provide the most excitement.

Depending on the routes, navigating the river usually takes one to two hours. There’s also a minimum age limit for children: Calmer routes are for age 5 and up; rougher, 10 and above.

Kibbutz Kfar Blum and Kibbutz HaGoshrim are the main kayak centers. Both are in Upper Galilee.