Day Trips from Jerusalem to Explore Israel

Although many tourists come to Israel especially to visit Jerusalem, the Holy City is also the starting point for several day trips. Actually, planning a tour of the Holy Land is rather simple. No hassle. You can have your cab transfer you from the airport to your a hotel in Jerusalem, then you can explore the whole country by taking day trips in different directions.

Heading towards the North of the country along the Mediterranean shore, you will have the opportunity to discover breathtaking landscapes, amazing natural formations as well as historic landmarks dating from long gone times.

In Caesarea, you can visit a very well preserved Roman theatre which is nowadays used as a concert venue because of the acoustic quality it provides. In Rosh Hanikra you will admire Mother Nature at its best while touring the wonderful caves water has dug into the limestone cliffs of the shore. In Haifa, you will find the beautiful Bahai Gardens sprawling down the hill towards the sea shore. In Akko you can visit the fortress Napoleon did not succeed to conquer and some landmarks dating from the Crusaders’ times.

Other historical towns like Tsfat and Tiberias wait to be discovered in the North of Israel. In the same area you will find more Christian pilgrimage sites like Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee. Indeed, if you want to make a Biblical tour of the Holy Land, the North of Israel should be included on your list.

Bethlehem

A sacred place for Christians and Jews, the small town of Bethlehem is easily reachable from Jerusalem.

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Although Bethlehem does not lie on Israeli territories, only 10 km separate it from Jerusalem.

The place where Jesus is supposed to be born, Bethlehem is included in all Christian pilgrims’ list. Within Judaism, the town is important because it is home to Rachel’s tomb.

 

 

The Dead Sea

Dead SeaOne of the finalists within the 2011 competition 7 Wonders of the New World, the Dead Sea is a true biblical and historical heritage.

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The lowest spot on Earth (about 420 meters below sea level), the Dead Sea continues to attract more visitors from all around the world. They come here to enjoy the unique atmosphere of serenity, to benefit from the therapeutic properties of its salt-dense waters and minerals-rich mud, and to tour the natural and historic landmarks of the area.

Located in the Judean desert, the 11 caves of Qumran, where the Bedouins discovered the famous Dead Sea Scrolls between 1947 and 1952 constitute another popular attraction in the area. The archaeological site of Qumran also contains other remains of buildings dating from a hundred years before our era, and an ancient cemetery of about 1200 graves.

A world famous spa and wellness resort located on the western shore of the Dead Sea, Ein Gedi is also a natural reserve with flamboyant flora and fauna (especially wild goats) as well as breathtaking landscapes. In 1953, the first Jewish settlements appeared in the area. Kibbutz Ein Gedi is such an example. Established by Jewish pioneers, it is now a popular tourist attraction because of its botanical garden where tropical and desert plants grow in complete harmony.

Masada

MasadaA cultural and natural attraction at the same time, Masada is an ancient fortress located on an isolated rock plateau, on the eastern edge of the Judean desert.

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A vestige dating from the Roman era, Masada is a strong symbol of the Jewish people’s bravery and self-sacrifice in the face of adversity. The remains of King Herod’s labyrinth royal complex, Masada  has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2001.

There are currently two ways to reach the citadel: hiking (here you have the option between the “Snake Path” or the Roman Ramp) or riding a cable car. Anyway, you will discover magnificent views over the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert.