Israel is a tiny country that’s so full of things to see and do that it’s hard to fit everything in. Tel Aviv, for example, is the first “Hebrew city”. Established in 1909 by drawing lots inscribed on seashells from the shore, the city started with 66 houses and today numbers approximately 450,000, not including the densely populated surrounding metropolitan areas. Tel Aviv offers the beachfront and port area with a promenade, restaurants cafes and 35 centers for the performing arts. Israel has the highest number of museums per capita than any other country, and three of the more prominent of them are located in Tel Aviv. Perhaps that’s why the city attracts more than 1 million international tourists annually.
The “Dead Sea” is truly a natural wonder. It is the lowest natural point on earth and contains 8 times as much salt as found in sea water. For thousands of years, people have vistited the Dead Sea to benifit from it’s healing qualities due to the abundance of minerals found in the water. Today medical researchers are seeing how the area can benefit those suffering from respiratory diseases such as cystic fibrosis.
A “makhtesh” is a natural landform that resembles a huge crater. Only 5 exist in the world and they are all found in Israel’s Negev desert. Makhtesh Ramon is the largest of the five measuring 40 kilometers long, 2-10 kilimeters wide, and over 500 meters deep. The makhtesh has an inactive volcano, mountains made of different and colorful types of rock, and incredible natural formations as well as a multitude of wildlife. It is fascinating and phenomenal place to hike and tour.
Many of Israel’s sites are truly extraordinary and entirely unique, historically, naturally, and spiritually. Israel offers so much in such a small area, it is absolutely a tourist’s dream.