For many Jews, Christians and Muslims, Israel is a Holy Land and visiting it is a powerful component of their religious and cultural tradition. In this article, you’ll find most popular religious places in Israel.
Israel is a land that offers a plethora of historical and religious sites, apart from the regular beach resorts and ecotourism that most people prefer. Israel, with its archaeological and heritage sites, has on offer, everything a tourist would want. There’s history and geography, along with philosophy and religion, and there’s also culture and tradition, not to forget Israeli cuisine. You would benefit if you kept aside the Israel-Palestinian conflict while planning a trip to this country, that is gaining significance for Religious tourism. Here are 9 of the most beautiful places in Israel which you might like to include when deciding what to do in Israel.
Jerusalem old city
The capital city of Israel and one of the most sacred places in the world to the three major religions: Christianity, Judaism and Islam. The ancient Old City is encircled by imposing stone walls that date to the Ottoman period and contain within it such holy sites as the Western Wall – the most visited site in Israel and one holy to Jews, The Dome of the Rock and Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Yad Vashem in Jerusalem is the largest Holocaust museum and memorial in the world. It was established in 1953, with a new part of the museum opened in 2005. There are numerous exhibition halls within its dramatic central triangular structure. No visit to Israel is complete without it.
Located on the eastern edge of the Judean desert and overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada is Israel’s most popular paid tourist attraction. The ancient fortress is popular for its unique geographical formation, and for the exhilarating hike that it provides.
The Galilee and Sea of Galilee
Galilee is a large region in northern Israel. The region is a beautiful highland, with green fields, agriculture and so much history. The Sea of Galilee, where Jesus Christ walked on water, the ancient cities of Tiberias, Sefad and Acre, and the Jordan river are all part of the beautiful Galilee.
Forever linked to the Bible, Nazareth is one of the main pilgrimage destinations in the country. The holy sites here are some of the most important in the world for those of the Christian faith. This is where the Annunciation took place, and where Jesus Christ was brought up, and the center of town is home to important churches that celebrate this history. Don’t miss the Basilica of the Annunciation and exploring the vibrant bazaar area, which adds some modern bustle to the twisty, old city lanes.
A picturesque vision of honey-colored stone, Jaffa is a chilled-out little harbor town with an illustrious past as a major port. Made for aimless wandering and home to an excellent flea market, Jaffa provides an old-world style respite from the modern thrum of Tel Aviv next door. The muddle of lanes leading down to the sea, where once the great ships of the ancient Mediterranean empires docked, are now a haven for café-hopping and lazy afternoon sightseeing. All who visit soon succumb to its charms.
The Hula Valley in the far north of Israel may appear very different to the sandy desert that many people consider Israel to be covered by, but this spot, which is one of the most important stop off spots for migrating birds and as a result, one of the best bird watching sites in the world, was until recently a malarial swamp which was drained and rehabilitated. Today, people visit from around the world just to watch the birds, although the tranquil outlook and peaceful leisure activities make it a great place for all to visit.
The walled city of Acre is as historically rich as it is visually stunning. With its winding alleys, crumbling courtyards and views of the Mediterranean, Acre can rightly claim its place among the Top visitor attractions in Israel. For thousands of years various cultures, religions and civilisations have made their home in Acre; some of the better-documented events of the city’s history saw the Crusaders capture it; the Ottomans live in it and even Napoleon Bonaparte himself trying to lay his hands on this ancient port. As a result of its colourful past, Acre has much to offer. Visitors will enjoy simply getting lost in the ancient city, but it’s also worth hunting out the Turkish baths and Templar tunnel.
The Dead Sea
At 1,360 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Its water is about ten times saltier than the ocean’s, making it possible to float on the water without having to move a finger. Be careful though not to splash water in your eyes – it can be very unpleasant! The mineral-rich waters can be very beneficial for those with skin problems. It is called the dead sea since it’s too salty for any live organism to live in. So all you can find inside the water is more and more salt.