Our Trip through Israel
Israel is a place that I’ve had the privilege of visiting many times, for both work and play. Unfortunately, when you’ve traveled so much (and to so many Muslim countries), you are instantly targeted for heightened security screening, which often means spending 2-3 hours getting through the airport. I highly recommend a trip to this beautiful country of varied landscapes.
Week 1- Tel Aviv to Eilat
Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv is a mix of modernity, beach and an old school way of life. Sitting on the Mediterranean coast, with a long stretch of beach leading up to its old town, there is everything here: surfing, great restaurants, shisha bars, nightlife and culture. It’s a lovely place to spend a day, or a long weekend.
Eilat: The drive to Eilat about 5 hours—depending on traffic and stops, through a mix of winding highways and desert, until you reach the coastal party town of long beaches and a surprising number of modern resorts. It’s a good place to hang a few days and have a good time. Although it is technically diving the Red Sea, I personally found the diving somewhat mediocre.
Week 2 – Dead Sea and Jerusalem
Dead Sea: From Eilat, head back up to the East toward the Dead Sea. On the way, spend half a day driving and hiking through Timna National Park—a beautiful stretch of colorful desert, known for its mushroom shaped rocks. Then continue on towards one of the seaside towns of the Dead Sea (I prefer Ein Gedi for its quieter feel, but there are many resorts at Ein Bokek, further south). Spend a lovely day swimming the oily warm water (bring water shoes, as the salt on the bottom is sharp) and getting spa or mud treatments. I would also recommend taking a sunrise hike up the rock plateau of Masada, an impressive fortress on a mesa, overlooking the sea into Jordan.
Jerusalem: On the way, north, be sure to stay a few days in Jerusalem. There is truly no other place in the world where religions and cultures come together to mix. There is old and new Jerusalem, with their distinctive vibes, but it’s well worth it to spend at least one night inside the old city and visiting the Western Wall—all very much alive with local life.
Week 3 – Haifa, Akko and the Sea of Galilee
Akko: From Jerusalem, head north to the bustling city of Haifa or the port city of Akko—on the Mediterranean coast with well-preserved old city walls. Wander the markets, smoke a shisha, and watch the waves crash against the city walls at one of many lovely restaurants lining the sea. Haifa is a short drive from the sea of Galilee, a freshwater mirror of glass.