- Visiting the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount (Haram Es Sharif): Built by the early Islamic rulers of Jerusalem in a.d. 691 on the site of the Temple of Solomon, this shrine is one of the world’s most beautiful structures and the centerpiece of this awesome, sacred compound. Take the time to experience the power of this extraordinary place on your own. Note that access to the Temple Mount is always subject to changing political conditions.
- The Western Wall on the Eve of Sabbath: Enter Jerusalem’s Jaffa Gate before Shabbat and join the flow of worshippers making their way downhill through the bazaars and alleys of the Old City as they move toward the Western Wall. At the Wall, you’ll feel the magnetism and charisma that this remnant of the ancient Temple possesses for millions in the Jewish world.
- Twilight from a Rooftop in Jerusalem’s Old City: Find a high vantage point (the terrace of the Austrian Hospice, the roof of the Petra Hotel, or the roof of Papa Andreas’s Restaurant) where you can watch over the Old City and listen to echoes of synagogue prayers, mosque chants, and church bells that usher in Jerusalem’s aura of evening sanctity.
- A Walking Tour of Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus District: Tel Aviv is Israel’s bustling seaside metropolis and while its long beach promenade is something to behold, so is its wealth of white Bauhaus architecture. In fact, Tel Aviv boasts more original Bauhaus buildings, mostly from the 1930s and 1940s, than any other city in the world. The Bauhaus Center offers great walking tours all year long.
- Journeying into the Past at Mea Shearim: This Hassidic Jewish quarter of Jerusalem is a surviving fragment of the ultra-religious world of East European Jewry that disappeared into the Holocaust. A walk through these streets offers insight into the powerful traditions that continue to make Israel unique.
- An Evening Stroll Through Old Jaffa: The beautifully restored Casbah of Old Jaffa is filled with galleries, shops, cafes, great restaurants, and vistas of minarets and Crusader ruins set against the sunset and the sea. It’s a special Israeli mix of the ancient and the cutting edge.
- Holy Week in Jerusalem: Starting with the Palm Sunday procession into the Old City and continuing with the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday and the Easter Sunday rites of the Latin, Orthodox, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Armenian churches at the Holy Sepulchre Church, this is a time of passion and meaning for thousands of pilgrims.
- Yad Vashem & Holocaust Museum: A visit to this complex of memorials and museums in Jerusalem that commemorates the six million Jews who fell victim to the Nazis is an act of contemplation about the dangers of hatred and indifference to suffering. No visitor can leave unaffected.
- Circling the Sea of Galilee: This gemlike, turquoise lake set amid the mountains of Galilee is Israel’s greatest natural treasure and was the landscape of Jesus’s ministry. The eastern and northern shores are less developed and better reveal the lake’s poetry. Explore biblical sites and watch twilight fall over this magical body of water from a eucalyptus-shaded beach. Kibbutz Ein Gev is perfect for overnighting and idyllic swimming. Rent a car for a few days and freewheel through the Galilee’s olive groves, wineries, ruined Roman-era synagogues, Crusader castles, ancient churches, and the walled Casbah of Akko beside the Mediterranean.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.