- Watching the Sun Set over the Mediterranean: Israel’s entire coastline of white-sand beaches, cliffs, and bluffs faces directly west into the sunset. The Jewish Day traditionally begins with the marking of sunset. Take a half-hour and find a spot to watch the sun sink into the sea—it’s a memorable way to unwind and reflect.
- Going with the Flow on the Sabbath: The idea that every living thing must be allowed to rest for one-seventh of its existence is one of Judaism’s ancient precepts. In modern Israel, most businesses and public transportation cease on Shabbat and everyone relaxes, if not rests. Join the national aura of Sabbath calm: Keep your Sabbath itinerary slow and restful.
- Wildflower-Watching in Late Winter: After the winter rains, thousands of Israelis and travelers pour into the Galilee to enjoy the oceans of wildflowers and the famous wild irises near Netanya and the Gilboa hills that cover the normally parched landscape; it’s a tradition akin to cherry-blossom viewing in Japan.
- Sampling the Music Scene: Israel possesses an oversupply of magnificent musicians; even smaller cities, such as Beersheba, are home to orchestras that would be the envy of world capitals. Check local tourist offices for information about concerts and festivals ranging from classical to jazz to traditional local music.
- Noshing Your Way through the Arab Bazaars of Jerusalem’s Old City: Sample this authentic food festival of treats while you wander: oven-fresh pita breads with local spices; kanaffeh (a scrumptious sweet cheese dessert that looks like pizza doused in honey); fresh figs or grapes sold straight from the baskets of country women; stuffed grape leaves, baklava, and sesame cookies with perfumed tea; or even a sheep’s liver-and-spleen sandwich!
- Ask Questions Everywhere: Israelis and Palestinians live with passion. They have lots to say, and most speak at least some English. Ask polite questions. Don’t impose your own views—just listen to the answers you get. You’ll hear a mosaic of feelings that reflect Israel’s ancient traditions and modern complexities.
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.