Israel has no shortage of points of interest for visitors of all kinds, and most people are familiar with the must-see sites even before they arrive in the country. Interested in the locations local Israelis are most proud of? Here is a quick look at the spots which make every Israeli proud to call the country home.
Colloquially known as the Dead Sea (ים המלח – Yam HaMela – literally Salt Sea), this is one of the most popular sites for tourists and locals. The Dead Sea, the lowest point on land, boasts its hypersaline water making it nearly 10% more salty than any ocean. Visitors can have the unique experience of completely floating in its salty waters. Its extremely salty makeup makes it more difficult for normal plant and animal life to exist, and therefore it took on the moniker “Dead Sea.” Israelis love to head down to the Sea to relax, take advantage of the local hotel and spas in the area (try a Dead Sea mud mask!), and take in one of the most special destinations in the world.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This ancient fortification in the desert is rich with history and stories as captured by Jewish-Roman historian, Josephus. Herod the Great captured Masada during a power struggle between 37 and 31 BCE. The fortress not only holds some incredibly interesting history, but additionally boasts an incredible view of the desert and beauty of the Negev. (We recommend hiking the Snake Trail at Masada for sunrise!)
Old City, Jerusalem
Many Israelis have a love/hate relationship with Jerusalem – either they love spending time in the city, or they absolutely hate it. That being said, without a doubt, nearly every Israeli will tell you they are proud of the Old City of Jerusalem. There is likely not a place in the world that has as much religious history (for multiple religions), archaeological, and political importance. There is something to see and do for every person that comes to visit the Old City, it should not be missed.
Tel Aviv, the so-called “White City,” because of its 4,000 + Bauhaus and international style buildings, is a gem of the Middle East. With incredible architecture littered throughout the city, the amazing coastline running alongside its heart, and the non-stop cafe and bar culture, Tel Aviv is one of the most unique and fun cities in the country.
An annual festival, Israel’s Darom Adom – or “Red South” – celebrates the blossoming of the Anemone flowers in the Northern Negev region of Israel. The festival each year typically occurs from mid-January until the end of February, and Israelis and tourists alike love to grab family and friends and head to the region for hikes in the area and to photograph the amazing flowers.
The Ramon Crater/Mahktesh (the geological term), is an extremely unique site, not just in Israel, but in the world. Mahktesh Ramon is the largest Mahktesh in the world – meaning it is the largest naturally created crater (through water erosion and climatic forces). There are amazing hikes throughout the region, and the vantage point looking out over the 40 kilometer long, 500 meter deep crater is truly a sight to behold.
The Jordan River is not just a unique place for Christian tourists wanting to visit the Baptismal site, but Israelis love to visit the river for long, relaxing weekends along its banks. Visitors can rent kayaks or paddle boats, and you can commonly see people jumping from the overhanging tree branches, into the River’s waters. Camp overnight for free and enjoy the atmosphere.
When visiting Israel, you must try some local cuisine. Israelis are extremely proud of their culinary triumphs and the plethora of hummus (chick pea dip or spread) restaurants are amongst the best of the best. If you ask locals, each person will have their own favorite, with some preferring restaurants whose hummus is warm, while others are dedicated to the hummus served with more lemon and tangy tahini. Visit Abu Gosh, a town outside of Jerusalem, for some of the best hummus in the country. Nearly all Israelis can agree on that.
The Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa, are terraces of the Baha’i faith. The gardens are one of the most beautiful and important to the Baha’i faith. The garden terraces encircle the Shrine of the Báb (the founder of the Bábí faith), on the side of Mount Carmel in Haifa. The site is picturesque and as of 2008, was added as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Caesarea is an ancient coastal city in the northern region of Israel. The city was built by Herod the Great in the years 25-13 BCE, as a maritime port city. Caesarea thrived during its heyday, and is filled with incredible historical architecture and stories. The aqueducts and amphitheater are among the most popular areas of the city for visitors to enjoy.
Rounding out the top 11 of the sites locals in Israel love, is the freshwater lake, the Kinneret (also known as the Sea of Galilee). The Kinneret is located in the northeast region of Israel, and is one of the top tourist spots in the country. Many Christian tourists visit the lake as it is the site at which Jesus is said to have performed many miracles, including where he walked on water. For locals, it is a beautiful area in which to sunbathe, hike, and enjoy the quiet of nature.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.