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Israel is a very small country, making it a perfect destination to explore as much as possible. Finding a weekend away from Tel Aviv is no problem at all, since at just about an hour away, you can find green hills, sandy landscapes, magnificent archaeological sites or luxurious beaches – and all with delicious local Israeli cuisine, warm locals and amazing weather.
If you are looking for some quiet time by the beach with excellent hotels and dining options, check out Herzliya. This coastal, elegant city is basically a suburb of Tel Aviv, being only 15-20 minutes away, but offers a much more relaxed vibe.Herzliya is one of the country’s most exclusive areas with ambassadors and industrialists among its residents, and with several luxury five-star hotels, wonderful beaches and an abundance of high-class restaurants, the city can provide the ultimate getaway in just 20 minutes.
Travel about 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv and you will reach Caesarea, a fascinating and stunning historic destination. The Caesarea Port and the Caesarea Amphitheatre are some of Israel’s most impressive archaeological sites. The beautifully restored harbour was built by King Herod in 13-27 BC, while the new town of Caesarea is a luxurious neighbourhood made up of villas, restaurants and beaches. Just a 20-minute drive away, you will find Zichron Ya’akov, a picturesque, stunning small village with restaurants, wineries, artist galleries and the beautiful Elma Hotel.
No surprise here – one of the most fascinating and beautiful cities in the world, Jerusalem is all about tradition, history and culture. With its incredible old city, drawing visitors from all places and religions, as well as a great variety of restaurants, hotels, museums, wineries and attractions, Jerusalem is an amazing destination to visit and could make for a perfect urban weekend getaway, at less than an hour’s drive away.
If you are in the mood to drive a little further, head north to Upper or Lower Galilee, where you will find green landscapes, wineries, local food and art artisans, many little B&Bs, small hotels or romantic cabins. Only two to three hours north of the hustle and bustle of Tel Aviv, you will be able to drive through hills, raft on the Jordan River, swim in the Sea of Galilee, hike through small hidden lakes and just relax.
One of the most unique destinations in the Middle East is the desert. Getting to the Israeli Negev will take you less than two hours from Tel Aviv and once there, you will be amazed by the incredible sandy landscapes, pure air and many attractions. Whether you are into star gazing in the Ramon Crater, taking a dip in the dead sea, hiking desert trails or just relaxing in a luxury hotel, there is no doubt the Negev can make you forget your troubles and provide a wonderful weekend away.