Apr 01

Israel Cities – South Israel – Eilat

Eilat is situated at Israel’s southernmost tip on the shores of the Red Sea and is the ultimate resort city for local holidaymakers and visiting tourists from abroad throughout the year, due to the very few days of rainfall annually.

Marina in EilatEilat is a unique oasis at the lower end of the Negev desert and contains everything that vacationers could ask for, excellent hotels, lovely beaches, an abundance of restaurants and seafront bars as well as an endless choice of outstanding activities including amazing water sports especially for scuba divers, who can experience the spectacular coral reefs and a captivating underwater world with thousands of varieties of fish and marine life.

Eilat Underwater ObservatoryPopular places to visit are Dolphin Reef where visitors can swim with, dive with, or just observe the dolphins, and the Famous Underwater Observatory which is only one of four similar facilities in the world.
Visitors can walk down a spiral staircase to view the marine life at levels under the water, and also climb up to the top of the tower where there are wonderful views and Egypt, Jordan and even Saudi Arabia can be seen.

It is not a very well known fact that Eilat is one of the top spots in the world for bird watching and is the International Bird watching Center headquarters. Between the months of September – November more than one billion birds travel between the Mediterranean coast and the mountains of Jordan, and these migrating birds make their return flight from the beginning of March until the end of May. This makes the southern part of Israel the site of one of the most outstanding areas of migrating birds worldwide.

Eilat was an active port city more than 3000 years ago and reached its heyday during the time of King Solomon when there was a flourishing trade with Africa. It remained strategically important for centuries when it was under the control of Nabataeans, the Romans, the Arabs, and the Crusaders, all of whom ruled Israel.

Beach in EilatThe modern city of Eilat was established during the early 1950’s when the port was redeveloped. This was the starting point for its economy and it was only towards the end of the 1960’s that the tourist industry began to develop which led to the paradise resort that Eilat has become today, attracting many vacationers during the winter months from the very cold weather of the U.K. Scandinavia, Germany and France who come to bask in the warm sunshine and dry weather conditions.

Eilat offers a wide variety of accommodation to suit individual requirements, excellent restaurants and shopping opportunities as well as “Kings City” which is a theme park based on bible stories. There is also an IMAX theatre and many other fun activities amongst them Jeep tours and camel treks.

Mar 15

Cities In Israel – North Israel – Haifa

The beautiful Port city of Haifa in Israel is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and built on the slopes of Mount Carmel. It is the third largest city in Israel and its many sided distinctive characteristics make it an interesting and attractive point of call for visitors to spend time in.

Haifa, Israel

photo: www.goisrael.com

It has often been compared to other cities with similar locations such as Naples and San Francisco with its terraced landscape offering a wide variety of magnificent panoramic views. Across the bay in the northeast is the walled medieval city of Acre. In good weather on a clear day, with visibility allowing, the imposing white cliff of Rosh Hanikra on the Lebanese border can be seen in the North and the snow capped peak of Mount Hermon in the Northeast.

Haifa has a long and eventful history that goes back to biblical times and in the 3rd century CE it was mentioned in Talmudic literature as being the home of Jewish scholars including Rabbi Avdimos and after that it was captured and ruled by Byzantines, Arabs, Crusaders, Ottomans, Egyptians, and the British until 1948 when it became part of the State of Israel.
The residents of Haifa, a city which is an outstanding example of tolerance, belong to all three of the main world religions as well as a variety of minority beliefs, all living in harmony and co-existence.

Haifa is the world center for the Baha’i faith and the Magnificent Baha’i Shrine with its golden dome and its spectacular Gardens are a city landmark. The Shrine itself is the burial place of the Bab who was the founder of the faith.

Bahai Temple in Haifa

photo: www.goisrael.com

There are many other impressive landmarks in the city with its many churches, the most famous being the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery at the top of the Carmel with the cave believed to contain the grave of the prophet Elijah according to Christian tradition. The site of Elijah’s cave is revered by Jews, Christians and Moslems alike.

There are also unspoiled magnificent beaches known only to the locals and as yet undiscovered by tourists but plans are being made to develop the area around these beaches into a tourist paradise. There are many places of interest for visitors to see and things to do in the Haifa area and there is a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets.

Nov 20

Places in Israel – Israeli Cities – Tel Aviv

The modern city of Tel-Aviv in Israel was established in 1909 on sand dunes right next to the old city of Jaffa. The name Tel Aviv is derived from the word Tel (a mound of ancient ruins) and Aviv (spring) connoting emergence and rejuvenation. In 1911 Meir Dizengoff was appointed Mayor and remained in that position until his death in 1936.

Independence Hall Tel AvivAfter his death his home was donated to the city of Tel Aviv to be used as a museum and on May 14th 1948 it was in this building that David Ben Gurion declared the establishment of the State of Israel. Today, named Independence Hall, it houses exhibits on the signing of the Declaration of Independence and on the history of Tel Aviv-Jaffa.

During the First World War, most Jews were expelled from Tel Aviv and Jaffa by the Turks and could only return to their homes after the war under the British Mandate. After the Jordanian occupation of Jerusalem in 1948, government offices were set up temporarily in Tel Aviv until 1967 when Jerusalem was re-unified.

Tel Aviv Museum of the Diaspora

Photo: www.goisrael.com

The growth of Tel Aviv soon outpaced the neighboring ancient Port City of Jaffa and in 1950 Tel Aviv and Jaffa merged, forming the municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo. In 2003 Tel Aviv, also called the White City, (comprising the world’s largest amount of Bauhaus style buildings- more than 5000) was designated a Unesco World Heritage site.

Hotel and Beach in Tel Aviv

Photo: www.goisrael.com

Today Tel Aviv is a bustling metropolis and often referred to as “The City that Never Sleeps” and it is without doubt  where the action is. Visitors will find clean white beaches and warm sea, interesting shops and a plethora of Cafés and Restaurants to suit all tastes.

There are many places of interest in and around Tel Aviv –Yafo that will satisfy visitors no matter what their interests. A wide variety of hotels, self catering and B&B’s are available to suit all budgets.

Places to visit include: Museum of the Diaspora, Old Jaffa and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art.