Israeli Travel Guide For First Timers


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When most people think of Israel, they think of conflict these days. An unfortunate result of the developments in the area over the last few decades, but this shouldn’t stop you from considering a trip to the region. Israel is full of so many amazing sights and locations with important historical and religious significance. Not only that, it’s absolutely stunning and offers up not just hilly and gorgeous hiking options, but a long stretch of coastline. Check out the rest of this article for a quick rundown on Israel and what you shouldn’t miss while there.

 

Golan Heights and Galilee

This unique area in the north of the country is  home to some impressive highland areas and is really of the traditional tourist trail. The area of the Golan Heights is an occupied territory by Israel since 1981 when it claimed it from Syria in the Six Day War. Ever since, Syrians were driven away and Israelis settled the lands. It’s remote, and hitching is sometimes the only way to get around, but you’re rewarded for your efforts with some stunning natural scenery including waterfalls, mountains, streams, and old ruined Byzantine monasteries and churches. The Galilee region is likewise beautiful and home to the Sea of Galilee as well as mountains and hills and is an ideal place for hiking if the Golan Heights area is a bit too close to the Syrian border for your liking.

 

Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is one of  the most vibrant, bustling cities in the Middle East and for good reason. It has a fantastic mix of old meets new and east meets west all within its city limits. It’s known for a laid back, enjoyable beach culture – of which there are a number of well maintained beaches with chair side snack and drink service. For a look at ancient Tel Aviv, hit up the small area of Jaffa to the south of the modern city, an area which is purported to have been inhabited since 7500 BC. Be sure to check out the markets throughout the city as well – some of which have been on sites of old ancient markets for thousands of years.

 

Visas

Now that we mentioned a bit about what you should see, time to talk visas. Israel is a bit… special… in terms of its visa situation. If you try to visit Arabic countries after having visited Israel and you have the stamps in your passport, expect to be denied entry. In this sense to help promote tourism without people having to choose between Israel and Arab nations, Israeli immigration has implemented a system where they stamp an alternate piece of paper that you must keep with you for the duration of your trip through the country and then discard once you leave. This will then appear that you have never been to Israel at all.

So there you have a couple of great spots to check out on any visit to Israel you may find yourself on. This is truly one of the gems of the Middle East, so make sure not to miss it!

Gems Of Jordan Not To Miss

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Almost everyone who travels as a serious hobby or for work will tell you that it’s their dream to go to a Middle Eastern country. Sadly with all the conflict that goes off in the Middle East, many people are hesitant to check it out, but some countries are as safe as can be and welcoming to boot. One such country is Jordan – an absolute jewel of the region, home of a number of stunning natural wonders, ancient villages and wonderful weather. Read ahead for three things you have to see in Jordan.

Petra

This is a given for anyone visiting Jordan. Located in Jordan’s southwestern desert, this ancient city was the capital city of the Nabatean Kingdom and is a series of buildings carved out of cliff faces. Due to the fact they have been carved right out of the cliffs themselves, the entire city takes on a rose gold coloured hue which has given Petra the nickname “the Rose City”. Many people are mistaken in believing the huge facade known as the Treasury is the sole attraction in Petra, but Petra is actually the entire city which can be explored. You can also head off into the bush on a tour with locals for some really unique views.

 

Wadi Rum

Wadi Rum is a huge swathe of gorgeous desert comprised of cliffs and rock formations in the deep south of Jordan near the border with Saudi Arabia. It’s a protected wilderness region and is home to numerous ancient rock carvings in the various formations found throughout this vast expanse of desert. Sunset and sunrise are particularly impressive in Wadi Rum, with the hills and rock formations almost coming to life in deep hues of reds and oranges. For a truly unique experience, take a hot air balloon tour of the region and be left breathless at the commanding views.

 

The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is a highly salty body of water that sits between Israel and Jordan and is a popular site for holidaymakers, sun seekers and more who come for the seas healing properties. The Dead Sea is world renowned for its intense mineral properties as well as being the world’s lowest point on dry land. It’s a beautiful region with many oases and small villages dotted around and the swimming is enjoyable with the hyper salinity of the sea making it easy to float in the water. Regardless of the other things you have planned for Jordan, the Dead Sea with its history and significance to the area is an important and unforgettable place to go. Make sure you pick up some of the local Dead Sea Mineral products before you leave to take a bit of the miraculous sea home with you.

 

So there you have the top areas you should check out on any trip to Jordan. On top of this there’s also the extreme southern coast of Aqaba and the city of Amman which is worth a visit as well. It’s easy to see why Jordan continues to impress and delight travellers to the region time and again.