Israel is home to some of the most treasured historical sites in the religious world, with the Holy City of Jerusalem as its centerpiece. From the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Foundation Stone in the Dome of the Rock, this region contains an unparalleled collection of artifacts, architecture and scenery.
Major Attractions: Jerusalem’s most famous shrines are found on the Temple Mount, including the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock. Experience history in the Holocaust memorial of Yad Vashem or the Shrine of the Book museum, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. For those inclined to explore the outdoors, visits to the Baha’i Gardens in Haifa, the Carmel Market in Tel Aviv and the mineral-rich Dead Sea will not disappoint.
Great for Church Groups: Tour the Old City of Jerusalem, which features the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, where Christ was crucified. Other noteworthy sites are the Tomb of the Virgin Mary and the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.
Hidden Treasures: Stand on the edge of the Ramon Crater, explore the mountain fortress of Masada, or ride the world’s steepest cable car down to the vivid blue waters of Rosh Hanikra sea caves. From February to May each year, thousands of red anemones blossom throughout the Negev region, and they are celebrated with the Scarlet South Festival.
Unique Souvenirs: While Jerusalem’s museums and gift shops offer plenty of souvenirs related to its religious landmarks, other local goods include Dead Sea products, prayer shawls, hamsa jewelry, olive wood carvings, wall hangings, Armenian ceramics, anointing oil from Jerusalem, Israeli clocks and pilgrim maps.
For more information contact the Israel Ministry of Tourism at 646-779-6760 or go to www.goisrael.com.