Israel is full of living history. Known as the promised land for Judaism and Christianity, as well as sanctuaries of the Muslim faith, it has always attracted people from all over the world. Even today, many of the legendary biblical sites still exist, attracting believers, history buffs and tourists alike. In addition to the historical relevance, the nature of the country is imposing; from mountains over the desert to the deepest point on the earth's surface - the Dead Sea. In this pleasantly awe-inspiring environment, there are numerous offers for wellness and relaxation. Especially mud packs and mineral water from the Red Sea help for regeneration and well-being, making it the largest natural spa in the world.
Facts & Figures
Official name: Medīnat Yisrā'el / Dawlat Isrā'īl (State of Israel) Location: Middle East, located between Jordan and Lebanon on the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea Area: 20,766 km² (from the 1949 borders) Capital: Jerusalem (internationally not recognized) Population: 8.6 million Religious and ethnic groups: Mainly Christians, 75% Jews, 17% Muslims, 2% Christians, 2% Druze / 75% Israelis, 25% Non-Israelis (Namely Arabs) Language: Hebrew (official), Arabic (official), English (business language) Geography: In the south lies Negev Desert, lowlands on the coasts, mountainous inland. Highest point: Mount Meron (1208m) Time zone: Israel Standard Time (UTC + 02:00) Political and Economic: Parliamentary Democracy, GDP: € 261.2 billion (2014) Currency: Shekels (1 € = 4.88 ILS)
Arrival and departure
Since entry by car to Israel is severely limited, flights or arrival by boat (including from Venice) are recommended. The country's main airport is Tel Aviv. Flight duration: Visa: Vaccinations: In general, vaccination for hepatitis A and B is recommended, as well as a rabies vaccination for long-term stays. For travel into the Palestinian territories, a vaccination for typhoid fever is suggested. Upon arrival: The road network of Israel is considered excellent, but there are also various options for travelling within the country by train, plane or ship. Please note that there are no buses and trains from Friday evening to Saturday evening and public holidays.
Climate and best time to travel
Israel's climate is divided into three zones. In the desert, the climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters. In the coastal regions, it is subtropical and the weather is temperate in the mountainous regions. Winter average temperature: 14 ° C (lows around 10 ° C in February) Summer average temperature: 26 ° C (maximum temperatures around 30 ° C in August) Water temperature: (Mediterranean) max. 26 ° C in August / (Dead Sea) max. 31 ° C in August For travelling to the sea, the time between May and October is most comfortable, whereas spring and autumn are ideal for city breaks due to the milder temperatures.
The most beautiful holiday regions
Can you drink the tap water? The water in Israel should not be used as drinking water. Instead drink bottled water or boil the tap water thoroughly for a very long time. Do I need an adapter? In Israel, they do not use the same sockets as in Germany, an adapter is therefore needed. What about medical care? Overall, medical care can be considered good, but it is very limited in the Palestinian territories. For this reason, a travel health insurance with a medical evacuation transport is highly advisable. Most Beautiful Regions in Israel: Dead Sea – Endless swimming and wellness oasis Eastern Mediterranean – Sandy beaches and the cultural city of Tel Aviv
Public holidays and celebrations
The holidays are calculated according to the Jewish lunar calendar and therefore change from year to year. It should be noted that Jewish holidays always begin at sunset the day before. Purim, Passover, Jerusalem day, Shavuot, Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur, Feast of Tabernacles, Simchat Torah.
DOs and DON'Ts
DOs • Pack appropriate clothing. In religious sites, keep your shoulders and legs covered, men must wear headdresses in synagogues. • Haggle with vendors. Especially at markets and in smaller shops this is common and can help you find unexpected bargains. • Leave a tip. If the service was good, feel free to tip generously as the staff often get very little pay.
DON‘Ts • Don’t smoke on the Sabbath. Smoking on Saturday is considered disrespectful by many Israelis. • Don’t expect usual operation hours. Depending on whether it is a Jewish, Muslim or Christian business or area, it is always closed on Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
Tel Aviv Initially, Tel Aviv was only an offshoot of the adjacent city of Yafo, in which Peter and Saint Simon are said to have preached; many preserved monuments still testify to these beginnings. Over time, Tel Aviv grew and expanded. It has developed into imposing architectural diversity, which is still evident today in the cityscape. Tel Aviv is famous for its "White City" district built in the unique Bauhaus style. In this historic environment, however, modern life has not been neglected. Today, Tel Aviv boasts a cultural and celebrity metropolis and attracts countless visitors with its entertainment night after night.
Qumran Qumran on the northwestern shore of the Dead Sea is worth a visit for a variety of reasons. First off, it is the site where the world's oldest biblical writings were found in 1947. This makes the place of great interest to Jews and Christians. The remains of a settlement uncovered during archeological searches into biblical history are impressive for all with old water-supply systems as well as pottery, baths and living spaces still visible today. Exploring the more than 2000 year old ruins, you’ll find your breath taken away by the power of history.