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18 Reasons To Visit Israel In 2018



2018 is here and many of us are thinking about where we want to go this year. One of our 2017 highlights was visiting Israel with Abraham Tours - so we've put together this list of 18 Reasons To Visit Israel in 2018! If you prefer to watch our video, you can view it here:



 


1. The sunrise at Masada is breathtaking 


Masada is an ancient fortress in the middle of the dessert, with unbelievable views of the Dead Sea. Trekking up here in time for sunset is an absolute must - the climb is tough, but your sense of achievement and one of the best sunsets you'll see in your entire life will more than make up for it. 



2. You can't help but float in the Dead Sea


Seriously, we tried so hard not to float there - we even tried pushing each other down, nothing will stop that sea from pushing you right back up - it's such a cool/weird feeling!

After your float, be sure to cover yourself in that mineral-rich Dead Sea mud - it's soo good for the skin, and makes for some funny photos! 





3. It's an important holy places for three religions


We're not religious, but a place that has drawn three of the world's major religions is fascinating to us. And we loved seeing how different religions can work together:

For example, the Old City of Jerusalem is split into four sections - Jewish, Muslim, Armenian and Christian. In the Christian section is a very very important church (built on the spot where Jesus was supposedly crucified). The Christians could not agree which fraction of Christianity should look after this special Church's key - so a Muslim family agreed to keep it safe for them. Hundreds of years later that same Muslim family comes every morning and every evening to open/lock up the church - how nice is that!



4. To eat the best food in the world


Of all the food we ate last year, Israel was our absolute favourite - it's diverse, it's delicious and it's soooo vegan friendly - read more: quick vegan guide to visiting Israel. No matter what kind of food you're into*, Israel will not only cater for you - they will go the extra mile and then some.

(*okay, they're not going to give you pork, but you know we're not down with that anyway 😁)

We highly recommend taking a food tour and/or a cooking class when you're in Israel! 


5. Tel Aviv is a young, vibrant super cool city




Tel Aviv apparently has a medium age of 31 - this means lots of young families, lots of cool restaurants and cafes, awesome graffiti, hip bars and of course - it's a gold-mind for hipsters. 

We spent a fascinating afternoon in Tel Aviv, wandering around and soaking up all the graffiti. 

6. You can visit a Kibbutz



A Kibbutz is a collective community unique to Israel - originally based on agriculture, they are similar to communes.

We went with Abraham Tours to experience a Kibbutz and it really was fascinating! Some of the aspects of it weren't very us at all, but some of them really were, and regardless of who you are or what you're into, I think experiencing a different society like that is always eye-opening. (Plus you get to have lunch at the Kibbutz and it's delicious.) 





7. Family is important


Anyone who even slightly knows me knows I hate kids - they're annoying - in Israel I was shocked by how many kids we saw playing happily. Why was I shocked? Because they were so sweet!! And not annoying at all. It was lovely to see children happy - and often they were hanging out by themselves / with other kids. 


8. You can see ancient Roman ruins


I don't know why (other than we're bad at history and geography), but we never knew the Romans came down this far or wide. But come they did and in the Caesarea National Park you can see some of the most impressive Roman ruins I've ever seen.

Right on the Mediterranean coast, it's a beautiful place to spend the morning. 


9. It's easy to hop over to Jordan and see Petra


Israel shares a border with Jordan and it's relatively easy* to cross over and see one of the seven new wonders of the world - Petra - plus of course Jordan itself.

(*Okay I say it's relatively easy, it's actually not, but we went on the Best of Israel & Jordan 10 Day Package with Abraham Tours and they sort everything out for you, making that border crossing a walk in the park)

Petra was one of the most beautiful places we've ever been to and is definitely our favourite new world wonder (sorry Roman Colosseum and Great Wall of China). 

Jordan itself was also a country that we really enjoyed - the people are friendly, the food is nice, and the weather is pleasant!!! Dry heat for the win. 


10. Jesus walked on water there


If you head to the north of Israel you can see Nazareth and visit many of the places Jesus supposedly performed miracles including the bread and wine one and where he 'walked' on water. 

As you can tell, we're sceptics, but the water place really was eerily beautiful - there was this gorgeous mist on the water and it felt magical. (Plus we had a great time walking on the stones and pretending that we too could walk on water, oh and we sung that walk on water song a lot. lol). 




11. It's a heaven for cat lovers




There are cats everywheerrreeeeee in Israel - and not the usual kind of cats you get in countries where cats are everrryyyywheerree (aka scabby cats), these cats were all gorgeous, well looked after, friendly. It's a cat haven!

12. And dog lovers


I loved Tel Aviv for many reasons, the main one being that everyone seems to have a different breed of dog - each dog cooler than the last.

We saw fluffy ones, we saw tiny ones, we saw all the dogs and I fell in love with them all. 


13. The wine is incredible 




Did you know that they make really amazing wine in Israel? Because we had no idea they even made wine there, let alone how good the wine is. 

We went on a wine tour near Nazareth and loved it! Not only was the wine impeccable, they also served chocolate (vegan friendly) liquor that was to die for. 


14. You can take a cooking class and learn how to make the best food



Like I said earlier, the food in Israel is incredible, really really delicious and filling, but also healthy. We tried a cooking workshop in Tel Aviv and it was lots of fun - we met lots of cool people and at the end sat down together to enjoy the delicious meal we'd prepared. 

15. Sunsets at the beach in Tel Aviv are dope


Israel has three seas - the Med, the Dead, and the Red. The Mediterranean is on the West Coast which means one thing and one thing only - absolutely incredible sunsets, with the sun so large and orange it will make you cry with happiness.  



16. The winding streets of Nazareth are magical


We were really amazed at how the three cities we visited in Israel - Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Nazareth were all so completely different to each other. We liked them all, but we liked them for different reasons. 

Nazareth is a beautiful, winding set of streets that go up the mountains - go there, get lost, find your way to the top and be rewarded with some amazing views. 



17. The markets in Jerusalem are a treat for the senses


The markets in Jerusalem were some of the best we've ever been to - your nose, eyes and taste buds will all thank you - and it doesn't stop there:

I love visiting markets when I travel, but after one too many pushy, grabby market men in South East Asia / Greece / Italy / Birmingham (lol), I've learnt to be super aggressive and don't-treat-me-like-another-dumb-tourist when it comes to markets - I will shout no at everyone, and I will haggle until they cry.

Anyway, in Jerusalem they're not like that at all, they don't shout that much and were taken aback by my down right rudeness. People were genuinely just being nice there, not trying to pull one over on Cody (and pat me down for good measure).

Thus, ladies and gentlemen, I proclaim that the markets in Jerusalem aren't just great for your eyes, nose, taste-buds, they're also great for your ears andd your sense of touch. Boom 5/5 




18. To stay with Abraham Hostels 


Last, and certainly not least, Abraham Hostels. We stayed at all three of their branches: Jerusalem is a in a great location, close enough to walk to the Old City - anddd they offer free walking tours that start from the actual hostel (so you don't have to worry about getting lost on your way there). Tel Aviv was so hip and cool, we met so many cool people there! When we were staying they had one of the coolest bands in Israel playing, and we went to a night club type thing during the day. Nazareth is more a guest house than a hostel and we loved it! It was so pretty and authentic. 

All three offer free breakfast - and it's one of the best free breakfasts we've ever had from a hostel - it's not hostel quality at all. And actually that extends to the whole of the Abraham Hostel idea - they are hostels, BUT they have better quality everything - great kitchens, great chill areas, nice staff, these awesome maps that give you discounts to nearby restaurants, cafes and clubs. Everything felt well thought out and delivered. 

Book your own stay
To book your own stay head on over to their website or find them on Hotels.com   




Disclaimer: Travelling Weasels were invited as guests of Abraham Tours and Abraham Hostels but as always all opinions are our own. We've never recommended something we haven't personally tried and loved, and never will because that's lame. 

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We're Laura and Tanbay, a British/German couple who have successfully weaselled our way out of the rat-race and want you to do the same!

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