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The Holy Land is as much a spiritual journey as it is a holiday destination. Every stone across the country seems to carry some historical significance and traveling across the land tends to bring home all those stories one learned in Sunday school. Every journey should begin and end in Jerusalem, the spiritual and historical heart of the country, and the capital disputed by Jews and Arabs. You could spend weeks in the city winding your way through ancient alleys, visiting holy sites or just contemplating the significance of it all. But if you only stayed in Jerusalem you'd miss some of the best that Israel has to offer - the nightlife in ...

The Holy Land is as much a spiritual journey as it is a holiday destination. Every stone across the country seems to carry some historical significance and traveling across the land tends to bring home all those stories one learned in Sunday school. Every journey should begin and end in Jerusalem, the spiritual and historical heart of the country, and the capital disputed by Jews and Arabs. You could spend weeks in the city winding your way through ancient alleys, visiting holy sites or just contemplating the significance of it all. But if you only stayed in Jerusalem you'd miss some of the best that Israel has to offer - the nightlife in Tel Aviv, the immaculately tended Baha'i Gardens in Haifa, the stunning beauty of the Golan Heights and a night in a Bedouin tent in the Negev. Of course no visit to Israel is complete without a float in the Dead Sea, reading the Jerusalem Post while suspended above the water. While nightly newscasts of bombings, shootings and general violence do little to promote tourism, these trouble spots tend to be well away from areas that tourists would venture.

Michael Kohn
About the Expert

Michael Kohn is the author of Lonely Planet guides to Israel & the Palestinian Territories, South Africa, Tibet, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Sri Lanka.

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Michael Kohn for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Middle East, between Egypt and Lebanon; along the Mediterranean Sea
  • Language: Hebrew, Arabic, English
  • Currency: Israeli Shekel
  • Research: Israel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall