10 BREATHTAKING NATURE PLACES IN ISRAEL
10 Breathtaking nature places in Israel
Despite its small size, Israel has a diverse and one-of-a-kind natural environment, ranging from the desert in the south to mountains and forests in the north. In the middle, there are reservoirs, rivers, stalactite caves, and, of course, the Sea of Galilee.
Every Israeli, without a doubt, has a list of his favorite places to visit in his homeland, and you can argue about the order in which they should be listed. We've compiled a list of ten of our favorite places, ranked by their impact on my aesthetic pleasure (in descending order). You'll find a map at the bottom of the post that shows all of the places We've mentioned.
SALT ISLANDS OF THE DEAD SEA
The Dead Sea is one of Israel's most popular tourist destinations. Many people come here specifically to benefit from its healing properties. This place captivated us with a sight we had never seen before - a path of salt flowing into the sea.
We discovered this "salt path" after a 15-minute walk from the beach "Ein Bokek" (in our opinion, the most beautiful beach on the Dead Sea). It appears to be a snow-covered road leading into the warm sea. Its appearance creates a completely surreal feeling that will most likely stay with you for the rest of your life.
THE RED CANYON EILAT
We'd never been to the Grand Canyon in the United States, so the Israeli 300-meter "canyon" delighted us like a small child. Red Canyon is located 20 minutes from Eilat and approximately 4 hours from Tel Aviv.
The Red Canyon can be completed in 40-50 minutes (round trip). The route is quite simple: you will need to go up and down a few meters along with stable metal ladders several times, and the rest is easy walking on the plane.
The Red Canyon is best visited during the cool winter months (except on weekends and holidays). However, make sure there is no rain on the day of your trip because these areas are frequently flooded.
It's impossible to visit Israel and not see the desert. To feel its power, one must spend at least a few hours here, preferably in silence. Hiking in the desert is similar to meditation: you get bored at first, so you start to listen to yourself, your feelings, and, perhaps, somewhere closer to sunset, when the sand turns from yellow to gold and the heat is replaced by a slight coolness, you learn something new about yourself.
Mitzpe Ramon in the Negev desert is the most magical place in Israel. In Hebrew, the word "Mitzpe" means "observer." The view from here is spectacular, especially at sunset. I recommend spending a day here and climbing Mount Ardon. Please keep in mind that the climb is not easy and that special shoes are recommended.
MOUNT ARBEL NATIONAL PARK
So we left the desert and arrived in Israel's most prosperous region, the Golan Mountains, or Galilee, the birthplace of the best Israeli wine. There is no better place to see the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and the Golan than Mount Arbel.
It will take you about an hour and a half to circle the mountain on a well-marked and straightforward path. Maybe a little more if you go up to see the Druze fortress (which we recommend).
Because the terrain here is open and there are no places to hide from the sun, it is best to visit in late autumn or spring rather than during the summer.
We adore mountains and fine wine. On Mount Tavor, you can enjoy both. At the top, there is a magnificent Catholic basilica with stunning views of Galilee. And not far away is a winery called "Tavor," which produces one of our favorite Israeli wines.
SOREK STALACTITE CAVES
Sorek's stalactite caves are not far from Jerusalem. This is Israel's richest cave in terms of stalactites and stalagmites. Some of them are more than 300,000 years old. Some grow to be 4 meters tall. They only enter the cave as a group with a guide from Sorek. Tours are also available in English and Russian.
MESHUSHIM NATIONAL PARK
Another fantastic location in Israel, in our opinion. Lake Meshushim is located in the same-named reserve. To get there, you'll need to take a fairly straightforward and convenient route (about 30 minutes).
You can swim in the lake, but keep in mind that the water is quite cool even in the summer. Of course, swimming in a natural pool is a one-of-a-kind experience worth visiting, but there are many similar places in Israel; why Meshushim?
Because of its distinctly Scandinavian basalt walls. In Israel, I have not seen another lake with such a distinct environment. Such walls are more reminiscent of Iceland than of Israel's chalk mountains, which is what makes this place so special to us.
EIN GEDI NATURE RESERVE
Ein Gedi is a lovely nature reserve with an easy trail and a waterfall at the end. It is close to the Dead Sea. You will need to climb the metal ladders several times along the way - it is simple and convenient. There are plenty of shaded parking spots and streams to cool off in.
By the way, if you want to stay near the Dead Sea, We recommend two options: camping (which is both cheap and cool) and the Ein Gedi hotel (chic, but not cheap).
Another beautiful park where you can see the remains of the Jewish city of Gamla, which was built during the Roman occupation of this area, as well as the highest waterfall in Israel.
We adore this location because of the fortress. It has been perfectly preserved for its age; you can feel the scale, and you can understand how and how the city lived from the preserved details.
The most beautiful beach in Israel, in our opinion. Perhaps this is because the entrance to its territory is paid, resulting in fewer people here than on public beaches, more space, and opportunities to create your intimate corner among the stones or on a small cliff.