Israel is obviously a unique destination.
Its tourism is first affinity for the Jewish population worldwide religious and the faithful of the three great monotheistic religions.
But beyond Jerusalem and biblical sites, sweet and playful Tel Aviv, the Negev desert or majestic verdant Galilee deserve to themselves, that one makes a journey.
Cradle of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Israel is a destination for travelers foremost religious and historical.
This tiny country (smaller than Britain and yes!) Concentrates such symbolic weight it can only be a unique destination.
Jerusalem is obviously the top tourist attraction in Israel.
The city thrice holy welcomes over three million visitors a year, 80% foreigners.
Arcboutée the hills of Judea, Jerusalem welcomes pilgrims and history buffs in the old town divided into four quarters.
Behind the fortifications of the 16th century, the Western Wall, the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre at the heart of all expectations.
But Israel's new star is Tel Aviv.
The nightlife of the city earned him international recognition.
And revelers drew in their wake many visitors who have discovered a seaside town where it is surprisingly enjoyable.
Considered by the international community as the Israeli capital, Tel Aviv is the perfect setting for getaways time for a long weekend to explore the city both festive and family surrounded by the Mediterranean.
Northern Israel (Judea, Samaria, Galilee), narrow and populated route is easy.
But it must be remembered that the Negev desert covers 60% of the area of Israel.
A desert with magnificent scenery but inhospitable, mountainous and very dry.
Among the Bedouins, we discover another face of the country, formed out of canyons, here huge karst cliffs to circuses, further gneiss pillars with amazing shapes.
Sparsely populated, the Negev is considered by Israel as a territory to value, hence the presence of many kibbutz in the desert.
In the extreme south, at the mouth of the Arava valley is Eilat, Israel's access to the Red Sea.
10 km of coast between Egypt and Jordan shared a military port, a commercial port and a sunny seaside resort all year.
leading tourist destination for Israelis, Eilat also hosts many international holiday makers, especially in winter.
- Editor's Blog Tips French-Eilat
If you want to meet Israelis, opt for accommodation in Kibbutz: many of them offer hotel and catering services in parallel with farming.
Thirty of these kibbutzim are spread throughout the country.
. Alternatively, fairly cheap: religious hostelries.
In Jerusalem and the shrines, forty Christians hospices offers rooms or dormitories with breakfast.
If you like archeology, you can participate in one of the many excavation sites open during the summer.
They require no special qualifications and are accessible to all (one condition: to be eighteen years of age).
And if you want to meet the Palestinians, take a trip to ... the Palestinian Territories.
In Arab towns and hills of the West Bank, there are many sites to visit.
Far from the media clichés, you will discover another reality.
+ The amazing variety of Israel's landscapes: a subtle variegation between seaside tourism and green tourism.
+ The unique historical and cultural heritage, to decline according aspirations, biblical archeology to contemporary realities.
-L'hospitalité Proves to be the weak point of this country.
-The Political hazards of the Jewish state and the resulting tensions require some vigilance.
It is not recommended to photograph a pious Jew, especially during Shabbat.
As everywhere, all the time, ask in advance and with a smile and the best behavior.
If you talk about politics or religion, listen
- It's always very rewarding
- But do not say too much, or at least, be sure to qualify your judgment.
Whatever your opinions, know that this is an extremely sensitive field.
Observe the places of worship: discretion and proper attire are essential.
In Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, women should avoid pants, frowned.
Small religious tradition lesson: we discover in the churches, it is covered in the synagogues and we take off our shoes in mosques and Muslim houses.
Finally, kosher restaurants, avoid ordering dairy products along with meat.
But you can totally drink wine.
- Kitchen room
Like the country's culinary traditions reflect the Diaspora.
Side Middle Eastern cuisine you will be served mezzes (various appetizers), hummus (chickpea puree), the tehina (sesame paste), an eggplant salad with pita (cake), the grills and desire for sweet pastries.
To eat on the run, stop at one of the many stalls that prepare falafel (chickpea fried dumplings) and shawarma (grilled mutton), all presented in a pita, and offering also a rich assortment of salads.
Yemeni kitchen adds to these same Arab dishes moult fragrant spices.
It is also illustrated by the soup of oxtail, the foul (bean dish) and breads, as mallawah (crisp) or lahuh (leavened bread).
As for the Jewish cuisine of Central Europe, she loves the chopped liver, stuffed carp, cabbage with mushrooms, small savory pancakes, potato cake, the shashliks (skewers), goulash (beef stew paprika)...
Israel is a cosmopolitan country and we find any kind of restaurant, especially in Tel Aviv.
- Souvenir and Crafts
You can buy handicrafts, inspired by Jewish tradition, like mezuzahs (small silver boxes, metal or wood containing a rolled parchment on which are two excerpts of Deuteronomy).
They are fixed on the doors of Israeli homes, except those of the bathroom.
But also menorahs (jewelry, silverware ...), diamonds (Israel is one of the world centers of diamond cutting) and leather.
Prices are advantageous because taxation is lower than in Europe.
Also, if you pay in foreign currency, authorized stores by the Ministry of Tourism give you an immediate 5% discount and a tax refund on purchases over 45 ¤ (VAT will be refunded at the airport on presentation of the invoice).
In the Arab souks of the Old City of Jerusalem, you will find Palestinian embroidery, copper items, spices ...
The stores are open from Sunday to Thursday from 9 am to 19 pm, and Friday mornings only.
For Jews, the day of rest is Saturday (Shabbat).
That day, everything is closed, except in big cities and major tourist sites.
Muslim shops and Christians have the same hours respectively but close on Friday (day of rest) and Sunday.
- The landscapes
The coastal plain, the central hills
The long fault rift, Rocky mountains,
- The coasts
The Mediterranean coast, the Red Sea in Eilat,
The Dead Sea, the port of Jaffa.
- Arts and Culture
The museums of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv- museums,
The Museum of Heroism of Saint Jean d'Acre, Bedouin culture,
Tel Aviv - Bauhaus heritage Jaffa- The flea market,
JERUSALEM - The model of the Second Temple (West Jerusalem).
Nubian ibex, the Dorcas gazelle,
The reserve Hai Bar, Ornithology.
- The monuments
JERUSALEM - The Mount of Olives JERUSALEM - The Muslim Quarter of the Old City,
JERUSALEM - The Holy Sepulchre JERUSALEM - The Armenian Quarter of the Old City,
JERUSALEM - The Jewish quarter of the Old City JERUSALEM - The Wailing Wall,
JERUSALEM - The Temple Mount, Jerusalem, Mea Shearim (West Jerusalem)
JERUSALEM - The Knesset (West Jerusalem) JERUSALEM - The Monastery of the Cross (West Jerusalem)
JERUSALEM - Yad Vashem (West Jerusalem) JERUSALEM - The Hadassah hospital (West Jerusalem)
Jerusalem's Old City.
- Archaeological sites
Masada, Beit Guvrin, Qumran, Caesarea,
The Mount of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Beit She'arim,
Zippori, Mount Tabor, Beit Alfa,
Beit She'an, Bar'am, Fortress Nimrod Tel Arad.
A suivre: / To be continued: / Hommage à toutes les femmes israéliennes