Israel is a Middle Eastern country situated on the Mediterranean Sea. The county is regarded highly by Jews, Christians, and Muslims as the biblical holy land. Often regarded as a pilgrimage destination, Israel is home to some of the world’s most famous tourist attractions. However, there’s this common misconception that Israel is all about churches, synagogues, and mosques on the flip side. Here are the top 5 most offbeat places to visit in Israel.
There’s a lot more to Israel than just religious sightseeing. From the Dead Sea to Red Canyon, the country is filled with natural wonders. Undoubtedly, the holy sites are the primary draw but scratch below the surface, and there’s so much more to do. Since the fall season is fast approaching and the weather in Israel is best during the fall, it’s the best time to visit the country. You’ll find the days are pleasantly warm and the nights are cool.
If you’re tempted to visit Israel this fall, here are the top five most beautiful places to visit Israel outside of religious tourist spots. Check them out.
Top 5 Most Offbeat Places to Visit in Israel
The Red Canyon in the Eilat Mountains is one of the most breathtaking places to visit in Israel. This free-to-enter and accessible hiking trail gets its name from the phenomenon which causes the canyon to glow bright red when sunlight hits it. The red glow comes from the reddish-colored Nubian Sandstone lining the canyon. The natural wonder has been shaped over time by the flow of the Shani River.
There’s fascinating local lore behind the Red Canyon. It’s said that God sent its angels down to Earth to paint mountains. These angels are believed to have reached the Eilat Mountains at last. Unfortunately, by the time they reached the canyon, they had run out of paint. Therefore they painted the surface with whatever colors they were left with – yellow, black, and mostly red hence, the name.
There are two trails at the Red Canyon – green and black. The green trail is less exhaustive and perfect for families with children. The trail leads to the river bed, followed by a short path to the second creek. The black trail is for the more adventurous ones as it has a more arduous descent down into the second creek. A large rock emerges from the river bed along the black trail, which offers the most picture-perfect views.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee, or Lake Tiberias, is a freshwater lake in Israel known for its scenery. It’s also the lowest freshwater lake and the second-lowest lake in the world. The shoreline of the Sea of Galilee offers stunning countryside views and also has religious significance.
It’s believed that this is where Jesus lived, and he performed most of his miracles in this region, including walking on water in the Sea of Galilee. The earliest settled area in Israel, the Sea of Galilee, boasts of religious sites, modern cities, and n number of outdoor activities.
Tourists can visit the Tiberias Hot Springs, ancient pools filled with water from seventeen natural springs. There is also the Sea of Galilee Trail and Jesus Trail for those who like to hike. Other attractions include Rob Roy’s Canoes, Switzerland Park, and Hamat Gader hot springs.
The Dead Sea
The world-famous Dead Sea needs no introduction. Also known as Yam Ha-Melaka (the Sea of Salt), the Dead Sea is considered the lowest point on Earth. Apart from the high salinity of the water, which makes you float naturally, and the healing properties of the mud, the surrounding Negev Desert also offers some of the most stunning landscapes to tourists.
The Dead Sea is part of the border between Israel and Jordan. The towering mountains of Jordan and part of the Judean and Negev Deserts can be seen from the Dead Sea. The place is popular with tourists for its mineral-rich mud and floating in the salty water at its beaches. The water here is said to have medical properties.
The Ramon Crater or Makhtesh Ramon is the world’s largest erosion crater located in Israel’s Negev Desert. It’s a natural heritage created around 220 million years ago when oceans covered the area. It is shaped like a long heart and forms the Ramon Nature Reserve – Israel’s largest national park.
The Ramon Crater is home to more than 40 small desert creatures and simulates their natural desert homes. In addition, the park authorities run guided tours for tourists through six characteristic habitats, including plants, rock formations, and landscapes.
The main attraction in the Ramon Crater is the only campsite called Be’erot campground. Here tourists can sleep under the stars in Bedouin hospitality tents complete with refreshments.
Eilat, which is popularly known as The Resort City, is the southernmost city in Israel. The town is famous for combining desert landscape, breathtaking bay, and 365 days of sunshine. The city offers everything from luxury resorts to the finest restaurants with beachside service to its visitors.
The main attraction of Eilat is the Red Sea and its 10km long shoreline. With clean, clear, and cool water, Eilat beaches are the perfect spot for sunbathing and relaxing. Adventure sports lovers will find options ranging from tubing, kayaking, jet-skiing, banana boats, and more along the shoreline.
These are the top five tourist spots in Israel that should be on your itinerary to retreat from religious sightseeing, however, if you seek some adrenaline rush and fun, these are the most offbeat places to visit in Israel.