Israel has always been an alluring destination. From biblical times to present day, this slice of holy land in the Eastern Mediterranean has long attracted visitors. It has attracted turmoil, too, and Israel remains a politically sensitive country. Nevertheless, its appeal for visitors is enormous and the day-to-day issues facing residents have little effect on those coming to appreciate its astounding historic relics, impressive religious sites and exquisite natural beauty. Home to the Mount of Olives, the Sea of Galilee and the ancient port of Jaffa, it’s hard to go anywhere in Israel without stumbling upon a place of religious significance.
Few places on earth stir up passion the way that Israel does: the breathtaking beauty of its hills and valleys, the eerie stillness of the Dead Sea, the multi-coloured canyon of Makhtesh Ramon, and the ancient walls and pathways of Nazareth and Jerusalem. The call of the muezzin and the quiet prayers of Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall reflect how the religious devotion of the Muslims, Christians and Jews who live here runs through every facet of life. There are also plenty of ways to relax: the bars and beaches of Tel Aviv and Haifa, the wineries of the Galilee and tables loaded with mezze. For the curious visitor, Israel never fails to challenge and confound, excite and surprise, leaving an imprint that lingers long after the return flight home.