Israel Traveling Areas
There are numerous places to see in Israel and unless you go for a few months, you cannot visit them all. In order to spend quality time in the Holy Land, I would recommend taking at least three trips there which may be divided as follows:
1. The area surrounding the Sea of Galilee
2. Jerusalem and its environs
3. Masada, the Dead Sea, and other historical places.
The area surrounding the Sea of Galilee
Wherever you decide to travel, I highly recommend traveling with a reputable travel agency or at least seek the services of a guide who lives in Israel. They will be able to tell you the places which are of most interest to you and when will be the best time to travel. This was my experience and it served me very well.
In the area of Galilee, I recommend staying in a hotel/motel directly on the Sea of Galilee. There are numerous ones to choose from, but watching the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee is something you will never forget. There are numerous religious sites to visit in this area, such as:
1. Village of Capernaum – home of Jesus for three years and situated on the Sea of Galilee;
2. Magdala – home of Mary Magdalen also on the Sea of Galilee;
3. Peter’s Primacy – Here Jesus told Saint Peter to “Feed My sheep.”
4. Mount of Beatitudes – stunning view of the Sea of Galilee and mass may be celebrated here.
The peace, serenity and holiness felt here permeate the air. After visiting, you will feel as though you are “home.”
Masada, the Dead Sea and other historical places.
Upon visiting the Dead Sea, I was pleasantly surprised to find the waters a magnificent shade of blues and greens. The Dead Sea on one side coupled with the myriad shades of brown sand on the other side blend together nicely. Once again, there are many hotels in this area; all are beautiful with numerous services offered such as full-course breakfast and dinner, massage, swimming pool and beautiful rooms overlooking the sea. When visiting this area, it is highly recommended to take a swim in the Dead Sea. The crystal clear waters allow you to easily float on the top. Salt rocks on the bottom of the sea are easy to see.
A visit to “Masada” is well worth your time. Herod the Great built one of his many castles here, which must have been stunning in its day. On a tour of Masada, it is easy to picture the many rooms and even swimming pool used by Herod. Later, it was used by a group of Jewish families seeking to escape the rule of Rome. However, the “ramp” used by Roman soldiers in their attack on the families can still be seen today.
The City of Jerusalem holds many diverse religions along with biblical and historical sites. The three most well-known places to visit are:
1. The Dome of the Rock
2. The Wailing Wall
3. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
A tour company or reputable guide can tell the best hotels in which to stay. I would suggest to stay in one near the Old City of Jerusalem, where you can visit numerous shops, countless vendors and the beautiful Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Inside this church, to your immediate right, is a staircase which leads to the place of Jesus’ crucifixion where hundreds of people visit each day. The numerous chapels inside allow time for mass or for private reflection.
Jerusalem and its environs
Before entering Jerusalem, we stopped at the Mount of Olives. From here we had our visit view of the city of Jerusalem with the “Dome of the Rock” in the near distance. This proves to be a stunning view of this magnificent Muslim temple. At the time of Jesus, the Temple would have been located where the “Dome of the Rock” now stands. The “Wailing Wall” is located nearby. After the Temple was destroyed, the Wailing Wall remained standing and is where people of many religions now come to pray. Petitions may be written on slips of paper and placed into the cracks of the Wall. There are a number of other religious and historical places to visit upon traveling to the Holy Land. Once again, seek the services of a reputable travel agency. After visiting this beautiful country, you will definitely desire to return. Her simple beauty yields feelings in your soul which you never thought possible.