My One Week Itinerary in Israel (and Palestine)

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I was recently invited to experience Israel with a focus history: from religious sites to the lowest place on earth, there is so much to see in Israel. However if you’re coming all this way, be sure to keep an open mind and see a little bit of everything, even if it doesn’t entirely interest you (upon first consideration). Throughout this trip I learned so much about religion, history, architecture and even chemicals (in the Dead Sea of course). It was an amazing and insightful week so I’ve shared my itinerary below as I believe I covered most of the highlights in Israel, as well as allowing for some time in the Palestinian territories as this is such a huge factor in the history of this land. Here’s how it went…

Haifa Israel

Day 1 – Haifa

Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport.

Jump in a car and rive to Haifa – Israel’s third largest city and second largest port, on the slopes of Mount Carmel. Public transport is also a decent option in Israel, with buses running between all the major cities. However for complete freedom to roam around as you please, a car really helps!

In Haifa, be sure to visit the Bahai’a shrine and gardens – the centre of the Bahai’a faith in the world. There is a strong emphasis on nature and this is most prevalent here at the core of the religion, with daily tours offering a more in-depth history into the religion (in multiple languages, free of charge). 

Dead Sea Israel

Day 2 – Nazareth & The Dead Sea

Today we started early and drove to Nazareth – the childhood town of Jesus. Whilst I thought this would be a huge highlight of my trip, it turns out it can easily be seen and appreciated within a 1-2 hour time frame (although I was visiting during low season and lines were minimal). Be sure to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation, Mary’s Well and the Church of St. Joseph. Next, continue to Gan Hashelosha (Sachne) National Park with untouched springs and a great chance to get out of the car, take a dip and kick back for an hour. If you plan in advance, this is a great spot to stop for a picnic lunch. Next, drive onwards to the Dead Sea – the lowest place on earth (419 meter below sea level)! Be sure to take a dip as soon as you can – chances are you’ll want to stay a while! Sunset is a great time to kick back and float in the salty waters.

Masada Israel Masada Israel

Day 3 – Ruins of Massada & Jerusalem

From the Dead Sea, its just a short 10 minute drive to visit Massada – the ruins of King Herod’s mountaintop fortress and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against the Romans in 73 C.E. You can choose to either hike to the top (around 40 minutes) or take the cable car up and back down. Not only is this a fascinating site in terms of historical relevance, but also has amazing views of the Dead Sea and across into Jordan.

Next, drive for about an hour to Jerusalem, the Capital of Israel and the holy city for the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. make your first stop a visit to Yad Vashem – the National Memorial and Museum of the Holocaust. Here you will find a comprehensive insight into the Holocaust and a memorial to the 6 million jews killed throughout this horrific time in history. If you’re looking for a fantastic evening meal, I really enjoyed Caffe Mamilla, a vegetarian restaurant at one of the cities’ luxury hotels. For my time in Jerusalem I stayed at the Dan Boutique Hotel, which has incredible views of the old city and comfortable accommodations at a reasonable price.

One Week in Israel - Jerusalem Bethlehem Israel

Day 4 – Bethlehem & Jerusalem

Today I branched off from my Israel itinerary and chose to visit Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus and an incredibly unique city in the Palestinian territories. No visit to “The Holy Land” would be complete without coming here and the locals were incredibly welcoming and proud to show me around their home. Oh and yes…. I felt entirely safe!

Back in Jerusalem for the later half of the day, I visited the Western Wall (Kotel) – Judaism’s most sacred site, Via Dolorosa (Stations of the Cross), the Christian Quarter with the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the rebuilt Jewish Quarter and Cardo – ruins of a main street from Roman times and the Arab Market (Shuk) in the Muslim Quarter.

Outside of the old town, I spent the late afternoon/early evening at Machane Yehuda Market which was impressive to see in the lead up to Shabbat.

Old Jaffa

Day 5 – Old Jaffa, Tel Aviv

This morning we drove to Tel Aviv – Israel’s commercial, cultural and financial centre. First of all we walked around the Tel Aviv promenade and made or way to Old Jaffa Visit, easily my favourite part of the city. There is plenty to see and do here on weekdays, however on the weekend (especially on Shabbat – Saturday), it is very quiet and almost deserted. Be sure to enjoy the nearby port and walk all the way along the beach back to the city centre.

Israel

Day 6 – Tel Aviv

Today was the last real day to explore as the following day I would be packing my bags and heading to the airport after a whirlwind 7 day itinerary in Israel. In Tel Aviv, be sure to visit the Carmel open-air market (selling fruits, vegetables and clothing), Sheinkin Street – Tel Aviv’s Yuppie area, Rothschild Boulevard – with its unique Bauhaus architecture and cafes, and Sharona – a reconstructed Templars neighborhood. Tel Aviv is full of great boutiques, eateries and has some great ice cream/frozen yogurt to cool you down in the Middle Eastern heat!

Tel Aviv

Day 7 – Depart!

What a jam-packed week of adventures in Israel! If you’re looking to take a slower pace and enjoy more of the every day life in Israel, you’ll really need more time. It also would have been nice to spend more time in Bethlehem and make a visit to Jericho, so if you’re looking to visit the Palestinian territories as well, be sure to allow for more time in your itinerary. There’s still much more to see in the Middle East beyond Israel, so be sure to consider combining a trip with Jordan or Lebanon, two travellers’ favourites in the region.

My trip was arranged by Go Israel, however my opinions are all my own.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

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14 Comments

  1. xmadnetx@yahoo.com'

    Sam

    April 4, 2016

    Just want to update your geography: Jerusalem is the Capital of Palestine.

  2. sandysri.furious@gmail.com'

    sandy

    February 8, 2016

    Wow Wonderful locations. Israel is one of the Best places to visit.

  3. khan_nidukhan@yahoo.in'

    Socio

    January 8, 2016

    Beautiful. The pictures are few, but the world is anonymous. There are many more beautiful scenarios across different countries.

    The first picture was a breath-taking photo.. speechless ! Thanks a ton for sharing such images.

  4. arnavraop@gmail.com'

    Cashback India

    January 6, 2016

    Thanks for sharing this. It is really made me to consider visiting these places.
    Photos are very good.

  5. taraqhiggins@gmail.com'

    Tara

    December 4, 2015

    This video is wonderful. I’m really glad you haven’t let the negative comments get to you and that you traveled for your own reasons and learned everything for yourself!

  6. shakedshaked6shaked@gmail.com'

    shaked

    November 28, 2015

    I am from Israel and i’m glad to hear you enjoyed your trip. great post!
    p.s- it is Sarona and not Sharona (:
    xo

  7. management@ilenczfalva.com'

    Helena

    November 28, 2015

    Lovely photos! Need to see Israel some day! 🙂 Hope you enjoyed your stay! xx
    Helena

  8. becky.markovitz@gmail.com'

    Becky Markovitz

    November 27, 2015

    What a great post! I was trying to decide if I should add Bethlehem to my Israel itinerary, but I’m convinced now after watching your video!

  9. priyag.delhi@yahoo.co.in'

    Mia

    November 27, 2015

    Whoa! There’s just too much culture and history. I have always wanted to visit Middle east but have held back for some personal reasons. But now I again feel inspired after reading your post.

  10. info@the-worldwide.com'

    the-worldwide

    November 27, 2015

    I have known that Israel is the most productive country of the world, but now i came to know that it is beautiful too.

  11. angelagiakas@gmail.com'

    Angela

    November 27, 2015

    How incredible. I would love to tick those places off my bucket list one day. There’s just so much history it’s crazy! x

  12. darasugrue@yahoo.com'

    Dara

    November 27, 2015

    I would to travel in the Middle East…so much history, culture and diversity. This looked amazing.

  13. ashleychristabelle@hotmail.com'

    Ashley

    November 27, 2015

    Sounds like an amazing trip! Been waiting for years to visit Israel x

  14. theprintedsea@gmail.com'

    Irene

    November 27, 2015

    Amazing post! You have a wonderful blog:)
    What about following each other on Instagram, Bloglovin, Twitter?.. 🙂

Comments are closed.