Lay of the Land
“In most countries people are born to forests, and forests are given to them by nature. But here in this country, if you see a tree, it was planted by somebody. ”~Moshe Rivlin
Because of its compact size, Israel allows travelers to see practically the entire country in just a ten-day trip. Besides its two major cities, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, the country has a number of renowned destinations. Haifa, a small hilltop town 45-minutes north of Tel Aviv, is great for a day trip from Tel Aviv or overnight at a secluded forested property just outside the city.
Two hours north of Tel Aviv lies Galilee, a worthwhile destination for history buffs and religious scholars. According to the New Testament, Jesus performed many miracles on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, and visitors can also stop at the towns of Nazareth, Zefat and Rosh Pina. The nearby Golan Heights, with its high, open hills (albeit some still fortified with land mines), are worth seeing before heading south to see the shores of the Sea of Galilee (which, despite the name, is only a lake).
The Negev Desert, with its vast, barren terrain, is a complete change of scenery from the rest of Israel. About two hours from both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, the Negev boasts a spectacular boutique hotel and truly transportive topography. The lunar landscape sits in stark contrast to the rest of the country and makes a worthwhile add-on to any Israel vacation.