I visited Tel-Aviv earlier this year, just over a five-hour flight from London Heathrow. One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the high level of security, you definitely need to give yourself extra time at the airport, because you will be questioned as to why and who you are visiting.
I went with a small group of ladies and on arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport we were met by a representative of the Israeli tourist board. We were fast tracked through to passport control where I was given a 5 day visa on entering the country, all very exciting. Once through passport control we met our guide Irma who was going to stay with us and give insight into Tel-Aviv and this amazing country we where visiting, also to show us some of the most interesting place to visit.
Our first destination was just 20 minutes from the airport in Herzilya for a 2 night stay at the Herods Herzily Hotel. The location was overlooking a marina and just a stones throw from the beach giving a stunning view. The hotel was very modem and part of what looked like quite a large complex. My room was a suite so I had a lounge and dinning area with a large separate bedroom and bathroom.
We were up bright and early in the morning for breakfast as our first visit was to be to Jaffa and a look at the house of Simon the Tanner. Jaffa is a beautiful fishing village and we walked through the little streets down to the harbour and past the light house. The first light house was built on Jaffa hill in 1860, the current one was built by the British in 1936. From the top of Jaffa Hill you see the stunning City of Tel-Aviv in the distance.
Later our guide took us to a boutique hotel called ‘Browns’ based right in the heart of the fashion and cultural centre of the city. This area at night would be buzzing as it contained many stunning roof terrace bars, all very unique and quirky.
We then wandered around the open air market stalls packed with fresh fruit, spices, which smelt incredible and clothes - this is something not to miss.
After we found a little café to have a lunch of humus and pitta bread which we were told was definitely the best and when warm really Moreish and how right they were.
After lunch we returned to the hotel to get changed for a night out in Tel-Aviv.
Tel Aviv has so many bars and clubs to visit everything from roof top terrace to hidden little gems in old warehouses. All music tastes are catered for, all h the atmosphere is electric. There is something for everyone the night life is amazing not to be missed.
Next day we were off to Neve Midbar beach on the Dead Sea, the lowest point on ear, 422 meters below sea level. I didn’t quite know what to expect you hear about how people float in the water but it is the most bizarre thing ever, you see people covered in mud as the minerals from the sea are great for your skin. Then everyone showers and back in the water its only shallow but the salt is so concentrated it just keeps you buoyant. Trying to get up can be really funny to watch. Quick note if you have cuts or scratches the water makes them feel like they are on fire. I went for a swim after in one of the pools to cool down great fun.
After Neve Midbar beach we headed over to our next two night stay and the final part of our trip Jerusalem, I had really been looking forward to this part.
Our driver pulled over just before we got into the city our guide Irma pointed out to us all the key places of interest. To our left was where Jesus came from the desert, The Mount of Olives, where Jesus held the last super where he was crucified, and where he was laid to rest. Jerusalem is truly mind blowing place.
We then continued to our hotel modern and elegantly decorated Waldorf Astoria Hotel, but that’s what you would expect from a luxury hotel. We were shown to our rooms to freshen up
That evening we had dinner at the Satya restaurant, just a 5 minute walk from the hotel
Next morning we were going on a tour of the Old City which is home to so many religions Judism, Christianity and Islam. We walked along the 'Via Dolorosa' which is really moving, all these narrow little streets that time hasn’t changed, we also visited the Church of Holy Sepulchre
Our guide took us to what looked like a front door to a house, we went in and it is an actual hotel hidden away but it used to be a hospital. We went up on to the roof terrace which had an incredible view of the whole of the city. I would definitely recommend it, but you do need a good guide otherwise you would miss so much, and finally finished our walk at the Walling Wall you can not come away from this place not feeling a change in yourself. Jerusalem is a very special place it has a mixture of old and new beautiful shopping malls and then the old magnificent churches and buildings
If you get chance I would also try and get to see the Night Spectacular at the Tower of David Museum. This is a sound and light show that tells you 3000 years of history in Jerusalem
I would definitely recommend if you have never been to Israel you must
For more information on Israel visit the Israeli Tourist Board
Tagged in Travel