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Cheap Family Vacations in Israel

While there are great many ways to enjoy your vacation in Israel, when it comes to traveling with your family there are some budget oriented consideration that need to be taken into account. This article will explore a few ways to control your budget yet make sure you are having a wonderful time with your family.

Try to book your flights online

While this might not be an easy task, booking your flight tickets online might save you big money. Most of the flight couriers to Israel have online ticket sales, and the prices are always cheaper than the ones you get via your local travel agencies.

Summer times

Israel is a hot and sunny place; if possible you should aim your vacation to summer times. You will be happy to find out that there are many free attractions in Israel, and beautiful open and free sunny beaches in Tel-Aviv, Haifa, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Natanya, or any other Israeli city next to the Mediterranean sea. Spending some time with your family on the beach bringing your own food can be an unforgettable vacation with some really magical moments for you and your family.

Reunite with your lost relatives

the number one secret to cheap family vacations is to be opportunistic. If your family or friend offers you the use of their house, there is your family vacation. If your relatives have a place you can stay in – grab this opportunity. You will find out that Israeli people usually give a warm welcome, and living under the same roof with your family could be even a better solution than staying at hotels

Drink Water

Israeli climate is hot, sometimes it could be very hot and you and your family will need to drink a lot – all day long. You could save a lot of money by drinking just water and not any sodas or juice. You can drink tap water anywhere in Israel with no fear, or if you prefer mineral water just buy a case of bottles in a grocery store or gas station and make sure to hang around with it all day, it will save you a fortune.

Camping Vacations

if your family is willing to live in tents for a few days, camping is the cheapest family vacation. There are many camping sites in Israel to camp at, some of them are even free sites to camp at, or will cost you about 25-40 NIS a person and will provide you with all the mandatory facilities like warm showers, restrooms, and some cocking facilities. Most of the camping sites will offer you breakfast as well, and bringing your own tent is not a must as many camp sites have big public “Bedwian” tents – an experience to the family for itself.

A Visit to Israel – The Land of Mysticism

Israel can be considered as one of the world’s oldest countries having many revelations about three great monotheistic religions namely Islam, Judaism and Christianity. It is the home of the Bible and the place where the most exciting archaeological and historical research has occurred. An immense experience can be acquired by spending a few days at the various holiday resorts with an almost endless variety of things to do and see. The visitor gets an opportunity to enrich his / her knowledge as far as the religious and historical aspects of the country are concerned. The curiosity of the tourist is aroused by the snow- capped Mount Hermon in the north, dominating historic Galilee with its exuberant valleys and lake Kinneret down through the industrialised and urban coastal plain through the empty mountainous Neger desert, to the tropical Red Sea coast with the sparkling part of Eilat- Israel and its diversity are within low reach. Several flights are scheduled and tours are organised from London via the British Airways. Options also exist for travelling from Paris in Air France and Nairobi or Johannesburg by the South African Airways.

Throughout the year there is a Mediterranean climate with almost daily sunshine guaranteeing a great holiday. In winter there is moderate rain and January is accompanied by snow in Jerusalem. Spring starts in April whereby there is warm season and lasts till October where relief can be acquired through the cool evenings in the hilly areas. A passport valid for six months is required to enter Israel. A visa will be issued after justification of your visit. Some rather strict formalities are practised by the immigration authorities to control the influx of illegal immigrants The visitor may well be requested to show proof of a return ticket, hotel reservations or other accommodation arrangements, necessary finance for the duration of the stay. Hence everything must be carefully planned before departure.

Appropriate dress is required to visit holy sites,otherwise informal dress is suitable and comfortable. It is advisable to wear a hat, sunglasses, sunblock and specially a flask of water when out on tours. One should not forget the camera to fix on pellicle the sites, sights and the various monuments that can be immortalised. There are no restrictions concerning photographs However, the devotee who prays at the Wailing Wall and the inhabitants of the Mea Shearim quarter dislike being photographed on Saturday ( Jewish Sabbah). Hence, it is preferable to respect their wish. Certain regions cannot be explored due to the Israel- Palestinian conflict.. So keep away from the Gaza strip, Hebron Ramallah and so on.

Israel offers more that three hundred supervised hotels that handle the yearly influx of one and a half million visitors of all faiths from the five continents. Moderate prices are charged for accommodation but there are some four and five -star hotels for clients seeking luxury in all the big towns and cities… Otherwise prices are adjusted for all budgets. The more informal structured stays can be sought from Christian Hospice, youth hostels, holiday villages, kibbutz guest houses and camping sites. As regards food there are dozens of first class restaurants serving the most cosmopolitan cuisines which cater for the palate – European, North& South American and oriental. Food at cheaper rates are also available in numerous snack bars and cafe serving a variety of dishes to suit all tastes at reasonable prices.Whenever you stop for a meal, Jewish and Arab specialities supplement the more conventional or exotic dishes. Since the Ministry of Tourism encourages the visitors to’ Meet an Israeli in his own home ‘, it is possible for the tourists to have dinner with an Israeli family who are accustomed to receiving and entertaining foreigners- the best way to get acquainted with the Israelis.

As far as travelling is concerned the visitor can move in the intra urban area and throughout the country by means of bus and train which are very low- priced and shared taxis (sheraf) charging reasonable fares. Ro- cars can be hired at international rates. The traveller can also derive maximum benefit from sightseeing by hiring professional guides with the availability of transport facilities.Also a camel ride is a rich experience which you will never forget and regret.

The main highlights include the Mediterranean coast, Tel Aviv, the most modern dynamic city in Israel which is the gateway to the rest of the country with the international airport. The largest port of Israel is Haifa where together with other ones crusaders and pilgrims embarked the Caesarea Aleko and Ashkelon. The site of most Christian pilgrimages is the North Nazareth, the cradle of Jesus Christ’s family and where he spent his childhood. The capital of Galilee, Tiberias, is a tourist resort. Muslim, Christian and Jewish pilgrims flock to Jerusalem,the city of peace. The little town of Bethlehem is of great significance to Christians where Mary placed her newborn son in a cradle. A monument has been built in dedication to the six million persons who died in the holocaust called the Yad Vashem. After Mecca and Medina, the third place of sanctity for the Muslims is the magnificent dome of the Rock. In the South one comes across the rolling desert of Negro with its strong craters and great sand domes of Elliat and the delicious Red Sea.There is also the Dead Sea where one can swim with assurance.

Once in Israel, the visitor can visit a multitude of sites and sights. Many archaeological sites open to volunteers willing to uncover past heritage. Visit Oumran to see the careers where the Dead Sea scrolls have been preserved for 2000 years. It is also worthwhile to visit the ancient remains of synagogues, 3000 years old, the ruins of Consadur castles. Nature lovers can admire the national parks and nature reserves which are accessible by the bus service “Egged” and all programmes for picnic areas in forests, gardens and beaches. For those seeking religious shrines, there is not more enriching land elsewhere: Bethlehem, Jesus’s birthplace, Nazareth where he grew up and performed his first miracle, the site after Multiplication of Bread and fish, the Garden of Gethsenanee where he spent the last hours of his freedom, the Wailing Wall which has spiritual importance and thrill for Christians and Muslims. The Monasteries seated over the land for centuries have resisted ages standing stunted and tough.They include museums and galleries with a wealth of viewing- classical paintings, modern sculpture, archaeological and religious treasures. Other touring sites are Tel Dan, Ein Gnedi,Cuesacea,Akhziv and Hummust Gowdee.

The visitor has the opportunity to shop from large departmental stores to open markets and bazaars. Speciality shops, exclusive stores and boutiques offer a variety of merchandise covering daily necessities, high fashions and unique souvenirs The ‘souks’ in Jerusalem, Jaffa Akko, Bethlehem and Hebron exhibit hand- made crafts, jewellery and glass. In the major urban areas goods, diamonds and fashion clothing are available Do not hesitate to shop around for commodities in the ‘souks.’ Avoid hogging with the sellers as they usually win.

While returning home from Israel not only your luggage will be packed with the country’s souvenirs and goods but your mind will be imprinted with the Israeli cultures and mode of living.Having been to the different holy sites the, visitor will undoubtedly achieve peace of mind,serenity and stability in life..

Israel: A Brief Historical And Religious Overview

Israel is the birthplace of the Jewish people. It is in this country that a significant part of the extensive history of the Israelites was enacted. Israel is recorded in the Bible as a specific place, chosen by God Himself, to be His own and who laid out the boundaries of Israel. Israel’s cultural, religious and national identity as well as the physical presences have developed throughout the centuries. Archeological studies in Israel reveals the historical connection between the Jewish people as set forth in the Bible, unearthing what remains of the cultural heritage of the Jewish people.

Geographically, Israel is located on the eastern side of the Mediterranean Sea. It is surrounded by Syria and Lebanon on the north, Jordan and the Palestine National Authority on the east and Egypt on the southern side. Despite the small size of Israel, it is composed of diverse terrain and has four climate zones. On the northern side of the country, it is the productive hill area of Galilee which rises to Mount Hermon and Golan to the northeast. On the coast the rich Plain of Sharon is found. The interior of Israel offers a variety of uplands and hills with several stony areas on the eastern side. The Dead Sea is situated along the eastern border of Israel. Kinneret, which is the largest freshwater lake in Israel, is an essential source of drinking water for the entire country.

The history of Israel is considered as a diverse one since it passed through different occupants throughout the years. During the ancient times, the ancestors might have included the Semites who stayed in the Canaan and the Sea Peoples. In 612 BC, the Assyrian empire was seized by the Babylonian rule. King Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon took control of Judah in 586 BC. Cyrus the Great of Persia took control of Babylon in 583 BC. It was believed that the concluding Hebrew versions of the Torah and the Book of Kings were dated to this period. In 333 BC, Alexander the Great conquered the region. During the 2nd century BC, Antiochus IV Epiphanes attempted to eradicate Judaism in favor of the Hellenistic religion. This led to the Maccabean Revolt in 174-135 BC that was led by Judas Maccabeus. The Books of the Maccabees showcases the uprising and the end of the Greek rule. From 37 BC up to 6 AD, the Herodian Dynasty ruled over Judea. Herod the Great was responsible for constructing the biggest religious structure in the world. During the Roman Imperial rule, Judea was established as a Roman province in 6 AD. This was followed by prosperity but the society suffered from the heightened tensions between the Greco-Roman and the Judea populations. It was in 66 AD that the Jews of Judea revolted against Rome, stating the new state, according to the Bible, as Israel. In 390 AD, when the Roman Empire was divided, the region was under the Byzantine Empire.

Moving forward, Israel endured a lot of changes while in the control of others until it eventually became an independent country. The conclusion of the 1948 War of Independence resulted in the creation of the Jewish state that was slightly larger and in accordance to territorial dictates as laid out in the Bible.

The 1967 War or the Six-Day War involved the mobilization of Jordanian, Egyptian and Syrian forces along the narrow borders of Israel in an attempt to invade and destroy the State of Israel. On the other hand, Israel carried out the ideal per-emptive strike on Egypt which left the Egyptian Air Force ablaze. After six days, Israel defeated the Arab armies and took control of the Sinai Desert, Golan Height and the West Bank.

Israel was able to take control of the 3000 year old Jewish city known as Old Jerusalem.

The most notable division in the society presently in Israel is between the Jews who comprise 75% of the population with the remaining 25% being non-Jews. Of this population, in terms of religion, 77% are Jewish, 16% are Muslim while 4% are Christian Arabs and the remaining 2% are Druze or Muslim offshoot that is heretical based on mainstream Islam.

Historically, in the Jewish society, there were some deep divisions. The first was the cultural division between the Ashkenazim, the Sephardim and the Mizrahim. The Ashkenazim lived in Europe for almost 2000 years and are richer and more politically connected. The Sephardim and Mizrahim came from the Middle East, North Africa and Yemen. Nevertheless, as the years passed, the division has declined and intermarriages became common.

While the divisions on ethnicity weakened due to the increase of the native-born population, there remains an element of religious tensions between the Orthodox Jews and the secular. Even though the secular Jews are prevalent all over Israel, Orthodox Jews typically center in cities such as Bnei Brak and Jerusalem.

Nevertheless, irregardless of the minor religious differences within the Jewish population today, when it comes to the preservation of the Jewish state of Israel all Jews stand together in the defense of their country.

If you are planning a trip to Israel give due diligence to researching the current political climate of the region.