#44 best destination in the world

Pool of the Arches

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  • Row a boat through this ancient 1,200 year old underground reservoir
  • Originally built as an underground reservoir in 789 to supply water

Neve Tzedek

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  • Neighborhood that was the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside the old city of the ancient port of Jaffa
  • Originally a Mizrahi Jewish and Yemenite Jewish neighbourhood, for years, the neighborhood prospered as Tel Aviv, the first modern Hebrew city
  • Years of neglect and disrepair followed, but since the early 1980s, Neve Tzedek has become one of Tel Aviv’s latest fashionable and expensive districts, with a village-like atmosphere

Tayelet

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  • Promenade that forms a public park
  • From this vantage point, atop a ridge overlooking Jerusalem’s Old City and the Dead Sea, tradition holds that Abraham was shown Mount Moriah as the site for the binding of Isaac as recorded in the Bible
  • Hidden under this ridge are the remains of an aqueduct built by Herod the Great to bring water from the south, by way of his summer palace Herodium, to the Second Temple
  • This area was a no man’s land in the period between the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 and the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967

White City (Tel-Aviv)

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  • White City refers to a collection of over 4,000 buildings built in a unique form of the International Style in Tel Aviv from the 1930s, with a strong Bauhaus component, by Jewish architects from Germany and other Central and East European countries with German Cultural influences, who immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine after the rise to power of the Nazis in Germany
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Bahá’í World Centre Buildings

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  • Include both the Bahá’í holy places used for pilgrimage and the international administrative bodies of the faith
  • The buildings contain pilgrim buildings, administrative offices, libraries, archives, historical residences, and shrines, as well as 30 different terraces
  • First sites connected with the relatively new religious tradition
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Acre

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  • City in the coastal plain region that sits on the Mediterranean Sea
  • One of the oldest cities in the world, continuously inhabited since the Middle Bronze Age 4,000 years ago
  • The holiest city of the Bahá’í Faith, and as such receives many Bahá’í pilgrims
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Rosh HaNikra Grottoes

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  • The grottoes are cavernous tunnels formed by sea action on the soft chalk rock
  • A tunnel was built by the British for the Haifa-Beirut railroad line, and in 1968 a second one was dug, both connecting the grottoes with each other
  • There is now a cable car there, with a 60-degree gradient, this cable car is advertised as the steepest in the world

Yad Vashem

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  • #24 of the top 25 museums in the world
  • Museum dedicated to preserving the memory of the dead, honoring Jews who fought against their Nazi oppressors and Gentiles who selflessly aided Jews in need, and researching the phenomenon of the Holocaust in particular and genocide in general, with the aim of avoiding such events in the future
  • Established in 1953

Shrine of the Book

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  • Wing of the Israel Museum that houses the Dead Sea Scrolls
  • Constructed in 1965
  • As the fragility of the scrolls makes it impossible to display all on a continuous basis, a system of rotation is used
  • After a scroll has been exhibited for 3–6 months, it is removed from its showcase and placed temporarily in a special storeroom, where it rests from exposure.
  • The shrine houses the Isaiah scroll, dating from 408 BC
  • The most intact of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Aleppo Codex, dating from the 10th century CE, the oldest existing Hebrew Bible

Western Wall

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  • Holy ancient limestone wall in the Old City of Jerusalem
  • Founded in 19 BC
  • Originally erected as part of the expansion of the Second Jewish Temple begun by Herod the Great, which resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount
  • Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though the holiest site in the Jewish faith lies behind it
  • Also called the “Wailing Wall”, referring to the practice of Jews weeping at the site over the destruction of the Temples
  • The term “Wailing Wall” is not used by Jews, and increasingly not by many others who consider it derogatory
  • With the rise of the Zionist movement in the early 20th century, the wall became a source of friction between the Jewish and Muslim communities, the latter being worried that the wall could be used to further Jewish claims to the Temple Mount and thus Jerusalem
  • After the 1948 Arab–Israeli War the Eastern portion of Jerusalem was occupied by Jordan
  • Under Jordanian control Jews were completely expelled from the Old City including the Jewish quarter, and Jews were barred from entering the Old City for 19 years, effectively banning Jewish prayer at the site of the Western Wall
  • This ended in 1967, when Israel gained control of the site following the Six-Day War

Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery

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  • #4 of the oldest cemeteries in the world
  • Most ancient and most important Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem
  • Burial on the Mount of Olives started some 3,000 years ago in the days of the First Temple, and continues to this day.
  • The cemetery contains anywhere between 70,000 and 150,000 tombs from various periods, including the tombs of famous figures in Jewish history

Beit Guvrin National Park

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  • Ruins of Maresha, one of the important towns of Judah during the time of the First Temple, and Beit Guvrin, an important town in the Roman era
  • Archaeological artifacts unearthed at the site include a large Jewish cemetery, a Roman-Byzantine amphitheater, a Byzantine church, public baths, mosaics and burial caves

Masada

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  • Ancient fortification situated on top of an isolated rock plateau
  • Overlooks the Dead Sea
  • Herod the Great built palaces for himself on the mountain and fortified Masada between 37 and 31 BC
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Timna Valley

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  • Area rich in copper ore and that has been mined since the 5th millennium BC
  • There is controversy whether the mines were active during the biblical united Kingdom of Israel and its second ruler, King Solomon
  • A large section of the valley, containing ancient remnants of copper mining and ancient worship, is encompassed in a recreation park

Dolphin Reef

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  • Opened in 1990, the site is home to Black Sea bottlenose dolphins that are not trained to perform and there are no dolphin shows, but they are able to interact freely with human visitors
  • The dolphins, known for their curiosity and friendliness, approach the observation posts and floating piers, and swim alongside the people who snorkel and dive there
  • The Dolphin Reef Dive Center offers individual and group diving tours, as well as special therapy sessions for the disabled and seminars on animal and dolphin behavior

Costs

Number of Days: 27 days

Best Time To Fly: April-June, Sept-Oct

Airline tickets: $1,281

Seattle -> Tel-Aviv-Yafo (round trip) = $1,281

Food: $55/day x 27 days = $1,485

Rental car: $74/day x 25 days = $1,850

Gas: $189

Entertainment: $146

Airbnb: $229/day x 25 days = $5,725

TOTAL: $10,676