Top Reasons to Go

Ein Gedi: This oasis rich in flora, fauna, and archaeology—praised in the Bible for its beauty and today one of Israel's most impressive national parks—offers spectacular hiking near waterfalls and canyons.

Masada: The awe-inspiring remains of this mountaintop palace overlooking the Dead Sea recall its history as a retreat for Herod the Great and as the last stand of the Jewish rebels against Rome in AD 73.

Dead Sea: At the lowest point on Earth, float effortlessly on one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, renowned for its therapeutic qualities. In Ein Bokek, cover yourself with the mud and check in to a resort.

Bethlehem: Follow in the footsteps of Jesus from the Church of the Nativity to the grotto where Mary nursed him.

Judean Hills wineries: Close to Jerusalem, this area is home to more than two dozen wineries that produce some excellent and highly prized wines.

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Fodor's Essential Israel: with the West Bank and Petra

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