Bedouin for a day: Clients looking for
something different will enjoy a camel
trek in the Negev.
While best known for its religious and archeological sites, Israel
also offers a wide range of activities for clients interested in
something more active and adventurous. These options include jeep
tours, cave explorations, hikes through desert canyons, overnight
stays in Bedouin tents, parasailing and hot-air ballooning, just to
name a few.
Land and Sea
Since 1953 the American Society for the Protection of Nature in
Israel has been organizing tours and programs that combine
adventure travel with appreciation of the natural world and
preservation of the landscape. Among the highlights of its guided
tours are hikes to Masada, the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi Nature
Reserve, camel treks in the Negev and excursions to the Galilee and
Golan Heights. All tours are led by experienced, English-speaking
guides and vary in length and degree of difficulty and include
transportation, meals and lodging.
Diving and snorkeling are exceptional in the crystal clear
waters of Red Sea at the southern tip of Israel near the resort
city of Eilat. Coral reefs teeming with exotic marine life make up
an underwater universe that ranks among the finest in the world.
Eilat is home to diving schools offering short- and long-term
programs; as well as classes in underwater photography.
Natural Spa Products
Spa treatments, which have skyrocketed in popularity in recent
years, are in high demand at the spa resorts near the Dead Sea.
Spas are nothing new in Israel as bathing in hot springs has
been a ritual since biblical times when the mineral-rich waters
were revered for their healing properties; Israeli spas retain
links with the past as they still rely on the curative powers
bubbling up from underwater springs. As a matter of fact,
scientific studies of springs feeding into the Dead Sea revealed
the highest mineral content of any waters in the world.
It is said that Cleopatra visited these springs for her beauty
needs, and nowadays the waters are recommended for improving skin
texture and providing relief from ailments like psoriasis. Black
mud taken from the Dead Sea is the main ingredient in mud baths
that are among the most popular treatment on spa menus.
Traditional Dead Sea treatments are included in spa/hotel
packages available at the Sonesta Dead Sea Resort and Spa and the
Radisson Moriah Dead Sea Spa Hotel, among others.
Birding and Hiking
Many visitors may be unaware that Israel is one of the world’s
prime destinations for bird-watching. The most spectacular sights
occur during spring and fall when more than 500 million birds
migrate over its flyways. Israel is situated on the main migration
route for birds crossing from Europe and western Asia heading to
Africa’s Great Rift Valley, and during migrations the skies are so
filled with birds that they can be a hazard to commercial and
military flights. There are various bird festivals throughout the
year and agents can book hotel and car rental packages especially
designed for bird-watchers.
Israel’s diversity of landscapes from the Negev desert to the
Golan Heights can be explored by foot on various hikes and
In the Negev Highlands there are overnight llama treks into the
mysterious Ramon Crater, which is often referred to as Israel’s
Grand Canyon. There are also longer treks that include overnight
camping and Bedouin-style cookouts.
Another area for hiking is situated in the hills above the Ein
Gedi oasis, not far the Dead Sea. This area of green is a
refreshing relief from the desert heat and the starting point for a
hike that wends its way upward through palm trees and between
narrow rock formations to a spectacular 300-foot waterfall.
There are also night hikes from Ein Gedi during periods of the
On the Road
Israel is an ideal country for road- tripping since the sites are
not too far apart and road conditions are good throughout the
entire country, which is the size of New Jersey. Agents can obtain
well-marked maps from the Israel Ministry of Tourism and customize
itineraries and create packages according to their clients’
Hitting the road is a great way to experience the varied
landscape and stop off at intriguing sites along the way. For
example it is only 25 miles from Jerusalem to Jericho, the lowest
and oldest city in the world that carbon dating has determined is
around 11,000 years old.
From Jericho it’s another 10 miles to the Qumran caves where the
famed Dead Sea scrolls were discovered in 1947. Israel’s National
Parks Authority maintains the site and among the ruins are a ritual
bath, potter’s workshop, an ancient water system and a cemetery
containing 1,200 ancient grave sites.