One thing I always dreamed about doing was to see Israel through the eyes of a tourist. Growing up here is a wonderful although sometimes tricky experience, and even though as a kid we went on many hikes and adventures across the country, I never had a true road tripping experience in my own country, and this remained a long time dream of mine.
luckily enough, Max and I managed to finally squeeze almost a week of free time together, and as we were debating on whether we should travel to Prague or Budapest, time went flying by and we had to think on our feet. that’s when we decided it was time. Israel is our travel destination. The plan was to have a low budjet trip as possible (since we have a few other plans in the making), to try and see our home from a whole different view, Come with an open mind and maybe do things we wouldn’t normally get to do while living our routine.
We know from the get go that the five days we had will not be enough to cover the entire country, and since we’re both originally from the north of Israel and recently had a vacation there, we’ll begin our trip from Maagan Michael and Zichron Ya’akov, go all the way to the Dead Sea, and from there to Eilat. We booked our hotel and Airbnb appartment that same morning and off we went.
This trip was so super special for me and I’d recommend it in a heartbeat, whether you live in Israel like us or coming from abroad, the Israeli experience is one worth doing. Since I can’t really cover the whole thing, I’ll share with you some must do’s for your trip:
1. First and most important probably: Israel is expensive, but is doesn’t mean you can’t travel through it on a low budjet. I highly recommend looking through Airbnb for appartments, you can find great places at even greater prices and keep your budjet for the fun stuff! You can find the appartment we chose in Eilat right here.
2. Head to the beach of Maagan Michael. This was a first for me and I loved it there. Great vibe, Palm trees everywhere, not as many people as in Tel- Aviv, and super clean too. Let me get carried away and say that for a moment there I could feel the thailand serenity I so often miss.
3. Don’t forget to make some stops and take photos on your way to the Dead Sea and Eilat, Crazy beautiful desert views out there you wouldn’t wanna miss.
4. Not much to do or where to go while visiting the Dead Sea, but you don’t really need much more than the ability to read a book while in the water, I’ve been there many times and I still get so stupidly excited about it. If your looking for a fun place for dinner, look for the Tag Mahal restaurant, it’s pretty well known. We got great service and the food was fabolous. They also have hookahs if you’re into it.
5. When in Eilat, be sure to not get too caught up in the tax free shopping, just because you’ll be missing out. Check out the dolphin reef, give an hi five to your favorite dolphin and if you’re feeling up to it (I wasn’t) you can even swim with the dolphins. It’s an amazing place to visit, espicially if you’re coming with kids.
6. Another great place for a tourism geek such as myself as the Eilat’s Underwater Observatory (also fun for kids), I couldn’t stop taking photos there! it’s definitly a must see, if you’re not that into the gorgeous fishes and corals, you’ll sure be into the view. I had no idea Eilat was so beautiful and it was not my first rodeo lets just say.
7. Go on at least one desert hike, there are many beautiful routes so just check your options and take your pick. Choose the early mornings for your hikes, Eilat is literally on fire, it’s super warm and if you wait until noon, hiking will not be the best of ideas. We took an early morning hike in Mount Yoash, and if we had more time we would’ve gone to at least one more mountain.
8. For dinner or drinks, be sure to check out Yusuf’s Bedouin Tent, for traditional bedouin hospitality. Apparently it’s a well known place but we never heard about it until this trip and we were glad we finally did. Perfect atmosphere, we had a really good time, plus the labaneh was fantastic.
9. Last and kinda cheesy but definitely not least: Visit the Three Monkeys Pub. It’s probably the most touristic place in Eilat but I just love it. Really fun to let loose, just come as you are and feel free to do all the ridiculous dance moves you ever wanted to try.
This was such a perfect experience for me and I’m so happy I got to do it. Hopefully next time we’ll travel through the north, up to Tel- Aviv and Jerusalem. Hope you found my tips useful and maybe got a glimpse of this marvelous place I get to call home. Please share your thoughts!
Spoiler alert: I took about 200 photos of these super blue water. Obsessed!
Feeling the air at Maagan Michael, hands down on my top 5 beaches of israel.
Told you so! A few more from our morning at Eilat’s Underwater Observatory. I just couldn’t get enough of this view.
Just an ordinary beach moment.
Eilat from a whole different angle.
Photography by Max Bluestone.