A caveat: On your first trip (tiyul) around Israel, you are going to have some very big eyes. Everyone you know is going to suggest a favorite place, every story you read is going to mention an incredible sunset overlooking a certain sea/mountain/city. My advice – take it easy on yourself. The Hebrew expression is “tafasta merubeh, lo tafasta,” meaning “you grabbed too much, you’ll end up grabbing nothing.” No one wants to sit in a car for more hours than they have to, or unpack and repack a suitcase every day. That’s true at home, and it’s still true when you’re on vacation. So when you pore through my list of attractive sites – divided up by region – I suggest you try not to cover the entire country as if it were a checklist.
What follows is a very impartial list of sites that I’ve selected from among the million or so available in Israel. Hopefully, they will give the reader an idea of what is out there. All of my itineraries are tailored to the personal interests and priorities of my clients, so I would never think to offer a generic itinerary.
In Jerusalem, I would say my favorite spot is the City of David.
Up in the Golan Heights, I am a big fan of Mount Bental.