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Feature Articles

Exploring Israel

Wed, 23 Mar 2011 - 9:45 AM CST

Location. Location. Location. These three words best describe Israel's desirability as a travel destination.

Israel is the only country ideally situated between three continents: Europe on the northwest, Asia on the east and Africa on the southwest. Its geographic location provides a perfect setting for tourists of diverse tastes and travel pre-requisites.

Measuring only 10,000 square miles, Israel has lured the interest and captured the attention of centuries-old civilizations. As an essential route to the Middle East, Israel became a coveted quest for avaricious nations aspiring to dominate the region. History lovers and archaeology enthusiasts indulge in Israel's significant contributions toward exploring these past civilizations. Evidence exists--the remains of distinct cultures as nations relinquished their dominion to the influence and control of other nations' mightier and more powerful domains.

Novice and impassioned historians and archaeologists marvel at the fascinating facts and exceptional antiquities discovered in Israel. Throughout Israel, myriad artifacts give testimony to historical findings. Fortresses, aqueducts, amphitheaters, and churches are some of the many rare remaining pieces of evidence on permanent display from cultures and civilizations that once governed the region.

Serving as a crossroad that connected the Northern and Southern Kingdoms in the Middle East, Israel was occupied by civilizations that date thousands of years before Christ. Sites such as Armageddon (Megiddo), with its more than 26 layers of earlier civilizations, and Bet Shean, with its 20 layers of past civilizations, attest to the truth of the Bible and offer proof that Israel is the cradle of civilization.

Through sophisticated technology, experts have confirmed the Bible. Visitors can witness the Bible come to life at tourist attractions that reaffirm biblical events. For example, an inscription at Tel Dan clearly mentions King David as "the King of the House of David." A decorated sarcophagus indicates in ancient Hebrew letters the name of the high priest Joseph, son of Caiaphas. A momentous discovery in Caesarea unveils the name of Pontius Pilate.

R&R vacationers especially appreciate the health resorts and therapeutic spas. Hot springs, natural to the region, welcome visitors. Visitors converge on the Dead Sea area, a panacea, where they can be swathed in mineral-rich mud packs. This salty body of water is abundant with minerals comprising 33 to 34 percent of the water. These components make the Dead Sea a superb therapeutic remedy in the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis. Because the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, 1,300 feet below sea level, the area surrounding it has a natural extra atmospheric layer, which filters harmful ultraviolet rays and also aids in curing psoriasis.

Climate adds special appeal, making it a year-round tourist destination. Its location makes it possible for Israel to enjoy four seasons, with a luxuriant summer lasting from 6 to 7 months. Winter is mild. Flora and fauna are bountiful all year. Birds from the neighboring continents migrate to Israel and, in some areas, birds from all over the world can be observed.

Israel is a paradise for the sea world and a mecca for scuba divers. The narrow Gulf of Eilat is ideally suited for scuba diving. Two island at the southern access to the Persian Gulf block the water, preventing the water from circulating in the Gulf of Eilat, creating astonishing tropical water conditions.

Israel provides tourists of diverse lifestyles a panorama of an alluring, intriguing, and enchanting culture. It welcomes visitors from all over the world who are anxious to experience an enticing traveler's treasure trove.


Authors: Tsion Ben-David

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