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Shalom! That’s how tourists are greeted in every airport of the “Jewish state” – Israel. And even though, traditionally, the beginnings of Israel’s history are traced back to Biblical times, the contemporary period began on May 14th, 1948, when Israel announced its independence. The Holy Land of the 21st century attracts thousands of pilgrims and tourists from all around the world.


While in Israel, make sure you try hummus (a chickpea spread), pitta (a type of bread, served with vegetables or beans) and traditional fish dishes. Interestingly, Israel’s contemporary cuisine may be called multicultural. These days, the people of Israel make dishes according to the recipes of Moroccan, Ethiopian, Iranian, and Russian Jews, as well as Jews of other nationalities.

Kosher dietary rules forbid the eating of unclean animals (pigs, molluscs, crustaceans, etc.) and mixing dairy products with dishes based around meat. Jews can eat only those animals that chew the cud and have cloven hooves. Hens, turkeys, ducks and geese are all kosher. All animals have to be slaughtered in accordance with a specific ritual, designed to minimize pain. Eating scaly fish is also allowed. Furthermore, the Jews have to eat a lot of vegetables, fruit and grains. Israel has many restaurants that only serve kosher food. And even though most Jews stick to Kashrut – a set of religious dietary laws – dishes made according to foreign recipes are also available – French fries, burgers, and even sausages.


In ancient times, the territory of what today is Israel had been inhabited by many cultures, and today, the country’s inhabitants comprise a colourful mosaic of different cultures and religions. Once the state of Israel had been established, Jewish people came back to their homeland from all around the world, bringing with them the traditions of the lands from whence they had come. It is often claimed that the Mount of Olives, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the Wailing Wall, the Cenacle, and the Tomb of the Virgin Mary are the country’s most popular sites. The country also has 35 visual arts centres, 18 of which are in Tel Aviv.

Lazy Recreation

While in Israel, be sure to see the Dead Sea, located between Israel and Jordan, or, better yet – go for a swim. This sea is one of the oddest places in the world. Its waters are very briny – due to the high levels of salts present in the water, one can simply float on the surface without even moving one’s limbs. Many people with health problems come to visit the Dead Sea, as its briny water is believed to have various healing properties. Israel has a very well-developed medical and wellness tourism industry. Here you’ll find lots of therapeutic mud and mineral waters.

Active Recreation

History and Biblical symbol-filled journeys around Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Nazareth is an excellent solution to those who don’t want to sit in once place or spend their vacation by the sea. Trips to the Negev and the Judean Deserts on camels or jeeps are bound to leave one with some indelible memories. Hiking trips and diving in the Red Sea are also very popular here. Diving, swimming with dolphins and trips to the desert are all integral parts of the resort town Eilat.

The Art of Living

Every Israeli high school graduate has to serve a mandatory term in the military. Males serve for three years, and females – two. This is why the country’s youths travel so much – travelling around their native land or abroad both before and after service is a kind of tradition. This form of entertainment is a fairly accurate reflection of the country’s inhabitants – it’s a travelling, hospitable and wealthy nation.

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