TEN superb reasons to visit Israel in 2013

If you’re still on the fence about visiting Israel, or still don’t think Israel is *safe* enough to visit, then this article is for you.

2012 was an awesome year for tourism to Israel, and 2013 looks like being another cracking year, so just continue reading and you’ll be on the phone to your travel agent or searching our awesome hotel directory within seconds – guaranteed!

Here it is, our list of TEN very good reasons why you should visit the Holy Land in 2013…

1. It’s safe – and yes, the Holy Land needs YOU

OK, the end of 2012 might have seen a troubling episode in the Israel-Palestinian love affair, but the thing about Israel is that things move on quickly. Very quickly. I would say that within a week after the ceasefire, life in Israel was pretty much back to normal. Now, at the start of January, that little episode seems light years away…

It's safe in Israel

But, of course, the rest of the world and its media have no idea that things are back to normal. Tourism is definitely back in the right direction, and many thousands made it over for Christmas, but the Holy Land could really do with your visit right now. Yes, YOU! And if you were wondering if it’s really that safe in Israel right now – yes, it is (read more here)!

2. 2012 was a record year for tourism – so don’t miss the party!

Yes, 2012 was a record year for tourism to Israel! Despite the conflict at the end of November, some 3.5 million tourists popped over to the Holy Land last year. That’s up 4% on last year, and with even bigger numbers expected this year, isn’t it about time you joined in the fun?

3. Amazing history and world-class attractions

Floating in the Dead SeaWith so many amazing sites to see in such a small country, it’s a real problem knowing where to start your visit! We’ve compiled our essential Top 10 list of things to see and do in Israel, but there are so many other sites not on that list it’s just plain ridiculous…

Whatever your budget or faith, the lure of a visit to Jerusalem’s Old City, a float in the Dead Sea, or enjoying Tel Aviv’s famed culture and beaches are hard to resist. And then there’s the magical Galilee hills, the rugged and magnificent Golan Heights, the stunning desert plains in the south…we think you get the picture!

4. Sun, sun, and yes, more sun!

The weather in Israel is a seriously good reason to come! It might be January, but I’m in my shorts as I write this, as the sun shines outside. Just last week I floated in the Dead Sea (admittedly the water was coooold!). Check out the guide to the best time to visit Israel, and yes, take a good look at that temperature chart!

5. The 2013 Under 21 European Championships

It might not seem like much, but this is the first time ever that Israel will be hosting a major football tournament, so kudos to the guys at UEFA for having the guts to award Israel the tournament (which takes place June 5-18).

Not quite the World Cup, but a football fan’s joy nonetheless, with teams from Israel, England, Italy, Norway, Spain, Russia, Netherlands, and Germany competing for the title of Europe’s best. Read more here.

6. Top international acts performing concerts and shows

Lord of the Dance in IsraelIsrael is definitely on the entertainment map these days, with many of the world’s biggest acts performing here over the last 3 or 4 years (Madonna, Alanis Morissette, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and the amazing performers from Cirque du Soleil were here last year, while Justin Bieber, Paul Simon, and Bob Dylan, among many others, the year before).

Coming up in 2013 are confirmed performances from Depeche Mode and Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, while the Lollapalooza Festival in the summer promises to bring some of the music world’s biggest names. Rumors of Bruce Springsteen and other world class acts popping over will likely start soon – we’ll keep you posted!

7. The food…

If you’re thinking that Israel is just about the legendary felafel and hummus you might be surprised to know that Israel has morphed into a gastronomic wonder over the last few years, and the pure range of options available these days might just knock your socks off!

Start with the local delicacies (here are the five top Israeli foods you HAVE to try), and then move on to some of the best restaurants in Tel Aviv. Hungry is definitely one thing you won’t be when returning home from a trip to Israel.

8. Jaw dropping vistas

JerusalemThere are some truly amazing views in Israel, so don’t forget your camera! Some of our favorites include viewpoints in the Golan Heights (such as from Nimrod Fortress), views across Jerusalem’s Old City rooftops, and the stunning landscapes of the Dead Sea region best seen from the mountain top Masada fortress! Some of those vistas are truly mind-blowing and once in a lifetime moments you’ll cherish for ever!

9. Eye poppingly beautiful people

Bar Refaeli Forget the jaw dropping vistas, the real eye candy in Israel is the amazing number of beautiful natives. We have it on good authority that Israeli guys are tall, dark and handsome, and we can assure you that the ladies are even better – that olive skin, the long hair, the attitude…don’t be surprised if you find yourself drooling and staring while walking around!

10. There’s something for EVERYONE!

What’s great about Israel is that even though it’s relatively small, there’s something for EVERYONE!

It doesn’t matter if you’re here with the kids, backpacking on a budget, spending the day as part of your cruise around the Med, popping over for a quick weekend break in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, following in the footsteps of Jesus, or tasting forbidden GLBT fruit – we guarantee you’ll find something to keep you entertained and wowed!

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Right, so when are YOU coming?

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