Welcome to the Encyclopedia for the Tourist in Israel

Welcome to the Encyclopedia for the Tourist in Israel. You will find (currently) more then 1,337 touristic sights in Israel in many different categories. This site is created, maintained and shared by the tour guide Wim Vincken, who’s using the information here to create new tours for tourists and as proof of concept. You can see the newest entries of this site here.

Further Wim is using his new fancy software to create tours on the fly. Contact him (972-55-681 8617) and give it a try, and it’s also for free.

What is so special about Israel for a tourist?

You can visit the normal standard tourist traps like ‘sights in Israel’ and the obvious cities like Tel Aviv, Eilat and Jerusalem or you can go to the Sea of Galilee, if that’s okay with you. But if you want to see something unique and special, try the Nature Reserves in Israel or the National Parks, then you can say that you’ve seen something truly unique and something never to forget. Or better, get on the phone and let me design a tour for you on the spot, complete with detailed pricing and for each budget.

Do you know that you can tour through Israel on the lowest budget you can imagine for $100 per day, and out of season even cheaper? Or for more then $10,000 per day as well! And everything between it?

Some things never change, some things do

Israel never changes. It was beautiful 35,000 years ago, and it’s still beautiful. But I changed. And what made me change? Well, first I got some kilos added (my wife caused that), getting older and purchased some nice computers and laptops and automated (computerized) the process of creating new tours. Yep. I earn my living by creating good and unique tours for travel agencies, groups, individuals and other tour operators. And how long does it takes to create a new unique and detailed tour? Ten minutes to complete a unique customized tour with scheduling, costs and prices for any group of people or less.

Culture in Israel

As a guide, I’ve been asked so many times about food, music, theater and other questions about culture in Israel, I’ve decided to do something about it. I added information about theater, music and dancing in the site in the form of events. That I did. But there was something missing about Israel and something very important.

It’s food. Or more specifically, recipes about typically Israeli food. Why? Food is one of the pillars in Israel, which will determine how deep the cultural ties are connected to this land, which some of us call the Holy Land, and the rest call Israel. When I was researching this subject, I discovered a huge treasure in the art of dining and the art of making the best food I can imagine. Many of the culinary treasures I discovered has deep historical roots in this country, left behind by the many cultures and civilizations, which ruled these lands once, and replaced by other civilizations.

I will include a major section of Israeli recipes and articles about food in this site for you to use as you see fit. So keep checking out the site.

Here follows the last three articles about typical and historical Israeli recipes you can use at home.

  1. Iranian Lamb and Herb Stew – Ghormeh-e Sabzi (10/19/2016) - One of the most popular dishes for Iranians is the Iranian Lamb and Herb Stew, which they call Ghormeh-e Sabzi. This dish is a splendid testimony to the Persian love of herbs and fragrance, and is a harmonious melange of texture and flavor. For an equally fulfilling vegetarian option, double the kidney bean portion to make up for the absent lamb. When the Persians were invading the lands of Israel, they brought also this dish to the people. When they finally left, they left behind the recipe. Today you can eat this in Iranian restaurants.
  2. Meaty Ratatouille (10/19/2016) - Think of this as a Lebanese relative of ratatouille, if you like. It’s about using fresh produce from the garden or market, as available, and layering them in a pot. You can go as chunky or as fine as you like. Just make sure the aubergine/eggplant is cut into larger pieces, as they cook the fastest. The kind of tomatoes you use here are important so do taste and adjust, adding more or less tomato purée/paste for color and richness when needed. You can find this dish in restaurants in the north of Israel.
  3. Bedouin Mansaf Risotto (10/19/2016) - Normally, this Bedouin dish is prepared with dried yogurt or buttermilk (jmeed). In Jordan this is almost a national dish, because this is a communal dish (everyone comes to eat when you make it, family, neighbors and friends) and a great symbol of generosity that is often served on special occasions. The way how you eat it is with your right hand, the meat is torn apart and rolled into a ball, which you dip into the yogurt. Instead of Jmeed, you can use Greek yogurt instead. Some call this dish also the so called Bedouin Pizza.

Click here to see the rest of the recipes.

 

The last three new entries

Click here to see the rest.


The sights in this website are divided into the following parts:

  1. Israeli events like festivals, opera, music, music concerts, theaters, etc.)
  2. Religious sights (Bahai, Christian, Druze, Jewish, Muslim).
  3. Maps of all major cities in Israel.
  4. Sights, which are organized by location (north, center and south of Israel).
  5. I’ve tried to divide the touristic sights here in interest groups (for Children, for Christians (religious), for Elderly, for Families, for Hikers, for Jews (religious), for Muslims (religious), for Pilgrims, for Schools, for Shoppers, and for Teenagers).
  6. Tour Guide Diaries (funny stories from the guides about our tours) (new).
  7. Tours, which are created by Wim the Guide (Boat Tours, Bus Tours, Cave Tours, City Tours, Children Tours, Day Tours, Family Tours, Farm Tours, Gems Tour, Jeep tours, Religious Tours, Catholic Tours, Christian Tours, Evangelic Tours, Orthodox Tours, Pilgrimage Tours, Walking Tours, Wine Tours).

Here we display the first 10 entries of the major categories in Israel.

Day Tours

  1. Kfar Cana Day Tour (10/20/2016) - About 8 km northeast of central Nazareth on the road to Tiberias (and on the Jesus Trail), the Arab town of Kafr Kana (Cana) is believed to be the site of Jesus’s first miracle (John 2:1-11), when he changed water into wine at a wedding reception. About 10% of the population is Christian.This is a day tour, especially when you want to renew your wedding vows.
  2. Tour Packages and Pricing (10/4/2016) - This is the page, where you can find pricing information for tour packages. Price tables are divided into Pricing for guide only, pricing for guide and transport only, pricing for guide, transport and hotel only and pricing for guide, transport, hotel and food only. All prices for the named tour itineraries are based on these prices. As you can see, prices are extremely low.
  3. Israel tour (from Eilat, Tel Aviv, Sea of Galilee and Haifa) all in, 7 days including guide for $490 (9/21/2016) - Israel tour (from Eilat, Negev, Camel and Jeep tours, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee and Haifa) all in, 7 days including guide for $490
  4. Israel tour, 10 days, $637 per person, including guide (9/21/2016) - This 10 days tour brings you from Tel Aviv to the north of the country (Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Tiberias, Haifa, Golan), followed by Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi, using apartments and public transport and had a luxurious vacation for $637 per person, including guide. Just another example of a low-budget tour.
  5. Free Day Tours in Israel (9/18/2016) - When I look into the Internet for free day tours in Israel, I receive indeed some content. Except that the last time it's updated is in 2014. Some of them are sponsored by the city, like Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, but when I want to have that free tour, nobody is there. So I've decided to publish free day tours for you.
  6. Modern Jerusalem Walking Tour (9/15/2016) - This walking tour, which might take up 3-4 hours, leads you through modern Jerusalem. That 'modern' Jerusalem is relative, because we are talking from the year 1860! Anyhow, you will visit all the major interesting sights from 'modern' Jerusalem on foot.
  7. 120 Minute Walk around West Jerusalem (9/14/2016) - The heart of West Jerusalem, centered on Jaffa Road, was largely developed during the years of the British Mandate (1917–1948). So, while it is nowhere near as ancient as the Old City, it does carry a weight of recent history related to the founding of the Jewish state of Israel. Aside from the scattering of historic buildings and monuments, this is also the heart of the modern city, with pedestrianized streets of cafés, restaurants and shops, cultural centers and busy markets. It is a highly rewarding area to explore.
  8. 120-Minute Walk around the Old City Walls (9/14/2016) - The Old City of Jerusalem may occupy a relatively small area geographically, but its compactness and uneven topography make it a frequently confusing place to explore. One good way to gain an overview is to take to the ramparts and view the crush of alleys, domes and towers from the top of the walls that enclose them. Visitors can walk along two sections of wall: from Jaffa Gate clockwise to St Stephen’s Gate, and from Jaffa Gate anti-clockwise to the Dung Gate. The section between St Stephen’s Gate and the Dung Gate is closed to the public. Many steep flights of steps mean that this is not a walk for the elderly or infirm.
  9. Muslim Quarter Day Tour (9/14/2016) - Here we have the day tour for the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem. A day tour takes normally a day, but this tour can also take a half day, depending on your attention to details. Anyway, this tour is for anyone, who wants to explore the Muslim Quarter of this ancient city from the Christian perspective.
  10. Sodom Day Tour (9/13/2016) - By tradition, this area is the site of Sodom and Gomorrah, the biblical cities that were destroyed in a storm of fire and brimstone, punishment from God because of their people’s depravity (Genesis 18-19). These days, Sodom is much better known for its desert hiking and cycling trails than for sodomy. And for that we have this day tour. Normally, a day tour occupies about a half day, but I added several hiking opportunities to this day you and that means you will be busy the whole day. It's breathtaking nature in action.

See all of them, click here.


Walking Tours

  1. Nahal David The best 10 hiking trails in Israel (11/6/2018) - Israel is a hiker’s paradise. The country is crisscrossed with trails, including the 580-mile long Israel Trail, which starts in the northern Galilee and winds its way south until it reaches the tip of Eilat. All of Israel’s trails are clearly marked by colors painted on rocks, and you can buy a set of 20 glossy maps (about $25 each) to keep you moving in the right direction.
  2. Tour Packages and Pricing (10/4/2016) - This is the page, where you can find pricing information for tour packages. Price tables are divided into Pricing for guide only, pricing for guide and transport only, pricing for guide, transport and hotel only and pricing for guide, transport, hotel and food only. All prices for the named tour itineraries are based on these prices. As you can see, prices are extremely low.
  3. Jericho, the Ancient City, where Time Stood Still (10/1/2016) - Local authorities proudly call Jericho the ‘world’s oldest continuously inhabited city' and this is no idle boast – archaeological evidence traces the city’s history back over 10,000 years. When you visit Jericho, you will notice that it's not much changed since that time! Earthquakes proved Jericho's biggest challenge, leveling some of its most fantastic sites – such as Hisham's Palace – over the centuries. Jericho has modernized somewhat since the Canaanite period, but not much. Small-scale farming still makes up a significant portion of the local economy, although tourism is making inroads. The town is rather scruffy and unkempt but retains a raffish charm and a smiley demeanor. Most visitors just stay long enough to ascend the Mount of Temptation and marvel at the archaeological remains of Tel al-Sultan (Ancient Jericho).
  4. Israel tour (from Eilat, Tel Aviv, Sea of Galilee and Haifa) all in, 7 days including guide for $490 (9/21/2016) - Israel tour (from Eilat, Negev, Camel and Jeep tours, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee and Haifa) all in, 7 days including guide for $490
  5. Israel tour, 10 days, $637 per person, including guide (9/21/2016) - This 10 days tour brings you from Tel Aviv to the north of the country (Sea of Galilee, Nazareth, Tiberias, Haifa, Golan), followed by Jerusalem and the Dead Sea, Masada and Ein Gedi, using apartments and public transport and had a luxurious vacation for $637 per person, including guide. Just another example of a low-budget tour.
  6. Catholic tour, 8 days, $455 per person (9/21/2016) - Here is an example of a 'low-budget' tour under the $600 range (actually this tour cost $455 per person). In this tour, the group (of 20) changed one time their location and focused on the center and north of Israel and they lived in luxury and splendor. They used public transportation and apartments to see and visit the Holy Land. If they would hire the guide, it would cost them $515 p.p.!
  7. Free Day Tours in Israel (9/18/2016) - When I look into the Internet for free day tours in Israel, I receive indeed some content. Except that the last time it's updated is in 2014. Some of them are sponsored by the city, like Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, but when I want to have that free tour, nobody is there. So I've decided to publish free day tours for you.
  8. Modern Jerusalem Walking Tour (9/15/2016) - This walking tour, which might take up 3-4 hours, leads you through modern Jerusalem. That 'modern' Jerusalem is relative, because we are talking from the year 1860! Anyhow, you will visit all the major interesting sights from 'modern' Jerusalem on foot.
  9. 120 Minute Walk around West Jerusalem (9/14/2016) - The heart of West Jerusalem, centered on Jaffa Road, was largely developed during the years of the British Mandate (1917–1948). So, while it is nowhere near as ancient as the Old City, it does carry a weight of recent history related to the founding of the Jewish state of Israel. Aside from the scattering of historic buildings and monuments, this is also the heart of the modern city, with pedestrianized streets of cafés, restaurants and shops, cultural centers and busy markets. It is a highly rewarding area to explore.
  10. 120-Minute Walk around the Old City Walls (9/14/2016) - The Old City of Jerusalem may occupy a relatively small area geographically, but its compactness and uneven topography make it a frequently confusing place to explore. One good way to gain an overview is to take to the ramparts and view the crush of alleys, domes and towers from the top of the walls that enclose them. Visitors can walk along two sections of wall: from Jaffa Gate clockwise to St Stephen’s Gate, and from Jaffa Gate anti-clockwise to the Dung Gate. The section between St Stephen’s Gate and the Dung Gate is closed to the public. Many steep flights of steps mean that this is not a walk for the elderly or infirm.

See all of them, click here.


Religious Tours

  1. Tour Packages and Pricing (10/4/2016) - This is the page, where you can find pricing information for tour packages. Price tables are divided into Pricing for guide only, pricing for guide and transport only, pricing for guide, transport and hotel only and pricing for guide, transport, hotel and food only. All prices for the named tour itineraries are based on these prices. As you can see, prices are extremely low.
  2. Catholic tour, 8 days, $455 per person (9/21/2016) - Here is an example of a 'low-budget' tour under the $600 range (actually this tour cost $455 per person). In this tour, the group (of 20) changed one time their location and focused on the center and north of Israel and they lived in luxury and splendor. They used public transportation and apartments to see and visit the Holy Land. If they would hire the guide, it would cost them $515 p.p.!
  3. Muslim Quarter Day Tour (9/14/2016) - Here we have the day tour for the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem. A day tour takes normally a day, but this tour can also take a half day, depending on your attention to details. Anyway, this tour is for anyone, who wants to explore the Muslim Quarter of this ancient city from the Christian perspective.
  4. Catholic Pilgrimage, 8 days (8/29/2016) - A fascinating 8-day Catholic Pilgrimage tour for individuals and groups, combining visits to sacred Christian sites with other historical attractions. For options and other relevant information, ask Wim and see his rates.
  5. The Way of Via Dolorosa, the Way of the Cross (8/26/2016) - "Via Dolorosa" designates a stretch of road between the Antonia fortress and Golgotha, along which Jesus Christ walked bowed under the weight of the Cross. The name dates from the sixteenth century, although the custom of retracing Jesus' steps to Golgotha began in the early centuries of Christianity. According to the most common tradition the Antonia fortress and the Praetorium nearby were the sites where Jesus was brought before Pilate. The fortress, which stood near the north-west corner of the Jewish Temple, was the starting point for Jesus' painful walk toward Calvary, which at that time was outside the city walls.
  6. Custom Tours specially made for you (8/24/2016) - The listed tours in this page is only a set of samples or templates for you to choose and/or mix with. Using those templates, you can easily create a itinerary, which will suit you, you family and/or group. Ask Wim to help you out.
  7. Orthodox Tour, 4 days (8/24/2016) - This tour is for Orthodox visitors to the Holy Land. It will bring you to Caesarea, followed by Nazareth, Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem. The tour is designed for the individual, as for groups, with or without a professional guide. The guide can speak English, German, Dutch, Russian and Greek.
  8. Orthodox Tour, 6 days (8/24/2016) - This tour is for Orthodox visitors to the Holy Land. It will bring you to Caesarea, followed by Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Qumran, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada. The tour is designed for the individual, as for groups, with or without a professional guide. The guide can speak English, German, Dutch, Russian and Greek.
  9. Orthodox Tour, 8 days (8/24/2016) - This tour is for Orthodox visitors to the Holy Land. It will bring you to Tel Aviv, followed by Caesarea, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem, Qumran, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi and Masada. The tour is designed for the individual, as for groups, with or without a professional guide. The guide can speak English, German, Dutch, Russian and Greek.
  10. Orthodox Tour, 10 days (8/24/2016) - This tour is for Orthodox visitors to the Holy Land. It will bring you to Tel Aviv, followed by Caesarea, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee, Golan, Jerusalem, Qumran, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, Masada and the Negev. The tour is designed for the individual, as for groups, with or without a professional guide. The guide can speak English, German, Dutch, Russian and Greek.

See all of them, click here.


Maps

  1. Maps of the Negev (10/3/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Negev for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.
  2. Ancient Christian Maps of Israel (9/23/2016) - Here you can see several ancient Christian Maps of Israel. There are maps about the Christian expansion in South Europe, North Africa and Middle East, maps in the time of Jesus Ministry and maps of Israel and Jerusalem in the time of Jesus.
  3. Maps about ancient Canaan (9/23/2016) - Maps about ancient Canaan, including Abraham in Canaan, Canaan in the 14th century, Deborahs victory over the Canaanites, Israel in Canaan from Joshua to Samuel to Saul, Israel in the middle of the Bronze age, Phoenician trade and civilization, Selected Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlements, The conquest of Canaan and The land of Canaan from Abraham to Moses.
  4. Biblical maps of Israel (9/23/2016) - Biblical maps of Israel, which includes Kingdom of Judah, The kingdom of Herod the Great, The division of the land among the tribes, National regions of ancient Israel, Modern political divisions of ancient Israel, Israel under the Ptolemies, Israel in the middle Bronze age, Israel in Canaan from Joshua to Samuel to Saul and Israel after the Exile
  5. Tsfat in Hebrew Maps of Tzfat (9/22/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Tzfat for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.
  6. Maps of Sea of Galilee (9/19/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Sea of Galilee for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.
  7. Maps of Bethlehem (9/3/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Bethlehem for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.
  8. Maps of Tiberias (9/1/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Tiberias for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.
  9. Maps of Tel Aviv (9/1/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Tel Aviv for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.
  10. Maps of Nazareth (9/1/2016) - Here you find a collection of maps about Nazareth for you to download and/or to print. These maps are coming from the public domain.

See all of them, click here.


Festivals

  1. MIDBURN FESTIVAL 2019 June 2019 – MIDBURN FESTIVAL 2019 (2/12/2019) - Burning Man’s Israeli offshoot, and now the second largest regional Burning Man after Africa Burns, Midburn is a special 5-day festival held in the Negev. Founded in 2014, 2016 saw a record 8,000 people attend. This is not a music festival – there are no official stages – it is more of an art, self expression and community festival where camps host parties – and in the center of the playa are incredible art displays and a huge temple that is burned on the final night.
  2. MENASHE FOREST FESTIVAL 2019 May 2019 – MENASHE FOREST FESTIVAL 2019 (2/12/2019) - Thu 30 May 2019 – Sat 1 June 2019 | All Day xKibbutz Mishmar HaEmek – Mishmar HaEmek, Mishmar HaEmek, 290-335 Live Music | 3 days with camping | North Central Israel | May A fun 3-day festival, with live performances from over 80 top Israeli bands across all genres – the lineup has included amazing bands […]
  3. GROUNDED FESTIVAL SPACE ODYSSEY 4-7 APRIL 2019 April 2019 – GROUNDED FESTIVAL SPACE ODYSSEY : 4-7 APRIL 2019 : RED SEA EILAT (2/12/2019) - Thu 4 April 2019 – Sun 7 April 2019 | 12:00 pm – 11:59 pm Eilat – Eilat, Eilat, “Ignition sequence start … 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0 … All engines running. Liftoff! We have a liftoff !” The BIG BIRD is coming home! ★★★★★ GROUNDED FESTIVAL SPACE ODYSSEY 4-7 APRIL 2019 RED SEA EILAT […]
  4. SHAMBALA FESTIVAL ✯ DESERT CELEBRATION ✯ March 2019 – SHAMBALA FESTIVAL ✯ DESERT CELEBRATION ✯ (2/12/2019) - Tue 19 March 2019 | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Beer Menuha – Beer Menuha, South Israel, From 250 NIS We have missed you ☺ ✿ SHAMBALA ✿ A colorful tribal gathering of Spirit ~ Love ~ Healing ~ Dance & Celebration ✿ 18-20/10/2018 Purim was incredible. We experienced something special and magical together. And we received […]
  5. v March 2019 – FATTAL ROCK FESTIVAL (2/12/2019) - Fattal Rock Festival 7 is underway! Thursday night: Nechi Nech hosts Carolina. Omer Adam hosts Marina Maximilian. Friday afternoon: Teapacks host Eliad Nahum. Friday night: Avraham Tal hosts Keren Peles. Rami Fortis hosts Hadag Nachash and Dudu Tessa. Saturday afternoon: Neta Barzilai. Ethnix.
  6. ELECTRO INDIE FEST – E.I.F #2 – WINTER 2019 February 2019 – ELECTRO INDIE FEST – E.I.F #2 – WINTER 2019 (2/11/2019) - Without limitation in the nature of the performance or in the genre in which the artist / ensemble operates while maintaining one important condition – the quality of the music and performance. This festival began to operate in Tel Aviv and later will expand in aspiration also to Haifa, Jerusalem and the capital of the Negev Beer Sheva.
  7. THE THIRD PLAYBACK THEATER ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL February 2019 – THE THIRD PLAYBACK THEATER ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL – THE QUIET VOICES ARE GIVEN A STAGE (2/11/2019) - Are warmly invited to the third Playback Theater Festival “The Quiet Voices Receive Stage 3” to be held at the Central Bus Station in Tel Aviv. This is a social festival that yearns to give a stage and a voice to voices and to silent, restrained and silent populations.
  8. Doof Festival 2019 April 2019 – Doof Festival 2019 (2/7/2019) - Fri 5 April 2019 | All Day, about NIS 375 ** DATES FOR 2019 TO BE CONFIRMED ** Trance Music | 3 days with Camping | North Israel | April The Summer Begins Here! Doof is one of Israel’s largest trance music labels. They host over 50 top Israeli and Internationals DJs for a non-stop 72-hour […]
  9. Shambala Festival ✯ Desert Celebration ✯ March 2019 – Shambala Festival ✯ Desert Celebration ✯ (10/31/2018) - Tue 19 March 2019 | 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm Beer Menuha – Beer Menuha, South Israel, From 250 NIS We have missed you ☺ ✿ SHAMBALA ✿ A colorful tribal gathering of Spirit ~ Love ~ Healing ~ Dance & Celebration ✿ 18-20/10/2018 Purim was incredible. We experienced something special and magical together. And […]
  10. The Tour from Hell (10/1/2016) - This tour was the tour from hell ... for me. For the group absolutely not, because they had loads of fun, costing me my hair of course. We are talking about a tour, which shows what Israel actually is, a mixture of culture, adventure, exploration and Israeli sights in all the major touristic centers of Israel. This article is part of the Tour Guide Diaries September 2016.

See all of them, click here.


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