Search

Leisure & Recreation in Israel

Israel has many vacation sites that offer a variety of leisure and sports activities

On this Page:

Wall climbing



Israel has many vacation sites that offer a variety of leisure and sports activities. You can walk among sanctified historical and archeological treasures, wander among fascinating geological formations, or stroll through unique nature sites and panoramas. The choices of recreation are virtually unlimited.

 

Accommodations range from deluxe hotels, which offer all the amenities, to rustic campsites for nature lovers. Vacationers can luxuriate in alternative treatments, bask in saunas and whirlpools, or hike on rugged hiking trails, attend classical music and dance concerts, or go to a noisy soccer match.


 

VACATION ACCOMMODATIONS

 

 

Hotels

Hotels of all types and prices are available in the large cities and in vacation cities such as Eilat and Tiberias. Reservations can be made through a travel agent or on the Internet.

 

Jerusalem

There are hotels scattered throughout Jerusalem. The most luxurious of these are located near the walls of the Old City, which makes a visit there a unique experience. Most hotels offer a full range of services and facilities, including swimming pools and restaurants.

 

Tel Aviv

Most of the hotels in Tel Aviv are located along the promenade on the beachfront. These include large hotels belonging to the international and national franchises which offer a full range of services and facilities.

 

Eilat

Eilat has a warm, sunny climate throughout the year, making it an ideal place for vacationers to enjoy the sun and the beach.

 

There are dozens of hotels in Eilat--most of them within a short drive or walking distance from the beach. All the hotels have swimming pools and are located close to restaurants, clubs, bars, and entertainment centers.

 

Guesthouses (Bed & Breakfast Accommodations)

Guesthouses (called Tsimers in Hebrew, from the German name) are cabins for rent that are located mainly in small, rural settlements, and operated privately by local residents. This segment of the tourist industry has developed extensively during recent years, particularly in the north of the country, but there are also guesthouses in the center and south. Most guesthouses have a living room, bedroom, bathroom facilities, and kitchenette, and are suitable for families or couples.

 

The level of accommodation varies from one place to another, and ranges from simple wooden cabins in a farmyard to luxurious, isolated guesthouses that offer guests a breathtaking view, a whirlpool on the terrace, and an elaborate breakfast.

 

Many kibbutzim offer rooms for rent. The level of accommodations in the kibbutzim varies. Some of them offer simple, basic rooms while others have luxurious wood cabins. Kibbutz lodging also offers guests the possibility of experiencing kibbutz life and enjoying the expansive lawns, swimming pool, children’s zoo, sports facilities, and tennis courts.


 

 

LEISURE AND RECREATION

 

 

Hiking

Israel’s unique geographic location at the juncture between three continents accounts for the fact that it has different climates within a small area.

 

The country has many touring and hiking routes through a variety of surroundings - green mountains and rivers in the north, the western seacoast, the Dead Sea - the lowest point on Earth - to the east, and deserts, mountains, and craters in the south.

 

Recommended routes appear at the website for the Israel Nature Preservation Society. This site also includes maps and information about the plants and wildlife of the region.

The site Eye On Israel has maps of all regions in the country with hiking routes. It is recommended to confer with experienced hikers before setting out.



 

NATURE AND ANIMALS

 

There are many nature preserves in Israel which are maintained by the Israel Nature Preservation Society where animal and plant lovers can see plants and animals that are indigenous to the area.

 

The Khai Bar nature reserves in the heart of the Carmel Park and near Yotveta in the Negev are parks where animals that have become extinct in nature are raised and protected.

 

Israel is located on the migration routes of birds migrating back and forth from Europe to Africa, and is therefore an ideal place for bird watchers. Millions of birds of many varieties pass over Israel during the migrating seasons in the spring and fall. Information about lookout points for bird watching is available here

 

Animal lovers can visit the Safari Park in Ramat Gan near Tel Aviv - a large open-range zoo where animals wander freely and visitors can drive up close to them. The Safari Park also has a zoo with animals in cages.

 

The Biblical Zoo In Jerusalem contains animals that are mentioned in the Bible.

 

There are also many small zoos for children throughout the country.

 

 

 

WATER SPORTS

 

 

The beaches of the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and Lake Kineret are ideal for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, sailing, diving, and water skiing. Most of the large hotels have swimming pools and there are public swimming pools in the large cities and towns.

 

Swimming

The beach season on the Mediterranean coast begins in April and ends in October. During the season lifeguards are on duty on all the main public beaches. The beach season at Lake Kineret, the Red Sea, and the Dead Sea continues all year long.

 

People should swim only at beaches where there is a lifeguard on duty.

 

The colored flags next to the lifeguard station indicate swimming conditions: white - safe for swimming, red - dangerous, and black - swimming is forbidden.

 

Diving

The bay of Eilat is the northernmost point in the world where there are coral reefs  . Its isolation from the ocean and geological structure have created optimal conditions for the development of unique populations of maritime wildlife and plants. The Coral Beach Nature Reserve in the bay of Eilat includes a narrow strip of beach and sea that contains the only coral reef in Israel. The rich variety of fish and the colorful coral reef are a rare wonder that can be enjoyed while snorkeling or diving.

 

The Red Sea is considered one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world, and part of it can be seen in Eilat. Diving clubs are scattered along the coast that offer diving courses and sponsor dives accompanied by a professional diver. Snorkeling equipment is available for rent, and licensed divers can rent equipment and dive unaccompanied. Other recommended diving sites are in Haifa, Akhziv, and Rosh ha-Nikra.

 

Surfing and Windsufring

The beaches along the Mediterranean have waves and conditions suitable for surfing. There are surfing schools in Tel Aviv and Haifa that offer courses in a variety of surfing sports, and which rent and sell equipment. Eilat also has conditions for windsurfing.

 

Water Skiing and Other Water Sports

Eilat and Lake Kineret offer a wide variety of challenging water sports, including water skiing, parachute surfing, water bicycles, and banana boats.

 

The Jordan River has many sites that rent kayaks, rafts, and inner-tubes. Routes vary from leisurely rowing and floating to challenging adventures.

 

Fishing

There are many centers along the Mediterranean and the Red Sea that rent and sell fishing tackle. Fishing in the Red Sea is limited to specific spots, since it is a protected area.


PROFESSIONAL TEAM SPORTS


 

Soccer and basketball fans can watch national league games of the various teams in the sports stadiums throughout the country.

 

Maccabi Tel Aviv is Israel’s leading basketball team, and it has won the league championship for many consecutive years, and has also won the European cup. Games take place in their home stadium at Nokia Stadium in Yad Eliyahu in Tel Aviv.

 

Tennis

Tennis players can watch and play in the Israeli Tennis Center located in Ramat ha-Sharon near Tel Aviv. National and international tennis competitions are held at the center throughout the year. Other tennis courts are available throughout the country and in some of the hotels.

 

Golf

There are two golf clubs in the country: one in Caesarea and the other in Kibbutz Ga’ash.

 

Skiing

The only place in Israel where there is enough snow for skiing is Mount Hermon where there is snow during the winter months. Before planning a ski trip, check their Internet site for the weather conditions and amount of snow.

 

There is also a ski simulation club called the Skimulator in Holon near Tel Aviv for those who wish to learn and practice before attempting to ski on the Hermon. Details about the Skimulator are available at the Skimulator Internet site.


Sites & Attractions

System of underground tunnels constituting a continuous chain of history from the times...
Spring in Nakhal Refa'im, with adjoining Ein Yael Museum, an active museum that holds i...
Interactive museum designed to bring the world of science and technology closer to chil...
The Church of the Holy Sepulcher. According to Christian tradition, the Church of the H...
Catholic church of the Benedictine Fathers, built between the years 1900-1910. Accordin...
The Room of the Last Supper – The Coenaculum. According to Christian tradition, already...

Accommodations

Hotel near the city center with rooms and suites for families, singles and couples.
The first hotel in Tiberias. A good starting point for tours of the city. The hotel has...
Discover Israel