This evening we will celebrate Tu B’Av in Israel. This Jewish holiday is corresponding to Valentine’s Day. It’s the holiday of love. So on this special occasion, I want to share with you 5 places that I trully love in Israel. There are more places I love, of course, but let’s leave them for next year. You’re also welcome to share yours!

Here are my 5 places that I love in Israel:

Mount of Olives Observation Point – 

I’ve become fond of observation points this year and the Mount of Olives Observation Point is without a doubt my favorite. It overlooks the Old and New City of Jerusalem, which I love as well, and is located on Mount of Olives, an interesting hill per se. Day and evening, this observation point is fantastic! The climb to the top is quite challenging, because a very-very steep road leads to it, but if the weather isn’t too hot and my legs aren’t too tired – I’ll climb up it a thousand times to see the view from here.

Lookout over the Old City
Lookout over the Old City

Aish HaTorah Overlook –

Yes, this is another observation point. I discovered this overlook just a few weeks ago and fell in love. It’s located on the rooftop of Aish HaTorah, a Jewish Orthodox organization and yeshiva in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. From the top of the building you get an amazing view over the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. I’ve never seen such a great view of those two holy sites. And the model of the Holy Temple here is really impressive.

 

It costs 10 ILS to climb up to the rooftop.

The view from the rooftop...
The view from the rooftop…

Agamon Hula –

When I’m in the Upper Galilee, I like to stop here to enjoy a good bicycle ride. In the center of Agamon Hula Park is a beautiful artificial lake, where water birds rest, nutrias swim andaquatic plants grow. Everything around is green and the path that encircles the lake goes on for about 8.5 kilometers, so I can easily bike here for around one-two hours (I’m a slow biker). Bikes can be rented at the entrance to the park, and if you prefer to walk around the lake that’s also possible.

The entrance to the park is free. You only need to pay if you want to rent bikes or golf carts. It’s open Sunday to Thursday from 9:00AM to 4:00PM and Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30AM to 4:00PM. There are some buses that stop close by (such as 111 and 500), but the easiest way to get here is by car.

I really love this nutria!
I really love this nutria!

Ein Avdat National Park – 

One of the most enchanting places in Israel is Ein Avdat. It’s in the middle of the desert, but has flowing water in it. The Tsin stream passes here in a beautiful canyon, full of aqua plants and magnificent trees. There’s a beautiful spot with a waterfall, and then you start climbing up a cliff, where monks once lived in caves. I really like climbs and beautiful oasises in the desert, so this place in the Negev is one of my favorites!

The problem is that it isn’t very accessible. You can get there by taking a bus to Sde Boker, but getting on a bus at the other end of the trail can be difficult. If you’re coming with a car, that’s difficult as well, because you’ll need one for pickup at the end of the trail. So… The only logical option is to go back the way you came.

This park is under the responsibility of Israel Nature and Parks Authority. It’s open Sundays to Thursdays and Saturdays from 8:00AM to 5:00PM, Fridays from 8:00AM to 4:00PM. In the winter, it closes an hour earlier. The entrance costs 28 ILS for an adult. If you plan to visit more national parks in Israel, I would recommend you check out the Money Saving Tickets.

Water in the desert
Water in the desert

Tel Aviv-Jaffa Promenade – 

I love walking along the promenade between Old Jaffa and the Tel Aviv Port. The beautiful Mediterranean Sea is spread on one side, the modern city of Tel Aviv on the other, and people pass by on the promenade itself, some on foot, some on bikes. It’s really enjoyable during the summer evening, when it’s a bit chilly. During the day, you can see people enjoying their time on the beachside. The walk takes about an hour and is a great way to relax after a long day of city touring!

One of the beaches along the promenade
One of the beaches along the promenade

Happy Tu B’Av full of love!


Those were my five beloved places in Israel. And yours?

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Yours,

Lior