Israel Travel

Tourism’s Mixed Picture In ‘11

A near-record year for foreign travel was hurt by the Arab Spring and Europe’s debt woes.

Special To The Jewish Week
02/07/2012

First, the good news: The Israel Hotel Association reported that foreign tourism in 2011 nearly paralleled 2010’s record-breaking season, when close to 3.5 million visitors flocked to the Holy Land.

Now, the bad news: The Arab Spring and the ongoing economic turmoil in the Euro Zone continue to take their toll on travel to Israel.

Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel’s Ben Gurion Suite, left. Below, Dan Tel Aviv Hotel’s Lobby Lounge.

Israel ‘Then And Now’

A travel writer who has trekked the world over considers the Jewish state as a travel destination, and notes the changes in its tourism industry.

Staff Writer
02/07/2012

Like the peripatetic medieval native of Italy known as Benjamin of Tudela, who spent a decade visiting and writing about Jewish communities on three continents, Pittsburgh native Ben Frank has spent a major part of his life traveling around the Jewish world. A publicist and former newspaper reporter, current resident of Palm Beach County in Florida and former resident of Westchester County here, he has written a series of travel guides, including books devoted to Europe, Russia and Ukraine, as well as the Caribbean and South America.

In “The Scattered Tribe,” veteran travel writer Ben Frank chronicles his visits to a variety of Diaspora communities.

Old-World Charm In The New Jaffa

The makeover of Israel’s oldest port makes it well worth a visit.

Special To The Jewish Week
02/07/2012

It used to be the place you simply arrived at if you walked too far along the Tel Aviv city coastline. But now, after vigorous renovations that have taken the best part of five years to complete, the ancient port of Jaffa has been renewed and transformed into a bustling tourist site that is well worth a visit in its own right.

The Jaffa clocktower.

A Day In The German Colony

Historic buildings, boutiques, kosher restaurants and an old-school cinema make the southern Jerusalem neighborhood a lively destination.

Israel Correspondent
02/07/2012

Jerusalem — After spending so much time and money to get to Israel, many vacationers rush around the country in an attempt to cover as much ground as possible.

But sometimes you just need a day to unwind, and the German Colony, a neighborhood in southern Jerusalem, is a good place to do it.

Many houses in the area are more than a century old.

Israel Travel February 2012

The Jaffe makeover, a day in the German Colony, wine tourism’s grape expectations, and more.

02/07/2012
Israel Travel February 2012

Magic Down Under

The Soreq Cave near Beit Shemesh features some of the richest ancient limestone formations anywhere.

Israel Correspondent
09/15/2011

On a warm September day, four elderly Druze women in black dresses and sheer white headscarves sat under a shady canopy and poured a sweet liquid from the tea pots they had brought with them from the Golan Heights to central Israel.

While they had their repast al fresco, the younger women in their group descended the 150 stairs leading to the Soreq Cave (which has another 140 stairs), one of the most remarkable sites in Israel.

Good to the last drop: Stalactites and stalagmites, formed by acidic rainwater that dissolves limestone, make Soreq Cave

Israel Travel September 2011

Stepping Into The Past (And Present)
The grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, the Soreq Cave ... and
The mirco-breweries of Tel Aviv.

09/15/2011
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Look North

Off the beaten path, Western Galilee’s tourist sites offer a rich experience.

Special To The Jewish Week
09/15/2011

While most visitors to Israel opt for the conventional tourist route — spending time in the spiritual and religious Jewish capital Jerusalem or enjoying the upbeat tempo of Tel Aviv and its beach —fewer people chose to make the trip up north in order to explore the delights of the Western Galilee, where the sites are certainly subtler but no less rich.

Northern exposure: The Acco waterfront, left, and the ancient Yechi’am Fortress.

Hotels Are All Business These Days

Israeli hoteliers upgrading their services to meet growing business travel demand.

Special To The Jewish Week
09/14/2011

Business over family — at least for now. That’s the mantra of Israeli hoteliers these days as they pivot to upgrade their services for business executives who are looking to mix business with pleasure in the Jewish state.

The reasons? Israel’s high-tech sector, which has weathered the global economic downturn better than many countries, and the growing number of international business and Jewish organizational events that are now being held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Magic Down Under

The Soreq Cave near Beit Shemesh features some of the richest ancient limestone formations anywhere.

Israel Correspondent
09/13/2011

 On a warm September day, four elderly Druze women in black dresses and sheer white headscarves sat under a shady canopy and poured a sweet liquid from the tea pots they had brought with them from the Golan Heights to central Israel.

While they had their repast al fresco, the younger women in their group descended the 150 stairs leading to the Soreq Cave (which has another 140 stairs), one of the most remarkable sites in Israel.

Good to the last drop: Stalactites and stalagmites, formed by acidic rainwater that dissolves limestone, make Israel’s Soreq Cav
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