In UK report, Israel praised as ‘underrated’ travel destination
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In UK report, Israel praised as ‘underrated’ travel destination

Telegraph lists 10 reasons to visit the holy land, including the beaches, weather, food and ticket prices

An aerial view of Montfort castle, a Crusader site, in the western Galilee in northern Israel. CC BY-SA, Wikimedia)
An aerial view of Montfort castle, a Crusader site, in the western Galilee in northern Israel. CC BY-SA, Wikimedia)

Travelers ready to “swap ordinary for underrated” for their next travel destination should venture to Israel for a Mediterranean vacation, writes the UK’s Telegraph newspaper.

In a piece over the weekend profiling the country as a desired travel spot, the paper lists 10 reasons to visit, including well-known ones such as the beautiful beaches, the nightlife, the weather and the food.

One listed reason, titled “It’s cheap,” will likely induce bemusement in Israelis — until it becomes clear that the writer is referring to ticket prices from British points of departure. While it is true that deals on flights to and from Europe can be found year-round, by no measure is Israel a “cheap” country to travel or live in.

An aerial view of the beach near Jaffa, July 10, 2017. (Gidi Avinary/FLASH90)

Tel Aviv, of course, gets a special mention as a nightlife hotspot with a “party scene [that] could give Ibiza a run for its money.” The Spanish island too is a top destination for young British travelers whose booze-filled nights and days can be and have been broadcast on YouTube and reality TV series.

Crowded bars and restaurants in the market area of Tel Aviv-Jaffa, on March 19, 2016. Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

The Telegraph article gives a shout-out to the Imperial Craft bar in Tel Aviv, which was recently named the best bar in the Middle East and Africa for 2017 by the World’s 50 Best Bars media group. Eateries such as Tzfon (North) Abraxas, the Salon and food stalls as Levinsky Market and the Carmel Market also get some love.

Along with praising Tel Aviv and its “fascinating architecture” including 4,000 Bauhaus-style buildings, the writer ventures northward to Akko’s famous Uri Buri seafood restaurant, where “the scallop with seaweed, and the cardamom ice cream are among the highlights.”

Tel Aviv’s Bauhaus architecture was adapted for the Middle East from the European style. (Shmuel Bar-Am)

Jerusalem too gets a mention, as a city with a “history stretching back almost 5,000 years, and sights including the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and [the] al-Aqsa Mosque.” There’s no mention of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or recent tensions surrounding the Old City of Jerusalem where many of these sites are located.

An aerial view of Jerusalem. (Yossi Zamir/Flash 90)

The Western Galilee in Israel’s north is refereed to by The Telegraph as the “Tuscany of the Middle East” — “thanks to the lush greenery and Crusader sites, including the Montfort fortress, a ruined castle you can climb to enjoy spectacular views” — a description that would puzzle most Israelis and/or those who have actually been to Tuscany.

Another head-scratcher in the piece is the link between the sleepy northern town of Nahariya and the infamous Hamptons, with a “high-end weekend getaway feel” but “minus the pretentious celebrities.”

For those who “want culture,” Israel has no fewer than 230 museums, says the Telegraph writer, listing the Design Museum Holon as “perhaps the most striking.”

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