Navigating the Seas of Israel

tel aviv

Mediterranean

Tel Aviv, the second largest city of Israel, is located on the Mediterranean, and many parts of this city are within walking distance to the beach. Tel Aviv is a cosmopolitan, young, hip city where a lot of expats relocate, so it’s a good place to head if you like nightlife and beach action. The beach in Tel Aviv gets really crowded during the spring and summer, and there are lots of cats running around.

haifa

Haifa is also located on the Mediterranean, which is a smaller city in the north of the country. The beach isn’t as nice in Haifa as it is in Tel Aviv, but many people go here to windsurf. Haifa also has a lot of natural beauty and greenery, and is in proximity to many mountains and hiking trails. It’s a good place to relocate if you like nature, beach and aspects of being in a city, like museums, the zoo, and Israel’s only subway.

wind

Some other towns on the Mediterranean include Akko (Acre), Ashdod, Netanya and Ashqelon. The Western part of the Gaza Strip is also located on the Mediterranean.

Dead Sea

dead

The Dead Sea is located in south eastern Israel, in the desert. This area is not very populated. The Dead Sea is also called the Salt Sea, and it has a salinity of 33.7%. No plants or animals can live in this body of water. When you walk up to it, you can see crystallized salt formations. The water shares the boundaries between the West Bank and Jordan. It is the lowest point on earth. You really can float in the Dead Sea, and it’s a very strange sensation that cannot really be described unless you do it. When you are floating, you must be careful that you do not swallow any of the salt water, and that it doesn’t get into your eye either. This burns!

You can only float for a short period of time, and then you must go wash off at the showers that are located close to its premises. If you are going to go into the Dead Sea, do not shave before hand, and do not go in with any open wounds. Though it’s very interesting on geological and experience levels, most Israelis don’t really care for actually going to it, and they only go to take visitors who have heard of its wonder. The Dead Sea is not a huge novelty to many.

Salts and mud from the Dead Sea are used in all sorts of skin and beauty products in Israel that are really good for your skin.

Sea of Galilee

gal

This is the sea where Jesus supposedly walked on water. Tiberias is the main city on the Sea of Galilee, but there are some other small destinations, docks and hot springs. The Sea of Galilee is also named the Lake of Gennesaret, Lake Kinneret and the Sea of Tiberias. Though highlighted in the Bible, this Sea is not anything incredibly impressive if you go live by it. It’s receding greatly every year, and there are a lot of docks held up three feet above the water where it used to come up to. The tourist spots around Tiberias also are a bit run down.

Nevertheless, it’s an interesting, beautiful site to see if you are considering moving to Israel. In terms of geology, it is the lowest freshwater lake on earth, and the second lowest lake in the world, after the Dead Sea. It’s the largest freshwater lake in Israel, despite its recession. It’s located close to the Golan Heights, a disputed area between Israel and Syria, so there are a lot of fenced off areas around it, closing off the landmine fields. Waters from the Sea of Galilee flow into the River of Jordan, and thousands of religious pilgrims visit this site every year to become re-baptized.

Red Sea

eilat

The Red Sea is located at the very southern end of Israel, at the city of Eilat, which borders Egypt to the south and Jordan to the east. The Sea continues down into Egypt, separating it from Saudi Arabia, then by several other Asian and African countries.

Eilat is a very touristy town, and a lot of Israelis go down here to work  at hotels or night clubs. It’s very hot down here, even in the winter time. The Red Sea is safer to go in at Eilat than in other regions. If you go down further into Egypt, there are lots of starfish and stingrays that attack swimmers. The greater Red Sea is actually an inlet of the Indian Ocean.

Keep in mind that Israel is smaller than the US state of New Jersey, and even if you do not leave in proximity to one of these bodies of water, none of them are incredibly far from one another.

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