Judean Desert Jeep Tour – A Day Trip to the Israeli Desert

Judean Desert Jeep Tour – A Day Trip to the Israeli Desert

Israel

I already traveled to Israel three times to explore these extraordinary lands. On my last visit, I was traveling with Abraham Hostel to write a City Guide about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Since I also write about tourist destinations, I knew I had to explore Israel a little more. A day trip to the Israeli Desert was on the top of my bucket list, since I did not manage to do it on my previous travels.

 

The Israeli Judean Desert

Between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea lies the Judean Desert. Theoretically, it is just a semidesert, since it has greater precipitation than a desert. Terraces and steep cliffs lead up to the Jordan Valley and 600 meter deep Wadis (dry river beds) make their way from west to east through this fascinating landscape.

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

The Judean Desert lies in the rain shadow of Jerusalem’s mountains. That means that clouds, coming from the Mediterranean Sea going east, rain on the windward slope of the mountain – and, therefore, the desert only receives little rainfall. This geological constellation benefits the creation of a desert. However, according to the University of Jerusalem, there is a huge reservoir of water below the Judean Desert, creating oases such as Ein Gedi.

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

Bedouin tribes live here with camels, kids and everything else. They do not live in tents, however, as you might imagine at the moment. Since they are not nomadic anymore, there is no need to be able to pack up your belongings in order to move on. They currently live in accommodations that I would describe as barracks. Walls and roofs are mostly of metal sheets or other light materials. Sometimes even blankets are used.

 

Mount Asasel and the Scapegoat

Did you ever wonder why someone is called a scapegoat when he gets blamed for the misdeeds of others? It is because once upon a time people symbolically transferred the entirety of their sins to a goat and then threw it down a mountain as sacrifice. This mountain is called Asasel and lies in the Judean Desert. It is also the name of the demon that the goat was sacrificed to. Asasel is mentioned in the Bible and is known as a demon or even the devil.

Wüste Juda – Judaean Desert

We stand on Mount Asasel and listen to the wind. Nothing else disturbs us. The Bedouins living in the surroundings are invisible from up here. An old well, however, that is still in use, gives away their presence.

We use this stop for a hot tea. With herbs and a lot of sugar. As is the custom of the Bedouins.

 

Mar Saba – One of the Oldest Continiously Inhabited Monasteries in the World

We go on. Up and down through the Wadis. I see nothing but barren desert landscape. It is beautiful, but at the same time gloomy. I cannot help but think what would happen if we had our car breaking down here and I’m glad our guide is driving a brand new Jeep.

And then, it appears between the rocks – the monastery Mar Saba. It was founded over 1500 years ago and has been inhabited ever since. This is remarkable and only very few other monasteries can claim the same.

Mar Saba

Mar Saba

Only men are allowed to enter the Mar Saba, so I make a joke about our tour guide distracting the monks while us women explore the monastery. We laugh as we return to the car and go for our lunch break.

 

Ein Prat

Feeling good after our lunch we move on to the last stop – the oasis Ein Prat at the Wadi Qelt. I already knew this kind of oasis from my trip to Masada, where we explored Ein Gedi. Simply amazing, how a little stream of water turns the otherwise barren desert into a small paradise. Parents sit on rocks in the shadows and watch their children playing happily in the waters.

Ein Prat

Also the girls of our group are happy for the refreshment. I normally avoid cold waters and after checking the temperature with my pinky toe I decide to not make an exception this time. Instead, I take my camera, leave my backpack with the group and go exploring. A small trail leads me to old ruins.

Ein Prat

Ein Prat

Remains of settlements, monasteries and palaces await the daring explorer, that battles the heat and traverses the trail. The ascend to the Faran monastery, originally founded by Haritoun monks in the 3rd century, takes 10 to 15 minutes. It is said to be the first monastery in the Judean Desert. Close to Jerusalem, monks had been looking for a remote and quiet location. The oasis with its natural caves, springs and abandoned strongholds was perfect.

Barbara in Ein Prat

Nowadays, the area is a popular recreational area, ideal for hiking, picnics and swimming in the natural pools.

 

Accommodation in Jerusalem

Point of departure for the Jeep tour to the Judaean desert is normally Jerusalem. Here you can find numerous accommodations for every budget.

I was in Israel because I followed the invitation of Abraham Hostels. I stayed at Abraham Hostels in Jerusalem first and then moved to Tel Aviv and Nazareth. I lived in private rooms. For my vacation and for exploring Jerusalem and the surroundings, the hostel was perfect.

For digital nomads who plan to stay longer I recommend the Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv, as the facilities and the whole modern interior and exterior is simply better suited. In Jerusalem for example, I did not have a wardrobe or had to set a timer for the water heater in the shower and then wait before actually showering. For me personally, this is not a viable solution if a digital nomad wants to stay in a place for longer.

 

Conclusion

The Jeep tour in the Judean Desert was one of my highlights of the Israel trip in 2018. On top of that our tour guide was very knowledgeable and even combined rather boring facts with a few jokes and made everybody laugh. I would love to take the tour again, as I almost can’t remember all the interesting details.

 

PS: This post was sponsored by Abraham Tours and I was invited to the Jeep tour. I did not get paid and my opinion was in no way affected by this collaboration.

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Day Trip to the Lake of Gennesaret and the Golan Heights

Day Trip to the Lake of Gennesaret and the Golan Heights

Israel

On my prior trips to Israel, I only managed to spend a couple of days in the Golan Heights. It was a cold week in January, three years ago, and I hadn’t seen much of the region. I merely drove past the Lake of Gennesaret, so it was definitely still on my list. The lake goes by several names like the Sea of Galilee, Lake of Tiberias, or simply Kinneret, the Israeli name.

On my last big trip, in order to write the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem guide with Abraham Hostel, I spent five days in Nazareth. Since I also cover sightseeing spots in this guide, I made sure to explore the region and get to know all the good spots. After Haifa and Acre, I definitely wanted to see the Lake of Gennesaret. So, this day trip to the north of Israel was more than welcome.

 

Stop #1 Capernaum – Lake of Gennesaret

Capernaum lies directly at the Lake of Gennesaret and was an old fishing village in Galilee. It is said that Jesus might have lived here for several years, as well as some of his Apostles. Peter is said to be from Capernaum and was also hosting Jesus during his stay.

At the suspected former position of Peter’s house, you can find a memorial site. Below the house, the archaeological excavation site is open to visitors. There, you can see the remains of an old private house from the 1st century. Two churches were built on top of it and therefore it is suspected to be Peter’s former residence.

Further archaeological findings indicate a synagogue from the 4th century. Even though Jesus could not have possibly interacted here in any way, it is still one of the oldest in the world and it is breathtaking to walk through the old ruins.

And the scenery of the Lake of Gennesaret and the Mediterranean vegetation is spectacular.

My advice – bring a Sarong! Since this is a holy site you may only access after covering your knees and shoulders.

 

Stop #2 Mount of Beatitudes

We went on to the Mount of Beatitudes. I don’t know about you, but this didn’t ring a bell for me – at least not the English term. Only when I was told that this is said to be the place where Jesus made his Sermon on the Mount, I understood its significance.

We took a relatively long break here, even though it is only a small church. Anyway, enough time to relax in the sun and get some refreshments in the shop.

 

Stop #3 Banias

In the Golan Heights, at the base of Mount Hermon – the highest mountain on the Israeli border to Syria and Lebanon – there is an antique site built around a fresh water source: Banias. As you can see in the shrine, this place was formerly connected to the Greek god Pan. It is also a sidearm of the river Jordan, that is important for the fresh water supply of the country. Archaeologists also discovered traces of an ancient city dating back to the time of Alexander the Great. It was also mentioned in the Evangelions of Matthew and Mark under the name of Caesarea Philippi.

We took an hour break here as well. We used this time to take a walk along the river. There is also a waterfall. Sadly, I couldn’t take photos.

At the entrance, you can find a small restaurant.

 

Stop #4 Mount Bental

For this one, you will need some background information. Until 1967, the hillsides in the south west of Mount Herman belonged to the neighboring country Syria. Israel conquered this area on the 10th of June, 1967, and it got annexed in 1981. Since then, the mountain became a strategically important position for Israel. There are several observation posts that the Israeli secret service uses to survey vast areas of the west of Syria. It is also the highest manned outpost of the United Nations.

Mount Bental is a war site. You can get a good impression of how a military base looked like back in the days – bunkers and trenches are open for visitors.

The valley at the bottom of Mount Hermon is named “Valley of Tears” in memory of the fallen soldiers. Nevertheless, Mount Bental offers a fantastic panorama and it almost impossible to imagine the events of the time of the Yom Kippur war.

Today, this place is a tourist attraction. There is also a small café offering warm drinks and snacks.

 

Stop #5 Wine Cellar in the Golan Heights

The next stop was a wine cellar in a small kibbutz. A kibbutz is a small countryside village, most closely described as a commune. People share property and have basic democratic structures.

In the kibbutz Ein Zivan, you can find said wine cellar, where they produce up to 10,000 bottles of wine – Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and also Shiraz. Even though I don’t drink, I still found it interesting to follow the processes from harvest to corking the bottle.

The wine tasting was included, although I declined with thanks.

 

Stop #6 Swimming in the Lake of Gennesaret

At the end of our trip, we were allowed to take an hour of rest at the lake. We stopped at a beach at the Lake of Gennesaret in order to take a swim and simply relax. Luckily enough, there was almost no one else around so we could really be by ourselves and enjoy the stay.

 

Final Thoughts

The Lake of Gennesaret and the Golan Heights have a magic charm and fascinate me personally. Already on my first trip, three years ago, I realized the special energy of this place. And this time, it was the same. I think this region is very interesting and beautiful.

Have you ever been to the Lake of Gennesaret or the Golan Heights? Did you like it? Leave a Comment!

PS: This post was made with the kind support of Abraham Tours. I was invited to the tour around the Lake of Gennesaret and the Golan Heights. I did not get paid and my opinion was not affected by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

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Nazareth – A Muslim City in Israel

Nazareth – A Muslim City in Israel

Israel

I’ve been to Israel three times already and I did two trips to Nazareth. On my last visit, I was collaborating with Abraham Hostels in order to write a City Guide about Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Since I also address sightseeing trips in my guide, I made sure to absolutely explore Israel further and get to know all the good spots. Therefore, I spent five days in Nazareth.

 

How to Get to Nazareth

There are different possibilities for getting to Nazareth. The easiest is staying in the Abraham Hostel (or Fauzi Azar in Nazareth) and taking their shuttle service. It might be a little expansive, but you don’t have to take care of anything. You will get picked up and dropped off at your accommodation. Easy! Negative – the shuttle is not available every day.

The next possibility is a Sherut. Sheruts are minivans, which travel fixed routes back and forth. You can either enter at one of the stations or just hold up your arm as soon as you see one passing and hope for the best. If there’s room they definitely take you in, otherwise they’ll give you an according signal. Positive – they are available every day, even on Shabbat.

The third possibility is taking the bus. It’s called Egged Bus and easily recognizable by its big green X. Negative – only available on Shabbat. To find out, when exactly that Shabbat is, you need to ask around, since it depends on the time of sundown.

 

The City of Nazareth

Nazareth and its 69% Muslim citizens are known as the Arabic Capital of Israel. 30% are Christians, so it’s no wonder the atmosphere of the city is quite different. I always had the feeling of being in the Middle East, more than in other cities. Also due to the fact that the population speaks predominantly Arabic.

Nazareth is famous for being the village where Jesus spent his youth. The city is riddled with churches and with the so call Jesus Trail – 65km of hiking and pilgrimage trail to various sites where Jesus is said to have lived and worked or simply was present. Therefore, this trail could have been walked by Jesus itself. It begins in Nazareth and ends in Capernaum

If you want to take a deep dive into the history of Nazareth, you definitely shouldn’t miss the free tour around the city. You can join daily – just ask at your accommodation what time it starts. The beautiful thing about this tour is that it not only covers the historical highlights, but also gives you a glimpse into modern everyday life.

 

Religious Sites in Nazareth

The city offers numerous religious sites. These are my personal highlights:

At the edge of old town, you can find Mary’s well. At this well, Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced that she is pregnant with the son of God.

Weirdly enough, there doesn’t seem to be a consensus regarding the location of the „Annunciation of the birth of Jesus”, as the archangel Gabriel is said to have appeared to Mary at other places as well. Not far from the well, a church was built, where Mary and Joseph supposedly had their house. It is named Church of Annunciation. Sadly, I don’t have a proper photo of the church since the surrounding area is rather narrow and the church itself is rather large. And by the way, this is the biggest Catholic church in the Middle East.

If you follow the Jesus Trail from old town uphill (yes, 15 minutes of walking up stairs but well worth it!) you will reach the Basilica of Jesus the Adolescent, where Jesus supposedly spent his youth. Not only is the church beautiful by its own standards, but you can also find a magnificent panorama across the city. In my opinion, this is the best view you can find in Nazareth.

 

Accommodation in Nazareth

During both of my stays, I was at the Fauzi Azar. When I first stayed here, it was not yet part of the Abrahams chain, but it was on my second visit. It is a beautiful Arabic building in the middle of the old town. The rooms are a direct portal into the Arabian Nights. Or rather, they were. This time I was in a newer part of the building and it felt like was accommodated in a cave without windows or any interior decoration that goes beyond the bed itself. So if you book your stay at the Fauzi Azar, ask for an older room that looks like this:

Similarly, the outdoor area is beautiful as well. As the surrounding old buildings also have a cooling effect, you will not start sweating and can enjoy the outside at a comfortable temperature. For my part, I really like sitting and working outside with my laptop. However, I have to add that Nazareth is not a big city and therefore, travelers don’t gather at bars or pub crawls. They rather spend their evenings in the cozy atmosphere of the hostel, which might not be acceptable for some Digital Nomads.

The real beauty of the Fauzi Azar is, that the collaboration (!) of Jewish and Arabic Israelis together created what it is today – a gathering place for people from all religions.

Sadly, I cannot give any information about other accommodations in Nazareth.

 

Final Thoughts

In my opinion, Nazareth is always worth a visit and you shouldn’t miss it during your stay in Israel. It is a special place – not only interesting but also very photogenic. I can definitely imagine going there for a third visit and even stay a little longer. Maybe I will even walk the Jesus Trail to really set the mood.

Have you ever been to Nazareth? How did you like it? Put it in the comments!

PS: This post was sponsored by Abraham Tours and I was invited to stay at the Fauzi Azar. I did not get paid and my opinion was in no way affected by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

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Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in the Middle East? You should check out Tel Aviv!

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Haifa, Acre and Rosh Hanikra – A Day Trip from Nazareth

Haifa, Acre and Rosh Hanikra – A Day Trip from Nazareth

Israel

I already wanted to visit Haifa on my first trip to Israel 3 years ago, but somehow it did not work out. That’s why, on my third trip, I absolutely wanted to visit Haifa on my research trip for the  Tel Aviv Guide for Digitale Nomads. So I immediately booked a tour once I arrived in the  Abraham Hostel in Nazareth. A tour to Haifa, Acre and Roch Hanikra.

 

Stop #1 Mount of Precipice

Our first stop of the day was a biblical sight – Mount Precipice. These are supposed to be the cliffs, where the angry mob of cititzens of Nazareth wanted to kill Jesus, because they did not approve of his teachings at the synagogue (Luke 4, 16-30). Mount Precipice is located south of Nazareth on the cliffs of Mount Kedumim.

The panorama of the Jezreel Valley and Mount Tabor is fantastic and is said to be very picturesque at dawn. I couldn’t make if for sunrise, however, as I didn’t have a private transportation.

Barbara in the Galilee

We stay here for half an hour to take photos and marvel at the scenery. After that, onwards to the port town Haifa.

Stop #2 Haifa

Haifa is the third biggest city in Israel, after Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Here, you can find the Bahá’í Gardens, that are a UNESCO world heritage site and also the most beautiful spot of the city. It is the spiritual and administrative centre of the Bahá’í faith. The gardens are on Mount Karmel and include i.e. the shrine of Bab, where the keep the mortal remains of Bab, the founder of Babism. It is the building with the golden dome on the following picture. Many travellers and pilgrims come here.

That’s why we come here, as well. There are several levels. First, we have a look at the gardens itself. Beware – as this is a holy site you are required to cover your shoulder as well as your knees. After about 30 minutes we take a car to the upper levels, where you can enjoy the view. Strangely enough, you don’t have to cover up here.

 

Stop #3 Acre

Acre (or Akko/Akkon – very confusing) is also a port town at the north coast of Israel. Findings from the bronce age show, that already 3 millenias before christ people where settling there. Acre is famous for its old town, situated at on a peninsula on the northern end of the bay of Haifa. It is surrounded by old military fortifications.

The people living here are mostly Israeli Arabs and Acre is one of the most oriental cities of Israel. Visitors can experience this on the big Shouk – the huge Arabian market offering clothes, local gimmicks, spices, fruits and vegetables.

For centuries, the city’s port was important in the eastern Mediterranean area. Nowadays, it’s mainly used for the ferry rides between Haifa and Acre, round trips and other boats tours.

Also famous is the 350 meter long tunnel from the Templar fortress in the west to the port in the east, discovered in 1994. The tunnel is carved into natural stone and is one of the attractions of Acre. I decided against walking the tunnel, as I did not want to pay entry for those 250 meters and rather take pictures in the streets and by the sea.

We had two hours to explore Acre. That is barely enough time to see the old town and get lunch. Then, we went on to the caves of Rosh Hanikra.

 

Stop #4 Rosh Hanikra

The grottoes of Rosh Hanikra are directly at the border to Lebanon. At the top end of the road, there’s even a (tightly locked) gate, separating Lebanon and Israel.

This spot has become a tourist attraction because the sea had carved beautiful grottoes into the limestone. The grottoes can be accessed and are connected by an easy path.

From the parking area, you can take a cable car down to the entrance of the grottoes or drive there by car. Since we had been late already this day, our minivan took us there. Using a staircase, you can then go deeper into the cliffs.

In the grottoes itself, you can hear the water crashing against the limestone walls. If you’re (un)lucky – like me – you might catch a splash of the waves and get soaking wet, which seems to be peak entertainment for attending children.

All in all, the path seemed very short. I expected more. Nevertheless, Rosh Hanikra is a beautiful place and the moment you leave the caves is breathtaking. The white limestone is a stark contrast to the turquoise of the Mediterranean Sea and blinding after the darkness of the caves. I admit that was an unexpected highlight.

 

Final Thoughts

The tour to Haifa, Acre, and Rosh Hanikra was a highlight of my Israel tour this year. As I mentioned before, Haifa was on my To Do list since my first visit and I had also heard about Acre. Rosh Hanikra was new to me but is now definitely on my Israel Must See list. I am really glad I took this day trip!

Have you been to one of these spots? Leave a comment!

PS: This post was sponsored by Abraham Tours and I was invited to the “Haifa, Acre, and Rosh Hanikra” tour. I did not get paid and my opinion was not affected by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

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Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in the Middle East? You should check out Tel Aviv!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Day Trip to the Dead Sea – From Jerusalem to the Lowest Place on Earth

Day Trip to the Dead Sea – From Jerusalem to the Lowest Place on Earth

Israel

I have been to Israel three times and twice to the Dead Sea. On my very first visit, I unfortunately didn’t make it there. But the second time, I wanted to go to the Dead Sea – no matter what. So I booked a tour at the Abraham Hostel in Jerusalem, where I stayed.

Just a quick heads up: The water of the Dead Sea contains so much salt that it would be deadly to swallow it. That’s why you shouldn’t turn on your stomach when floating. Splashing with the water is forbidden. So be careful during your visit.

 

#1 Day Trip to the Dead Sea: The Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea Tour

The Masada Sunrise, A Gedi & the Dead Sea Tour took me not only to the Dead Sea, but also to the ancient Masada Fortress and the desert oasis of Ein Gedi. Just click on the name of the tour to read my detailed blog post about this day tour.

This excursion is perfect if you love hiking and like to experience history and nature first hand.

Totes Meer von Masada – Dead Sea from Masada

The hike to the Masada fortress is not easy. It’s not very far but exhausting to climb up the rock. And then there is the sunrise putting you under time pressure. Because if you already get out of bed at 3:30 AM, you want to see the sunrise from the fortress. I barely made it and had my camera unpacked and ready about a minute before the first rays of the sun flooded the valley.

Tagesausflug ans Tote Meer – Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi & the Dead Sea

That was the first time I saw the Dead Sea. It was a moment of awe and I never regretted getting up early.

Also, the trip to the oasis was really beautiful. But I could hardly wait to finally reach the Dead Sea. I don’t know why the place triggers such an immense fascination in me. And it still does today.

When we finally arrived, everyone was tired. We had gotten up early, had walked up to the Masada fortress and had then marched through the oasis Ein Gedi. We were tired. The Dead Sea was a welcome relieve to our strained legs, but I didn’t feel I could give the place the attention I wanted to.

Totes Meer – Dead Sea

I was already planning to try again during my next stay.

 

#2 Half day trip to the Dead Sea: Dead Sea Chillout

Same hostel, same starting point, different tour.

So when I was in Jerusalem again this year, I made a second attempt. And to give the Dead Sea the necessary attention, this time I chose a tour with no distractions: it was called Dead Sea Chillout.

We drove directly to the Dead Sea. No fortress, no oasis, no hike.

Totes Meer – Dead Sea

You’d almost think it was a little boring. But no, it was actually really nice.

In these spas at the Dead Sea there are sunbeds with sunshades everywhere, so you can relax and enjoy the sun. However, most people prefer to apply the healing mud to their skin and let it dry for a while. It’s a strange feeling when it gets hard.

You can also walk around the site a bit, but unfortunately, you can’t really get out of the spa and go looking for cool photo spots. I would have loved to, but unfortunately, the group had to stay together. But I also admit that it was so hot that I didn’t even want to walk around.

Totes Meer – Dead Sea

At the end, there were tasty dates and tea and we could look around in the shop, where they sold things produced from dead sea salt.

Totes Meer – Dead Sea

#3 Self-organized day trip to the Dead Sea

If I travel to Israel again, I would like to just rent a car and go to the Dead Sea on my own. The advantage is that you can choose the spa you like and you can stop when you want to take pictures. I think it’s more than a pity that I couldn’t take a single really nice photo of the Dead Sea during my two visits. That’s why it’s now at the top of my Israel Bucket List.

So if you decide to go on your own, you can just rent a car and drive over from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. Rental car prices start from 10 Euro per day and you don’t need an international driving license. Your normal national license is fine.

If you’re not  you can also visit Masada Fortress or Ein Gedi Oasis at the time you like. I also saw photos of the Qumran National Park that were pretty awesome. I didn’t have a chance to go since I only went with tours so far.

 

What you should bring for a day trip to the Dead Sea:

  • Your passport (you will be in the West Bank & it might be necessary to show it)
  • Plenty of water
  • Bathing suit and swim shoes
  • Hiking cloths & shoes
  • Sunscreen

There are also many hotels by the Dead Sea, so you can spend a whole weekend there if you have enough time. Then you’re sure to get the perfect photo!

 

PS: Thank you, Abraham Tours, for inviting me to the „Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea“ tour as well as to the “Dead Sea Chillout”. I haven’t received any financial compensation and my opinion is not influenced by this collaboration.

The Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Tel Aviv Guide for Digital Nomads

Live Like a Local

Are you searching for a cool spot for digital nomads in the Middle East? You should check out Tel Aviv!

Subscribe to my newsletter so I can keep you posted about my life of travels and as a digital nomad! You will never miss a new blog post, a new ebook or where my next adventure is going to bring us. Because it’s never going to be boring!

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Abraham Hostels – Traveling Israel has never been easier!

Abraham Hostels – Traveling Israel has never been easier!

Israel

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I find Israel relatively easy to travel. Almost everyone speaks English, the infrastructure is good and the country is generally very tourist friendly. For those who still had doubts whether they could find their way around a country where you can’t read the street signs – unless you know Hebrew – or were afraid of being stuck in a country that is located in the middle of a conflict area, Abraham Hostels now offers the done-for-you solution!

Abraham Hostels

The Name

The founders were inspired by none other than Abraham, the father of monotheism. He was the first person who is known to have traveled the Middle East. Known for his hospitality, he shared his bread with everyone who asked for it. The same hospitality will be offered to the travelers at Abraham Hostels.

The Hostels

Abraham Hostels currently consists of three hostels: one in Jerusalem, one in Tel Aviv, and one in Nazareth. The nice thing is that the hostels are connected to each other and you can easily travel back and forth between them.

Abraham Hostel Jerusalem

The first hostel of the chain opened its doors in 2010. What began with six dorms and a handful of single rooms is now established with 75 rooms and 285 beds in the heart of Jerusalem. 15 minutes walk to the Old Town and 5 minutes to Mahane Yehuda Market. The hostel is not only perfect for exploring the Holy City, but also other parts of the country and beyond the region. Tours go into the desert, to the Dead Sea and especially to the West Bank. You can also take a trip to Petra in Jordan from here.

Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv

Abraham Hostel Tel Aviv Lounge

From the experience in Jerusalem, the founders of Abraham Hostel opened a new one in Tel Aviv. Trendy and hip with an emphasis on nightlife, but also culture, the location offers a place to sleep and to get to know the traditions to 390 people in 90 rooms. In addition, to pub crawl and concerts, Hebrew classes, daily yoga and the Shabbat Dinner on Fridays are also on the schedule.

Fauzi Azar Inn Nazareth

Fauzi Azar Inn Nazareth

The Fauzi Azar has opened in 2005 but was integrated into the chain much later. It is located in an old Arab villa in the middle of the old town of Nazareth with an enchanting courtyard. It lies directly on the so-called Jesus Trail – a walking route that lets you follow Jesus’ footsteps. At least that’s what the advertising campaign says. The trail leads over kilometers from Nazareth to Capernaum.

Abraham Tours

Abraham Tours – Barbara in Rosh Hanikra

An important part of the concept of Abraham Hostel is the tours. The beds are cheap so that travelers can spend their money on more important things: getting to know and exploring Israel and the region. Tours are not only available all over the country, but also to the West Bank, aka. Palestine, Jordan, and Egypt. I think I’ve been on at least 80 percent of the tours and I loved them all. The great thing about the tours is not only that you get to know the places, but also the people. Locals play a central role in this concept. Whether it’s a visit to a winery or a local oil press. Every tour has that certain something that connects travelers to the local population.

By the way, you can also book the tours if you have chosen another accommodation like Airbnb*. I can definitely recommend them!

 

The Shuttle Service

If you have stayed in one of the Abraham Hostels and would like to go to one of the other two cities, you can use the hotel’s shuttle service. It goes from door to door of the hostels. You can go somewhere else when you get there. So the shuttle is not only usable if you stay at both cities in an Abraham Hostel.

My Final Thoughts

Abraham Hostels offer you an ideal all-in-one solution. If you either don’t have so much experience in solo travel and would like a little more support or if you just don’t want to do a lot of planning yourself… In any case, Abraham Hostels offers you an ideal starting point to relax and explore this country, which is so different from anything else I traveled to while getting to know the local people a bit.

Deine Barbara
PS: This post was realized with the support of Abraham Hostels. I did not receive any financial compensation for this contribution but was invited to stay at the hostels. My opinion remains uninfluenced by this collaboration and is my own.

PPS: Links marked with an asterisk (*) are affiliate links. Click here to learn more about affiliate links.

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