Israel attracts foodies and beach lovers alike

How to experience multicultural, multi-cuisine Israel
Contrary to what you might expect, it is possible in Israel to combine a relaxing beach holiday, explore a variety of cultures and cuisines and discover the country’s wealth of historical and religious locations.
The nation that many consider to be the birthplace of religion and civilisation has sandy Mediterranean beaches in historical towns like Akko, also famous for its medieval Crusaders’ fortress, and Haifa with its the panoramic hillside gardens and centre for the all-embracing Bahá’í faith.
Plentiful access to the waves can also be found alongside the modern boulevards and high-rise hotels of youthful Tel Aviv and the evocative ancient port of Jaffa.
And in the south at Israel’s southern tip there’s the Red Sea beach resort of Eilat, whose climate is hot and dry and where it’s possible to swim with dolphins or, without getting wet, view the sea’s exotic fish in their real environment at an underwater aquarium.
But getting away from the coast provides access to culinary treasures that are just as pleasurable as the beach. It’s possible to experience the different cultures that live in Israel first hand, by visiting people’s homes and watching them cook their own unique dishes with local ingredients.
The Druze, a religious minority of Arabic descent, are masters in the kitchen and run some of the best restaurants in Haifa – and, even more authentically, in the towns and villages of the Carmel region of northern Israel.
Tours of the sprawling markets in Jerusalem or Akko are a delight for foodies, sampling much of the exotic produce on offer. At Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda Market, a “Bite Card” tasting coupon can now be bought on the internet together with a list of recommended sellers.
In Tel Aviv and Jaffa, a trend is taking off in the dining scene where people from the city’s different communities work together to create unique eating experiences in apartments and other interesting locations. The EatWith community, for example, matches enthusiastic foodies with creative and up-and-coming chefs.
In the hills above the Sea of Galilee, Mizpe Hayamim is a hotel and spa with an organic farm spread over more than 150 acres, providing plenty of seasonal produce including cheeses, jams and vegetables for the chef. It even makes its own soaps.
TTG Nordic

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