I visited Israel in February 2020 and had an incredible time exploring it from end to end! This article highlights 10 of the sites I had the chance to visit within Israel on day trips from Tel Aviv, day trip style inspiration, and Tel Aviv accommodation recommendations. While there are is are seemingly endless options for day trips from Tel Aviv, I hope this list is a good starting point for your research.
How to Take Day Trips from Tel Aviv
While there are public transportation options to get to some of these locations, it is not an option for several of these spots. The two main transportation options I would recommend for most of your day trips from Tel Aviv are:
- Rent a car and drive yourself
- Book tours through sites like Viator
I decided to book tours for my trip to Israel, due to it being a solo one. I have linked the exact tours to the ones I went on throughout the article.
Day Trips from Tel Aviv
Masada is an ancient fortress located on the edge of the Judean desert. It has a desert climate, and features a beautiful rocky landscape. The best time of day to visit Masada is just before dawn, so you can experience sunrise from the top. The sunrise hike is famous, and people travel from all over the world to experience it. I personally hiked the Serpent Trail to the top, and it took me around 45 minutes.
While I certainly recommend doing the hike if you are able, please be aware that it can be a bit challenging if you are not used to hiking at an incline. If you have any sort of injury or reason why a hike is not a possibility, you can visit Masada late in the morning once the cable car begins operating for the day. The views from the top are still beautiful and make it well worth a visit!
Ein Gedi Nature Park
Not far from Masada is the beautiful Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Ein Gedi offers several different hiking trails of varying difficulty. As I visited with a day tour, I only had an hour to explore. I chose to take the Wadi David Hike, which is basically a scenic walk from the ticket office to David’s Waterfall. It was very beautiful, and I saw some of the local wildlife.
You can learn more about the logistics of visiting Ein Gedi here. I took the Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi, & Dead Sea Tour by Abraham Hostel, however, if you want more time to explore and complete some of the longer hikes, I would recommend renting a car and going on your own.
Float in the Dead Sea
No trip to Israel would be complete without a visit to the famed Dead Sea! The dead sea is a salt lake between Israel and Jordan, which has the lowest elevation of any body of water on earth. Due to extreme levels of saline in the water, it makes it very easy to float (in fact, I found it more challenging to stay upright than I did to float)! I feel that the Dead Sea is well worth a visit for the beauty of the landscape alone, but floating in the water was a nice bonus.
If you want to learn more about The Dead Sea, I would recommend visiting this website. I took the Masada Sunrise, Ein Gedi, & Dead Sea Tour by Abraham Hostel. If you are interested in spending more than a couple of hours enjoying the views of the Dead Sea, I would recommend renting a car and going on your own.
Jerusalem Day Trip from Tel Aviv
Jerusalem is a city which requires little introduction. It is one of the oldest cities in the entire world, and is considered a holy city for three major religions – Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Countless numbers of pilgrims of these religions visit Israel to pay their respects. On your day trip, be sure to visit the various religious quarters, and to explore the markets.
I greatly enjoyed Jerusalem, and I honestly wish I had spent more time in there. If you are able, I would recommend staying overnight to give yourself a bit more time to thoroughly explore. If you only have time for a day trip, then I highly recommend the tour I went on. It was a small-group tour that was highly educational, and explored many parts of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, Western Wall, and Mount of Olives.
Style Note: Be sure to dress on the conservative side (covered shoulders, etc.) when visiting Jerusalem, particularly for visits to religious sites.
Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, and is beautifully positioned along the Mediterranean Sea. One notable spot to visit in Haifa is the Bahai Gardens (pictured above). The tour I took only made a brief stop in Haifa for photos, so I would recommend a different tour or visiting on your own if you want to spend more time there. Check out this article on things to do in Haifa if you are interested in learning more about your options there!
Not far from Haifa are the ruins of Caesarea. If you are interested in history, this ancient port city is certainly one you will want to add to your list. I am not a big history buff, but I did find it to be an interesting and beautiful stop along the Mediterranean sea. To learn more about Caesarea, check out this article. We made a brief 45 minute stop here on the tour I took.
Known by locals as Akko, Acre is another city along the coast with a long historic past. The Old City of Akko is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, due to the fact that it is one of the oldest ports in the world. We spent around 2 hours in Akko (Acre) on this tour. If you want to learn more about this city, then I would recommend this article.
Situated very close to the Lebanese border, Rosh Hanikra is a tourist site in Israel which features beautiful sea grottos. The site has cable cars which will take you down to the grottos, and the views are incredible! This was another stop on the day tour I took to Caesaerea, Haifa, and Acre.
Sea of Galilee
Ever heard a little story about a man named Jesus that walked on water? Well, The Sea of Galilee is the body of water referenced. Whether you are religious or not, the historical background of the Sea of Galilee is certainly an interesting draw. In addition to this, the Sea of Galilee is absolutely stunning, and would make for a lovely setting to spend a day. I visited the Sea of Galilee on this tour, but I did not feel like I spent enough time there. I am dying to go back to Israel and stay by the sea for a few days – it was just that beautiful!
I visited Nazareth on the same tour which took me to the Sea of Galilee. Nazareth was not huge on my list of places to see, but it is definitely a worthwhile visit if you are interested in famous Christian landmarks, as Nazareth is known for being Mary’s home village.
Bonus: Petra (Jordan)
Want to check off another country + a modern wonder of the world during your trip to Israel? Well you are in luck, as Petra is much closer to Tel Aviv than you might think. Petra is a rose city carved into rock and surrounded by mountains. it is one of the most famous (and beautiful) archaeological sites in the world. There are plenty of sites to see on the ground level, but I highly recommend doing a hike while you are there if time permits! I loved the hike to the monastery (~1 hour uphill).
Please note that while it is technically possible to take a day trip to Petra from Tel Aviv, I would not necessarily recommend it. Jordan is a country with plenty to see, so I would recommend doing an overnight tour if time permits (I personally took this 3 day tour from Tel Aviv). With that being said, there are Petra day trips from Tel Aviv available on sites like Viator, so I thought this one would be worth including in the list in case you are pressed for time.
Day Trips from Tel Aviv: Style Inspiration
Day trip accessories + gear
warmer weather Day trip looks (April – October)
Colder Weather day trip looks (November – March)
Where to Stay in Tel Aviv
If you are reading an article about day trips from Tel Aviv, then you might also be looking for accommodations. I typically book my hotels on Booking, but have included a few links to recommended hotel websites below.
I hope this overview of day trips from Tel Aviv was helpful! Please feel free to leave a comment below or reach out via my contact form if you have any questions. Happy travels! xx