Eilat is a city in the south is in a stunning landscape of red desert hills and the clear waters of the Red Sea. It’s largely a tourist town though with expensive hotels and is full of arsim, the loud, aggressive Israelis. Many foreigners come here to work but the whole place feels a little artificial. Most pass through here on their way to Sinai.
The Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is the lowest and sometimes driest place in the world. The sea is so packed with salt that only an Irish fisherman would try to catch anything and you can have splashing around in a new set of physics. It’s an awesome, hostile environment where mosquitos swarm at night and huge flies take chunks out of you by day.
Try to find somewhere with sweet water also and when you go into the water be careful of your eyes and do not, i repeat, do not fart.
Gallilee and the North
Up north is where Israel loses some of it’s dust and begins to become green and pleasant, in winter at least. The Sea of Galilee, known as the Kinaret in Israel, is where the hills begin to rise covered with biblical-looking rocks. Up here you have some really nice villages like Rosh Pina and Tsfat, though the latter is pretty religious.
It’s worth a drive also to the Golan Heights, taken from Syria in one of the wars. Here you can look out over Lebanon and there’s even a ski resort. There’s almost nowhere to stay around here unless you manage to invite yourself into one of the kibbutzim.
North of Tel Aviv
Whilst Tel Aviv is a very happening city, many people want a bit more quiet without being too far away from the centre. Tel Aviv is surrounded by a thousand satelite cities like Ramat Gan and Ramat Sharon but the nearest place of interest is Herezliya along the coast. Anywhere pleasant and close to Tel Aviv is bound to be expensive and so of course there’s a lot of wealthy people living here.
Next up you have Netanya, an industrial city which can get quite dodgy on the street if you happen to be a young man. The Sephardic Israelis and the Russians have it out here all the time.
Not far further north on the coast you have Mikhmoret, one of the nicest places to live in Israel. It’s a bit snobbish with wealthy families here but there’s also a college of marine biology and a lot of traveler types living here in small bungalows.
Inland another area to find cool Israelis is around Pardes Hanna and the nearby Karkur. Here are people looking for a relaxed existence and there’s a good community feel.
Lastly, you have Haifa, a beautiful town with almost nothing going on. Called the ‘sleeping beauty’ for its charm and quiet, it’s farily suburban.
The South of Israel
The biggest town on the map south of Tel Aviv is Be’er Sheva, an ugly industrial city whose only redeeming feature is the university. It has a reputation for a lot of easy sex as the students don’t know what else to do with their time.
Be’er Sheva has some pretty grim social realities as the Bedouin make a living anyway they can in the slums, cut off from their heritage and tradition. Here is also where the Ethiopian immigrants are growing up pissed about their exclusion from the rest of Israeli society