Like Christmas and New Year, Valentine’s Day in Israel isn’t as commonly celebrated as it is in much of the Western world. While this may be comforting for many singles who cringe at the sight of anything red and pink, hopeless romantics of the Holy Land won’t find the usual array of heart-shaped boxes of chocolates or googly-eyed stuffed animals anywhere on February 14th. For those wishing to inject a little more romance into an otherwise average day in Israel, we have some easy suggestions for you this Valentine's Day.

Sunset Bike Ride on the Beach

shutterstock_528282457No bike? No problem. With Tel-O-Fun bikes readily available at multiple stands around the city, you’ll be able to rent bikes by the hour to enjoy the 14 kilometres of Tel Aviv’s beaches. When you get tired, hop off your bikes to enjoy a stroll by the water and enjoy a spectacular Mediterranean sunset.

Stroll Through Old Jaffa

shutterstock_554627308The Old City of Jaffa is a unique city full of charm and surprises, making it the perfect place for a romantic evening. The ancient stone buildings, meandering alleyways, and chic galleries make this a perfect dreamy date destination. Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants by the harbour to the sound of gently lapping waves and the sight of the sun setting behind rows of sailboats.

Picnic & Boat Ride in Hayarkon Park

shutterstock_698891233In the north of the city, you’ll find one of Tel Aviv’s best kept secrets: Hayarkon Park. Pack a light lunch of fresh local breads and pastries (don’t forget the amazing Israeli wine!) and picnic in the park by the lake. Rent a boat or paddleboat and venture out into the waters to get a panoramic view of the peaceful park and its gardens.

Spend a Romantic Evening Indoors

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Looking to slow things down a bit after a hectic week? We get that. While Netflix & PJs may be you & your partner’s go-to easy evening inside, why not opt for a change of scenery with a getaway in one of Tel Aviv’s most luxurious boutique hotels? The Norman is located right next to the thrilling Rothschild boulevard, but with the gorgeously decorated rooms, a world-class bar, a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool, and mouth-watering fine dining, why would you even want to leave the hotel?

Nothing Says "Be My Valentine Like Roses

shutterstock_692854465Why get your lover a dozen red roses when you can enjoy 19 acres of 400 varieties of roses from around the world? The Wohl Rose Park in Jerusalem a public garden located across from the Knesset. The park won awards as one of the most beautiful rose gardens in the world, so we’re sure it will be the perfect place to impress your honey.

Visit a Winery

shutterstock_145599823Israel’s north has no shortage of wineries to visit. You can easily spend a day touring the different wineries in the Carmel region with your loved one. Many wineries also offer tours of their facilities and tastings of the different varieties of wine they produce. Imagine yourself taking in beautiful view of the Mediterranean Sea with a glass of wine in one hand and your loved one’s hand in the other while Cupid shoots an arrow overhead. (Okay, we can’t promise you Cupid, but the rest we can definitely take care of!)

Helicopter Tour for Two

shutterstock_1015577404Wine sounds nice, but you’re the kind of couple that wants to add some excitement to each outing. Why not take a helicopter tour of the Carmel and Galilee regions? Get a bird’s eye view of one of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, and land next to Château Golan Winery where you can enjoy dinner together. Professional tip: this is a great place to pop the question, and after an unforgettably romantic day together, we can almost guarantee that she’ll say yes!

Relax by the Dead Sea

shutterstock_145798055So maybe slathering mud all over your body isn’t the romantic getaway you were thinking of, but we promise you won’t regret a Dead Sea spa experience! Pamper yourselves at the lowest point on earth with a couple’s massage. You’ll both end the day feeling rejuvenated and thoroughly relaxed, and you can even take the experience home with a visit to a Dead Sea cosmetics shop where you’ll be able to purchase all the mineral-rich skin care products that this area is famous for.

See Flowers Bloom in the Desert

shutterstock_405520864Every year in the month of February, the Negev desert hosts the Darom Adom festival, where the landscape of the northern Negev blooms with thousands of red anemones, Israel’s national flower. This is truly a remarkable sight to see, and with only four weekends a year where you can witness this spectacle, you won’t want to miss it! The festival also features poetry readings and concerts to appease those creative romantics.

Stargaze in Mitzpe Ramon

milky-way-stars-night-skyA tried-and-true classic, stargazing in Mitzpe Ramon is an unforgettable activity that can be done at any time of the year, but isn’t Valentine’s Day the perfect excuse to take a short roadtrip out to the desert? Grab your partner in crime and a thermos full of something warm, and enjoy the silence of the desert under a blanket of stars at the first international night-sky park in the Middle East.

 

Need some help planning a perfect getaway with your loved one? You don’t need to wait for Valentine’s Day – contact our travel experts today!

Thanks to a mild winter, Israel doesn’t experience the holiday season like other countries. Christmas is never white and you won’t find massive lighting decorating the main streets. However, this doesn’t mean that the holiday season in Israel is any less exciting. With Hanukkah and Christmas usually falling within the same couple of weeks in December, there are multiple events around the country to please even the most hardened Grinch.

Unlike Christmas, Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days to commemorate the miraculous burning of oil on the ancient temple’s menorah for eight days when there was only enough oil for one. Therefore, you will find exciting events happening on all nights of the holiday.

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The Old City of Jerusalem is always spectacular to visit, but the festival of lights makes it an even more special experience with all the lit Menorahs around the city. Visit the Western Wall on any night of Hanukkah to take part in the lighting of the 2-meter-high bronzed Menorah. Lighting takes place every night of the holiday at 4:30pm, except for Friday at 3:30pm and Saturday at 7:00pm.

If you’re in the north, make sure to stop by Haifa for any of the Holiday of Holidays events taking place throughout the month of December. Go to discover different cultural events surrounding the major holidays of Hanukkah, Christmas, and Ramadan. There are different concerts, exhibits, shows, and antique fairs to keep you busy for even longer than eight days! Even farther north in the scenic city of Safed, you will find events for the whole family during Hanukkah, many of them focusing on artistic, historical, and religious activities. Check out their calendar of events for more details.

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Make sure to stop by any of the bakeries around the country to sample some mouth-watering sufganiot (donuts). Get the classic jelly-stuffed donut or opt for a fancier version topped with chocolates, nuts, candy, or anything else the master bakers have come up with this season! If you’re in Tel Aviv and want to get into the spirit of the holiday, you don’t need to trek all the way to the capital; celebrate Hanukkah like a local and light the menorah in Gan Ha’atzmaut (Independence Park).

For those wishing to experience Christmas in Israel, there are still many unique options for you too! Head over to Bethlehem for the famous Christmas Eve Midnight Mass at the Church of the Nativity. Get the full experience of the birthplace of Jesus by joining our Christmas Eve tour, which includes an unforgettable Christmas Feast!

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If you’re in Nazareth, there will be special events all month in preparation for Christmas. Stop by the Christmas Market for a street fair and the lighting of the Christmas tree between December 17th – 22nd. You can also go and watch the Christmas Parade on December 23rd, starting at 3:00pm. Take part in a special Christmas Mass at the Basilica of Annunciation on December 24th, or visit any of the Catholic churches during the evening of December 25th.

While Jaffa is magical year round, it is even more of a special visit around Christmas time. Since Jaffa is home to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike, the meandering alleyways of this old city are decked out with lights, menorahs, and Christmas trees. The official lighting of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Christmas tree is on December 17th and 6:00pm at the Clock Tower.

Interested in celebrating Christmas in the Holy Land? Don’t miss out on our exclusive Christmas Eve tour!