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Israel - galilee or Negev?

I will be in Israel in early December, and wish to hike and see sights outside Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Does anyone have recommendations on highlights to either the Negev or Galilee?

Posted by
1194 posts

That's a hard choice!

Gallile has a lot of historical stuff. That’s where Jesus spent most of his 3 year ministry. It’s also where the ancient zealots had their headquarters. There’s lots of stuff to see and do there. You could hike Mt Arbel. Great views, zealot stronghold.

Hiking the Negev is also a great experience. I went out of Mitzpe Ramon and enjoyed it. It’s starkly beautiful. You could also swing by the Salt Sea and view historic areas like Ein Gedi, Qumran, and Masada. The whole area is geologically fascinating.

All of this is dependent on the weather.

Posted by
15644 posts

LOL, I'm trying to make that decision myself and I live in Israel!

Are you going to rent a car? Without a car, it's very difficult to visit the Galilee. There are no trains, buses serve the towns and cities, but do not go to most of the tourist sights and especially the national parks. You can get to the sights at the Dead Sea by bus.

With a car . . . both are good, though rain (locals hope and pray for it) can make it a little less fun in the north. On the other hand, December is not usually a very rainy month. How many days/nights do you have? The north is mostly trees and hills, the south is desert. I like both.

Warning, the first week of December is Hanukkah and all the schools are closed. There will probably be lots of youth groups everywhere on multi-day trips as well as a lot of families.

Posted by
325 posts

For me its hands down Galilee. If you are a Christian it is the highlight of Israel, even beyond Jerusalem for me. Jesus spent so much of his time in that area, and it is peaceful and beautiful and I can just imagine Jesus being there. But if you're not a Christian then even the beauty of the place is still worth it. I would stay up the the hills north of the sea and spend money to have a sea view. It is really a peaceful and pensive place. Enjoy your trip!