Tour of Israel | My Visit To The Red Sea, Sea of Galiliee, Dead Sea, And The Mediterranean Sea

On The Shore of the Mediterranean Sea

We arrived at the first of the many hotels booked for this trip. We had driven straight from our port of entry, Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, Israel. It was the early morning of the 16th of December 2012, the day of our 17th anniversary. I could smell the ocean, and heard it beckoned. So we set our luggage down and made our way to the hotel lobby. Minutes after, we were walking down the streets to the shore of the Mediterranean Sea.

Our hotel, was one of the hotels located yards from the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and there I was, standing on the shore, feet in the waters of the sea, it was spectacular! Little did I know that I will get to experience the same with all the other seas I've read about. The Dead Sea, The Red Sea, and the Sea of Galilee.

Here's a video of the sea and the surrounding city. This was taken from the balcony of Herod's Hotel where we lodged.

This is the view of the Mediterranean Sea from our room at The Herod hotel balcony.
This is the view of the Mediterranean Sea from our room at The Herod hotel balcony. | Source

Cruising On The Sea of Galilee

The Sea of Galilee was one of the many places we would visit on our tour of Israel. But nothing could prepare me for how I felt taking a wooden boat ride on that sea as we tried to follow in the footsteps of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

During the boat ride, our guides pointed out some off-shore landmarks that we were scheduled to visit. From the boat, we could see the place of the miracles of the bread and fish, and the Mount of Transfiguration. The portion of bible where Jesus walked on water was read as we moved further off-shore. Then one of the boat guides showed us how it was to fish on the boat back in Jesus' days.

Unlike the tumultuous ride experienced by Jesus' disciples on the Sea of Galilee over two thousand years ago, this boat ride was very smooth. It was so surreal to say the least. After the boat ride, we had lunch and were off to our next tour of Israel historical landmark destination of the day.

One of The Two Wooden Boat That Alternates The Boat Ride On The Sea of Galilee. I Was In The Second Boat Taking This Picture. Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected
One of The Two Wooden Boat That Alternates The Boat Ride On The Sea of Galilee. I Was In The Second Boat Taking This Picture. Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected | Source
The docking site by the Sea of Galilee. Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected
The docking site by the Sea of Galilee. Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected | Source

Visiting Quram Near The Dead Sea

On our way to Quram, the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, we could see the Dead Sea to the left of the highway we travelled on. There were patches of lands (islands) separating the body of water in several places, an indication of a receding sea level. Israel has in fact been experiencing a shortage in their water supply due to draught, this has somehow affected the flow of water into the sea.

The Dead Sea is one of the wonders of the world, and one of the most craved after destination of every tourists to Israel. This body of water has the highest concentration of salt in the world. Due to its salinity, no animals or fish can survive in it except for some micro-organisms. The salt contents also gives the Dead Sea its high density which makes it impossible to sink in it. Try diving, and you'll bounce back up, floating on the sea.

Floating On The Dead Sea

I've heard it said that one can float on the Dead Sea due to the salt content of the sea and it's density. But, to actually experience it on my own was priceless! The weird thing about this whole swimming thing is the fact that I can't swim, neither can my husband. We were told that you really didn't need to know how to swim to be in the Dead Sea. Regardless, I was determined to at least get in the water.

And there I was, attempting to float in the Dead Sea (see image at right). It wasn't easy to sit on those waves, which on this day was a little too much for a non-swimmer like me. Anyway, I tried. Never thought I'll get to see it for myself, but my fear got the best of me, I panicked and fell face flat in the salty stingy water of the Dead Sea. Hooray for me!

With burning eyes and skin, I felt my way to the open shower on the beach and attempted to wash off the salty water that quickly turned to grains of salt deposits on my face and hair. Needless to say, my permed hair was damaged by this experience. But thereafter, I had the time of my life getting those muddy dead sea minerals all over my skin. Too bad I had to wash them off to get back on the tour bus.

My husband, who I thought couldn't do it, was able to experience what's it's like to literally go in and float on the dead sea. It was an exciting moment for me to see him on those wave, trying to keep his balance, and he actually succeeded!

The Wonders of The Negev Desert

My visit to the red sea was during the last leg of our tour in Israel. We've had a wonderful time of walking through the old and new city of Jerusalem, climbing mountains, riding camels, exploring caves and ancient cities' excavations. But, there was one more place on our itinerary that almost got cancelled due to an area event. It was to travel through the Negev desert to Eilat.

A brief stop at Timna, in the Negev desert afforded us the opportunity to see Solomon's Pillars. Here, we marvelled at the huge, multi-colored rock formations that has made this area of Israel a great tourist destination. It was trully a sight to behold.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The highway sign to Timna Park - Image is the property of Comfort Babatola - Copyright ProtectedTimna Park EntranceSolomon Pillars - Amazing Rock Formation Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright ProtectedSolomon Pillars Up-Close  Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected
The highway sign to Timna Park - Image is the property of Comfort Babatola - Copyright Protected
The highway sign to Timna Park - Image is the property of Comfort Babatola - Copyright Protected | Source
Timna Park Entrance
Timna Park Entrance | Source
Solomon Pillars - Amazing Rock Formation Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected
Solomon Pillars - Amazing Rock Formation Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected | Source
Solomon Pillars Up-Close  Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected
Solomon Pillars Up-Close Image is the property of Comfort Babatola -Copyright Protected | Source

Eilat, Israel

Eilat, Israel is a beautiful city that our tour guide rightly referred to as the "Las Vegas of Israel" with all the lights and beautiful hotels and highlights, but without all the gambling. After travelling through the dusty Negev desert, the last thing I was expecting was to end up in a city of luscious beautiful landscape that sits right on the edge of the Red Sea.

Eilat is located in the southernmost part of Israel wedged between the mountains that borders Egypt, Jordan, and is within sight of Saudi Arabia. The temperature here is usually about 104 °F in summer, and somewhere around 70 °F in winters. Making this city a perfect vacation and tourist spot.

Our main visit to Eilat was to have a free day of relaxation. After days of walking through desert sites, exploring ancient excavation sites, riding camels, and climbing mountains, a day in Eilat was a much needed stop on our tour of Israel.

Photos of Eilat's Beautiful Landmarks

Click thumbnail to view full-size
View of the Red Sea from the hotel windowView of the Red Sea from the hotel windowTaking In The View from the StreetsDriving round the busy downtown shopping area
View of the Red Sea from the hotel window
View of the Red Sea from the hotel window | Source
View of the Red Sea from the hotel window
View of the Red Sea from the hotel window | Source
Taking In The View from the Streets
Taking In The View from the Streets | Source
Source
Source
Driving round the busy downtown shopping area
Driving round the busy downtown shopping area | Source

The Underwater Observatory On The Red Sea

The day after we got to Eilat, we visited the Underwater Observatory with the rest of our tour group. This Underwater Observatory is built into a coral reef, and is one of the largest seaquariums in the world. Through a glass type observatory built into the sea-bed, we were able to interact with the most beautiful and colorful sea creatures I've ever seen.

There's no doubt that visiting the Underwater Observatory was one of the highlights of our tour of Israel. Another was when I found out that the body of water I was filming, from the window of the Prima Music Hotel where we lodged, was actually The Red Sea. Yes, the Red Sea of the "Moses divided the Red Sea bible story! That, for me, was the icing on the cake.

I have always wanted to see the Red Sea. So, you can imagine my excitement. As soon as we settled into our hotel room, I was out there, knee-deep in the sea, exploring the sea bed for sea shells to bring home as souvenirs. And, by the way, the sea, it wasn't red at all. It was crystal clear. I really didn't think it'll be red, silly!

Must-See Places for Anyone Planning A Trip To Israel

Place To See In Israel
What Awaits?
Caesarea
You'll see the excavations of the ruins of this ancient city. Visit the remains of an ancient Roman theatre and aqueduct.
Capernaum
See the remains of the 2nd century synagogue. Visit the site of the 'Miracles of Fish and Loaves', and the Church of Multiplication in Tabgha.
Nazareth
Church of Annunciation, Mary's Well, and the baptismal site on the Jordan River.
Jerusalem - Old City
Go to the Mount of Olive for a panaromic view of the city. Visit the Room of the Last Supper on Mount Zion. Some of the original mosaic floorings are still in the room.
Jerusalem - New City
Church of Visitation, the Holocaust Memorial, The Israel Musuem, to see the Dead Sea Scrolls and the miniature model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple Period.
Bethlehem
Church of Nativity. You'll be crossing the border from Israel to Bethlehem, which is more like going through an airport search. And you might be handed over to a different tour guide on the Bethlehem's side of the border. Seriously!

How Safe Was Israel?

I hope you've enjoyed taking this trip with me. It was a memorable trip indeed. Since this was our first trip ever to Israel, we did not take the kids along. Part of that is not knowing what to expect, especially with all that's been going on in the region with Syria and Hasb e haal. But, contrary to what we thought, and have heard, the danger in Israel is actually almost non-existent.

Not once did we and other group members feel endangered. The streets were busy with tourists, natives, and school children going or coming from school. Life in Israel for the most part, was business as usual. There'll be more trips to Israel, God willing, and this time we'll be going with the kids, and maybe, some friends.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦

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Author: Comfort Babatola - ©March 2013

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Comments 35 comments

billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

What a wonderful adventure! Thank you for the great pictures. It is a part of the world I may never see, but I enjoyed sharing the journey with you through your virtual tour.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

Hello billy, I know I can always count on you to take this tour with me. Thank you for commenting and voting.


MsDora profile image

MsDora 3 years ago from The Caribbean

Thanks for allowing me to enjoy your trip with you. The pictures are great too. My favorite part is the boat ride on the sea of Galilee. You have memories for a lifetime. Happy for you!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@MsDora - Thank you for coming along for the ride. The boat ride was one of my favorites too. It was indeed memorable!

Thanks for your comments.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 3 years ago

From your video, I can see that the place is much more populated and cultured than I imagined. One day, I hope to visit this place. Thank you for the tour and the reflection on the times of Christ in this place. Blessings.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

Thank you teaches12345. Israel is really very different in look and culture than what I imagine it would be. Except for the mountains and rocky landscapes that are hard to miss, life there is not different from how we live here.

Well, not quite. Over there, there's an abundance of fresh food; meat, fruits and veggies. And I didn't get sick from eating their dairy products. Which was a surprise as I'm lactose intolerant.

It was really a memorable trip. And I do hope you'll get to experience this tour one day.


jbshaban profile image

jbshaban 3 years ago from California

I enjoyed hearing your take on the Dead Sea. I just moved back from Jordan, which shares the Dead Sea as a border between Israel. It's not my thing either, bobbing in the Dead Sea. However, the mud is wonderful and full of great minerals.

I agree about the food being fresh. Since moving back, I find myself getting sucked back into the prepared food and lured towards every fast food restaurant. Truly, my body thanks me for not giving into the processed food. I have all sorts of digestive issues after one trip for burgers and fries.


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 3 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

It's nice to hear such event being accomplished by you.

I'm also planning to visit Israel and be updated with the realities that are happening at God's chosen land.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@jbshaban - The food aspect really got me. My husband and I even joked about maybe moving to Israel. It seems so peaceful over there despite the often intruding chaos.

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. very well appreciated.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@travel_man1971 - I bet you will have a memorable trip too. Israel is really a great place to visit.

Thanks for the read and comment. :)


skye2day profile image

skye2day 3 years ago from Rocky Mountains

Comfort b Hello Sister. I loved your tour of Israel and video. I have not had the fortune of going yet but hope to one day soon. Thank you for sharing your awesome experience. How wonderful to follow in the footsteps of where our Lord walked. I get tingles thinking about it. Jesus is so awesome and this week with easter my heart has love explosion for the master. King of Kings will return one day, Amen.

I saw a comment of yours on a hub,' how to pray'. The Holy Spirit moves in you girl to share the truth. I am honored to meet up with you. So I have joined your club. It is a Blessing to meet another sister at the hubs. You keep going girl. U will I am sure. Phil 4:13

My Love in Christ. Skye


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@skye2day - Blessings to you. I am so glad you enjoyed the hub. You will get to see Israel too, I believe. Thanks so much sister, for your kind words and encouragement.

Hold the fort! And God bless. Shalom! :)


summerberrie 3 years ago

Floating in the Dead Sea must have been loads of fun! What a trip. I sure would love to go sometimes.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@summerberrie - It sure was a lot of fun. You do need to go, it was an awesome experience. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

Israel is definitely a wonderful travel destination. Lots of Israelis come to Nepal to spend their vacation, and lots of Nepalis travel to Israel to work and study.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 3 years ago

Comfort, you have one of the most beautiful first names I've ever seen.

And it's so nice to meet you my friend. I am Colin and my cats are Tiffy and Gabriel and we live at lake erie time ontario canada 5:59pm.

You are most definitely a world class tour guide and I can see and read this hub presentation was a labor of love for you.

It sounds like a trip of a lifetime especially if one is interested like you were in the culture and the history of this area.

Hubbravo from the epi-man and sending to you my warmest wishes and good energy


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

Oh, how so kind of you to visit my hub, and thank you for your comment on my first name. It is indeed a beautiful name. I didn't think so as a child, but I'm sure glad my parents gave me that name. I have to say though, it's a lot harder to live up to.

I used to live up there in Michigan, and have always wanted to come up to Canada. Will some day, God willing. I love your hubs. I've read some of them. Commented on a couple of them, and will be reading more of it.

Again, thank you. Very much appreciated.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Vinaya Ghimire - Yes, Israel is a wonderful travel destination for a once-in-a-lifetime holy land experience. And judging by your tone, Nepal sounds like a great place to visit too.

Thanks for taking the time to drop by and comment. Very well appreciated.


Mike Robbers profile image

Mike Robbers 3 years ago from London

Wonderful travel hub, Comfort! A great adventure and a place worth visiting.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Mike Robbers - It was an adventure of a lifetime, and a place worth visiting. It should be a yearly voyage if God permits.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 3 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Oh wow! Thank you for taking us along with you on this wonderful journey. This is one place I'd definitely love to see and must see (before I die). You see, it's just never on our destination list but I wouldn't mind buying my own ticket to actually experience the grandeur of this holy land.

Very enjoyable hub! Thank you. Voting up and passing along!


rose-the planner profile image

rose-the planner 3 years ago from Toronto, Ontario-Canada

What an awesome vacation! I love your visuals. Thank you for sharing. (Voted Up) -Rose


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@CrisSp - Israel is without a doubt, the place to visit. You'll love it. It exceeded my expectations. And was indeed a truly spiritual experience. Thanks for stopping by. Stay safe as you travel. :)


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 3 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@rose-the planner - It was really awesome. and thank you for taking the virtual tour with me. Hope you get to experience it one day.


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 2 years ago from California

Your description of Eiat was especially interesting. We will spend a couple of days there on our own while the rest of the group goes to Petra.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@tirelesstraveler - You would definitely love Eilat! It's such a beautiful place hidden amidst those valleys.

We gave up Petra too to stay in Eilat and relaxe, even if it was just for one day, it was definitely worth it. Try staying at the Prima Music Hotel, great place with a great view of the mountains and the Red Sea. Loved the food too! Wrote a hub about that too.

I do hope you have a safe trip. And, come back and share your story and pictures. Shalom!


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

Hi Comfort, I am so jealous! I have always wanted to visit Israel, and its wonderful to know that its pretty safe to visit, I did wonder I must admit, great photos, and yes I want to swim in that dead sea!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Nell Rose - I was amazed at how safe it is. Everyday is like a regular day. And, there's plenty of fresh food, veggies and fruits. The hotels are as good as any here. Had a blast. Hope you get to experience it yourself.

Thanks.


Esenbee profile image

Esenbee 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

Thank you for sharing your trip with us! I've always wanted to take a trip to Israel but was very reluctant due to fear lol...but now I think I really will plan a trip there. Your pictures are beautiful and the sites that you visited are very interesting!! I have a question...how long did it take to get from America to Israel? Also, did you fly from your hometown to Israel or did you have to stop in another city/country before you arrived to your destination?


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Esenbee - I'm glad you found it interesting.

I live in the State of Georgia, and we had a stop-over (I believe it was Seattle) before final destination, Israel. The entire trip took about 11 hours.

Thanks for reading and commenting.


Esenbee profile image

Esenbee 2 years ago from Jacksonville, Florida

You're welcome! :-)


VictoriaSheffield profile image

VictoriaSheffield 2 years ago from Georgia

This is such a beautiful place to visit!


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

O yes, it is! Very beautiful and full of exciting things to do too. Thanks Victoria for taking the time to read and comment.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Taranwanderer - Hello!

To answer your question, it can be anywhere from $1600 to $3000 or more per individual depending on how many tour sites you select. We did the Tour of Israel Package (10 days), which was about $6698 for hubby and I.

Groups do tends to get a better deal. We used Israel Tours, a well known tour company. The fee includes hotel fee, meals, tour bus/guide etc. I hope that helps.


ComfortB profile image

ComfortB 2 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA Author

@Taranwanderer - You are very welcome!

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