15 Best Day Trips from Tel Aviv

Written by Jan Meeuwesen
Updated on
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The coastal city of Tel Aviv is Israel’s effortlessly chic cosmopolitan destination for those looking to catch some rays, indulge in the mouth watering foodie scene, or hit the shops.

The gorgeous beaches alongside the metropolitan comforts of a thriving city make it a world-class destination for visitors.

It’s a hotbed of local culture, where you can find just about anything to keep you entertained.

From UNESCO recognized architecture throughout the city to bustling markets and boutique museums, there’s weeks worth of entertainment.

However, it goes without saying that the true cultural gems are scattered around the coastline, countryside, and deserts around Tel Aviv.

The density and caliber of historical sites in the area is astounding and the opportunity to explore beautiful ruins, mountains and coastal marvels is unmatched.

Let’s have a look at 15 of the best day trips from the popular Israeli city.

1. Jerusalem

JerusalemSource: Sean Pavone / shutterstock

Without a doubt one of the most fascinating destinations in the country, Jerusalem is the cultural capital of Israel, as well as the official one.

In less than an hour from Tel Aviv, you can find yourself immersed in the intense and fascinating history of the city’s holy sites, like Temple Mount and the Garden Tomb.

Marvel at the diversity of the Old City as you walk between the Christian and Muslim Quarters, each offering their own delicious street food and distinctive architecture.

Here, you can also lose yourself among some of the best markets in the country; the most popular of which is the bustling Machane Yehuda Market.

Great combo tour: Jerusalem and Bethlehem: Full-Day Trip from Tel Aviv

2. Akko

Akko, IsraelSource: eFesenko / shutterstock

The famous Old City of Akko has stood for an incredibly long time, and during this time has been occupied by many different cultures.

From Crusader to Byzantine rulers, a huge number of historical factions have contributed to the story of Akko.

It also happens to be captivatingly beautiful – perched on the coast by the Mediterranean Sea and comprised of pretty, cobbled streets and quaint squares.

As with many worthwhile destinations in Israel, you’ll have the chance to visit colorful markets as well as Arabic shuks, while food comes in the mouth-watering form of fresh fish and world-class hummus locales.

Best value tour: Caesarea, Haifa & Akko Day Trip from Tel Aviv

3. Haifa

Haifa, IsraelSource: Zhukov / shutterstock

Another famed and incredibly popular coastal gem to the north of Tel Aviv, Haifa is a diverse mix of gorgeous beaches, thriving nightlife, and cultural diversity.

One of the main attractions is the jaw-dropping Bahai Gardens, a veritable oasis of tropical vegetation that boasts UNESCO Heritage site status and attracts millions of followers of the Bahai religion every year.

Lose yourself amongst the treasure troves of the flea market or spoil yourself with the irresistible combination of Israeli, Arabic and even German street food, each found within the distinct Quarters.

Included in: Caesarea, Haifa & Akko Day Trip from Tel Aviv

4. Petra

Petra, IsraelSource: snapshopped / shutterstock

The city of Petra is an ancient site that is thought to have been built as early as 500 BC, making it an astronomically old – not to mention fascinating – trip from Tel Aviv; although it’s a little further than most others so you might want to consider an overnight stay.

The rose city is built of multi-colored sandstone and houses staggeringly beautiful gorges known as Al Siq, as well as Egyptian-influenced obelisks golden treasuries.

The highlight is the monumental entrance to Petra, the beautiful Al-Khazneh doorway.

A day trip to Petra is filled with history, beauty, and fascinating sights, so make sure to allot plenty of time to this destination.

Available tour: Petra, Jerash and Amman: 2-Day Tour From Tel Aviv

5. Masada, The Dead Sea, and Ein Gedi

Masada, IsraelSource: Aleksandar Todorovic / shutterstock

Three stunning sites that can all be seen in the space of a single day trip, the ruins of Masada, the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi are all enchanting destinations that can be found to the east of Tel Aviv.

Start your journey with a scenic drive through the awesome Judean Desert before embarking on a cable car that’ll take you to the ruins of King Herod’s Palace at the summit of Mount Masada.

Then, wander through the captivating oasis of the Ein Gedi Reserve, complete with cascading waterfalls, lush vegetation, and pleasantly shaded cave pools.

Finally, cool off in the nutrient-rich waters of the Dead Sea and experience the restorative properties of the world-famous mud baths found there.

You’ll leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and buzzing from all the incredible things you’ve seen.

Suggested tour: Masada & Dead Sea Tour: Full-Day from Tel Aviv

6. Zichron Ya’akov

Zichron Ya’akovSource: ClimaxAP / shutterstock
Zichron Ya’akov

One of the top destinations in the country for wine enthusiasts, Zichron Ya’akov is a thriving tourist settlement near Haifa, and boasts a variety of spectacular wineries, including the famed Carmel Winery.

As well as sumptuous vintages, the town offers gorgeous views of the Mediterranean coast and all manner of tempting cafes and restaurants on the pedestrianized main street in the middle of town.

It’s a fantastic place to step it down a notch, slow things down and take time to enjoy some amazing wine with even more amazing views.

7. Caesarea

Caesarea, IsrealSource: Alexandre Rotenberg / shutterstock
Caesarea, Isreal

As its name might suggest, the town of Caesarea was built by the Romans, and as such, is a hotbed of cultural sites that date back to the Roman Empire.

Here you’ll find one of the largest amphitheaters they ever built, amongst the markets and harbors of the ancient settlement.

Its location on the Israeli coast to the north of Tel Aviv made it a historical trade center for the Romans.

Archaeologists and divers are constantly unearthing fascinating finds in the turquoise waters around Caesarea’s pretty shoreline.

Recommended tour: Caesarea, Haifa & Akko Day Trip from Tel Aviv

8. Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra GrottoesSource: vvvita / shutterstock
Rosh Hanikra Grottoes

Further north than Caesarea and even Haifa, Rosh Hanikra is the furthest reachable point on the Israeli Mediterranean coastline.

It’s an incredibly popular geological attraction comprised of sandstone gorges and cave pools, complete with idyllic waterfalls trickling down the stone faces.

You can also take a cable car to the top of the rock faces and enjoy unique views of the shockingly clear Mediterranean waters below.

9. Galilee

Galilee, IsraelSource: max shamota / shutterstock

The region of Galilee is one of the most historically religious areas in the whole of Israel, host to a number of unmissable sites that played important roles in the life of Jesus Christ.

Here you’ll find Nazareth, where he spent his childhood and where you can visit the beautiful Church of Annunciation.

You’ll also have the chance to explore beautiful areas like the Mount of Beatitudes and the gorgeous Sea of Galilee.

Recommended tour: Nazareth, Tiberias & Sea of Galilee Day Trip from Tel Aviv

10. Tiberias

Tiberias, IsraelSource: Leonid Andronov / shutterstock

Found on the western shores of the Sea of Galilee, Tiberias deserves an entire day trip to itself, thanks to the fascinating and sometimes contradictory blend of religion, kitschy architecture and beautiful natural surroundings.

Recognised as one of Judaism’s four holy cities, Tiberias is popular amongst tourists and devoted locals, though high rise buildings constructed in the 70’s detract from the beauty of the waterfront.

Just outside of town, you’ll find the gorgeous and irresistible hot springs of Hamei Tveria.

11. Bethlehem

BethlehemSource: eFesenko / shutterstock

Located on the West Bank, Bethlehem is widely revered as one of the most important places in the story of the Bible, and also as the birthplace of Jesus.

The stunning Church of Nativity is the go-to place if you’re interested in learning more of the story, while history buffs can also explore Greek Orthodox and Catholic churches at their leisure.

You’ll have the chance to lay your eyes on Shepherd’s Field, another famous location from the Bible, as well as Manger Square, thought to have been where Jesus’ Manger was placed.

Available tour: Jerusalem and Bethlehem: Full-Day Trip from Tel Aviv

12. Jericho

JerichoSource: lonsdale_007 / shutterstock

Though it’s in the Palestinian Territories, Jericho is a mere couple of hours from Tel Aviv by bus and claims to be the oldest inhabited city in the entire world.

With a claim like that, you can imagine that the sense of history here is incomparable – and you’d be right.

Some artifacts and buildings date as far back as 10,000 BC! From majestic monasteries to the impressive rock faces of the Judean Mountains, the perfect blend of timeless history and awe-inspiring nature to be found in Jericho makes it a hugely worthwhile day trip.

Available tour: Half Day Jericho Tour from Jerusalem

13. Jaffa

JaffaSource: JekLi / shutterstock

Also hailing back to biblical times and even beyond, Jaffa is one of the world’s oldest ports and couldn’t be easier to reach from Tel Aviv, as it resides only slightly to the south of the city.

Jaffa is the epitome of an Old Town, whose charm has been met with an exciting modern influx of varying cultures, resulting in an intriguing place to visit.

Bustling markets are filled with Arab and Jewish Israeli’s and ancient buildings stand shoulder to shoulder with hot new nightlife venues and restaurants.

Be sure to pay a visit if you’re looking for a smaller, more intimate version of Tel Aviv.

Suggested tour: Old Jaffa & Tel Aviv Segway Tour

14. Golan Heights

Hula Valley And Mount HermonSource: RnDmS / shutterstock
Hula Valley And Mount Hermon

Found near the Sea of Galilee and offering incredible views of the Hula Valley, the Golan Heights is an enchanting expanse of lush, waterside farmland punctuated by gorgeous rolling hills blanketed with wildflowers.

Here, you’ll find everything from cattle ranches to vineyards – the communities that live here are famed for their welcoming nature.

Spend the day hiking around the foothills or sampling wine around the Golan plateau.

15. Herzliya

HerzliyaSource: She-Hulk / shutterstock

Another must-see destination that is incredibly convenient to get to from Tel Aviv is the beautiful city of Herzliya.

A mere 20-minutes drive away, the city is a popular weekend destination for beach lovers and those who want a more exclusive, intimate vibe than offered in busy Tel Aviv.

The white sands found at beaches like Accadia Beach offer luxury bars and some world class surf breaks, while Herzliya city itself is home to irresistible shopping and renowned for its nightlife.

15 Best Day Trips from Tel Aviv:

  • Jerusalem
  • Akko
  • Haifa
  • Petra
  • Masada, The Dead Sea, and Ein Gedi
  • Zichron Ya’akov
  • Caesarea
  • Rosh Hanikra
  • Galilee
  • Tiberias
  • Bethlehem
  • Jericho
  • Jaffa
  • Golan Heights
  • Herzliya