Frommer's Guide to Israel:
The Best of Israel
A journey to Israel is a journey to a place where the past
and present call out to travelers in astonishing ways. You
will find messages and meaning everywhere you turn in this
intense land, and why not? For this land and its history lie
at the very center of the consciousness of Western
Israel is amazingly dramatic and diverse, the more so when
you realize the entire country is the size of New Jersey.
When you find yourself in the silent, haunting desertscape
near the Dead Sea, spotting ibexes on the rims of desolate,
sheer cliffs that are dotted with caves like those in which
the Dead Sea Scrolls lay hidden for more than 18 centuries,
it can be hard to believe that less than 60 minutes away is
the 19th-century East European ghetto world of Jerusalem's
orthodox Mea Shearim quarter. A few blocks east of Mea
Shearim you'll find the labyrinthine medieval Arab bazaars
of the Old City, with ancient church bells and calls to
prayer from the city's minarets punctuating your wanderings.
Hop into a sherut (shared taxi) to Tel Aviv on downtown
Jerusalem's Jaffa Road, and in less than an hour you're in a
world of white skyscrapers, surfboards, and bikinis on the
beach with the Mediterranean lapping at your feet; 2 hours
to the north, and you can be exploring ruined Crusader
castles in the green forests of the Galilee mountains.
My experiences in Israel as a visitor and long-term resident
have given me the opportunity to see the country from a
number of vantage points. Twenty-five years ago, the country
was an austere, no-frills society -- Israelis lived with few
luxuries. Today, the country's economy is booming, the
standard of living has skyrocketed, and many surveys rank
Israel's per capita income among the top 20 national per
capita incomes in the world. Israel is becoming a nation
with a lively sense of style and a taste for the good life.
Luxury and better-quality hotel accommodations and resorts
are going up all over the country, and visitors will find an
interesting array of fine restaurants and shopping
opportunities that are geared to Israeli society at large
rather than to visitors. With the Israeli-Jordanian and
Israeli-Egyptian peace treaties, the best of a journey to
Israel can also easily include an excursion to the fabulous
ancient Nabatean city of Petra in Jordan; a diving or
snorkeling odyssey of the coral reefs off the Sinai
Peninsula; or a jaunt over to Egypt to see the pyramids and
explore Khan-el-Khalili -- the legendary bazaar of Cairo.
This book will help direct you, as an independent traveler,
to some of the best and most authentic experiences Israel
has to offer. Israel is an easy country to explore and get
close to if you know the ropes. We hope to lead you to
experiences that will be both personal and rewarding.
1 The Best Travel Experiences
2 The Most Evocative Ancient Sites
- Visiting the Dome of the Rock and the Temple Mount
(Jerusalem): Built by the early Islamic rulers of Jerusalem
in A.D. 691 on the site of the Temple of Solomon, the Dome
of the Rock is one of the most beautiful structures ever
created. It is the crown that rests upon a 4,000-year
tradition of Western monotheistic belief. One can spend
hours on the Temple Mount soaking up the atmosphere and the
dazzling views. You might first visit the Temple Mount on a
tour, but come back and experience the power of this
extraordinary place on your own.
- Journeying into the Past at Mea Shearim: Mea Shearim is
the Hassidic Jewish quarter of Jerusalem, little more than a
century old, but in the dress and customs of its
inhabitants, and in its tangle of courtyards and alleyways,
it is a miraculously surviving fragment of the world of East
European Jewry that disappeared forever into the Holocaust.
A visitor to Mea Shearim must behave almost like an
unobtrusive dreamer wandering the past; nothing in the
neighborhood can be scrutinized too intensely (residents
will not permit you to stare at them or photograph them, nor
will they allow anything resembling a tour group to troop
their streets). Many visitors will revere the discipline and
religious devotion evident in Mea Shearim; others will be
troubled by its many constraints. But a walk through these
streets will give you insight into the powerful traditions
that continue to make Israel unique.
- An Evening Stroll Through Old Jaffa: The beautifully
restored Casbah of Old Jaffa is probably the most romantic
urban spot in the country, filled with galleries, shops,
cafes, restaurants, and vistas of minarets and Crusader
ruins against the sunset and the sea.
- Exploring the Eastern Shore of the Sea of Galilee: The Sea
of Galilee is Israel's greatest natural treasure, and its
lyrical shores were the birthplace of Christianity. It is
also almost miraculous in its loveliness -- a
sapphire/turquoise freshwater lake surrounded by the
mountains of the Galilee and the Golan. The eastern shore is
less developed and gives you a better chance to feel the
lake's poetry. There are eucalyptus-shaded beaches where you
can have a late afternoon swim and picnic and watch the
silver and lavender twilight descend behind the mountains on
the western shore of the lake, which sparkles with the
delicate lights of farm settlements and kibbutzim.
- Freewheeling in the Galilee: This is the place to rent a
car for a few days and explore Israel's most beautiful
countryside -- forested mountains, rushing streams,
waterfalls, and oceans of wildflowers in late winter and
early spring. Among the region's treasures are ruined
Roman-era synagogues, Crusader castles, ancient churches,
and the walled Casbah of Akko beside the Mediterranean.
There are also the warm, sparkling waters of the Sea of
Galilee to swim in from April to early November.
- Touching the Desert: These are not just endless sandy
wastes; the deserts of Israel encompass the unworldly and
ethereal Dead Sea, the mysterious, abandoned Nabatean cities
of Avdat and Shivta, the haunting fortress of Masada, canyon
oases, and vast erosion craters that are geological
encyclopedias of cataclysms in past eons.
These landscapes were the crucible in which monotheism was
born. Don't let the desert be just a 45-minute ride on a
tour bus from Jerusalem. If you can, spend the night at a
guest house or hostel near Masada before you make the ascent
at dawn. Or join an overnight llama trek in the Ramon
Crater. Walk alone under the stars; listen to the desert
wind in the dark; watch dawn levitate over the Dead Sea; and
hear the awesome quiet of sun and rock and time.
- Snorkeling in the Red Sea: The Red Sea, with its coral
reefs, is an awe-inspiring natural aquarium, rich with
tropical marine life and one of the best places on earth for
fabulous scuba diving and snorkeling. At the Coral Beach
Nature Reserve just south of Eilat, there's enough to
fascinate experts, yet wonders are accessible to all levels
of swimmers -- dazzling fish abound even in waist-deep
water. Experienced divers can scuba dive at the Coral
Island, a few miles down the coast from Eilat, or make an
excursion into the Egyptian Sinai to the even more
extraordinary reefs off Nuweiba, Dahab, and the legendary
Ras Muhammad at Sharm-el-Sheik.
- Sampling the Music Scene: Israel has an oversupply of
magnificent musicians; even suburbs of Tel Aviv and small
cities like Beersheva are home to orchestras that would be
the envy of many world capitals. You may find the Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra performing at Tel Aviv's Mann
Auditorium, or the acclaimed Rishon-Le-Zion Symphony
Orchestra (filled with new immigrants from the former Soviet
Union) giving a visiting concert at the Haifa Auditorium,
but you may also find an outdoor performance of Carmen in
the Valley of the Sultan's Pool, just at the foot of the
walls of Jerusalem; a night of Mozart at the 2,000-year-old
Roman amphitheater beside the sea at Caesaria; Yemenite
wedding singers or Arabic oudists performing at free
municipal concerts inside Jerusalem's Jaffa Gate Citadel;
African-American blues and jazz musicians from the Hebrew
Israelite community of Dimona in the Negev at clubs in Tel
Aviv; or you might visit festivals like the Chamber Music
Days at Kibbutz Kfar Blum, the Red Sea Jazz Festival in
Eilat or the Jacob's Ladder Folk Festival held each summer
in the Galilee.
People come to Israel to touch the past. The events that
occurred here in ancient times and the stories and legends
that arose in Israel are firmly planted in the minds of more
than a billion people throughout the world.
3 The Most Important Holy Places
- City of David: Now the Arab village of Silwan (in the
Bible, Siloam), this is the oldest part of Jerusalem,
located on a ridge that slopes downhill just south of the
present Old City. David, Solomon, and the prophets walked
here. By late Roman times, warfare had advanced to the point
where this area was too low to be easily defended and it was
left outside the walls of Jerusalem. The ancient gardens of
Siloam inspired the Song of Songs; now an overgrown orchard
of fig and pomegranate trees, watered by the same Gihon
Spring that was used by the prophets to anoint the kings of
Judah, the gardens still stand at the foot of modern-day
Silwan. The City of David is best visited on an organized
tour or with a guide.
- Northwest Shore of the Sea of Galilee: This enchantingly
lovely corner of the lake, in many ways the birthplace of
one of the world's great religions, was the landscape of
Jesus' ministry. Centering on the ruins of Capernaum (once a
fishing town, and the site of St. Peter's house), and Tagba,
where the multitudes were fed with the Miracle of the Loaves
and the Fishes, the shoreline is dominated by the Mount of
Beatitudes. Churches and archeological excavations mark the
locations of New Testament events.
- Bar Am Synagogue: In the northern Galilee, near the
Lebanese border, this is the best preserved and perhaps most
beautiful of the many ruined synagogues of antiquity. Built
in the 4th century A.D., it was once the centerpiece of a
small town in the breathtaking wooded mountains of this
- Masada: On an almost inaccessible mountaintop high above
the shores of the Dead Sea, Herod built this legendary
palace fortress; in A.D. 73, over 75 years after his death,
it became the last stronghold of the First Revolt against
Rome. Here the last Jews to live under their own rule (until
the creation of the State of Israel in 1948) committed
suicide on the eve of their conquest by Roman armies. The
meaning of the mass suicide of Masada's defenders is
fiercely debated by Israelis today. Even without the drama
of Masada's last stand, the site is one of haunting,
The great sacred sites all possess extraordinary power,
mystery, and beauty, at least partly conveyed upon them by
centuries, if not millennia, of reverence. The ownership and
histories of Israel's holy places are often a matter of
contention and debate, not only among the three great
monotheistic religions, but also among sects within these
religions. The listings are in the order in which they
appear in the book.
4 The Best Ancient Cities
- The Western Wall: Part of a vast retaining wall built by
Herod around the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, this is the most
visible structure remaining from the Second Temple complex.
Judaism's great legacy to the world is spiritual, but the
massive stones of the Wall, each with its perfectly carved
border are testimony to the physical grandeur of the ancient
Jewish world. Over the centuries, this enduring fragment of
the Temple complex has come to symbolize the indestructible
attachment of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. For
more than 1,000 years, the Wall was the closest point that
Jews were permitted to approach to the place where the
ancient Temple of Jerusalem once stood. Because of the
sanctity of the Temple Mount itself, very observant Jews do
not go farther than the Wall to this day.
- Dome of the Rock (Jerusalem): A gloriously beautiful
Islamic shrine, built in A.D. 691, covers the rock believed
to have been the altar or foundation stone of the First and
Second Temples. According to Jewish tradition, the rock was
the altar upon which Abraham prepared to sacrifice Isaac;
Islamic tradition holds that it was Abraham's first son,
Ishmael, the father of the Arabic people, whom Abraham was
called upon to sacrifice, either at this rock, or at Mecca.
The rock is also believed to have been the point from which
the Prophet Muhammad ascended to glimpse heaven during the
miraculous night journey described in the 17th Sura of the
Koran. Most religious Jews today do not enter the Temple
Mount, upon which the Dome of the Rock is located, because
of the sacredness of the place.
- El Aksa Mosque (Jerusalem): On the southernmost side of
the Temple Mount, built in A.D. 720, this is the third most
important Muslim place of prayer after Mecca and Medina.
- Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem): Christianity's
holiest place, this church covers the traditional sites of
the crucifixion, entombment, and resurrection of Jesus.
Built about A.D. 330, the complex is carefully divided among
the Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Orthodox,
Coptic, Syrian, and Ethiopian churches.
- Mount of Olives: Overlooking the Old City of Jerusalem
from the east, the mount offers a sweeping vista of the
entire city. Here, Jesus wept at a prophetic vision of
Jerusalem lying in ruins; in the Garden of Gethsemane, on
the lower slope of the mount, Jesus was arrested; the ridge
of the Mount of Olives is the place from which, according to
tradition, Jesus ascended to heaven. An encampment site for
Jewish pilgrims in ancient times, the Mount of Olives
contains Judaism's most important graveyard. 5.
- Church of the Nativity (Bethlehem): This church marks the
site of the birthplace of Jesus. It is the oldest surviving
church in the Holy Land; the Persians spared it during their
invasion in A.D. 614 because, according to legend, they were
impressed by a representation of the Magi (fellow Persians)
that decorated the building.
- Tomb of the Patriarchs (Hebron, on the West Bank): This is
the burial place of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as well as
their wives, Sarah, Rebecca, and Leah (Rachel, the second
wife of Jacob, is buried in Bethlehem). Surrounded by
massive walls built by King Herod, and venerated by both
Jews and Muslims, rights to this place are a point of bitter
contention between the Islamic and Jewish worlds.
- Bahá'í Gardens (Akko): At the northern edge of Akko, this
site marks the tomb of the founder and prophet of the Bahá'í
faith, Bahá'u'lláh. As such, it is the holiest place for
members of the Bahá'í faith.
- Bahá'í Shrine and Gardens (Haifa): The shrine was built to
memorialize the remains of one of the Bahá'í faith's
martyrs, Bab Mirza Ali Muhammad, who was executed by Persian
authorities in 1850.
- Mount Sinai (Sinai Peninsula, Egypt): Controversy still
rages over which of the Sinai's mountains is the true site
where the Ten Commandments were given to Moses, but the
traditional identification of Mount Sinai is very ancient.
An isolated Byzantine monastery at the foot of the mountain
adds to the mysterious aura. The view from the top of Mount
Sinai at dawn is among the most awe-inspiring sights you
will ever see.
Israel and neighboring Jordan are filled with ruins of lost,
ancient cities from every part of their long histories. In
Herodian-Roman times, the population of Judea and the
Galilee may have been around 3 million. Almost 2 millennia
of wars, religious rivalries, persecutions, and
misgovernment drove the population down to less than half a
million by the start of the 19th century. Even knowledge of
the location of many ancient sites was forgotten. Now pieces
of the past are being recovered at a rapid pace, dazzling
physical monuments to the past.
5 The Best Nature & Outdoor Experiences
- Zippori (Sepphoris, near Nazareth): A cosmopolitan
Jewish-Hellenistic city, it was the capital of the Galilee
in Roman and Talmudic times. Especially interesting because
it may have been familiar to Jesus, Zippori's highlights
include a colonnaded street; a mosaic synagogue floor
depicting the zodiac; and the beautiful mosaic portrait of a
woman dubbed "the Mona Lisa of the Galilee," recently
discovered in a late Roman-era villa.
- Caesaria (on the coast between Tel Aviv and Haifa): Built
by Herod as the great harbor and seaport of his kingdom,
this was the splendid administrative capital of Palestine
after the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. There are
impressive, vast ruins of the Roman city (including two
theaters), as well as of the Crusader-era city, made all the
more romantic by the waves lapping at the ancient stones.
Caesaria was an important Byzantine Christian city, but it
is not a biblical site.
- Megiddo (Armageddon, about 20 miles southeast of Haifa):
This town stood in the path of invading armies from ancient
until modern times. It is an encyclopedia of Near Eastern
archeology with more than 20 levels of habitation from 4,000
B.C. to A.D. 400 having been discovered here. The water
tunnel dug from inside the fortified town to the source of
water outside the walls in the 9th century B.C. is a miracle
of ancient engineering.
- Korazim (Galilee): A Roman-Byzantine-era Jewish town in
the hills just northeast of the Sea of Galilee, this is a
beautiful place, with sweeping views of the lake. Portions
of ruins still stand. A black basalt synagogue, with
beautifully carved detailing, and some surrounding houses,
also of local black basalt, give a good idea of what the
more than 100 towns once in this area must have been like.
Jesus visited Korazim, but developed little following
- Gamla (Golan Heights): Once a small Roman-era Jewish city
located on a ridge in the Golan Heights, the site has a
story chillingly similar to that of Masada, but the number
of dead was far greater. In A.D. 67, at the beginning of the
First Jewish Rebellion against Rome, Gamla was overrun by
Roman soldiers, and as many as 9,000 townspeople flung
themselves from the cliff, choosing death over subjugation.
This dramatic site is especially beautiful amid late winter
wildflowers and waterfalls. A ruined synagogue, one of the
few that can be dated to the Second Temple period, is here.
- Bet Shean (Jordan Valley): This place has been
continuously inhabited for the past 6,000 years. A vast,
Roman-Byzantine city with colonnaded streets and a theater
that could house 5,000 people once stood here, although by
the 19th century, Bet Shean was a small village. Remnants of
earlier civilizations can be seen on the ancient Phone
(Hebrew for a mound composed of layers of cities) above the
- Petra (Jordan): The legendary 2,000-year-old Nabatean
capital carved from the walls of a desert canyon is now the
highlight of excursion tours into Jordan from Israel. The
entire Petra experience, including the trek into the canyon,
has the air of adventure and mystery -- especially if you
plan 1 or 2 nights at Petra and give yourself time to get a
feel for the place early in the morning and in the evening,
before the hordes of visitors arrive.
Israel's diverse landscapes and unusual natural phenomena
provide opportunities for unusual outdoor pursuits, many of
which you might never have thought of in connection with a
6 The Best Beaches
- Digging for a Day: Joining an archeological dig as a
volunteer requires a definite commitment of time, money, and
backbreaking labor. However, you can often arrange to dig
for a day and get a close-up look at the hard work and
thrills involved in bringing so much of Israel's history to
light. Contact the Municipal Tourist Information Office in
Jerusalem for current options. The digging season is during
the dry summer months.
- Hiking Down Wadi Kelt: This hike, manageable for most
walkers, takes you down one of the extraordinary canyons
leading from the Judean mountains to the Jordan Valley and
the Dead Sea. On the route, you pass the ancient and almost
inaccessible Monastery of Saint George, built into the walls
of the canyon above the stream of Wadi Kelt. This dramatic
canyon may soon be under the control of the Palestinian
Authority. At present, it should only be visited by
organized group tour.
- Hiking to Gamla: A beautiful trail throughout the year, in
late winter, this 1- to 2-hour hike in the Golan takes you
past wildflowers, streams, and waterfalls. The reward at the
end of the trail is the dramatic ruined city of Gamla (see
"The Best Ancient Cities" above). The countryside is also
dotted with prehistoric dolmens and Stone Age tombs. This
walk brings you into contact with nature, archeology, and a
very moving piece of Israeli history. Plan additional time
for the return walk, although a shorter trail is also
- Llama Trekking in the Ramon Crater (Negev): In the Negev
Highlands, near Mitzpe Ramon, this geological encyclopedia
can be visited on a speedy, bone-dismantling Jeep tour, or
on a rather arduous hike; or you can experience the
mysterious quiet of the desert as you explore the crater
accompanied by a guide, with a llama to carry your water and
equipment. This novel approach can be arranged for a variety
of itineraries as well as longer excursions with overnight
camping and Bedouin-style cookouts. The Alpaca Farm and
travel agencies in Mitzpe Ramon can set it up for you at
- Diving and Snorkeling the Reefs of Eilat: The Red Sea
coral reefs are among the most interesting and easily
accessible in the world; anyone who can swim even moderately
well can snorkel and enjoy the underwater scene. If you want
to scuba dive, you must bring your certification from abroad
or obtain a license in Israel. Eilat is home to a number of
diving schools with short- and longer-term programs for
visitors, as well as programs in underwater photography.
Once you've graduated from the coral reef just off the
shores of southern Eilat, you can graduate to a dive cruise
to the more extensive reefs of the Coral Island. You can
snorkel in the Coral Beach Nature Preserve for less than
$20, including rental of gear, or you can join diving
cruises that begin at $40 for a dive. Diving instruction
programs and major diving trips to the Sinai coast can run
from $140 to thousands of dollars.
- Diving at Dahab (Sinai Peninsula): Just across the border
from Eilat is the Sinai Peninsula with its extraordinary
reefs and clear, light-filled water. Reefs teeming with
exotic marine life extend all the way down the coast;
perhaps the most famous is the suicidal Blue Hole, off the
town of Dahab (but not recommended by this book). At the
southernmost tip of Sinai, just beyond the new resort center
at Sharm el Sheik is the Egyptian National Park at Ras
Muhammad, is a diver's super paradise (you'll need a visa
for Egypt rather than a Sinai Only visa). Diving schools in
Eilat and good Eilat travel agents and discounters can
arrange diving-package excursions to Sinai where hotel
prices are bargains compared to those for hotels inside
Israel has four seas (the Mediterranean, the Sea of Galilee,
the Dead Sea, and the Red Sea), connections to two oceans
(the Atlantic and the Indian), and offers an amazing variety
of swimming experiences. The beaches of Israel look
beautiful, but be careful about going in the water.
Unusually strong riptides, whirlpools, and undertows along
the Mediterranean coast can claim the strongest swimmer.
Never swim in unguarded areas. Along much of the coast,
especially north of Tel Aviv, the beaches seem sandy, but a
few steps into the surf, and you're standing on a rocky
shelf -- not a good
place to be when waves come crashing down. Pollution is also
a serious problem, as it is throughout the Mediterranean.
Israel's beach standards are much higher than those of most
Mediterranean countries, but on many days, garbage from
other countries swirls along the coast. At Nahariya, Akko,
and the Poleg Nature Reserve (8km or 4.8 miles south of
Netanya), which have no sewage treatment plants, I would
hesitate to put my head in the water. Israelis play
compulsive paddleball on any stretch of beach they're on,
regardless of sleeping sunbathers in the line of fire.
Expect beaches to be lively, watch out for sea urchins and
stinging coral in the Red Sea, and the burning medusas
(jellyfish) that attack the Mediterranean beaches in July.
7 The Best Museums
- Gordon Beach (Tel Aviv): Perhaps the most accessible place
to sample the Mediterranean, this free municipal beach has
showers, and a friendly mix of Israelis, new Russian
immigrants, and tourists from luxury hotels; there are
nearby places to take a break for a snack or meal; the sand
is passably clean, and when the tide is clear, the beach is
- Mikmoret Beach (between Netanya and Caesaria): If you have
a car, this is a lifeguarded, slightly sheltered
out-of-the-way beach with a restaurant, showers, and
changing rooms. To the south, the beach goes on straight for
miles, and is good for long walks. In-season entrance is
$2.40 per person, deducted from your restaurant bill if you
have a full meal.
- Aqueduct Beach (just north of Caesaria): An ancient Roman
aqueduct gives this beach its name and travel-poster
ambience. There are no showers or amenities or crowds except
on summer weekends, when vendors sell drinks and snacks. Not
good for swimming if the water is rough, but on calm days,
as you float in the Mediterranean and gaze at the romantic
ruins, you know it's not the Jersey Shore. Currently the
beach is free, with an impromptu parking area.
- Kibbutz Ein Gev Holiday Village Beach (Sea of Galilee):
The freshwater Sea of Galilee is warm and cleansing,
spiritually as well as physically. You have to be a guest at
the Ein Gev Holiday Village to be allowed to use the beach
here, but it's the prettiest one on the lake, with a date
palm grove and thick lawns stretching down to the water,
which is relatively free of foot-stubbing rocks. Just to the
south are several miles of eucalyptus-shaded beaches along
the road (in summer there's a $3 parking fee); they're
rockier underwater, but very pleasant when not crowded with
weekenders. Late afternoon often brings real breakers to the
eastern shore of the lake; twilight here is soft and
- Ein Gedi Beach (Dead Sea): Everyone should experience
swimming in the Dead Sea, the strangest body of water and
the lowest point on the face of the earth. The extremely
high salt content of the Dead Sea makes you feel like a
cork; if you float, it's impossible to keep much of yourself
underwater. The salt and minerals in the water are believed
to be therapeutic, but the water will sting any cuts on your
skin, and if you stay in too long, you'll be pickled. There
are freshwater showers as well as a restaurant. High daytime
temperatures so far below sea level mean that even in winter
a dip may be possible.
- Coral Beach Nature Reserve (Eilat): The Nature Reserve has
staked out a strip of beach alongside Eilat's best reefs.
Here you can snorkel among dazzling fish and coral
formations, and even take interesting scuba expeditions.
Snorkeling gear is for rent, and there are showers, changing
areas, and snack facilities. This beach is not good for
recreational swimming -- unless you wear a face mask and
foot protection, you can easily step on the quills of a sea
urchin, or be cut and burned by stinging coral.
- Dolphin Reef Beach (Eilat): A good choice for everyday
swimming in the Red Sea, Dolphin Reef is the most
picturesque beach in Eilat, with palapas, a shady garden
cafeteria, and a thatched-roof, sand-floor pub/restaurant
for when you want to be out of the sun. It also has a
resident dolphin population in the water, separated from the
human swimming area by a net fence. You can swim under
supervision in the dolphin zone for $30 a half hour; or
better yet, stay in the roomy people's zone (with a sandy,
nearly sea-urchin-free bottom) and enjoy watching the
dolphins' leaps and frolics.
- Nuweiba Hilton Coral Resort Beach (Sinai Peninsula,
Egypt): If you want to really beach out for a few days at a
comfortable resort that has a low-rise desert architectural
style, and a quiet, distant end-of-the-earth ambience, with
the mountains of Arabia facing you across the water, this is
the place. There are beaches for swimming and snorkeling, a
pool, and you can take wonderful excursions from here to the
haunting interior of the Sinai.
Israel's museums are relatively new, innovative, and
interactive with the discoveries of the past, of the self,
and of nationhood that are happening so intensively every
day in Israeli society. The most interesting museums are
those that could only be found in Israel.
8 The Messages of the Mosaics
- Israel Museum (Jerusalem): Although it only opened in
1965, in 3 decades the Israel Museum has made its place on
the world museum map. Its greatest treasures, beautifully
exhibited, include a number of the Dead Sea Scrolls; a
dazzling, all-encompassing collection of archeological finds
from Israel; a vast treasury of world Judaica and costumes,
including reconstructions of the interiors of synagogues
brought to Israel from Italy, Germany, and Cochin, India;
and excellent collections of primitive, pre-Colombian,
European, and modern art, including the exciting Billy Rose
Sculpture Garden. There's also an enticing Children's Wing.
- L. A. Mayer Memorial Museum of Islamic Art (Jerusalem):
Another undervisited treasure, with an excellent collection
of Islamic and Middle Eastern art, and well-chosen special
and visiting exhibitions.
- Wolfson Collection of Judaica (Jerusalem): Right in the
heart of Jerusalem, this little-known gem consists of a
large but intimate private collection of Judaica from all
over the world. It is exhibited on the fourth floor of
Hechal Shlomo, the Great Synagogue complex on King George
- Yad VaShem Memorial (Jerusalem): This large complex is a
memorial to the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis during
World War II. Part of the museum is a teaching experience,
with films, photographs, and documents pertaining to the
Holocaust; part is an archive in which information about
each individual victim will be gathered and kept. A third
part of the complex consists of memorial structures,
gardens, and installations such as the Avenue of the
Righteous, in memory of those who risked their lives to
shelter Jews; the darkened, terrifying interior of the
Children's Memorial; the tragic sculpture of the Valley of
Destroyed Communities. No visitor can leave unaffected.
- Bet Hatfutsot, The Diaspora Museum (Tel Aviv): Not a
museum in terms of displaying actual genuine artifacts, Bet
Hatfutsot is rather a state-of-the-art multimedia exhibit
that illustrates the histories of Jewish communities
throughout the world. It's fascinating, fun, and the special
visiting exhibitions are always worthwhile.
- Eretz Israel Museum (Tel Aviv): This museum covers many
aspects of the land of Israel, including its natural
history, flora and fauna, archeology, folklore, and
traditional crafts. Highlights include a bazaar filled with
craftspeople demonstrating such skills from antiquity as
glass blowing, olive pressing, weaving, and pottery making;
an extraordinary collection of ancient glass; and
excavations of a tell located on the grounds of the museum.
- Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Tel Aviv): Notable for strong
collections of Israeli art, and contemporary European
(including Russian) art, the museum has just begun to
exhibit its newest gift: the Jaglom Collection of
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Art. There is a lively
program of public events, performances, and special
The ancient mosaic floors of Israel, mostly discovered in
the past 80 years, are not only beautiful but filled with
information about the cultures, religions, and relationships
among the different religious groups that existed in Israel
during the great era of mosaic art, from the 1st to 8th
centuries A.D. The first discovery of the these beautiful
floors was a great surprise -- most scholars did not expect
to find ancient representational art in Israel. Now, almost
every archeological season brings news of new and sometimes
sensational discoveries. For Israelis, archeology is the
national sport, and the finding of a great new mosaic is
like winning a World Cup.
The themes of many Jewish, Christian, and Islamic mosaics
are concerned with the orderly patterns and rhythms of the
universe. Here are some of the most important message-laden
mosaics, easy to visit on your travels.
9 The Best Luxury Hotels
- The Mosaic of Hisham's Palace (near Jericho): One of the
most famous and often reproduced of Israel's ancient
mosaics, this hypnotically compelling design of gazelles
grazing beneath an orange tree, with a lion attacking one of
the gazelles, graced a palace built in A.D. 724 by an early
Islamic caliph. Later Islamic art rarely permitted such
careful representation of living creatures. Again, a concern
with patterns and rhythms of the universe is revealed. The
massive orange tree, dominating this scene, represents the
tree of life, beneath which the eternal drama of life and
death is played.
- Hammat Tiberias Synagogue Floor (just south of Tiberias):
Slightly older than the Beit Alpha floor (see below), this
floor may have inspired Beit Alpha's artists. It contains a
sophisticated, skillfully executed central zodiac design,
with the four seasons in good Hellenistic style, as befitted
the worldly, affluent community in which it existed; it also
depicts the familiar Temple tableau. For all its beauty and
skill, it lacks the charm of the Beit Alpha floor.
- Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes
(Tabgha, Sea of Galilee): Perhaps the most beautiful and
poetic of mosaic floors in Israel, this tapestry of shore
birds, waterfowl, lily pads, and tiny creatures was created
for a 5th-century Byzantine church. The artist may have
visited Egypt, or been Egyptian himself, for the flora and
fauna here look as if they might have come from the Nile
delta, reflecting the international following of the new
Christian religion. A depiction of the famous Egyptian
Nilometer, which measured the Nile River's floods,
symbolizes the rhythmic patterns of nature upon which the
church has been built.
- Beit Alpha Synagogue Mosaic (Jordan Valley, south of Beit
Shean): This charming, late 5th-century A.D. nave floor
discovered in the 1920s surprised scholars and archeologists
with its central circle design of the signs of the pagan
zodiac, surrounded by the four seasons being pulled through
the heavens by the sun in a horse-drawn chariot. The mosaic
also depicts Abraham about to sacrifice Isaac, and presents
a tableau containing a representation of the Temple at
Jerusalem accompanied by Jewish ritual and symbolic objects.
The subsequent discovery of other zodiac designs on
synagogue floors has led many scholars to conclude the motif
was meant to represent the majestic, slowly moving order of
God's universe. The same artists laid the floor of a nearby
Samaritan synagogue with a tableau that depicts the Temple
(presumably the rival Samaritan Temple at Nablus) in
virtually the same way.
- Ein Gedi Synagogue Floor (near the Dead Sea): Here,
instead of the central zodiac design, you'll find a central
circle of peacock chicks enclosed by a geometric pattern of
overlaid squares. Instead of the four seasons, adult
peacocks adorn the four corners of the floor. This design is
very spare, perhaps reflecting the austere environment of
the desert community at Ein Gedi or perhaps reflecting a new
era in which pictorial images were not so easily tolerated.
The synagogue inscription indicates Ein Gedi was an entirely
Jewish town, in contrast to the mixed Hellenistic-Jewish
communities of the Jordan Valley and the Galilee. The
chicks, enclosed in a complex geometric design that radiates
out toward the adult birds, may again illustrate the rhythms
of life and growth in which God's order is revealed, and
upon which faith, as well as the synagogue, have been
The hotel scene in Israel is presently in the process of a
truly massive change. International chains have been
building new hotels throughout Israel as well as in Sinai
and Jordan, and upgrading many older properties.
10 The Best Value Hotels
- The King David Hotel (Jerusalem, Phone 02/620-8888): Built
in 1930 during the British Mandate, the King David has
outlasted the British Empire and continues to sail on,
immaculate, elegant, and up-to-date in every way. The
Nubian, fez-adorned lobby attendants of the 1930s are no
longer here, but the King David is thick with atmosphere and
ambience, and VIPs from Henry Kissinger and Warren
Christopher to Barbra Streisand and Bob Dylan seem to pop up
here. The gardened swimming pool and views of the walls of
the Old City are a real plus.
- Hyatt Regency Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Phone 02/533-1234): At
the moment, this stands as the best and most architecturally
interesting of the newer megahotels in Jerusalem; it was
designed by David Resnick, whose other creations include the
Mormon Center on the Mount of Olives, and many of Hebrew
University's more famous structures. Beautiful vistas of the
city, excellent fitness and recreation facilities, a
thoughtful, energetic staff, and good in-house restaurants
are big advantages.
- American Colony Hotel (Jerusalem, Phone 02/627-9777): This
beautiful, atmospheric, gardened enclave began its existence
as a pasha's villa in the 19th century. As an international
meeting place between the worlds of East and West Jerusalem,
it attracts journalists, writers, archeologists, and all
sorts of VIPs, and is probably the most savvy, romantic spot
in the Middle East with the possible exception of Rick's
Cafe in Casablanca. Some of the suites, furnished with
antiques and traditional crafts, are as splendid as anything
you'll find in the region, yet prices are comparatively
reasonable. The hotel's Saturday afternoon luncheon buffet
is famous throughout the country.
- Tel Aviv Sheraton Hotel & Towers (Phone 03/521-1111): The
most fun of Tel Aviv's five-star hotels -- right on the
beach, but steps away from the city's restaurant and gallery
district, so you have the unusual feel of being in an urban
resort. Restaurant services here are probably the best of
any hotel in the country, topped off by the Twelve Tribes
Restaurant with an elegant, luxurious menu that's both
inventive and kosher. Mediterranean views from many of the
guest rooms, complete with dazzling sunsets, are a plus, as
is the very efficient business center and its services.
- Tel Aviv Hilton (Phone 03/522-4111): With an unequaled
staff, business center, and guest services, the Hilton is
the doyenne of Tel Aviv's beachfront hotels. Suites and
better-category rooms are beautifully furnished and
decorated; the sheltered beach offers a resort atmosphere,
but the kosher sushi bar hints at the Hilton's role as a
center for business and tourism exchanges between Asia and
the Middle East.
- Dan Carmel Hotel (Haifa, Phone 04/830-6306): With sweeping
views from its site at the top of the Carmel Range, as well
as a careful staff and a relaxing, gardened pool enclave for
guests to enjoy, this hotel, built in the 1960s, is regarded
as Haifa's best. The better guest rooms, newly renovated and
with views of the bay, are beautifully decorated and well
worth the extra money. Lower-category rooms still have a
style that recalls the Eisenhower era.
- Radisson Moriah Plaza Eilat (Phone 07/659-1651): Although
overtaken in terms of size and luxury by the humongous new
Hyatt and the Holiday Inn Spa Hotels at nearby Ein Bokek,
the Radisson Moriah's tranquil location right on the Dead
Sea, with its own spacious private beach, is still special.
The atmosphere is quiet and oriented toward desert
activities and therapeutic health programs.
- Isrotel Royal Beach Hotel (Eilat, Phone 800/636-8888 in
the U.S.): Isrotel's masterpiece property, this hotel, built
in 1993, is set on a palm tree-dotted bathing beach in Eilat
itself, within strolling range of much of the city.
Architecturally, the Royal Beach is a pleasure, with open
public areas and glass corridors in its upper stories that
are designed to access spectacular vistas of the city and
the surrounding countryside you might not normally see.
Guest rooms are beautiful, stylish, and each faces directly
onto the Red Sea.
- Eilat Princess Hotel (Eilat, Phone 07/636-5555): Opened in
1993, this hotel is officially the most expensive in the
country (there are discounts available). Built into a
hillside facing the Red Sea a few miles south of downtown
Eilat, the Princess is a self-contained world of swimming
pools, recreational facilities, restaurants, discos, and
desert activities. It also established a new level of style
in Israeli hotel design, with guest rooms furnished and
decorated in French, tropical Philippine, Chinese, and other
motifs that could be worthy of a page in Architectural
This selection of hotel choices runs from splurges to
economy strategies; each establishment offers something
11 The Best Luxury Dining
- Saint Mark's Lutheran Guest House (Jerusalem, Phone 02/628-
2120): Beautiful, atmospheric, and immaculate, with gardens
above the main Arab bazaar, this is the best possible place
to stay in the Old City, and one of the most remarkable
hotels in the country. Depending on the value of the German
mark, a double could run from $70 to $75.
- Jerusalem Tower Hotel (Jerusalem, Phone 02/620-9209): At
this well-run moderate hotel located on the upper floors of
a high-rise, you're right in the center of everything --
restaurants, cafes, shopping -- but you're high above the
street noise, and with luck, you'll have a dazzling view.
It's around $130 for a double, but on El Al's Sunsational
Package the rate can be under $60.
- Jerusalem Inn Hotel (Jerusalem, Phone 02/625-2757): Just a
short walk from the Old City, and 1 1/2 blocks from Zion
Square and the bustling Ben Yehuda and Yoel Salomon malls,
this small hotel offers tidy, no-frills doubles with a touch
of style and excellent beds for $50 to $68 depending on the
time of year. Bathless doubles go for less, and you can
arrange breakfast downstairs at Eucalyptus, one of
Jerusalem's best restaurants.
- YMCA Three Arches Hotel (Jerusalem, Phone 02/625-7111):
This is in no way your average YMCA; instead, it's a
respected hotel frequented by savvy travelers. For $110 you
get a well-appointed double in a landmark building (designed
by the same architect who created New York's Empire State
Building), right across the street from the famed King David
Hotel. Remember, you'd pay three or four times as much
across the street!
- St. Andrew's Hospice (Jerusalem, Phone 02/673-2401): One
of the most dramatic and atmospheric sites in West
Jerusalem, on a vista-sweeping hilltop overlooking the Old
City, this Church of Scotland guest house offers simple
rooms in an interesting 1930s-style building, and a hearty,
- Jerusalem Hotel (East Jerusalem, Phone 02/628-3282): A
small place run by a well-informed, attentive family, the
Jerusalem Hotel offers a pleasant garden restaurant with
live music a number of times a week, and a general
atmosphere that makes it seem like a very affordable version
of the renowned American Colony Hotel.
- Radisson Moriah Plaza (Tel Aviv, Phone 03/521-6666):
Although this is a five-star hotel right on the beach, if
you buy the Radisson Moriah Hotel's 9-Night Package, you can
book a double at a considerable discount. A luxury hotel on
the beach can turn Tel Aviv into a truly wonderful city, and
the package, which lets you plan an itinerary around
Radisson Moriah Hotels in Jerusalem, Tiberias, Tel Aviv,
Eilat, and the Dead Sea, is the cheapest possible way to
have luxury accommodations in Israel.
- Church of Scotland Center Guest House (Tiberias, Phone
06/672-3769): With its 19th-century buildings, beautiful
terraces, and overgrown gardens looking out on the Sea of
Galilee, this well-run guest house seems almost like a villa
on the Italian coast, and welcomes visitors of all faiths.
Rooms have recently been redone; doubles rent for $70.
- Ein Gev Holiday Village (Sea of Galilee, Phone 06/675-
8027): At the Ein Gev Kibbutz, with bungalows, caravans, and
basic doubles set in eucalyptus and date palm groves right
on the shores of the Sea of Galilee, this is a paradisical
place to unwind and swim the warm waters of the lake. The
kibbutz runs an excellent fish restaurant a mile down the
- Vered Ha Galil Guest Farm (Galilee, Phone 06/693-4964):
Set in the hills a few miles north of the Sea of Galilee,
this intimate, family run place began as a simple horseback
riding lodge and over 4 decades has slowly been turned into
a small garden of Eden. It offers a variety of rustic,
charming accommodations and well-informed, personal
attention; you don't have to come here for riding, but if
you do, the programs are probably the best in the country.
- Bed-and-Breakfast in a Galilee Arab Village (Phone 04/990-
1555): This program introduces both foreign visitors and
Jewish Israelis to the many Arab Israeli communities of the
Galilee countryside. You can make a special request to stay
with a family in residence, or you can choose a guest flat
where breakfast will be brought in by the owner from his or
her own house. In either event, your room will be
immaculate, and filled with amenities and personal touches
that convey a real sense of hospitality.
- Rimon Inn (Safed, Phone 06/699-4666: In a country with few
really romantic, atmospheric hotels, this
upper-moderate-range inn, synthesized from an ensemble of
beautiful buildings from Ottoman times, is a real winner and
an example of what might be done elsewhere in the country. A
stay here helps make the often elusive magic of Safed more
- Isaac H. Taylor Youth Hostel (Phone 07/658-4349): Right at
the base of Masada, overlooking the Dead Sea, this large,
modern Israel Youth Hostel Association establishment allows
you to overnight in the desert and make the ascent to Masada
in the cool dawn hours. Midweek during off-season, you can
often arrange a private double with bath for around $45.
- Isrotel Riviera Apartment Hotel (Eilat, Phone 800/552-0141
in the U.S.): A block from the beach, built around a pool,
units here can accommodate two to four people, and are
equipped with kitchenettes, TVs, and other useful amenities.
Although not a kibbutz guest house, a double here can be
booked as part of the Kibbutz Guest House 7-Night Package
Plan, the most affordable way to have non-scruffy
accommodations in costly Eilat.
Until the 1980s, it was almost considered anti-Zionist to
spend money and effort on gourmet cuisine. Israel was a
practical, egalitarian society, and good, healthy fresh food
was all that was necessary to create a sturdy population.
Man does not live by falafel alone, however, and Israel has
developed a group of truly fine, personal restaurants, many
rooted in French tradition, but also exploring the
traditions of the Mediterranean Rim.
12 The Best Moderate Dining
- Ocean (Jerusalem): Although Jerusalem is a mountain city,
this is Israel's masterpiece restaurant for fish and
seafood. Service is formal, but the menu takes light,
natural preparation to levels of perfection that are
- Darna (Jerusalem): Craftsmen and interior designers from
Morocco were brought to Jerusalem to create this authentic,
atmospheric restaurant that celebrates the traditions of
Israel's large Moroccan Jewish population. There's nothing
hokey here, and the fine Moroccan cuisine matches the
graceful service and ambience.
- Cow On The Roof (Jerusalem): Gourmet magazine has dubbed
Shalom Kadosh "the high priest of glatt kosher," and this
decorous restaurant in the Jerusalem Sheraton Plaza Hotel is
his sanctuary, with an unequaled standard of French cuisine
prepared within the bounds of kashruth.
- American Colony Hotel (Jerusalem): At $29 plus value-added
tax (VAT), the Saturday luncheon buffet in the Arabesque
Room is a Jerusalem tradition, with real atmosphere as well
as a vast, all-you-can-eat buffet of excellent Middle
Eastern and continental choices. Sadly, this treat is only
for lunch, and only a once-a-week affair.
- Twelve Tribes (Tel Aviv): Long admired for its inventive
menu of nouvelle cuisine, prepared within the rules of
kashruth under executive chef Hans Lelie, the restaurant has
moved toward a slightly rustic, earthy style that doesn't
try to disguise the basic elements of the foods being
presented. Probably the most interesting hotel restaurant in
- Capot Tmarim (Tel Aviv): A carefully re-created enclave of
1930s Tel Aviv architecture and decor is the setting for
Ofer Gal's menu of brilliant Mediterranean Rim creations
presented with such attention to detail that even the slices
of watermelon sorbet are flecked with chocolate seeds. At
the very top of Tel Aviv's luxury restaurants.
- Golden Apple (Tel Aviv): This French restaurant is the
brainchild of Israel Aharoni, a vibrant perfectionist who
set standards unheard of in Israel by ordering Limoges china
for the Golden Apple's opening. Drawing on expertise in
Asian cooking to make his repertoire innovative, Aharoni has
developed a formal but always lively menu for Tel Aviv's
most elegant dining.
- Lilith (Tel Aviv): Lilith's decor has been chosen with an
eye for natural shapes and textures. One of Lilith's
co-owners is the author of a book on the art of grilling,
and her gourmet menu is filled with light touches that
almost magically bring out the best natural qualities of
- Keren (Jaffa): Occupying a wooden house brought to Jaffa
by ship from America over 100 years ago, Keren abounds in
romantic charm; the elegant, always interesting French menu
with touches of Mediterranean Rim is a constant joy.
- Yoe'ezer Wine Bar (Jaffa): Set inside the cavernous arches
of a building from Crusader times, this is a gourmand's
paradise created by noted Israeli journalist and food writer
Shaul Evron. Here, at your leisure, you can sample from an
Elysian collection of European and Israeli wines,
accompanied by wonderful breads and cheeses, or feast on a
menu of exquisite, richly prepared dishes.
- 1873 (Haifa): Named for the year in which the quaint
cottage it occupies was built, this new French restaurant is
the gastronomic jewel of Haifa, and a must for that special
afternoon or night out. It's also surprisingly affordable.
- Voila (Haifa): A small, intimate place that specializes in
French/Swiss cuisine, the atmosphere here is romantic; the
food is rich, rustic, and expertly prepared.
- Au Bistro (Eilat): This gem in the French/Belgian
tradition is presided over by chef Michel Torjiman, who
turns out nightly miracles of expertise. Au Bistro is
reasonably priced, and runs circles around its competition
in Eilat's big hotels.
Israel is filled with interesting, affordable restaurants
ranging from authentic ethnic to natural Mediterranean Rim,
and from kosher Indian or kosher Mexican to gracefully
inventive French. In order to be accessible to kosher diners
who cannot eat at restaurants that serve both milk and meat
products, many Israeli restaurants offer only vegetarian
menus that are imaginative and affordable. The following is
a selection of unusual choices for atmosphere, good food,
and good value, but you'll find many other fabulous
restaurants throughout this book.
- Eucalyptus (Jerusalem): This is a must stop for sampling
genuine Israeli food so beautifully prepared some critics
call it the nucleus of an actual Israeli cuisine. Chef
Moshe Basson blends traditional recipes, local herbs and
spices, and seasonal vegetables and fruits into works of
art, and also serves the best Arabic-style chicken Mahlouba
and homemade Middle Eastern salads in the country.
- Misadonet (Jerusalem): A Kurdish restaurant, and one of
the best home-style kitchens in the country, the dish to die
for here is Mama Nomi's giri-giri, a rich creation of lamb
hearts stuffed with rice, meat, raisins, walnuts, and pine
nuts, all served in a curried apricot sauce. Kubbeh soups,
each with its own distinctive flavor, are also quite
- Yemenite Step (Jerusalem): Here you can sample mellawach
(flaky Yemenite phyllo crepes) filled with spiced meats,
chicken, or vegetables. Yemenite garnishes, soups, and
vegetables are especially worthwhile -- it's popular with
both Jerusalemites and visitors.
- Pepperoni's (Jerusalem): With its bountiful first-course
buffet, ever-changing main-course selections, atmospheric
building, and bargain fixed-price meals, this is always a
great choice for an interesting meal in the relaxed,
- Spaghettim (Jerusalem): This fabulous restaurant offers a
vast array of spaghettis in fantastic sauces that are
bountiful with fresh ingredients. The Jerusalem branch, set
in an old Ottoman-era mansion with a delightful dining
garden, is an especially romantic location, but there's also
a branch in Tel Aviv.
- Cacao at the Cin³math²que (Jerusalem): The view of the Old
City walls from the terrace here is breathtaking, the crowd
is intelligent and stylish, and the menu is very affordable.
Salads, peasant sandwiches, and an excellent but reasonably
priced fish menu is designed by the owners of Ocean,
Jerusalem's most expensive restaurant. In cold weather, the
indoor dining room can be smoky, but in good weather, a meal
or dessert on the terrace, is a must.
- Kohinoor (Jerusalem): This kosher Indian restaurant
provides a rare opportunity for kosher visitors to sample
Indian cuisine at a high level of perfection. The
all-you-can-eat luncheon buffets are very affordable. The
nonkosher Tandoori Restaurants (Tel Aviv, Eilat, and
Herzlia) of the same chain are equally excellent, elegant,
and a good value.
- Margaret Tayar's (Jaffa): A small, authentic place a short
walk from trendy Old Jaffa, with a covered terrace
overlooking the sweeping Tel Aviv shoreline, and a master
cook who loves to see people enjoying her creations. Jaffa's
fishermen adore Margaret -- she gets first choice of the
catch. This is a one-woman tour de force. Always call to
confirm hours. Among the very best restaurants in the
country at any price.
- Abu Christo (Old Akko): Fresh fish and a covered dining
terrace right beside the sea give this restaurant a
delightful Greek Island harborside ambience. You can put
together a feast here, complete with Middle Eastern
appetizers, for $15 to $20.
- Pagoda/The House (Tiberias): Perhaps the best Chinese
restaurant in the country, with beautiful vistas of the Sea
of Galilee from its lakeside terraces, the Pagoda's staff
trained at one of the most famous hotels in Bangkok. The
Pagoda is kosher, and when it closes for Shabbat (the Jewish
Sabbath), The House, its nonkosher affiliate across the
road, opens and serves up almost the same excellent but
- Eddie's Hideaway (Eilat): In a tourist town at the end of
the earth, where most restaurants plan for customers they'll
never see again, Eddie puts his heart into every meal and
keeps coming up with menus that are delicious and inventive.
Robert Ullian, The Best of Israel, Frommer's Israel, 01-01-1998.