The Israel Honeymoon Guide for Antiquities & Adventure

Couples worldwide flock to the destination known for its ancient sites.
Natural view in Israel.
Jonathan Ross / iStock
Jessica Kelly
by Jessica Kelly
Updated Jan 24, 2023
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Israel is an international bucket-list destination, but also a unique historical honeymoon spot for couples who make their way to the Middle East. For those who value antiquities, artifacts and absorbing ancient history during trips, an Israel honeymoon may be one of the most rewarding trips of your lifetime. Across the country, there's also much to experience–from Tel Aviv's bustling markets and thriving nightlife to sites across Old Jaffa, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem and beyond. (Often, one visit isn't enough).

The destination has also made its mark, recently, for its emerging culinary scene and adventure offerings. Newlyweds can easily explore craters, search for stars and planets in the night sky, and even see how locals in the Negev Desert managed to create an agricultural program using filtered water. By composting, they've successfully planted olive trees and grapevines in the desert. Read our guide for how to artfully plant and grow your Israel honeymoon.

Is Israel Good for a Honeymoon?

There's much to experience across the country, so couples should be prepared to visit multiple destinations. Israel is easy to see by car, so experiencing everything from the beach to the desert (as well as culinary experiences, artwork and trails for hikes) is possible.

Couples should also acknowledge that they'll receive a separate card instead of a passport stamp. Authorities give visitors an entry visa in the form of a stamped blue piece of paper instead of the traditional stamp seen in passport books. Select countries' border officials have denied entry to tourists with the country's stamp historically, which is why this process is a bit different from other processes for international entry.

The Pros of an Israel Honeymoon

Israel truly has a little bit of everything. You have the desert, the sea, incredible food, history and more. In addition to everything that you get to see and observe, the weather is absolutely gorgeous. To get the most out of your trip here, plan to explore the history within the walls of Israel's cities. The country's landscape also boasts beautiful hikes and waterfalls. In Israel, couples should expect unique dining experiences, beautiful pools and a destination teeming with romance.

The Cons of an Israel Honeymoon

Getting to Israel is quite the distance from the US. Couples who decide to splurge on business class airfare will find it's well worth the experience to fully recline and relax. En route to the destination, couples should drink plenty of water and indulge in the latest selection of in-flight movies. Even so, the destination is unique and worth the long travel distance.

The Best Times of Year to Go on an Israel Honeymoon for Good Weather

The best time to visit Israel boils down to your schedule. Israel has incredible weather for honeymooners year-round. Any holiday is a special time to explore religious locations like Jerusalem. Summers are lively in tel Aviv, where the city's pride celebration takes place in June. Thankfully, you're by water to cool down after the revelry. For those who prefer cooler climates, the spring or fall is ideal as the humidity settles down.

Sky view of Israel.
Getty Images

Things to Do During an Israel Honeymoon

Explore Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv is a cosmopolitan destination with a big party scene. The city is lined with great cultural street art, and well-known for its culinary scene (think: Middle Eastern markets and dining options). Couples will want to explore the sites in town like Old Jaffa and the Ancient Seaport, in addition to the oldest neighborhood in the city, Neve Zedek. The art scene is particularly impressive in the downtown area near the Florentin neighborhood. The Tel Aviv street art and graffiti tour is a great way to learn the story behind some of these street art pieces with a local guide. Don't forget to enjoy your hike in the Ein Avdat Nature Reserve to the waterfall during a hot sunny day. If you surf, enjoy the beach.

Shop for Just About Everything

In Tel Aviv, The Carmel Market is overflowing with tourists and locals filling their bags with fresh fruit, vegetables, baked goods, spices, gifts to bring home and more. The Nachalat Binyamin Market is another option for souvenirs (expect beautiful handmade items and crafts from nearly 200 artists). Stop into Porters & Sons for a pint of beer or swing by Dr Shakshuka for a mouthwatering shakshuka (a local tomato sauce with a little heat and eggs). Couples should taste Tel Aviv's special, Muhallebi (a rice custard usually sweetened with rose) or pick up fried crispy beets and potatoes, crumbly hafta and cheese bourekas at the market.

Visit the Ramon Crater

Drive through the geological Makhtesh Ramon in the Negev land, also referred to as the Ramon Crater. Observe beautifully colored rocks in landscape throughout the creator during your Drive, taking interviews. Head back to the creator at night to stargaze in the dark. (The crater is shaped like an extended heart… perfect for honeymooners!

Enjoy Olives and Wine in the Desert

Visit the Marom-Eshkolot boutique winery and splice orchard for a taste-tasting experience. Couples should say hello to Simcha, whose team tends to the successful crops. On the way out, consider picking up products with meaning for those date nights in or for your foodie loved ones back home.

Float on the Dead Sea and Visit Masada

Ascend up the mountain by cable car to explore the fortress-palace built by Herod, an ancient fortification and site built in 73 AD. Another rite of passage in Israel is to visit the Dead Sea, where a mandatory float is required. (A pro tip: Pack water shoes as there are large salt crystals lining the bottom of the water.) Also, don't expect to spend the entire day at the Dead Sea as each visitor is only allowed to spend about 10 minutes in the water at a time. As you observe the rules, enjoy the benefits that the salt water and mud has on the body. Plus, peruse the beauty masks and products created with Dead Sea properties.

Experience the Wonder of Jerusalem

Religion, culture, light shows and food markets, modern and ancient history all collide in Jerusalem. In town, couples will want to explore the Ramparts Walk on top of the Old City Walls from Jaffa Gate to the Dung Gate. Then, they'll want to head over to the Tower of David Museum. There's much to explore further in the Muslim Quarter, where you'll experience an Arab market, followed by the Via Dolorosa (the Stations of the Cross). Round out the day with a trip to the breathtaking Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

Browse the Mahane Yehuda

Browse through the Mahane Yehuda Market to sample and try some truly delicious food. The open-air market has nearly 250 vendors with everything from juicy olives, fresh produce, spices, nuts, seafood, baked treats, marketplace clothing and so much more. Montefiore Winery Windmill has charcuterie to share and incredible wines to taste before enjoying dinner at Satia (for Israeli and Mediterranean dishes) or Andalucia (for cocktails and tapas).

The Best Hotels and Resorts in Israel for a Honeymoon

Kedma Hotel

The Kedma Hotel in Sde Boker is decorated beautifully, with a desert-style theme. The rooms are quite spacious and comfortable, with swimming pools and luxurious amenities for guests. The hotel itself is an experience, and guests can book excursions through the property like ATV tours, camel riding, dirt bikes, and more.

Center Chic Hotel

Center Chic Hotel in Tel Aviv is the perfect boutique hotel in the heart of the city, walking distance from some incredible restaurants, bars, and entertainment. The rooms are a little modest and small, but comfortable and modern. Relax in the Turkish Hammam Spa or get in a good workout at the gym.

Beresheet Hotel

Consider the beautiful Beresheet Hotel. The hotel has amenities like a spa and even a heated pool overlooking the Mitzpe Ramon crater. In addition to the main hotel, there are units with their own private pools on the property.

Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel

The Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel is a stunning boutique hotel in Jerusalem. The lobby reveals a collection of books and staffers prepare fresh snacks for guests like stuffed grape leaves, dates and drinks for happy hour. Brown Machne Yehuda Hotel is right near the Machne Yehuda Market in Jerusalem, so once you settle into your comfortable room and unpack a bit, head out to take a walk through the market.

Isrotel Nevo Dead Sea Hotel

Isrotel Nevo Dead Sea Hotel has a two-story pool, among other soaking pools near the spa, and a gym. Above all that, the rooms are spacious and comfortable, overlooking beautiful views of the Dead Sea. There is access to the Dead Sea right across the way from the hotel, so you can take a short walk to the beach across the way to float in the Dead Sea. Rinse off in the freshwater at the showers after your dip. Consider bringing water shoes to protect your feet from the sharp salt crystals and avoid staying in the water longer than 10 minutes to avoid dehydration. Avoid shaving your legs a few days before going into the Dead Sea and don't submerge your face into the water at all, as the salty water can burn your throat or eyes. At the hotel, there are incredible buffets for meals filled with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes to try.

What to Pack for an Israel Honeymoon

It depends on the time of year, but generally, two honeymoon packing list must-haves for Israel are comfortable walking shoes and sun protection. We recommend packing a light jacket or a long-sleeve sweater, as well as linens and beach gear. Scarves are recommended across several religious locations where a modest dress code is encouraged.

Israel Honeymoon Tour Packages

Sometimes, couples want an all-in-one travel option. (After planning the wedding, we can see why.) Thankfully, Israel has some beautiful resorts and hotels for honeymooners looking to experience luxury accommodations and unique tours-in-one. If you prefer a more hands-on itinerary, visitors can also craft their own Israel honeymoon package by using services like TripAdvisor and Viator.

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