a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel's financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches.
To the north lie Nazareth and the freshwater Sea of Galilee, important New Testament sites in the life of Jesus. Haifa offers vistas from Mount Carmel and manicured, terraced gardens. Down the coast are the ruins of Caesarea, King Herod’s Roman port. The 1st-century-B.C. clifftop fortress Masada overlooks the Dead Sea, known for its spas and mineral-heavy water. In the south, hiking trails cross the Negev Desert. At the southern tip, Eilat is a Red Sea resort with coral reefs and high-rise hotels.