Venture off the beaten track and you’ll find Israel’s eco side is thriving
In association with: Israel Government Tourist Office
At just five hours from the UK, Israel’s beautiful sandy beaches, buzzing cities, nine Unesco World Heritage Sites and places of religious significance are among the many reasons why your clients might be drawn to the country. But beyond the bright lights of Tel Aviv and the city walls of Jerusalem, Israel is steeped in community and sustainability.
Start in Tel Aviv, close to Ben Gurion Airport, with a visit to Ariel Sharon Park. While this may look like an ordinary park, part of it is built upon the former Hiriya landfill site – a mound that reaches 60 metres high. Now, the 2,000-acre park is home to walking and cycling trails, and visitors can take tours to see how the area has been transformed and hear about the environmental work being done.
There are many places to experience the natural beauty of Israel, from the lush parks in the north to the expansive deserts in the south. Snir Stream Nature Reserve, for example, is home to the longest tributary of the Jordan River, and its trails make for some peaceful walks.
Meanwhile, the Negev Desert covers more than half of the country, its striking landscapes spanning mountains, craters, sand dunes and valleys.
Protecting the environment is the priority of several eco-villages dotted across Israel. Kibbutz Lotan, an eco-Jewish collective, opens its arms to visitors from across the world.
Guests can stay and learn from residents about their sustainable way of life, either informally or through one of its courses. Meanwhile, in the rolling hills in the north of Israel lies the eco-village of Clil, where visitors can stay alongside healers, basket weavers and sustainable cooks and learn about their eco-focused practices.
Delicious food and drink is part and parcel of any trip to Israel, but recommend that clients stop by Tulip Winery, which has social responsibility at the heart of its ethos. Built within the Village of Hope, a community for those with special needs, the winery employs several residents.
Israel is easy to reach, with a flight time of around five hours.
Direct flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport are operated by several airlines, including El Al from Heathrow and Luton, Virgin Atlantic and British Airways from Heathrow, easyJet from Manchester, Luton and Gatwick, and Wizz Air from Luton and Gatwick.
Clients heading for Eilat can fly onwards to Ramon Airport from Tel Aviv with Arkia or Israir.
Take the online agent training course on Israel at: israeltravelexpert.com
PICTURES: Ministry of Tourism; Anda Yoel