Summer in Israel is in full swing, and travelers from around the world are arriving by the tens of thousands to relax on the Mediterranean beaches of Tel Aviv, explore the historic sites of Jerusalem and soak in the inspiring landscapes in the Galilee and Negev Desert.
We hope to see this momentum carry on through summer as Israel hosts an exciting lineup of musical concerts, art exhibitions and cultural festivals.
TEL AVIV VOTED AMONG WORLD'S TOP TEN CITY BEACHES
Tel Aviv was voted as one of the "Top 10 City Beaches in the World" in a recent survey appearing on Yahoo! Travel and Smartertravel.com. The survey describes Tel Aviv's Gordon-Frishman Beach as "one of the hippest places to be seen," compared to South Beach in Miami and Bondi Beach in Sydney.
MORE THAN 50,000 MUSIC LOVERS ATTEND THIRD ANNUAL MASADA OPERA FESTIVAL
More than 50,000 music lovers
around the world arrived in Israel this month for the third annual Masada Opera Festival, which included several performances of Bizet's Carmen and various musical concerts at the foot of Masada. Next year, the festival will showcase several performances of Puccini's Turandot, as well as concerts featuring world-renowned musicians and chamber music groups, June 6-13, 2013.
MASSIVE SCULPTURE EXHIBITION AT JERUSALEM'S ARLOV MAMILLA OUTDOOR MALL EXTENDED THROUGH DECEMBER 2012
Taking place along the Arlov Mamilla Outdoor Mall in Jerusalem, "Muse," Israel's largest open-air sculpture exhibition, has been extended through December 2012. The exhibition boasts 160 works from more than 60 Israeli sculptors in various mediums, including bronze and stone musical instruments.
CAST MEMBERS OF THE HIT TELEVISION SHOWS
CSI: NY AND CSI: MIAMI VISIT ISRAEL
Cast members of the hit CBS television drama series, CSI: NY and CSI: Miami arrived in Israel this month as part of a week-long tour of the country. The group, which includes actors Jonathan Frederick Togo and Omar Benson Miller (stars of CSI: Miami) and Carmine Giovinazzo and AJ Buckley (stars of CSI: NY), as well as actress Vanessa Marcil (wife of Giovinazzo), visited the Old City of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Masada and the Galilee, among other tourism destinations, during what is on track to be the best year ever for tourism to Israel.
DAVID ARQUETTE TOURS ISRAEL IN ADVANCE OF NEW TRAVEL CHANNEL SERIES
US film star David Arquette arrived in Israel this month, by invitation of Haim Gutin, Israel Commissioner for Tourism, North and South America, to film an episode of his new weekly travel series, Mile High, which will premiere on the Travel Channel in 2013. Arquette visited various destinations around Israel including Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea and Jerusalem, where celebrated his Bar Mitzvah at the Western Wall.
ISRAELI "ART SHOE" DESIGNER KOBI LEVI MAKES WAVES OVERSEAS
Up-and-coming Israeli shoe designer Kobi Levi is gaining international recognition for his unique high-heels, which combine animal and household objects with haute couture fashion. Not your average pair of high heels, Levi's designs have appeared in Lady Gaga's "Born this Way Video" and can be seen on his new website, www.kobilevidesign.com.
AIRBERLIN DOUBLES NON-STOP SERVICE TO TEL AVIV
German airline airberlin has recently announced plans to double its service from three to six weekly non-stop flights to Tel Aviv. This announcement follows plans by low-fare airline EasyJet to launch new bi-weekly service from Manchester, England to Tel Aviv, beginning November 1, 2012.
NETANYA ANNOUNCES FREE SUMMER CONCERT LINEUP
AMERICAN ROCKER CHRIS CORNELL RETURNS TO ISRAEL THIS MONTH
American rockstar Chris Cornell (formerly of '90s rock band Soundgarden) will return to Israel this summer for two performances--at Zappa Shuni Amphitheater in Binyamina on July 16 and Nokia Arena in Tel Aviv, July 17. The performance will precede concerts by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Lenny Kravitz in Israel this fall.
TEL AVIV'S ILANA GOOR MUSEUM ANNOUNCES NEW ENGLISH-LANGUAGE GUIDED TOURS
The Ilana Goor Museum, located in an 18th-century building in the Old City of Jaffa, has announced new English-language guided tours through August 2012. The museum features more than 500 Israeli and international works alongside pieces created by renowned artist Ilana Goor. www.ilanagoor.com
ISRAEL LAUNCHES NEW USER-FRIENDLY
iTravelJerusalem.com, a new easy-to-use website offering travel deals, events and information highlighting tourism to Jerusalem was launched this month. Initiated by the Jerusalem Development Authority, the new website employs Google Street views and HD videos to provide travelers with a virtual tour of Jerusalem's collection of historical holy sites and modern attractions. The website, available in English and Hebrew, offers travelers discounts on reservations at restaurants and hotels in Jerusalem, and provides "smart phone" scanning capabilities of thousands of barcodes around the city accessing information about new events and attractions.
JERUSALEM'S BIBLICAL ZOO OFFERS ANIMAL FUN FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
The 62-acre Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem is home to a mélange of animals from biblical times, housing chimpanzees, elephants and exotic animals including the Golden Tamarian Lion and the Macaw Parrot. The zoo is one of the most-visited tourism sites in Jerusalem, in addition to the Old City sites, Alrov Mamilla Outoor Mall, Israel Museum and Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.