At OurCrowd, we’re looking forward to this coming Februrary when we will welcome thousands in Jerusalem for the 2020 OurCrowd Global Investor Summit. Registrations are coming in from over 100 countries for the largest startup investing event in the history of the country. In 2018, the country welcomed a record-breaking 4 million tourists. In November alone, tourism was 35% higher than it was for the same month in 2016.
So a word to our Summit guests from overseas: start planning your whole trip – you’ll get plenty of Startup Nation with the Summit itself and the growing list of surrounding events that week. And yet, make sure to clear some calendar space for the culture, nightlife, guided tours and food experiences on offer. In fact, we’ve teamed up with Authentic Israel to offer intimate, guided tours and hotel discounts. If you haven’t already, it’s time to register now to secure your ticket.
Check out six reasons to come for the Summit – but stay for Israel.
1. The Delicious Food
Israel’s diverse population means an amazing variety of food. The Middle East and Mediterranean influences together with the dishes brought back to Israel by Jewish populations from the Diaspora, results in fresh and distinctive culinary experiences and restaurants. A few popular, must-try foods include a falafel and humus in pita bread or wrapped in a warm laffa and shakshuka, which is a dish served hot, directly in the pan, where eggs are cooked in a fresh mix of peppers, tomatoes and mouth-watering spices. For dessert there’s sweet rugelach pastry made with a triangle of dough and a delectable filling or baklava, a nut-filled phyllo pastry sweetened with syrup. Wash it all down with a cold Israeli Maccabi beer, with a Turkish coffee or a limonana, a refreshing type of lemonade made from freshly-squeezed lemon juice and spearmint leaves or even an Israeli wine. Be sure to check out the numerous Israeli wineries, including Tishbi, Carmel or Golan Heights Wineries.
2. The Amazing Israeli Beaches
Spring arrives gradually in Israel, but the weather is usually perfect for sight-seeing and relaxing by the pool as March often marks the beginning of beach season. The famous Mediterranean climate together with the beautiful beaches brings millions of tourists every year to visit Israel. Beaches can be found by the Red Sea of Eilat, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and of course over 100km of Mediterranean coastline. Some beaches are popular with dog owners, others with surfers. The quiet, sandy landscape in Western Galilee has a different vibe to the busy, urban beaches adjacent to the city of Tel Aviv – there’s a beach for everyone in Israel!
3. The Natural Beauty of the Land
Hiking in Israel is referred to as going on “tiyul” and is a popular pastime for Israelis. The stunning, varied landscapes of Israel’s forests, deserts, rivers, waterfalls are worth exploring. Pack your hiking boots and pick a part of the Israel National Trail to follow, for guaranteed memorable adventures. Here are a few other beautiful areas worth exploring:
- Nahal David or Ein Gedi in the Dead Sea area.
- The Burma Road (3.5hours) off the Route 1, Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway.
- Nahul Amud in the Galilee, from Mount Meron in the west toward the Sea of Galilee in the east.
- The Dead Sea – the lowest point on Earth, you must float on the salt filled waters and take a take a mud bath, said to have healing powers.
- Mitzpe Ramon- In the Southern Negev desert, in the heart of Israel’s largest national park, you’ll find the Ramon Crater, the world’s largest crater not formed by a volcano or meteor.
4. The Israeli Shuk (Market) Experience
While in Israel check out some of the street markets, bazaars and flea markets, and make sure to practice your negotiating skills. Take a food tasting or graffiti tour of Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem or enjoy the colorful stall and shouts of vendors, selling everything from exotic spices to footwear in downtown Tel Aviv, Carmel Market. If the more Western style of shopping is your thing, there are shopping malls in most major cities in Israel. Check out Dizengoff Center or Azrieli Mall in Tel Aviv or Mamilla Avenue or Malcha Mall in Jerusalem.
5. The Ancient History and Archaeology
Every step taken in modern day Israel tracks an historic period of one era or another. There are Roman ruins to visit in the coastal town of Caesarea or climb the famous ancient Masada fortress in the Judean dessert. Explore the winding alleys of the ancient, beautiful port cities of Jaffa or Akko. Adjacent to Tel Aviv, Jaffa is famously associated with the Biblical stories of Jonah and Sint Peter. Akko is filled with reminders from the Ottoman Empire.
The Old City of Jerusalem deserves a blog of its own! Holy to all three monotheistic religions, visit the Dome of the Rock, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher or the Wailing Wall, including the Western Wall tunnels, deep underground Western Wall tunnels to explore the history of the area, dating back to the Hasmonean period.
6. The Variety of National Museums
Take a meaningful tour of Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, and check out the county’s largest cultural institution filled with art, archeology and the famous Dead Sea Scrolls in Jerusalem’s Israel Museum. Tel Aviv has a plethora of museums including the Museum of Art, the Museum of the Jewish People chronicling life in the Diaspora, the Eretz Israel archeology Museum or the Bauhaus Museum for all architecture buffs.
The OurCrowd Global Investor Summit is the must-attend event for the global startup community and the perfect opportunity to visit this unique country, and experience the unique fusion of history, natural wonders, and culture. There is so much to do and see – the difficult part of your trip will be leaving! Register now to secure your ticket.