Explore the Best of Israel — From Tel Aviv to National Parks — on One of These Free Tours
Israel is offering thousands of free tours throughout the country, extending rich experiences for visitors without breaking the bank.
More than 1,800 free tours will be offered every day of the week in both cities and throughout Israel's national parks, according to the ministry. Tours can be booked on the country's Nature and Parks Authority website.
"With the country recently reopening to international travelers, we're happy to welcome visitors back to Israel and provide them with the best experience possible," Eyal Carlin, the tourism commissioner for North America, said in a statement provided to T+L. "The guided tours are a fun, educational--and free--way to explore our beautiful country."
The tours were initially created by the government during the pandemic as a way to help out-of-work tour guides but were mainly available in Hebrew. Soon, the government will open up the program to tours in English, Russian, French, and Arabic.
Travelers will be able to book tours of Caesarea National Park to learn about King Herod, for example, or explore Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, learning about the milestones of Israel's history as they do.
Vaccinated international tourists must show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours or a negative rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours before their flight, and get tested with another PCR test upon arrival, according to the Ministry of Health. Alternatively, travelers who contracted COVID-19 and recovered within three months can show proof of that instead of a PCR test.
Israel requires travelers to have received a booster shot if 180 days have passed since their initial vaccine series. Travelers must also fill out an entry statement form within 48 hours of their departure.
When it comes to traveling within the country, Israel has also dropped the need to show its "green pass" (digital proof of vaccination) to enter places like restaurants and tourist attractions, according to the Ministry of Health. Now, the pass will only be required for "venues where the risk of infection is increased" like event halls and clubs.
Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention classifies Israel as a "Level 4" country, warning Americans to "avoid" traveling there due to "very high" levels of COVID-19 transmission.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.