Have you ever wished you could travel back in time for a day, to wander through the streets of an ancient city as it existed thousands of years ago? Unless you’re the star of a science fiction series, of course, you can’t really travel back in time – but there are many places around the world that are so perfectly preserved it feels as if you really have. One of these places is Israel – a country at a crossroads between the past, present, and future. Its urban centers are steeped in history. If you want to walk the streets that citizens of ancient civilizations walked thousands of years ago, a summer vacation to Israel is your best chance.
Israel is home to thirteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The opportunities for you to learn and explore are endless. See Masada, a fortification built by Herod the Great and a symbol of Israel’s ancient Jewish Kingdom. It sits on a mountain’s edge in the Judean desert, overlooking the Dead Sea. Originally built as a palace complex with three terraces, its camps, attack ramp, and fortifications are the most complete surviving Roman siege works. In addition, its Roman imperial buildings are astounding examples of classical architecture.
One of the most remarkable sites of the region, however, is Jordan’s breathtaking ancient city of Petra. It’s one of the new Seven Wonders of the World and dates as far back as prehistoric times. Marvel at the intimidating Roman and Greek-influenced buildings carved into the sides of mountains, emerging from the rock as if they are trapped, then walk through its cold, winding rocky tombs.
A trip to Israel and a trip to Petra is a vacation you’ll never forget. Listed by the Smithsonian as one of the top 28 places you should see before you die, it’s so close you can easily cross Israel’s border to see Petra’s beauty in just one day. Simply drive your car or take a tour bus! After all, Petra is only a two-hour drive from the border.