These mountains terminate to the east in an escarpment overlooking the Great Rift Valley.
The mountains of Galilee are separated from the hills of the Israeli-occupied West Bank to the south by the fertile Great Rift Valley, a long fissure in Earth’s crust, begins beyond the northern frontier of Israel and forms a series of valleys running generally south, the length of the country, to the Gulf of Aqaba.
Parts of the arid northern Negev, where soil development would not be expected, have windblown loess soils because of proximity to the coastal plain.
The soils of Galilee change from calcareous rock in the coastal plain, to Cenomanian and Turonian limestone (deposited from about 99 to 89 million years ago) in Upper Galilee, and to Eocene formations (those dating from about 55 to 35 million years ago) in the lower part of the region.
The coastal plain is a narrow strip about 115 miles (185 km) long that widens to about 25 miles (40 km) in the south.
A sandy shoreline with many beaches borders the Mediterranean coast.
Israel's holy and ancient history coupled with its distinctive culture and landscapes help it remain one of the world's most-coveted travel destinations for religious travelers and history buffs.
Israel is a small country with a relatively diverse topography, consisting of a lengthy coastal plain, highlands in the north and central regions, and the Negev desert in the south.
Running the length of the country from north to south along its eastern border is the northern terminus of the Great Rift Valley.
The Jordan River, which marks part of the frontier between Israel and Jordan, flows southward through the rift from Dan on Israel’s northern frontier, where it is 500 feet (152 metres) above sea level, first into the Ḥula Valley (Hebrew: ʿEmeq HaḤula), then into the freshwater Lake Tiberias, also known as the Sea of Galilee (Hebrew: Yam Kinneret), which lies 686 feet (209 metres) below sea level.
The Jordan continues south along the eastern edge of the West Bank—now through the Jordan Valley (Hebrew: ʿEmeq Ha Yarden)—and finally into the highly saline Dead Sea, which, at 1,312 feet (400 metres) below sea level, is the lowest point of a natural landscape feature on the Earth’s surface.
Israel also offers a wide array of indoor and outdoor leisure activities, in addition to its many historical sites.