The Levant, the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, is vividly displayed on this satellite image. Cyprus' distinctive shape points to the Gulf of Iskenderun in southern Turkey. Other Levant countries in a clockwise direction are Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Egypt. Snow appears clearly in the mountains of Turkey (top) and Lebanon (center) and in thin strips in between in the highlands of Syria. The contrast between the well-watered northern half of Israel and the desert south is starkly evident. Photo courtesy of NASA.
Israel's largest freshwater lake, Lake Tiberias, is also known as the Sea of Galilee. The lake measures just over 21 km (13 mi) north-south, and it is only 43 m (141 ft) deep. The lake is fed partly by underground springs related to the Jordan sector of the Great Rift Valley, but most of its water comes from the Jordan River, which enters from the north. The river's winding course can be seen draining the south end of the lake at image bottom. Angular green and brown field patterns clothe most hillsides in this arid landscape. Bright roof tops are the hallmark of several villages in the area. Much of the area to the east of the lake is part of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Image courtesy of NASA.
A nighttime view of Jerusalem and Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, taken from the Mount of Olives.
Acre, known locally as Akko, is located in a harbor of Haifa Bay on the coast of the Mediterranean; it is considered among the oldest continuously-inhabited settlements in the world. Acre is one of the holiest cities of the Baháʼí Faith and receives many pilgrim visitors. In 1750, Zahir al-Umar, the ruler of Acre, utilized the remnants of the Crusader walls as a foundation for defensive fortifications. Today, the reinforced sea walls remain mostly intact. Acre's Old City has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Present-day Caesarea is located midway between Tel Aviv and Haifa on the coastal plain of the Mediterranean Sea. The ancient city, known as Caesarea Maritima, was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 B.C. as a major port. With no reliable source of fresh water, Herod commissioned a system of aqueducts (surviving section shown) to supply water from the springs of nearby Mount Carmel. With additions and repairs, the aqueducts delivered water for 1200 years, until canals were built. Today, Caesarea Maritima is a national park of the ancient city’s ruins, and one of Israel’s tourist attractions.
Founded in 1909, the city of Tel Aviv is located on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea, to the immediate north of the walled port city of Jaffa. During the era of British rule in Palestine (1917-1948), it developed into a thriving urban center. Its White City area, constructed between 1930 and 1950 and based on modern urban planning principles, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.