According to the latest World Happiness Index, Israel has been labelled the 4th happiest country in the world. Coming in behind Nordic world leaders Finland, Denmark, and Iceland, we’ve taken a closer look at what makes Israel the only non-Scandinavian country to make the top four. 

1. Community & People

The Israeli community are known for being friendly and incredibly open and honest. Community is at the centre of everything that they do, with a strong sense of selflessness and giving back, and numerous celebrations and festivals such as Purim that rejoice in the Israeli way of life. Communities brought about by religious life and practices provide many people with a sense of purpose and belonging. Local initiatives have even been established across the country, in an effort to share this way of life with travelling tourists. Kibbutz Lotam is just one example of a collective community that is striving to promote equality, tolerance, and a commitment to environmental protection. 

2. Food

With Tel Aviv nominated as the vegan capital of the world, Israel is world renowned for its prolific gourmet scene. With six out of the ‘50 Best Restaurants in the Middle East and North Africa’ nominated from Tel Aviv, Israel is filled with a dynamic host of chefs all the way from Michelin star restaurants to local street food vendors. Sharing food is a key part of Israeli culture that is interwoven into the community and a central component of numerous traditions and festivals, such as upcoming International Hummus Day (13 May). Other national favourites include shakshuka and falafel.  

3. Beaches

From Tel Aviv’s cosmopolitan waterfronts to Eilat’s snorkelling reefs and resorts, Israel’s beaches and coastal lifestyle are a huge serotonin booster. It is proven that those who live closer to the ocean are typically more joyful, due to higher levels of vitamin D, greater sociability, and an increased likelihood to live in the moment. Israel’s clear blue waters, myriad of secluded bays and white sand ensure a poster perfect backdrop to everyday life, with key attractions such as the Dead Sea, known as the lowest point on Earth, providing the perfect place to seek a wellness-based getaway. 

4. Weather

Unlike its competitors, Israel boasts beautifully sunny climate and year-round warm temperatures. With an average of 26 degrees, Israelis certainly get their necessary dose of Vitamin C. Scientifically proven to be a mood booster, Israel’s sunny disposition is certainly a significant factor behind its high ranking. 

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