About Us

Israel Travels is the handiwork of two people: Author and travel writer Aviva Bar-Am – and tour guide/photographer Shmuel (Shmulik) Bar-Am.

Shmulik was born in Tel Aviv, and served in the Israeli army as a paratrooper.

After receiving a diploma in Israel’s foremost school of cinematography, photography and visual arts, he began working as a cameraman in Israel’s first television station (Channel One). But every spare moment was spent exploring the country from one end to the other. Thus when he left the television and received his license as a tour guide, his beloved hobby became a thoroughly satisfying day job!

Soon after marrying Shmulik, and under his passionate tutelage, American-born
Aviva began a never-ending love affair with Israel’s unique landscapes. In 1990 she
began writing weekly travel columns for the Jerusalem Post and
continues as the paper’s regular Israel travel correspondent. She has also published
seven highly successful guidebooks on Israel and lately has been contributing travel articles to the Times of Israel (

All of Aviva’s articles and books are illustrated with Shmuel’s stunning color photographs.



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Our two-week trip to Israel was one of the best experiences of our lives. Shmuel knows the country like the back of his hand and takes you not only to everything you want to see but to fascinating places you haven't even heard os! We saw a more complete Israel than any of our friends on regular organized tourist trips. Shmuel taught us a great deal about the geography and history of the places we visited. He also has a great sense of humor, is a lot of fun to be with and picks great places to eat. We could not recommend more highly and more enthusiastically seeing Israel with Shmuel as your guide.

Patrick Henry and Mary Anne O'Neil