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Egypt/Israel Trip - When to go, Relaxation spot in Israel

Egypt/Israel Trip - When to go, Relaxation spot in Israel

Old May 18th, 2000, 12:57 PM
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Egypt/Israel Trip - When to go, Relaxation spot in Israel

I am planning a trip that will take in Cairo, Abu Simbel and a 4 nt cruise down the Nile and 5 days in Israel. We are also doing a 2 day trip to Jordan. Our Egypt/Israel tour ends on a Friday and our Jordan tour begins on Monday. Tours end and begin out of Tel Aviv. We would like to take the weekend between tours to relax and decompress after 2 weeks of non-stop touring. We were thinking Tel Aviv, Ein Gedi or Eilat. Heard that Ein Gedi, as tourists, will get boring, Eilat is too far, Tel Aviv is just a big city... Any recommendations? Looking to wake up late, eat well, get some sun, do a little site seeing, basically nothing!

Also, we are looking at traveling in the spring of 2001. Heard March is pretty cool in Israel (60s f) but comfortable in Egypt. April is nice in Egypt and Israel but there are dust storms in Egypt. May is great in Israel but too hot in Egypt. Help!! Anyone traveled these months? Thanks in advance. b
Old May 20th, 2000, 09:17 AM
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Bly: "Tel Aviv is just a big city..." ??? All cities which are a popular tourist destination, are " just cities" first of all.

You definitely can spend your weekend in Tel Aviv; I would have suggested Eilat but you have already ruled it out. Trust me, it is possible to "relax and decompress after 2 weeks of non-stop touring" in Tel Aviv too.

Email me end of 2000 - beginning of 2001 and I will send back a few specific ideas (you will be able to choose from a selection of shopping malls, restaurants, museums, walking tours, a beach ...)
Old May 22nd, 2000, 06:45 AM
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We have been on a Nile cruise in March 97. The weather was just great: sunny and warm during the day, cool at night.

March 98 we went to Eilat, Israel for a relaxing holiday. Weather was quite the same than in Egypt - the sun goes down early so at 4.30 pm it gets cool. Plenty of good hotels, good food though quite different than we are used to. More expensive than Egypt.

This year we have been to El Gouna (Red Sea, Egypt) the first two weeks of May and it was HOT. Even upto 80F at night. We have had some unpleasant sand storms and lots of cold wind. We stayed at El Gouna, 30 km north of Hurghada. Hurghada is an unattractive city and most of the hotels are second class or less. El Gouna is the new "Red Sea paradise". It is an enclave located in the desert, at the border of the Red Sea, consisting of 4 and 5* resorts.

Old May 22nd, 2000, 12:55 PM
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Eli -My comments regarding Tel Aviv, Ein Gedi and Eilat are comments given by friends and forum members. Most have been to one area or the other, but not all and therefore can't compare them. I'm open to any suggestions.

Myriam - We're looking at the 1st 2 weeks of the month. Did you experience any of the sand storms in March? Guide books say they run mid-Mar>mid-May. Do you know how far either in distance or driving time from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to Eilat?
Old May 22nd, 2000, 11:08 PM
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We did not have any sandstorms in March. Normally May is too late for the sandstorms but we seem to have had bad luck this year.

Don't know the distance from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv to Eilat. Will be quite a long trip I suppose.
Old May 25th, 2000, 06:52 AM
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When choosing when to travel to Israel you should be cognizant of the Jewish holidays if you are not Jewish, eg. Pesach (aka Passover) is a very busy time in Israel and also you are sometimes limited due to limited availability of wheat products. You might want to look at the Galilee/Golan area during the spring. Understand there are some spas there as well as sightseeing and natural beauty..
Old May 25th, 2000, 02:08 PM
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Lori is right about considering Passover (It is April 8-15, 2001). In addition to limitations in eating, you will experience higher rates for hotel, car, etc. Also some things will be closed the first and last days of the holiday.
You also need to consider the impact of Shabbat as well (Friday night and Saturday) on your plans. While the car rental offices are open at the airport on Friday afternoon/evening and on Saturday, that is not necessarily true at other locations. Some tourist attractions will be closed and municipal buses don't run.

That being said, it seems that your choice of where to relax depends on 1)time of year 2) whether you plan to rent a car and 3) whether you need a beach to relax.

I second Lori's suggestion of the Galilee and Golan -- we just visited in mid-March and it was lovely, very green with wildflowers everywhere. Our favorite place to stay is Vered HaGalil, a dude ranch north of the Sea of Galilee -- relaxing and friendly. They have a website: www.veredhagalil.co.il/ You would need to rent a car for this option.

Eilat is, in my opinion, too far to drive (about 4-5 hours from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem), although you might consider flying down there. There are sometimes package deals including the hotel. Eilat would be the only choice if you want to go swimming in March.

If you've never been to Israel, you might consider Jerusalem. It's an easy, inexpensive ($10), short (1 hour) sherut (shared taxi) ride from Tel Aviv. Although it is a "big city" and can be noisy and bustling, it is much quieter on Shabbat. If you choose a hotel that is walking distance from the old city, walking around the old city is an option when other places are closed on Shabbat.

Another option for a relaxing place might be a kibbutz guest house -- perhaps a coastal one (such as Nasholim near Dor Beach, south of Haifa) or one in the Jerusalem hills. It would be best to have a car to do some exploring. Along the coast you could visit Cesearea (roman ruins), Acre (crusader town - although not my cup of tea, many like it), Zichron Yaakov (a town with wineries) among other places. In the Jerusalem hills area are some natural attractions - the forests, Beit Guvrin (limestone caves), a stalagtite cave (name escapes me).

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