Galilee drive

Oct 6th, 2007, 07:57 AM
  #1  
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Galilee drive

I am planning a trip to Israel, and am thinking of renting a car for 2 or 3 days to visit the Galilee. I have these questions:

1. A friend of mine says I am crazy, because it is dangerous driving around this area. Is this true? Are there any towns or roads I should avoid?

2. Can you tell me the best sequence for visiting these places, and also what the best routes are?

a) town of Zichron Yaacov
b) town of Safed
c) Bet Shean ruins
d) Megiddo ruins
e) also Zippoli ruins, if I haven't overdosed on ruins by this time

I may also want to make a return visit to Akko. I am going there with a tour group earlier in my trip, but the tour group's visit will probably be very limited, because the group is also going to other places the same day.

Part of my problem is the lack of a decent Israel map. I'm not exactly sure where these towns are located in relationship to each other. I haven't been able to find a good map on on the Web, and have ordered one from an online bookshop. Still waiting for it to be delivered. Do you know of any Google-type online Israel maps?
JoyceL is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:38 AM
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There are okay interactive maps at http://www.eyeonisrael.com/.

We don't find it particularly dangerous driving around the Galilee (and northern coastal areas e.g. Zichron Yakov.) At the Meggido Junction I haven't turned toward Jenin, however .

From the map you can figure out the order, depending on where you're coming from. Distances and travel times are not great. Bet Shean is more by itself than the others, although getting to/from Safed can be slow going due to traffic.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 10:37 AM
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Thank you for the map URL. This map is better than the other Israeli maps I've seen thus far. But it is still very awkward to use, with a lot of unnecessary clicking and losing of my place in the map. I've probably been spoiled by the very easy mapping at Google.

Does anyone knows of an Israel map that works the way the maps at http://maps.google.com work, where all you need to do is click a mouse's scroll wheel to quickly zoom in and out?
JoyceL is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 04:15 AM
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I also have these questions about the Galilee drive:

1. Are road signs in this area written only in Hebrew? I found an old trip report on the Web by someone saying he got lost because many road signs were not in English.

2. Do the roads between these towns involve any mountain driving?:

Tiberias to Safed

Safed to Meron to Akko
JoyceL is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Virtually all road signs in Israel are in Hebrew, Arabic and English. I think the only time you see signs in Hebrew only are when they're directing traffic to military or government facilities.

Not "mountain" driving per se, but there are some hilly/twisty roads, two lanes. The road from Tiberias to Rosh Pina and Safed is a pretty busy and fast highway. As you approach Safed it slows down but it's far from hazardous.

From Safed out to the coast is also a major highway that moves pretty quickly.

Meant to add, you'll get excellent road maps from any car rental agency you deal with.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 09:50 AM
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Thank you for responding.

By "two lanes" do you mean 1 lane in each direction, or 2 lanes in each direction?

Also, do road maps provided by car rental agencies include labelling in English? I cannot read Hebrew.
JoyceL is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 11:26 AM
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1. One lane in each direction, but often with wide shoulders and/or passing lanes.

2. Yes.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 12:29 PM
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Once you're in Israel you should be able to obtain a good road map, either from the rental company (Eldan has good maps) or your hotel, or just drop by a book store and purchase one.

You need an updated map, since the roads in Israel are constantly changing and improving.

BUT BE CAREFUL when driving in Israel... Like a typical Mediterranean country, Israeli drivers are not what you're used to in the USA... Be always on the alert and extra careful. Use "defensive driving" all the time.

Maybe that's what your friend meant when claiming driving there is dangerous...
Mamamia is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 04:18 PM
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You can buy an excellent road atlas in English published by Carta, comes out every year, covering the whole country or regions, Should cost about $25, Very detailed maps large enough scale to show every exit properly labeled.

"also Zippoli ruins" -- I assume you mean zippori, which has a beautiful mosaic called the mona lisa of the galilee
AlexA is offline  
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