getting around the Sea of Galilee?

Jun 1st, 2002, 12:52 AM
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getting around the Sea of Galilee?

My mom and I are going to Israel in July. I've made up my own (though probably amateur) self-guided tour. We've never been there before. But, I still have some uncertainties. I don't want to rent a car-we'll be in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem-and I'm sure we can use buses and taxis. But, I also want to stay along the Sea of Galilee for 2 nights. Does anyone have any suggestions on seeing the major sites there without a car? Are there buses and taxis that run frequently? Also, planning on Masada and staying along the Dead Sea, as well as Eilat.
Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:22 AM
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I was last around the Galilee almost 10 years ago, but you probably don't need a car--my friends and I rented bikes for a day, rode halfway around the lake from Tiberias to a kibbutz on the other side, and then took a ferry back. I don't know if safety concerns make this option somewhat stupid right now, but biking is definitely an option. I'm sure you should be able to take a walking tour of the major sites in Tiberias for not too much money, and taxis are plentiful (but might rip you off). I haven't used their bus system, but most cities in Israel have fairly good ones.
Jun 4th, 2002, 03:51 AM
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Hi Hether
Can't answer your question as I live in Tel Aviv and always use my car.
I think that to go around the sea of galilee and stop wherever you like it's better to hire a car. Depending on busses time scheduel is tiresome. In the big cities you don't need a car but when going touring, you should take a guided tour or your own car.
If you have any more questions, I'll be more than happy to help.
Jun 4th, 2002, 06:58 PM
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I've been to Israel twice on self guided tours. Last time was 2 years ago with my best friend. In Jerusalem and Tel aviv we did not use a car, but taxis. Rented a car for the Galilee and the Negev. If I went now I would hire a driver-tourguide. It is too easy to get not lost exactly, but mixed up and end up in places its not safe to be. Even before the intifada began we left the highway by accident and ended up in a west bank town. Nothing bad happened and we got an escort out of town. I don't know if we would be as lucky now with Israeli plates on our rental car. Unless you're really sure about directions and hot spots- get a driver.
Jun 6th, 2002, 10:35 AM
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I, like Meira, live in Israel. I know all the routes and can easily ditinguish between the safe nowadays and those that are not. I think that Mary gave you some very sound advice. The sea of Galilee is not a large lake. You can easily go around it in one day, providing you drive a rental or take a hired guide. You can't go wrong if you rent a car just for 1 day from Tiberias. This route is safe! A hired guide will do the same job very well. In the towns, the bus service is good. So is also the service between the cities. Feel free to use my e-mail address if you need more information.
Jun 6th, 2002, 10:19 PM
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Thanks so much everyone. I have been using a guide book to make all of our itinerary, but first-hand knowledge is always so much fun to hear(or read in this case). Biking might be fun, but I almost killed myself in Cairo (busy streets and trying to balance a backpack). It's funny now, though And my concern about a car is that it would be a manual transmission and we wouldn't be able to sit back and enjoy the scenery. I'm leaning towards the "buses and driver" options. I'm so excited. Thanks again!
Jun 17th, 2002, 06:01 PM
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We were there summer of 2000 and summer 2001. In 2000, we rented a car in Jerusalem and drove up to the Galilee area and to Tela vivm last summer(2001) , we just took day bus, guided tours which were better. We wasted lots of time with the car because of lack of parking and getting lost/confused. Because of the heat and for time and safety reasons, I suggest tht you take one of the day bus tours offered in the large hotels. They have guides and they drop you off close. You can book these after you arrive. You can find schedules on the websites. Egged tours were the most economical and best!! The area is very hilly. It is so beautiful. Be sure to take a boat ride on the Sea and go down to the Jordan River area. This along with our trips to Egypt and Jordan both summers are highlights of all our travels. People were very nice and helpful. Take powder gator aide to put in water. Have fun!!!!!
Jun 18th, 2002, 07:24 AM
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Hether, although the standard for cars in Israel is manual, there are automatics available for rental, at a higher rate.
You just have to reserve it at that rate and make sure they give it to you when you get there. Most Americans don't drive manual cars so the big comapnies all have automatics.

Bus tours are also a possibility, but you probably don't want to deal with regular town to town busses. They may not run very often and stops are not always exactly near the sites you want to visit. You may also be able to make arrangements with a cab driver to take you somewhere and then pick you up later (don't have to hire them for a whole/half day) Just ask any cab driver if they can do this--most will be delighted to know they have a fare later in the day and they, like 99% of Israelis will be able to give you their cell phone number so you can call them.
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