Help plan 2 weeks in Israel

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Oct 3rd, 2005, 04:13 AM
  #1
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Help plan 2 weeks in Israel

Doing a family trip July 2006 with husband wife, 22 and 25 year old adult children. 3 have been to Israel before husband has not. We want to do it ourselves and not do a tour so we have some flexibility. Is this a bad idea? We still want to do all of the sights. Will omit Eilat since there is so much to see. How should we split up our time? Need clean, decent well located hotels. We will need 2 rooms so places like the King David are out of the budget since it is high season. Help with the itinerary first and then I see there are hotels suggested on the website. We will hire guides once we are there. Will this be more expensive than a tour? Should we tour for a week and then do our own thing for a week? Help!!!Thanks

Me
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 12:46 PM
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Greetings: hope you don't mind me joining in on your inquiry. I am also planning a first time trip to Israel in July- we'll be meeting up with our teenage daughter who will be with a youth group tour (her 2nd time to Israel). I have already posted a few months ago and had received good advice-Labatt gives excellent advice here and on Frommers website. We also plan to rent a car and do our own touring (coupled with local tours) and end in Jerusalem. And I have the same hotel issues. Here is my itineray and some hotel suggestions based on advice from previous postings:
Tel Aviv- Four nights (meeting our daughter)- hotels of interest are Yamit Park Plaza, Melody hotel, Dan Panarama, Metropolitan Hotel.I am going to check with regent tours for hotels as was recommended on this site and on frommers.
Will rent car and drive to Haifa- stopping in Casarea first.
Haifa- spend two or three nights at Dan Gardens.(with tours in and out of Haifa)
Drive to Akko- then on to Safed.
Spend three nights in Safed- want to stay at Ruth Rinamin Inn.
Then one night on the Kinneret- Maybe Nof Ginosar. Heard good things about that.
Then on to Jerusalem for a week. Get rid of the car- do day tours, tour Masada and Dead Sea. Spend last Shabbat in Jerusalem and then head home. Hotels of interest- Dan Panorama
I would like a hotel in Jerusalem with a pool.

Here are three websites that I have found helpful:
www.regent.co.il
www.israelpoint.com
www.inisrael.com

Good luck. Maybe we'll cross paths.



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Oct 3rd, 2005, 04:48 PM
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thanks

Me
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Oct 3rd, 2005, 08:02 PM
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risab - we like the Yamit in TLV. In Jerusalem you might check out the YMCA - across the street from the King David, so well located, clean and quite affordable.

L'shanah tovah.
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Oct 5th, 2005, 08:35 AM
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Lots of people tour Israel on their own. I'm sure you will have a great time. I find the advantage of having a guide is that he/she knows so much more about the sites than I do and I get an excellent education right then and there. It is what works well for me. And, I have been blessed to have the best of guides, truly. I think you will like Nof Ginosar....just bear in mind that it is not "luxury" by any means. I have stayed there twice and will stay there twice again this next year and find it is just fine. Stay away from the Park Plaza in Jerusalem....my only truly horrid hotel experience in Israel was there. It was "barely passable" and when I say that I am being very charitable. *smile* Will stay in Jerusalem Tower Hotel next year....better location and good price. I go for the best price and don't need luxuries...just clean room and good food.
As for hiring guides once you get there....I would suggest that you do this in advance in order to get somebody really good. Just my thoughts. I'm going in both March and September next year and can hardly wait.

Kathy

Paragon, Indiana, USA
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Oct 6th, 2005, 03:16 AM
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I love this ssite. I am so excited to do this trip. Our kids can't wait to show their dad. We can't wait to spend some time together. Where is the best place to spend a day or two on the beach? We are not going to Eilat because we want to see the sites. I know Tel Aviv will be one place. Where else?

Thanks

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Oct 7th, 2005, 04:53 AM
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Hi -
It is a good idea to avoid Eilat in the summer because of the heat. You will probably find the Galilee/Golan more comfortable. Every kibbutz/moshav has a lot of B&Breakfasts - look at www.zimmeril.com. I suggest touring by yourself - look for a good guidebook !
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Oct 7th, 2005, 08:00 PM
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Teach905,

If you want to use Safed (Tzfat) just to sleep and a good access for day tours in the Galillee, that's OK.

Otherwise, Tzfat is a very conservative and "sleepy" town. Not a tourist attraction. Very Orthodox also.
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Oct 8th, 2005, 09:27 AM
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Agree about Safed. Fine if you like that kind of thing, otherwise there's lots of nice accommodation around Rosh Pina.
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Oct 10th, 2005, 05:10 PM
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thanks for all of your help

Debby
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Oct 16th, 2005, 10:31 AM
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I would recommend to go to:
TEL AVIV & JAFFA (3 DAYS)
JERUSALEM AND SURROUNDINGS(2 DAYS)
HAIFA (2 DAYS)
NORTH - GOLAN AND THE GALIL -3 DAYS
HAIFA, KEISARYA, AKO - 2 DAYS
DEAD SEA-2 DAYS

Don't think you;ll need a guide, everybody here speaks english, there are signs in English all over. all you need is a good book.

in the north I would recommend not taking hotel, and taking a "zimmer" instead. these are lovely country side little houses, very indulging. it will cost 300-800 shekels for a night, depending on number of rooms, and day of week.
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Nov 29th, 2005, 06:22 PM
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The YMCA has rooms for less than 100/night and it looks wonderful from their website. I have reservations at the Scottish Presbyterian church guest house for $65/night and am looking forward to it.
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Nov 30th, 2005, 02:07 AM
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If you mean St Andrew Church of Scotland in Jerusalem, ask for room 11.
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Nov 30th, 2005, 06:27 PM
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Have you stayed there?
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Nov 30th, 2005, 10:41 PM
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I haven't. But my sister loves it and gave me the information. But, as far as I know they do not have A/C in the rooms and Israel from June (sometimes even May) till October is really hot!
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Dec 1st, 2005, 05:45 AM
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The YMCA is very tolerable - the rooms aren't the most modern but they're completely adequate, and the location is tops - across the street from the King David and a short walk to the old city etc. The restaurant (non-Kosher IIRC) is also very good.
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Dec 1st, 2005, 05:21 PM
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I'm going in a few weeks, so I won't miss the a/c. I know we're getting off of our original teacher's post, but has anyone been to Bethlehem lately, and how is the best way to tour it from Jerusalem? Will I find tours from the local tourist office?
I couldn't plan my trips without this forum!
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Dec 3rd, 2005, 05:50 PM
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If you check Elaine's report she went to Bbethlem. Her Israeli guide dropped her off and she was picked up at the border by a Palestinian guide and her Israeli guide met her at the border when they were done. I was told it can be arranged but you will almost have to wait to see if it is safe to do when you get there. Your hotel will tell you and so will your guide. We have that on our list to do if we can in the summer when we go. Plesee let me know if you do it, how it worked and who was your guide that arranged it. Thanks
Debby
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Dec 27th, 2005, 10:44 AM
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Just came back from Honeymoon in Israel
went for 10 days
My advice is take
2-3 days for Tel-Aviv and Yaffa, i stayed in City Hotel the rooms are small but they offer good breakfast
2-3 days for Jerusalem
2 days for dead sea, don't forget to visit Masada
1 day for Kessaria, Ako, Haifa
You can buy alot of excursion with egged buses for pretty good price
you can find some info on www.telavivguide.net, they have a few links there as well
Oh yes about cars, parking is major headache all over

We did a mix of daily excursions and our own thing i think it was best
It seems that local buses are safe and cheap



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Dec 28th, 2005, 09:16 AM
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Debby - re bethlehem: You can just hop in a shared taxi right near Damascus Gate for a little over 1$ that will take you to the checkpoint (and they make regular stops at the check point to take people back to jerusalem). from the checkpoint, you can just hop in a cab to Manger Square. (i was there last summer - place was deserted so there were lots of cabs waiting at checkpoint and i could easily negotiate the price down b/c I was the only customer) I did this by myself last summer and it was much cheaper than arranging someone to drive me there/pick me up. It doesn't sound like you are traveling alone so you shouldn't have any problems - I was taken further into the west bank than I wanted by my taxi driver and it took me awhile to get back to the checkpoint, but had I not been a female alone, that would not have happened. (when i finally convinced him I would never ever marry him, he gave up and brought me back!) for the money it's a very easy and cheap way to get to Bethlehem.
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