Help with Itinerary to Israel

Dec 28th, 2006, 05:39 AM
  #1  
EPC
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Help with Itinerary to Israel

Fodorites are the best and always help me plan the best vacation. I am going to Israel with my 23 year old daughter January 8th -19th. We actually arrive in TLV early morning Jan. 9th. This is our plan so far:
Tues. 1/9 - arrive TLV, do some sightseeing
Wed. 1/10 - Meggido, Safeed and Golan stay 1-2 nights in Tiberias (Sheraton)
`1/11- Sea of Galilee, Island of Peace, ancient Synagogue in Beit Alpha and via Jrico and the Jordan valley to Jerusaleum (but now I think it has changed to go back to Tel aviv)
1/12 TLV visit with family who live on a kibbutz outside of TLV on Sat. as well
1/14 Jerusaleum - New City
1/15 Jerusaleum - Old City
1/16 Massad Dead Sea
1/17 Negev, Bersheba, Ben Gurion, Ramon Crater
1/18 ?
1/19 We donot leave until 1 AM so we have a full day but need to end up back in TLV so we are close to the airport

I would love to get to Eilat and Petra but it seems that our guide says it is too far away and we donot have enough time. What would you suggest? Does this look like a good trip for my first time visit? Anything missing? I know there is much more to see but in the time frame that we have are we using it the best way? I look forward to your responses.
EPC
EPC is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 09:04 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 89
I envy you! We were there this time last year, and my 21 yr old is there again now.

You are hitting all the high spots (except Eilat, as you note, and Caesarea, Haifa and the coast between)...not a bad plan, although if you were not planning on spending Shabbat with your relatives, I'd say spend the 12th and 13th as well in Jerusalem -- Yad Vashem and the Israel Museum can take up a day on their own (and Shabbat in Jerusalem is fun) -- and then visit your relatives the day before you fly. While in Tel Aviv, be sure to walk through Old Yaffo - in fact, it is a pleasant walk along the seacoast from many of the TLV hotels to Old Yaffo.

And if you are lucky, your airplane home will be overbooked, and you'll be able to volunteer to be bumped in return for overnight hotel in TLV and a free roundtrip back! <g> That's how my son got his second trip to Israel this year.
lskohn is offline  
Jan 1st, 2007, 09:26 PM
  #3  
 
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Unless it is very much improved I'd rethink the Sheraton in Tiberias.

Not Kosher, but the Scots Hotel (operated by the Church of Scotland) in Tiberias is a wonderful place that we'd recommend highly.

It's a pretty full itinerary. I'd also be mindful that daylight hours in January can be shorter than you think, so plan your driving days accordingly. January 10 especially sounds a bit long.
Gardyloo is online now  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 01:13 AM
  #4  
eri
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 497
Looking at your itinerary I noticed that you plan to drive through the Jordan Valley to Jericho. I would rethink this part of your plan. Remember that Israel is safe as long as you behave wisely. We here in Israel DO NOT drive this road because we consider it to be dangerous. Please change your plan so you could enjoy yourself and be safe! Visit Beit Alpha, then take the new toll road number 6 either to Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. It is a very good and quick road.
eri is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 03:53 AM
  #5  
EPC
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Thank you so much for all of your responses. My family in Israel is guiding me but I am a bit concerned because now they say we should spend day one in TLV then the next day go to Eilat through the Negev etc. spend 2 nites (not see Petra ....) and drive 5 hours back to TLV. I think the 5 hour drive is ridiculous for such a short trip. Does everyone else? Thank you Eri!!! I am assuming my guide knows these things but I guess I better not assume!! And.....I may change the visit to the Kibbutz on Shabbat but I think that is the only time the family is available and not working. Any other suggestions will be helpful since I leave soon. My guide said the Scotts hotel was run by Arabs and not a great place however on Fodors everyone raves about it. I will check into it. Would you go to Eilat or plan on spending more time in Jerusalem???? or soemthing else?
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Jan 2nd, 2007, 03:55 AM
  #6  
EPC
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Oh....also our planning was faulty.....we leave at 1 AM on the 19th which means we lose the day. We actually only have through the 18th!
EPC is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:42 AM
  #7  
 
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1. Many hotels use Arab labour for staff. They are usually much more polite than Israelis! The Scots hotel has an excellent reputation.

2. I second eri's suggestion very strongly. I think that you should avoid the Jericho road altogether.

3. I don't know where you found your guide, but s/he should be adaptable to your program and not you to his/hers!

4. imho Jerusalem is much more interesting than Eilat, which is a resort city. It has some fun things to see and do, like the underwater observatory and swimming with the dolphins (if you are willing to swim in this weather !), but is nothing to compare to Jerusalem !!!

5. Petra is a beautiful site and well worth visiting, but you need at least 2 days there. Also there has been a heavy snowfall and the roads into and out of Petra are closed right now. A couple of days ago they were taking tourists out with helicopters! Maybe on another trip?

6. The Old City and the Israel Museum are both open on Saturday. Not much else is...

7. For a shorter and more rewarding trip to the south I would recommend Masada, the Qumran caves (where the Scrolls were found), and Ein Gedi. If the weather is right, there are some wonderful walks there.

Whatever - Welcome & Enjoy !
unaS is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 09:24 AM
  #8  
eri
 
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Somehow Una and I always agree... I absolutely resent your guide's remarks on Scots Hotel. I would check his/her motives. What kind of remark it is about the Arabs. I find it disgusting. As Una stated many hotel workers are Arabs, even in Tel Aviv. You will surprised to hear that, for example, most of the emloyees in the Toys R Us store near my home (Ramat Hasharon) are young Arabic women and they are extremely polite and kind. The Scots is considered a very good hotel!
Now about Eilat. I would go to Eilat even just for a short stay. I don't know where you are from, but if you have never experienced a desert, you will enjoy the sights on your way. Leave Petra for another trip. You don't have the time for it. If you absolutely cannot go to Eilat, go to the Dead Sea either from Tel Aviv (the long route through Beer Sheva) or from Jerusalem.
eri is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 02:18 PM
  #9  
EPC
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Thank you for your replys. As it stands the itinerary has been reworked once again:
I now stay in Tel Aviv and do many day trips from there.
Day 1 - Arrive and do some of TLV
2 - Ayalon Institute, Weizman Institue, and Yad Mordecai
3 - Beer Sheva, Sde Boker and Ramon Crater
4 - Friday Meggido and Beit-Shean
5 - Saturday with Family
6- Sunday = Druze, Haifa,Hanikra
7-Monday-Golan and Safed...up till this point I spend every nite back inTel Aviv then go to Jerusalem
8-Tues - Jerusalem Old City
9-Wed.-/dead sea, Massada, Ein Gedi back to Jerusalem
10-Thurs.Jerusalem new city and then late transfer to the airport.....
Is this a good plan? We now will not spend any nights in the North and I actually thought more nights in Jerusalem would be better than TLV. I am now confused and going by what my cousins in Israel are saying to do. Please advise
EPC is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:11 PM
  #10  
eri
 
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Now you succeeded inconfusing me, an old SABRA! Do you have any special interest in gems? I have never met any tourist that the first place they visit is a gem museum that almost no Israeli would consider wasting time on. Was it your guide's suggestion? The whole plan for the first day looks very confusing. Why the Weizman Institute? Are you interested in science? I am not putting down this place, but Israel has more interesting attractions unless there is any special reason for this visit. Moreon day 2 - why drive to Yad Mordechai? This is a kibbutz south of Ashkelon. Any special reason? I don't see any reason going there. You simply don't have the time. Utilize your time in Tel Aviv to enjoy the city: the markets, the beach, old jaffa, the new Tel Aviv harbor project, the streets, Rothschild Boulvard, Nachlat Benjamin etc. Tel Aviv is a fun city!
I also cannot understand why you plan to return from Rosh Hanikra to Tel Aviv and then drive back to the north the next day. You do an awful lot of driving! You will be so exhausted! Stay overnight somewhere in the Galil. There are so many GREAT B&Bs. If you do that you could start in the morning and see much more. Israel seems to be small on the map, but the driving between day 6 and 7 will waste about 5 hours that you could utilize for sight seeing.
eri is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 04:54 AM
  #11  
EPC
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Eri thank you so much for your continued responses!! My family of cousins took over our trip and it was not at all what we wanted! As you said, why the Weizman musuem? So now we may have insulted our family but we are on our own. This is what WE planned!! Please comment, help, suggest a hotel or BB in the north and tell us if we are safe!!

Tues.Jan 9 - Arrive Tel Aviv - Rothschild Blvd (Bauhaus Arch.) Sheinken, Carmel Market, Arts and Crafts Market ( we will add your ideas as well) (Hilton Hotel)

Wed. Jan 10 - Tel Aviv, Little Old Tel Aviv, Independence gardens, Neved Tzedek, Old Jaffa (Hilton)

Thurs. Jan 11 - With Guide drive to Druze, Haifa (carmel center, eshkol tower, elizah's cave, german colony, baha'i gardens), Safed,(add any temples?) (place in the north overnight?)

Fri. Jan 12 - Tiberias, Lake Kineret and drive back to visit at the Kibbutz outside of Tel Aviv (if they still want to see us) (Hilton)

Sat. Jan 13 - Family at Kibbutz (Hilton )

Sun. Jan 14 - Jerusalem- Christian quarter (Church of Holy Sepelchre, Via Dolorosa) Wailing Wall, Jaffa gate (Hotel King David)

Mon. Jan 15 - Dead Sea, Massada, Ein Gedi, Ramon Crater (King David)

Tues. Jan 16- Jerusalem tunnels etc. (King David)

Wed. Jan 17 - Jerusalem New City (King David)

Thurs. Jan 18- Jerusalem - anything else we missed (armenian section etc) transfer late to airport

Please give me any comments.We sensed that the trip our cousins planned was crazy and not what we wanted. I was glad you confirmed that. Look forward to your response since we leave soon!!!
Thank you thank you!!EPC
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Jan 3rd, 2007, 06:08 AM
  #12  
EPC
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By the way would you suggest The King David in Jerusalem or is it not living up to it's reputation? Would we be better off at Dan Pearl or another hotel? I have always heard the King David was the place to stay. Is it still? And, we are safe going up North, correct? Just checking Thanks
EPC is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:32 AM
  #13  
 
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Well now, that sounds much more reasonable imho.

Be sure that your guide gets in touch with the Ba'hai temple in advance in order to go inside to see the gardens. They are better than anything you have ever seen anywhere!

Of course you can stay in the north! Either in a Tzimmer or in a hotel. You might enjoy the Tzimmer experience, although I don't really know if there are any that are 'winterized'.

On either the llth or the 12th you might want to stop by Ceasarea, see this site: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/.../Caesarea.html

In Jerusalem the Israel Museum and Yad VaShem are not to be missed on the 17th.

The airport is not in Tel Aviv. It is on the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalme, equally easy to reach from either city. From Tel Aviv you need private transportation or a taxi. From Jerusalem there is a group taxi (sherut) called Nesher that has door to door service for about US$10 or NIS45.

Have fun!
unaS is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 10:45 AM
  #14  
EPC
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Thankyou so much for your advice. I am researching Tzimmers now! We are definately doing Yad Vashem and the Israel Musuem in Jerusalem and thank you for the advice about the gardens.And...the taxi to the airport...that is great! Now I am getting excited about our trip! I think it is a more reasonable plan.
EPC is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 12:50 PM
  #15  
 
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I would re-think the Tel Aviv Hilton Hotel. If your budget allows you to stay at the King David in Jerusalem, I would recommend the Dan hotel in Tel Aviv. It is a much better hotel than Hilton and gets #1 status on tripadvisor.

As for tzimmers, etc. up North, let me know the area you are interested in sleeping and I will try and help.

For instance, if you will be stayed in Tzfat, the Ruth Rimonim hotel is lovely, if you request and get one of the newly remodeled rooms. And it is reasonably priced.

The Scots Hotel in Tiberias is superb and also priced within what I think is your range.
Flame123 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 12:35 AM
  #16  
eri
 
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Hello again, had some internet connection problems yesterday.
Accommodations in the north. Hotel Ruth Rimonim in Zfat is a very nice place. http://www.rimonim.com/_english/ruth-rimonim/index.html
If you want to experience an Israeli "zimmer" I can suggest a place which I love. I have to tell you that it is owned by a personal friend of mine, but I really think it is lovely and unique. Look at their site. They have 4 rooms. 2 of them are adjacent to a restaurant which they own. I think you would like those rooms better. They are small but lovely. You will love the experience. Here is their site:
http://www.rotman.org.il/
There are, of course, many other great zimmers in the Galil. Rosh Pina, for example, has many. You have to decide if you want a hotel or a B&B. Most B&Bs are lovely.

I read some interesting reviews about Villa Galulee in Zfat., but have never met any one who stayed there.
http://www.villa-galilee.com/home.htm

I also think that Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv is a better hotel then the Hilton.

King David in Jerusalem is a good hotel. I am not at all sure, though, that it is worth the extremely high cost. It all depends on your pocket...
eri is offline  
Jan 10th, 2007, 03:36 AM
  #17  
 
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As an alternative to King David (where I've only been to the bar, not stayed myself) in Jerusalem, I like David Citadel (previous Hilton) or Imbal. Both are 5-star, very good facility/service, convenient locations (Citadel almost a few doors away from KD, if I recall).
W9London is offline  
Jan 11th, 2007, 08:27 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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We just returned from Israel Sunday. We stayed at the Dan Panorama in Jerusalem which was excellent and as I understand it is less expensive than the King's hotel and is around the corner from it. Also - try to see the Great Synagogue in Jerusalem across from the Sheraton.
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