Israel in April--On our own or a Tour???

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Jan 17th, 2000, 01:39 PM
  #1
Maggie
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Israel in April--On our own or a Tour???

My husband and I planning a trip to Israel for the first two weeks of April. We have traveled extensively in Europe always on our own with a rental car. We're getting mixed info from friends about whether we should rent a car or go on a tour---or perhaps a series of day or more tours once we're there. I would assume we will spend 4-5 days in Jerusalem but little else is decided. Also, is travel in 2000 more crowded then ususal?? We've tried to avoid Passover and Easter, assuming these times would be more crowded but know that in some areas (such as Rome) travel is very heavy all year. Will hotels be more difficut to book?

This request is a bit rambling but we would truly appreciate any and all advice and suggestions--tour vs. independent, must sees, hotels. Thanks so much
 
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Jan 17th, 2000, 03:05 PM
  #2
John
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Hi, Maggie,
You'll be OK either way. Obviously a car can be a drawback in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, where parking and congestion hassles will be a nuisance, but it will enhance your experience if you go to the north or south, to the Dead Sea, etc. (which you ought to do.) There are lots of day or overnight tours available to major destinations, not expensive, but we enjoy the flexibility and freedom a car brings; you might feel the same. If you're familiar with European driving styles (Italy, Spain, not Portugal) Israel will be no big challenge.

When investigating Jerusalem hotels, don't overlook the YMCA - right across the street from the King David, comfortable, half the price or less, a landmark in its own right (designed by the architect who designed the Empire State Building).
 
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Jan 17th, 2000, 03:37 PM
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John
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Hi, Maggie,
You'll be OK either way. Obviously a car can be a drawback in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv, where parking and congestion hassles will be a nuisance, but it will enhance your experience if you go to the north or south, to the Dead Sea, etc. (which you ought to do.) There are lots of day or overnight tours available to major destinations, not expensive, but we enjoy the flexibility and freedom a car brings; you might feel the same. If you're familiar with European driving styles (Italy, Spain, not Portugal) Israel will be no big challenge.

When investigating Jerusalem hotels, don't overlook the YMCA - right across the street from the King David, comfortable, half the price or less, a landmark in its own right (designed by the architect who designed the Empire State Building).
 
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Jan 17th, 2000, 07:02 PM
  #4
Lisa
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Personally, I love the flexibility of a car, but it depends on your interests. Many of the tours in Israel cater to a particular religious group, Christian, Jewish, etc. If you have more secular interests or want various religious sites, independent is the way to go. In Jerusalem, pick up the paperback book "Footloose in Jerusalem". It has some wonderful self-guided walking tours that will really give you the flavor of the city.
If you go to Masada (which I really recommend) take a one day tour. You really need a guide to appreciate it. The tours also stop at a Dead Sea spa and may give you a brief stop at the oasis of Ein Gedi which is beautiful.
Another favorite of mine is Rosh Hanikra, a fabulous spot on the northern coast where the sea has cut beautiful grottoes into the rock.
Please e-mail me if I can be of further help. L'hitraot (see you soon).
 
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