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Israel itinerary ideas

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Apr 1st, 2014, 09:04 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Feb 2004
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Israel itinerary ideas

Hello fellow Fodorites,
My wife and I are planning our first trip to Israel in late August / early September for about 12 days. A rough draft itinerary is as follows: Spend the first 2 nights in Tel Aviv, then pick up a rental car and head north to Caesarea for the day, visit the Roman ruins on land, and dive among the ruins of the underwater archeological park. Onto Haifa for 2 nights, see Bahai Gardens and visit Akko for the day, spending the night in Haifa. Then we have at least 2 options:
1. Drive from Haifa to Tiberias, visiting the Zippori National Park en route, and spending 2 nights in Tiberias. Visit Safed the following day, spend the night in Tiberias, and then head south to Masada and the Dead Sea, visiting Bet She'an on the way. Spend 1 night in the Ein Gedi area, drive to Jerusalem, drop the rental car and spend the final 4 full days in Jerusalem. Or -
2. After a day trip to Akko, rather then drive back to spend a second night in Haifa - continue on to Safed, spend the night there and visit the city the next day. Then move onto Tiberias, and head south as described above.
Is the Zippori National Park worth making a detour for?
Also, is it safe to park in Caesarea for the day with a car full of luggage (albeit in the trunk and hopefully out of view?) I have read of break-ins the area. Would it be safer to simply head up to Haifa, unpack and double-back to Caesarea for the day?
Do we face the same "issue" (if indeed, it is in an issue), if we drive from Haifa to Akko, and leave our car (with luggage) there whilst visiting the sights for the day (before continuing on to Safed for the night), as opposed to doubling-back to Haifa for the night.
While It seems more direct and efficient, time-wise, to move from one destination to another (Tel Aviv - Caesarea - Haifa - Akko - Safed - Tiberias, etc.), stopping at hotels en route - I wonder if it would be better to have two main bases in the area (Haifa and Tiberias) and make daytrips from there?
What do you think?
Any and all suggestions are welcomed and appreciated.
Thanks very much.
Larz
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Apr 1st, 2014, 10:33 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 416
Overall your itinerary is good, but you only give details for about 10 days, not 12.

The consensus for Caesarea is that you will have no problems if your luggage is out of sight and you park near the entrance (within sight of the security people).

Tiberias is not a good base for the north. It is very hot and there is little to see in the town itself. Rosh Pina is a much better choice - it is cooler, adjacent to Safed, and much more convenient if you plan to visit the Upper Galilee (Banias, Nimrod, Tel Dan, etc).

For Haifa,Galilee, etc (I have added an extra day):
Day 1: Caesarea to Haifa.
Day 2: Bahai Temple & Gardens in the morning, train to Akko. return to Haifa for 2nd overnight.
- Day: Zippori and Safed. Overnight Rosh Pina
- Day 4: Upper Galilee (Banias, etc). Overnight Rosh Pina
- Day 5: AM - Bet Shean , PM - Ein Gedi Nature Reserve. Overnight Ein Gedi/Massada/Ein Bokek
- Day 6: Massada AM. Drive to Jerusalem and return car.
- Day 7, 8, etc. - Jerusalem

If you want to stay overnight at Massada, then you should book the Youth Hostel as soon as possible (they are open to everyone , have high standards and have private rooms). The Hostel at Ein Gedi is also excellent:
http://www.iyha.org.il/eng/
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Apr 3rd, 2014, 08:58 PM
  #3
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mbgg - Thanks for your speedy response, and the very useful information. I have read that Tiberias is not a particularly attractive town, and is often busy with partying youth (neither of which we currently are!) But if we were to only visit Akko and Safed in the north (and not see Banias, Nimrod, Tel Dan...) would an overnight in Rosh Pina still be advisable? On the map, it looked like Tiberias was perhaps better situated as a base for a full-day visit to Safed, and on the main road to head south the next morning(via Bet She'an), to the Ein Gedi, Dead Sea, Masada area, before dropping the car in Jerusalem. Are the Roman sites of Zippori and Bet She'an significantly unique and different enough to visit both? Thanks again.
Larz
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Apr 5th, 2014, 10:31 PM
  #4
 
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Rosh Pina is right next to Safed. It is cooler than Tiberias and the old part of town (now being restored) is also worth a visit. The distances are small - Rosh Pina to Tiberas is less than half an hour - so choose what is most convenient. Look at "Nof Ginosar" just north of Tiberias.
http://english.ginosar.co.il/

Zippori and Bet Shean are both interesting and unique, but is all a question of how much time is available and what your priorities are. Personally I would choose Bet Shean, but remember that Bet Shean is very hot in the summer - you should try to get there around opening time !

http://tinyurl.com/mmjvx5p
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