Apr 27th, 2005, 12:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 10

My Boyfriend and I are going to Israel soon, as you can all see! We are very excited, but are hoping we can get some tips on traveling form all of you! We are staying in Netanya where his relatives that will serve as home base. I was told by his grandparents, who have been there many times, that there are reliable and inexpensive package tours (with hotels) out of Netanya to various places (ie)Dead Sea, Eliat, Haifa, etc.. Is that true? We were also told that we didn't need to book any of it until we get there...we would be able to go to the tour co's storefronts in Netanya when we get there...does that sound right? We are really looking to go, for sure, to those 3 places...

Also if you all can tell me a little about Netanya and the beach i would love to hear it...restaurants, etc..

Thank you so much in advance for your help!
blondeec is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 01:20 PM
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blondeec -

Sounds right to me. However, when will you be traveling to Israel? While tourism had been down over the past number of years, that is no longer the case - tourists are returning, lots of tourists. In order not to be disappointed with unavailable space, finding the prices too high for your budget, you might not like the hotels, or whatever - I would suggest the following:

Have your boyfriend's relative, stop into the local travel office and

1) find out if they have a website, where you can get information on the tours they offer and prices;

2) if not, have them get a brochure or a list of these trips which should include:

- the day/s the tour operates;
- for how long - hours, half or full days (hour they return), or number of days;
- means of transport - bus, van, other;
- names of hotels if overnights required, the quality of hotels;
- meals included - if for overnights, all meals or only breakfast; on full-day tours does it include lunch;
- are entrance fees included;
- for Eilat, no doubt it will be a flight to/from - get cost;
- for Eilat, do you have a choice of hotels - get costs;
- for Eilat, determine if transfers from airport to hotel included.

- how to make payment - credit cards, local currency
- you'll probably have to tip guides & drivers

I think this gives you an idea of what questions should be answered. If you have all the information prior arrival, you won't have to spend much time with the travel company - can be a few hours.

If there is sufficient time before you leave for Israel, and if the relatives have been provided a brochure, have them Fedex it to you at your home. If insufficient time, have them fax pages with the necessary information.

Haifa is an easy drive from Netanya; the Dead Sea is probably a full long day returning late evening; Eilat should be for a few days - if you're traveling in the summer, remember that it is very very hot here.

Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

Apr 27th, 2005, 02:08 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11
Sandi's tips are excellent. Day trips from Netanya are possible to everywhere in Israel other than the extreme south (Eilat) or maybe the extreme north (Golan). Israel's a very small country, and easy to get around, though traffic can be bearish.

I love Netanya. It's a lovely, relatively quiet beach city. The beach is gorgeous. I also love strolling along the promenade on the cliffs above the beaches, and the view of the sunset from there is spectacular.

I've stayed at the Residence Hotel near downtown, and that was clean and inexpensive. Speaking personally, I always need to know where I'm sleeping ahead of time, but that's me.

Don't miss Caesarea and Haifa, both easy day trips from Netanya. And of course Jerusalem, which is probably worth a couple of days at least.

Have a great trip!
Labatt is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 10:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 192
Blondee, I think that you could safely leave tour reservations for the time you'll be here. You'll have a better chance to find out facts first hand, and needn't worry about availablity. By the way here are 2 links with Netanya hotels, the latter pertains to the Residence which was mentioned earlier:
Eli is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Wow!!! Thanks everyone for all your helpful hints!!! We are traveling 5/19-6/ yout think that will be a very busy time? Also where could i get some shopping done for pottery and jewelry (ie. turqoise) places? Not looking to spend big $$$...
blondeec is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 08:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 11
blondeec, that's shouldn't be too busy. It's before school is out, so that cuts down on traveling families. It coincides with some of the time that I'll be there (5/14-5/28), but I'm not staying in Netanya on this particular trip.

Can't help much with the shopping tips, because that's not my scene, but someone will. Have a great trip!!!!
Labatt is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 09:25 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
Have you thought about going to those places on your own?

You can simply use public buses for a day trip to Haifa. And you can rent a car and drive to Dead Sea and Eilat for perhaps a leisurely 3-4 day trip. Israel is a fairly easy country to drive in, except in and around Jerusalem.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
And if you still want to do the tours, check to see if they're actually departing from Netanya. Most tours depart from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, so while they'll come pick you up at Netanya, you may be wasting time transfering to and waiting around Tel Aviv.
rkkwan is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 07:31 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 1,328
Both Egged and United Tours have day trips to many poplar tourist attractions in Israel. You probably don't have to make reservations ahead of time, especially not in May-June.

...As to where to shop... There are many
arts and crafts fairs in many cities' shopping malls on Fridays.

There is a very popular one in Tel Aviv's Nachlat Benyamin pedestrian street, just outside the Carmel open market. Lots of beautiful stuff, including jewelry. Certainly a great opportunity to by gifts for the folks back home...
Mamamia is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 06:50 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 10
Thanks everyone for all the info! I'm really getting excited about our trip!! Any other tips?
I looked in to a really cool hotel in Eliat that I'm thinking of booking when I get to Israel...The Orchid. Anyone know of it?
blondeec is offline  
Apr 29th, 2005, 07:20 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 497
Did you consider renting a car? This way you can stop wherever you feel like. With the aid of a good travel guide book you might enjoy the country even more. You could stay in B&Bs that are now all over Israel and extremely popular.
About Eilat - Orchids is nice but far from the center and all the main attractions. Try Hotel Agamim. You will love it.
eri is offline  
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