Need help with Israel Itinerary


May 19th, 2015, 08:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 23
Need help with Israel Itinerary

Hi. First time to Israel, need some direction. We are traveling to Israel from NYC for two weeks in September. We are a late 30s couple traveling with 3 of our early/mid 70s parents and our 22 month old daughter. We want to explore the sites in Jerusalem, Bethlehem, and Nazareth that are most critical to our Catholic religion but don't want to overdo it. Our parents are still mobile but get tired somewhat quickly so there's a limit to how much traditional sightseeing we can do, especially with the toddler in tow. We want to spend a larger chunk of time relaxing, taking in the sun, food and the culture of Israel. We do a fair amount of international travel, quite a bit of is has been with our parents and our daughter so this isn't our first trip trying to pull something like this off. We want to minimize the number of times that we're packing and unpacking so we want to identity a few home bases from which to explore the country.

Based on that, here's our first draft of our itinerary:

Day 1 - Leave USA
Day 2 - Arrive Israel – Stay in Jerusalem
Day 3 - Jerusalem
Day 4 - Jerusalem
Day 5 - Jerusalem
Day 6 - Galilee/Nazareth/Bethlehem Area
Day 7 - Galilee/Nazareth/Bethlehem Area
Day 8 - Tel Aviv
Day 9 - Tel Aviv
Day 10 - Tel Aviv
Day 11 - Tel Aviv
Day 12 - Tel Aviv
Day 13 - Leave Israel

As indicated above, our initial thought is to land and get a transfer to Jerusalem. We would spend the first four nights in Jerusalem which would allow us to adjust to the time zone and see the most critical Jerusalem sights.

After Jerusalem, our thought is to rent a car and drive north to the Galilee/Nazareth/Bethlehem area where we would stay at a hotel for two nights.

Next we would drive to Tel Aviv where we would spend the last 5 nights taking in the beach, food, and culture.

Once we get the major home bases identified, we'll start to dig in on all the specific sights so please excuse how high-level our itinerary currently is.


Thanks in advance!
bsp8181 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 19th, 2015, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 425
What is the date of "Day 1" ? There are a lot of Jewish holidays in September - New Years on Sept. 14-15, Yom Kippur on Sept 23, Sukkot on Sept. 28 - and you must plan around them. I recommend postponing the trip until October : the weather will be more comfortable (an important factor for your parents), hotel prices will be lower, tourist sites will be less crowded and the holidays won't interfere !

Note that Bethlehem is a suburb of Jerusalem and a short taxi ride from the center of town. It is not in the Galilee.

I suggest staying only 2-3 days in Tel-Aviv. Add 1-2 days to your Galilee tour and 1 more in Jerusalem and use it to visit the Dead Sea.
mbgg is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 20th, 2015, 06:35 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 23
Thank you for the advice! Our dates are September 1 through September 13. We considered leaving some time for the Dead Sea but then decided otherwise once we found out that the water is so salty that it is not appropriate for our toddler.

I am a little hesitant to reduce our time in Tel Aviv since my impression is that tel aviv is the place for us to relax and spend time on the beach which is a really important part of the trip for us. Can you provide further detail on why you would recommend adding more time in Galilee?
bsp8181 is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 20th, 2015, 10:35 AM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 425
Your dates are good as you will be leaving israel before the holidays.

You don't really swim in the Dead Sea, you just float on your back for 10 minutes to experience the sensation of not being able to sink. You should never take a child in but it is no problem to take turns watching him during that short period of time. You would spend most of the day visiting Massada and the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve (fresh water pools).

There are many Christian holy sites in the Galilee plus many scenic national parks plus historical sites such as Akko. I'm not an expert on the Christian sites but there are many websites available with details.

I will post some website links tomorrow.
mbgg is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 20th, 2015, 10:55 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 425
Here is a list of Christian sites in Israel:

The National Parks (note the "Money saving tickets" option):

A list I compiled of things to do in Tel-Aviv:

The Jerusalem tourism website:

An excellent non-commercial tour-guide written by a frequent visitor to Israel:

The Old Acre (Akko) web site:

If your budget allows it, you should seriously consider hiring a professional guide for at least one day in Jerusalem, one that can plan a tour to the Old City and the holy sites that interest you the most.

In the New City, I recommend the Israel Museum and the Yad Vashem Museum.
mbgg is offline  
Reply With Quote
May 21st, 2015, 04:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 23
Great, thank you for the advice, very much appreciated. Will review and post back any questions I may come up with.
bsp8181 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jun 15th, 2015, 02:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1
Re Day 6 & 7. Nazareth and Galilee are pretty far from Bethlehem. You should probably put Bethlehem in with your Jerusame segment. There are a number of interesting things to do in the north of Israel as part of your Nazareth/Galilee segment including Safed, Rosh Hanikra, Tiberias, and Mount Arbel.
TsfatGuy is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 06:31 AM.