Petra from Jerusalem/Some mistakes!

Reply

Aug 29th, 2012, 09:46 AM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,937
Petra from Jerusalem/Some mistakes!

We went for an overnight from Jerusalem to Petra by flying from Tel Aviv to Eliat and crossing the border there. Some good planning, some very poor planning. It is easy to make the plans over the internet. I booked the flights on the El Al site to leave Tel Aviv at noon and return the next day on the 2pm flight from Elait. Then I got concerned about the timing so I bought another ticket on Expedia on Arkia airline for the 4pm return flight. That was a very good idea.
I was planning to leave my luggage at the hotel in Tel Aviv where we were staying on the return, but was talked out of it since it meant going from Jerusalem to TA and then back to the airport. I definately should have left the luggage. No need to take it for just one night and it is a bit of a walk across the border pushing the luggage trolleys they have available. It was very, very hot this week in Eliat!!!!
It was a terrible mistake to have not realized that internal flights in TA leave from Terminal 1 not Terminal 3 where our taxi left us. Getting from 3 to 1 took over 50 minutes. We had to take a yellow bus, no, not the three yellow buses that only went to long term parking. Finally the bus came. We were very late. In fact we got toTerminal 1 only 5 minutes before our flight was supposed to leave. We did get on the flight, and not the last people, but it was a stressful time. Not a pleasant experience.
Now we are in Eliat on a Summer Sunday. The airport cannot handle the number of planes landing and the luggage. It took 1.5 hours to get our luggage in a place with thousands of people, millions of crying babies, a few dogs, and unhappy people. Finally with luggage it was time to fight for a taxi to the border. Do not fly into Eliat on a summer Sunday or Thursday, so I have now been told.]
Now we are at the border. Only 4 other tourists there, backpackers. We get thru the formalities, cross the border, pushing our luggage, and are met by our car and driver from Red Rock tours arranged over the internet. His English was limited but he was fine to drive us to our hotel in Petra.
We stayed at the Movenpick hotel which is directly across from the entrance to Petra historical park. We got there too late to want to do anything but use the beautiful hotel swimming pool. What luxury!!!! We had our swim, rested, ate a lovely dinner at the beautiful rooftop dining space. Sorry not a full moon, half had to do. Went to bed. Very nice room in very nice hotel.
Up the next morning at 6am. At the ticket booth at 6:30, had to wait for the ticket man even tho the part officially opens at 6am. Planned this very early touring since it is so terribly hot this time of year. Could not have done it later in the day. Hired a horse and carriage and we were on our way. This was my second time at Petra and I was again amazed at how special it is. Well worth our trip to get there. Since it was so early there were few people there. Very nice. We drove around for 2 hours and then back to the hotel. The carriage was not comfortable but necessary for us. My husband was too tired to do the walking. This way he got a chance to see this wonder of the world.
We had breakfast at the hotel, took another welcome swim (a pool in the desert), and got back in our car at noon to do the return. A soldier with a machine gun at the Jordan border was helpful in putting our luggage on the trolley! Back to the TA airport which had few people. Got on the 3pm flight (an hour early!!)and off to TA.
Despite our mistakes I think going overnight to Petra is much better than the organized bus trips which do it in one day. Of course, several days in Petra/Jordan even better. IBut you can plan this yourself. We were there too short to have wanted a guide (running along the carriage?) but a guide would be a good idea.
Elainee is offline  
Reply With Quote
Aug 29th, 2012, 11:11 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 424
Thanks for the detailed and helpful report.
Here's a suggestion - next time post your plan on this forum BEFORE you go; I'm sure that someone would have given you good advice
What you should have done (for the benefit of others planning their trip) is leave your luggage at the hotel in Tel-Aviv, then take a flight to Eilat from Sde-Dov airport, not Ben-Gurion, because SDE is only a short taxi ride away from most Tel-Aviv hotels.
mbgg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 1st, 2012, 09:46 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 7,498
Thank you for posting your report. I do hope to get to Petra one day so your advice, and helpful suggestions of what not to do, will come in handy. I am so glad you did enjoy yourselves when you did arrive!
KTtravel is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 5th, 2013, 08:07 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 33
Thanks for sharing the story! You are a good writer, and this was helpful.
Another question about this itinerary for the Israel/Jordan experts: I'll be in Jerusalem in November. Is the best way to get to Petra to spend the night before in Eilat and do the crossing there? And if so, can one take a bus or train from Jerusalem to Eilat? (I prefer land travel so I can see stuff on the way...)
Thanks!
beth_c_142 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 5th, 2013, 01:53 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Whatever or however you travel between Israel and Petra, I do not recommend doing so during the summer months. It's simply too hot to be in the desert between May thru Sep.

Recall my brother commenting on the heat to the point they couldn't walk a single block without feeling they were about to collapse (and they've visited in Las Vegas when temps were at 110-115 degees).

In fact, many Israelis, especially those living in/around TLV, actually leave the country for a few weeks/months between June-August and most children's daycamps are closed during Aug.

Eilat is hot year-round why Israelis visit in the 'colder' months elsewhere in the country. And when we visited Petra during an Oct, the daytime temps were rather hot, though mornings/evenings were cool.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 5th, 2013, 03:53 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 33
That is good advice - my trip is in November. I'm praying for cool weather.
beth_c_142 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 5th, 2013, 08:18 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23,690
My best advice for Petra is to allow at least two full days (three nights). There is so much more to see than the iconic Sanctuary, although you really do need to hike (or, I suppose, ride a donkey) to see it. And I certainly wouldn't want to hike in the middle of summer!
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2013, 09:25 AM
  #8
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 8,675
Sanctuary? Believe you mean the Treasury building. That's OK, too many places, too many names, I'm amazed I can remember any.
sandi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2013, 09:29 AM
  #9
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 23,690
Ooops, right! It has obviously been too long since I was there. (Did make my revisit list.)
thursdaysd is online now  
Reply With Quote
Sep 6th, 2013, 11:14 AM
  #10
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 424
There is no train service to Eilat. "Egged" runs regular bus service and you can check the schedules and prices on their web site:
http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/
Note that tickets to/from Eilat must be booked in advance:
http://www.egged.co.il/Eng/main.asp?lngCategoryID=2771
mbgg is offline  
Reply With Quote
Sep 7th, 2013, 07:51 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 270
Agreeing with Sandi that it is very hot to do in the summer. BUT if you drink lots of water it is doable. I also disagree ( strongly) that most Israelis leave during the summer month. I do not know where you get that idea from. Summer programs only being in July for Israeli kids has nothing to do with the heat. BTW for those who do take a week vacation it is during the period there is no camp--but that has nothing to do with the heat. Also, there is a period ( usually August) when the country is loaded with internal tourism.
Elkaz is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 23rd, 2014, 12:15 PM
  #12
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 4
My husband and I traveling to Israel in September 2014, and plan to visit Jordan from the southern crossing. We'll spend one night in Wadi Rum and two nights in Petra. Then we have to get back to Jerusalem. Figuring it will take around 1 1/2 hours to travel by taxi from Petra to the border, then time to cross the border and get to the airport, we have no idea what flight time would be best. Should we just wait and buy our tickets when we get to the Eilat airport that day?
mcmench is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 23rd, 2014, 08:48 PM
  #13
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 424
If you are going to Jerusalem from Eilat then you want to fly to Ben Gurion airport and not Sde Dov in Tel-Aviv. Check the Arkia and Israir websites for the schedules for the day you will arrive in Eilat. Ask on the Jordan forum how long it takes to get from Petra to Aqaba. Crossing doesn't take much time and the Eilat airport is only a short taxi drive from the crossing. You should be at the airport about 90 minutes before departure to allow enough time for checkin and security checks. Do the arithmetic and book a suitable flight.

From TLV take the Nesher sherut (shuttle) directly to your hotel in Jerusalem.
mbgg 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


FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:45 PM.