Pre Cruise Trip to Israel

Old Nov 14th, 2020, 08:08 AM
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Pre Cruise Trip to Israel

We may be taking a cruise that leaves from Haifa on August 14, 2021. We would like to go about a week earlier and see Petra and part of Israel. We know that Israel requires a bit more time, but we can only lengthen our trip by a week. Any suggestions for accomplishing this? Should we fly into Tel Aviv or Amman? I would be so grateful for any recommendations. Fodorites are always helpful and always right!
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Old Nov 14th, 2020, 10:03 AM
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Amman is skippable, but Petra requires three nights. Madaba is worth a stop if you like mosaics. Can't help with Israel.

For the reasons why you need that much time in Petra see: https://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/...st-2009/Petra/
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Old Nov 14th, 2020, 03:19 PM
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Your pictures are wonderful. Thanks for sharing them and your advice!
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Old Nov 14th, 2020, 04:02 PM
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Thanks. I have a Middle East TR on here, but I don't think it will help much with your trip. There have been a number of other threads about combining Israel and Petra, so it's worth trying a search.
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Old Nov 15th, 2020, 07:29 PM
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Tel Aviv is the place you can't skip on your Israel trip. Tel Aviv has numerous tourist spots, including TEL AVIV Art Museum and beaches. Tel Aviv is known for its culture and entertainment. You can skip Amman instead of Tel Aviv.
Have a nice journey. Enjoy your days.
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Old Nov 16th, 2020, 07:17 AM
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A couple of things...

First, there are numerous day trip options to Petra departing Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Eilat. The tours from Jerusalem and Tel Aviv generally depart in the wee hours and return late in the evening, so you'll be spending a lot of time on a bus, but at least you won't have to relocate. Those from Eilat have more civilized hours, but then of course you'd need to get to and from Eilat, which is a considerable distance from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem.

Second, in August you're going to have ridiculously hot weather, and even a few hours walking around in the heat of the Negev or Jordanian deserts is going to be a major trial. Tel Aviv can also be quite humid in mid-summer. I will just ask rhetorically if you're ready for a trip where conditions will be like that.

As your cruise departs from Haifa in the northern part of Israel, and as Petra and Eilat are far to the south, I might suggest you look at something like this as a rough plan:

- Fly into Ben Gurion airport (TLV) but transfer straight to Jerusalem on arrival. There are numerous means of getting from the airport to the city, but a direct taxi will cost under US$100 and might be the best option for a couple.

- Spend three nights in Jerusalem, with one of the days being allocated to a Petra day trip if you must. Note Jerusalem is in the hills and is often considerably cooler than on the coast, and much cooler than in the southern desert.

- Transfer to the Galilee and spend two or three nights in the north. This is a beautiful area, full of both Christian and Jewish historic sites, wineries, and great scenery.

- Transfer to Haifa in advance of your cruise departure.

Of course this is just one of umpteen alternative schemes, but you'll need to manage your time whether or not Petra is included. If it was me, I'd probably avoid the south given the time of year and your timetable, but it's your call.
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Old Nov 16th, 2020, 07:42 AM
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Gardyloo,
Thanks for helping me to rethink this cruise. I am concerned about the heat. ( We were in India last year where the heat was pretty much unbearable.) It's unfortunate that it's in August because embarking in Israel gave us an opportunity to spend more time there before boarding. There are other cruises to Israel but they spend only three days there. Back to the drawing board with more research.

Firenz
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Old Nov 16th, 2020, 10:17 AM
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I hadn't noticed that you were traveling in August. I was in Jordan late October/early November. I really don't think I would be willing to visit in August. Can't you do Israel and Jordan apart from a cruise? (And maybe Lebanon.)
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Old Nov 17th, 2020, 10:59 AM
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I agree with Gardyloo's sentiment that there are an infinite amount of possibilities for how to do this. This is all going to come down to personal interest/preference. If I were OP, I'd first ask myself what the odds are of my coming back to this region anytime soon. If you're really keen on seeing Israel and soon plan to proper trip and do it justice, I'd seriously consider spending the entire week in Jordan and "saving" Israel for later. 1 week is "enough" for a nice trip to see the highlights of Jordan, but not even close to enough to see the highlights of Israel. If you don't see yourself having an opportunity to come back to Israel anytime soon, you'll have tough choices on your hands and need to seriously think about what's most important to you.

Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Amman is skippable, but Petra requires three nights. Madaba is worth a stop if you like mosaics. Can't help with Israel.

For the reasons why you need that much time in Petra see: https://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/...st-2009/Petra/
Nice pics. Though, I'd disagree to an extent and say 2 nights with one FULL day at the ruins (get there first thing, and depart late afternoon) is fine if you have a lot of energy/stamina. 2 days would be nice, but one full day is doable. And I mean a full day, not one of these rubbish "day trips" to Petra from Israel where you're really only at the site for 3-4 hours; that's just not doing the site justice.

Agree on skipping Amman -- the best thing in Amman is Jerash (Roman ruins), which is a 1/2 day trip from Amman. Not much of note within Amman.

Originally Posted by IonaLee View Post
Tel Aviv is the place you can't skip on your Israel trip. Tel Aviv has numerous tourist spots, including TEL AVIV Art Museum and beaches. Tel Aviv is known for its culture and entertainment. You can skip Amman instead of Tel Aviv.
Have a nice journey. Enjoy your days.
Um, I'd say Jerusalem is *the* place you can't skip in Israel. TLV is great and shouldn't be skipped either, but Jerusalem is *the* highlight of Israel for most tourists.
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