Proposed 12 Day Israel Itinerary - need feedback!!!!


Jun 12th, 2012, 08:37 AM
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Proposed 12 Day Israel Itinerary - need feedback!!!!

My husband and I are traveling to Israel over Labor Day and thru early September for the first time for 12 days. We love to sightsee, go to nice restaurants and stay in nice hotels. We also like to shop especially for local art. The following has been recommended to us and I was wondering if anyone can comment on the sequence, hotels and the itinerary in general. I would greatly appreciate any and all feedback!!
Day 1 Arrive and transfer to Tel Aviv Hilton or Dan Hotel
Day 2 Day on our own in Tel Aviv and see Palmach museum, Nachalat Binyamin, Jaffa and Rothschild Avenue
Day 3 Check Out and go with a guide to Cesarea Haifa Mt. Carmel. Lunch at Akko and then Rosh Hanikra. Stay at Mitspe Hayamim.
Day 4 With guide Golan Heights, Baias Nature Walk Tel Facher bunkers. Lunch at Druze Village. Then ATV ride along Syrian border, Mt. Bental lookout point.
Day 5 With gude Safed tour, ancient synagogoues art galleries and Jewish mysticism. Lunch at Safed. then Galil mountains winery, Hula valley, Rosh Pina tour
Day 6 With guide check out and visit sites around Lake Kinnerret. Lunch at Bet Shean. Bet Shean tour, Bet Alfa ancient synangogue. Stay at Jeusalem Citadel KDH
Day 7 With guide Old City Jerusalem, Mt.Olives, City of David. Lunch in Old City. Then Davidson Center, Western Wall tunnels, Jewish Quarter. See Light Show.
Day 8 With guide Masada tour then Dead Sea Float. Lunch Ein Gedi. Then Ein Gedi nature walk
Day 9 Last day with guide- Yad Vashem, Mt. Herzel. Lunch at Market. Then Machane Yehudah Market
Day 10 Day on our own in Jerusalem and see Isreal Museum, Walk to Old City and visit Christian quarter
Day 11 Fly to Eliat and stay at Eliat Dan or Hilton. On our own for a beach day.
Day 12 Full day Petra tour
Day 13 Morning at leisure and take flight to Ben Gurion Airport to head home.

The guide's name is David Hyman. Has anyone heard of him?Are ther eny other guides that anyone could recommend.

All inout would be greatly appreciated.`
rjbriskin is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2012, 10:39 AM
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I'm glad you've gotten a rough paln to start with

A few details; Nahalat Binyamin crafts market in Tel Aviv is only Tuesdays and Fridays (on the other days, it's just a bunch of fabric stores and cafes) Fridays is very busy, Tuesdays a little less so.

That day seems a little full for my taste. It can still be hot and you'll be all over Tel Aviv. What time do you arrive in Israel the first day? You might be able to stroll down to Jaffa that afternoon/evening. Or if you want to walk along Rothschild Blvd then to see the Bauhaus buildings, it's nice to have some guidebook or online listing to identify them. I love architecture but a bunch of white concrete buildings can all start to look alike after a while

Day 3 also looks really packed. Caesarea alone has several sites (including the Roman theater, and also an interesting bird mosaic and a curious art museum (Ralli) that you might like (you said on a previous post that you were art collectors?) You also mentioned on the other post that you like beaches, and there's a nice one in Caesarea and a really gorgeous one a little farther north Hof Habonim/Dor Beach
In Haifa you probably want to see the Bahai Gardens, and Akko could also be a whole day if you wanted. So much to see, so little time!

Day 9 in Jerusalem probably has some room for other sites or just a slower pace
AlexA is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2012, 11:28 AM
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AlexA- Thanks for your comments. We have not solidified our flights yet but I think we plan on flying overnight from NY and getting into Israel in the very early morning. We tend to pack alot of stuff in when we travel so I might have been a little aggressive. But this was all actally proposed to me by the tour guide.
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Jun 12th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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The great thing about a private tour is that you can go as slowly --or as quickly--as you want. While I'm sure the itinerary is possible (and I'm the type of person who will spend 10+ hour days going from museum to garden to historic site) some of it just sounds like a checklist, in my opinion.

Day 3 is a good example of what I mean
"Check Out and go with a guide to Cesarea Haifa Mt. Carmel. Lunch at Akko and then Rosh Hanikra" if you go to "Cesarea Haifa Mt. Carmel" all before lunch, what are you really going to see?

I think you can work with a guide to prioritize and break it up a little. You should be able to get to a couple of major sites per day, and still give yourself some beach time, walking around and just taking in the scenery time, a nice meal.

The Eilat and Petra portion obviously takes a couple days away from other sites (are you staying in Eilat and just doing a very long day trip to Petra?) I haven't been to Petra but I understand it's amazing and why you may want to include it if you're already in the region. I'm not a huge fan of Eilat in general , and it can be very hot in September so I personally would have suggested other places as beach days.
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Jun 12th, 2012, 07:59 PM
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Hi It seems a lot for 12 days, especially day 3. I think Cesarea could take up one day alone. It did for us when we visited. Haifa is another day at least and Akko is most of one day. You'll be looking at the sites and cities, giving them a passing glance. It might be a good idea to reconsider Petra at this time and save it or another visit. How are you planning to go to Petra? There is a charge for a visa at the border. It's about an 11/2 hr drive to Petra via taxi from the border. I'm not certain Israeli tour bus' go there. It's very hot there in sept and a full day is alot to be out in the sun there. we stayed a couple of days so that when it really got hot we went back to the hotel. Israel is a very beautiful and friendly country. we've been there 3 times and looking to go again. Enjoy your trip.
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Jun 18th, 2012, 06:11 AM
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The plan for Tel Aviv looks good, although I would add some time for strolling along Dizengoff and people-watching...

I'm with everyone above. Day 3 is crazy. Just DRIVING from Tel Aviv to Cesarea to Haifa to Mt. Carmel to Akko will take you more than two hours. Assuming you leave the hotel at 9 AM and want to eat lunch at 12:30, that gives you barely an hour and a half to see every thing. Unless all you wanted was a drive up the coast.... (I haven't driven that stretch, but the map shows that Rt 2 is more inland than coastal scenery) I would give yourself at least two days to see those cities!

So if we stretch Day 3 into Days 3 and 4, Day 5 becomes the Golan Heights etc. The plan looks busy but do-able, and with stunningly beautiful vistas.

Day 6 is now Safed. I think your probably right to get a tour of Safed, since there is so much history tucked away in tiny alley ways. But (unless I'm misreading the map), why are you not starting with the Hula Valley, since you'll already be up north, and then come down, tour Rosh Pina and then see Safed in the afternoon.

Day 7 is now the Kinneret, etc.

You've given yourself one day (Day 8) to see the Old City, so there will be a lot of walking that day, but everything is pretty close together, so you shouldn't have too much trouble. Check with the guide re: the order-- it's been a while since I walked through the Old City (and last time I did, I got lost) so I'm not sure what the easiest order for the sites is...

Day 9 sounds lovely, although I don't really know if you need a guide for Masada. I assume you decided not to hike Masada at sunrise, yes? And Ein Gedi is one of my favorite places.

Days 10 and 11 become Jerusalem, taken at a much slower pace than the rest of the trip.

I would suggest cutting Petra and Eilat, saving the desert side of Israel/Jordan for your next trip. There are plenty of beaches in Central/Northern Israel that would be closer, also lovely and less of a hassle to get back and forth.

Have a wonderful time! I wish I were on my way back to Israel already!
Hannah_reads_for_fun is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2012, 01:43 PM
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I think starting from day 3 you have too many sights per day unless you're planing to leave the hotel at 6 am and practically run around, there is no way you can do all that in one day.
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Jul 10th, 2012, 04:30 AM
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This may be old news to you, but I always check out itineraries tour companies are using and hit those sites that interest us. No mountain climbing or beach days. Tend to lay low at hotel with pool and leisure sightseeing.
We did amazing things at Petra because our guide kept the pace just right. Lots of up and down walking and we elected to take buggy ride in and out to save a lot of walking so we could explore the interior properly.
ympepe is offline  
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Jul 12th, 2012, 04:29 PM
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We did a similar trip in March 2010 with a private guide, although we did not go to the Golan Heights or Safed. We did a similar Day 3 - Caesarea, Haifa and Akko from Tel Aviv. It was a packed day, but we were able to do it. We did not do a tour of the Haifa gardens (we were with our teenagers) and decided when we arrived not to do it.
We did Petra as a daytrip from Eilat and I have to disagree about cutting it out. It was truly amazing - one of the most incredible sites I have ever seen. Yes, another full day, but so worth it!! I do hope to go back and see more of Jordan, but for this trip I was very glad that we included Petra.

Here is a link to my blog with all the info on our guide, hotels, itinerary, and pictures.
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