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Second trip to Israel - A quick Highlights & Lowlights report

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Oct 12th, 2018, 12:33 PM
  #1
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Second trip to Israel - A quick Highlights & Lowlights report

We just came back from our 2nd visit to Israel. This time we were in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv again but also headed south to the Negev and Eilat.

Highlight: Drive from Jerusalem to Mitzpe Ramon -Stopped at Beit Guvrin. Absolutely fantastic. Different sites within the park and the first dovecote we've ever experienced. Each site is different so it really adds up to a wonderful few hours.

Highlight: Mitzpe Ramon and Negev - Beautiful landscape. Great 4 hour Negev 4x4 tour with Eyal Korin. I'd highly recommend him.

Another highlight - Seeing so many Ibexes!

Eilat -
Lowlights:The North Beach and City Center area are an assault on the eyes. Over building, ugly big signs, gargantuan hotels.
However we stayed in the South Beach area. It was like a different world and thus --

Highlights: South Beach area of Eilat. Calm and you're on the coral reefs. Bring water shoes though because the beach is stones and getting into the water is on rocks. Fantastic sighting of beautiful fish almost at the shoreline. Free beaches (except for Coral Beach). Laid back.

Highlight - SNUBA - Our first time. A lot of fun and our instructor was a woman who had been in the IDF dive corps(?) and so she really knew her stuff.
Another highlight - Birding - Went to the Eilat Birdwatching Center. Witnessed banding and had a wonderful tour through their landscape with the director.

Jerusalem - Highlight is that on the 2nd time there one can explore even further the city. Another highlight: Tower of David.

Highlight - Tel Aviv - Frankly I wasn't that impressed the last time we were there. However, this time our hotel (Lusky) was across from the beach making it easily accessible even though we didn't swim there. Wonderful walking on the promenade t dusk and people watching. And lots of cute restaurants and bars nearby. Also, Sarona impressed. Loved the Bauhaus architecture.

Lowlight - Tel Aviv - As with the last time, there are so many people on motorized vehicles and bikes on the sidewalk you take you life in your hands. We've never experienced anything like this anywhere else. In NYC where we live, and as crazy as it is, you're not allowed to ride on the sidewalks. In TLV those doing the riding didn't seem to give a damn who was "in their way".

Overall Highlight - Everyone was good spirited. Great sense of humor. One housekeeper in Eilat was a nasty lady, but she was by far the exception.

Well that's it. Any questions let me know.
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Oct 13th, 2018, 05:35 AM
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Oh yes, some more things:

If you have the time, when in Jerusalem or TLV find the small streets and alleys and explore them. You'll be away from the tour groups and discover a fascinating side. We walked into an alley and there was a synagogue, an art gallery and two small restaurants. You'd never discover them by walking only on the main streets.

Safety - I can't recall any other country we've explored where we felt as safe as in Israel. Well, perhaps Switzerland. I didn't have any fear of walking late at night. IOW - of encountering any street crime.
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Nov 29th, 2018, 08:40 AM
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thanks for your report and a couple of questions

I found your report on second trip most helpful. Especially about south beach. Is your first report on fodors. We have about 12 days and thought to stay in Tel Avis for 3 days including the travel day. Then to Acre for 3 days with day trips. Then to Jerusalem for 4 days including day trip to Black Sea and then 3 days to Eilat. We would then go over to Petra

I am confused about
is Acre a good base for North
How do we travel around. I don't really want to rent a car can't afford aprivate guide and it seems there is good bus and train systems
Finally what did you think were the highlights of the north

We are in our 60's hate tours, don't like to move every day and like to relax and savor where we are instead of whirwind trips

thanks for any help you can provide

Mary
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 05:21 AM
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Hi Mary - Do you mean a day trip to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem not the "Black Sea" as you wrote? You can go with Abraham tours, I believe, from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea and Masada. They just supply the transport to both and is not a real tour (i.e., a leader who takes you around) per se.

Akko is intetesting however I don't see it as a great place to set yourself as a base for the North. It's really best to have a car as bus transport is not great up there.

If you want really great info on your itinerary I would suggest you ask your question on the Israel Forum on Trip Advisor. There are experts there who really know their stuff.

Hope you love Israel as much as I did.
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Dec 3rd, 2018, 05:32 AM
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Addendum: Do you plan to spend three days in Eilat? I would stop off in the middle say in Mitzpe Ramon for a night and see the Makhtesh Ramon. But if you don't have a car and don't want a tour once there, it would be very difficult to get around. Too bad as it's a beautiful area.

Add on a day to Jerusalem if you can. So much to see.
when on the Israel Forum on Trip Advisor make sure you make your interests known: so that the "experts" can help you: historical, nature, art and culture, religious, etc.
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