Seniors Self-Touring Israel(2)

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Sep 15th, 2005, 03:00 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 31
Seniors Self-Touring Israel(2)

Thank you Douglas Duckett, Anon, Sandi, Mamamia, Weezie and Kathy4HIM for your responses to our first message We have made some decisions since then and have several new questions.
Remember we are a 70 year old couple traveling independently for the first time to Israel, arriving November 2,7PM and leaving November 18, 3.30AM.
Our tour can be divided into 4 sections:

1. Tel Aviv and day trips: Metropolitan Hotel (4 nights at $89/night) – 3 touring days
One United Day Tour to Caesarea, Acre and Rosh Hanikra and a second United Day Tour to Nazareth, Capernaum, Tabgha and Jordan River.
One day self – touring to Diaspora Museum and Old Jaffa.

2. Golan and Galilee by car:
Sunday, 6 Rent a car (Eldan or Avis) pickup (8AM) for 3 days of self touring.
Haifa panorama and Bahai Gardens - Zichron Yaacov - Carmel Wineries - Megiddo - Sephoris - Mt.Tabor - Hotel in Tiberias or Safed.

Monday, 7 Hamat Gader - Golan Heights - Gamla - Mt. Bental - Mt. Hermon - Tel Dan - Banias - Manara Cliffs - Hotel in Tiberias.

Tuesday, 8 Belvoir - Bet Shean - Gan Hashlosha - Bet Alfa Synagogue - Jerusalem - Alon Holiday Studio Apartment (7 nights).

QUESTIONS;
1. We will pick up a car in downtown Tel Aviv early Sunday morning and return it in downtown Jerusalem early Tuesday morning.
Which company and what model car? I called American Express and our Gold Card insurance coverage is not valid in Israel so we will take all insurance by car rental company.
2. We are mainly interested in historical and religious sites. Any suggestions on modifying our itinerary?
3. On day 3 to Jerusalem it seems that the shortest route is through the West Bank. Should we take it or go around?
4. Would it be more convenient to stay both nights in Tiberias?
If so is the nicer Scots Hotel worth the extra money as compared to the Prima Tiberias?
Would it be more convenient and interesting to spend one of the two nights in Safed at the Ruth Rimon Inn?
5. We read somewhere that a National Park Pass would be cheaper for us rather than paying for each site? We do not know which of the sites we wish to visit are included. Please confirm if it is a good idea.

3. Jerusalem and day tours
We will be staying at the Alon Holiday Studio Apartments at 9 Shamai St. near Ben Yehuda for 7 nights at $65/night.
We will take a United Day Tour around Jerusalem and another to Massada, Ein Gedi and the Dead Sea. We will spend the 4 remaining days touring the city.

4. Eilat and Petra
We will take an Egged public bus to Petra and stay at the Caesar Hotel at $83/night.
We will take a one day tour to Petra and return to Tel Aviv by plane.

QUESTIONS:
6. Petra - Day tour on Nov 16.Please recommend the best company considering client attention and value. Is hotel pickup/return included and what are other visa fees, etc.Are visa photos needed?
7. Flight Eilat - Tel Aviv –The two options are: The 5.30PM direct to Ben Gurion is there something to do in or around the airport for 9 hours? The 9.30PM to Sde-Dov with transfer to BG gives us 4 more hours in Eilat but requires airport transfer.
We have read that the check in requires 3 hours before departure. Is this correct for both the Eilat and the BG flights?

SOOO…..We would greatly appreciate your contributions to what is looking like a FANTASTIC TRIP!!




paulfr is offline  
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Sep 16th, 2005, 10:44 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 9
My firsr recommendation is...DON'T DRIVE!!!
Have been to Israel several times my son and his family lived there for over ten years.There are far more deaths by automobile than terrorism.
Do not expect eveyone to speak or understand English.
All this being said, it is an intereating and exciting place to go. There are many tours you can pick up locally and the guides are professionaly trained.
Get the most out of the experience by being with someone who can give you the details you will wan't to know.
tmweil is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2005, 04:49 AM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 424
Hi-
I hope I am able to help.
1. I have always used a company called "Eldan". Try their website - www.eldan.co.il. But keep searching the web for deals.
2. Your timetable is good and quite packed with sites. Of course there is enough to see in Israel for 3 months.
3. As far as I know there is no problem driving through the Jordan valley, around Jericho to Jerusalem. Check with the locals before you leave Tiberius. But if you don't feel comfortable about it, take the long way around.
4. Spend both nights in Tiberius - it is so much easier NOT to move. I have heard good things about the Scots hotel.
5. www.parks.org.ilParksENG/
Single entances are about 20-25 NIS while a 6-entry pass is 75 NIS
7. You have to get to Ben-Gurion 3 hrs before your flight out of the country. There is nothing to do at the airport for 9 hrs, unless you love duty free shops. To get from Sde-Dov to the airport, you can get a taxi to the train station (about 10 minutes and 20 NIS, then take the new train right to the terminal (about 20 minutes - http://www.israrail.org.il/english/index.html )

Driving in Israel isn't that bad, just be defensive and get as familiar with the route as you can in advance.

I hope this helps. You can email me at [email protected] if you have any specific question. Always glad to help.

Michael
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