Trip to Israel... Need Some Help w/ Planning

May 19th, 2019, 09:49 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Apr 2019
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Trip to Israel... Need Some Help w/ Planning

My SO and I will be traveling to Israel this summer. We used to take two-week vacations each year and, given this, originally planned to visit both Israel and Jordan. Alas, starting a new job this year has put him in a position where we can only travel for about ten days at a time at most. We have not booked anything yet, so this is all negotiable.

One thing my SO is sold on is seeing Petra. I know that this might be tedious to do so from Jerusalem, but he is fairly sold on the idea. I'm usually quite good at planning travel, but getting from Jerusalem to Petra has me worried and perplexed. On the other hand, I am set on seeing the Dead Sea.

We will be leaving on a Wednesday evening (overnight flight hopefully) and returning Sunday-- making about 10 days total not counting travel days. Here is the tentative itinerary... any critiques or tips are welcome.
  • Wednesday night flight out of NY
  • Thursday- arrive in Tel Aviv and spend the day exploring
  • Friday- leave for Jerusalem in the evening (since trains do not run on Shabbat)
  • Saturday- day trip to Ein Gedi to see the Dead Sea and possibly Masada if there's time (either via car rental or taxi). I figured this may be a good day for this since most of Jerusalem will be shut down.
  • Sunday and Monday- explore Jerusalem
  • Tuesday and Wednesday- two day guided tour of Petra and Wadi Musa
  • Thursday- more time in Jerusalem
  • Friday- Travel back to Tel Aviv
  • Saturday- more time to explore Tel Aviv
  • Sunday AM flight back to NY

Is this possible or is it too crazy? Is time properly allotted to both Tel Aviv and Jerusalem? If anyone has any insight, it'd be greatly appreciated.

Also, if anyone can recommend a good overnight tour from Jerusalem to Petra, I'd appreciate that as well. These tours do not come cheap, so I want to make sure I'm not getting ripped off.

Thank you!
atrocityexhibition is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 12:59 PM
  #2  
 
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If you don't have much time and want to prioritize Petra and the Dead Sea, why don't you just go to Jordan? Or maybe Jordan and one city in Israel. You really need two full days - i.e. three nights - for Petra, and don't you want to spend a night in a camp in Wadi Rum? Plus, you can see the Dead Sea just as well in Jordan as Israel.

I thought that the Jewish Sabbath started at sundown Friday, so not sure how late you could travel that day.
thursdaysd is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 01:16 PM
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I just got back from Israel and Jordan a few days ago.

You will have to minimize your travel time to see all you want to see.

You arrive on Thursday and will explore Tel Aviv but you also have most of the next day since you are taking the train in the evening.

When you get to Jerusalem there are still many places you can visit even though some are closed.

If you do go to Ein Gedi, you are only about 13 miles from Masada !!

Might as well go to Masada, you will be driving along the Dead Sea all the way.

You are going to have to cross the border somewhere to get into Jordan...if you cross the border at the King Hussein Bridge , then it is a looong drive to Petra.

I would then go to Wadi Rum first and then on to Petra

You will have to stay overnight at Petra, if you stay over night then I would recommend the Movenpick Hotel because it is right across the street from the

Petra Visitor's Centre.
Next morning bright and early before the heat of the day, I would do Petra.

I had a guide in Tel Aviv to tour me all over Tel Aviv and Jaffa ( which is a very quaint place to visit)

I would get a tour guide and run your schedule past him or her and they will advise you of the best way to fulfill your plans.

Let me give you some miles:

Jerusalem to Tel Aviv is 43 miles but a good hour of driving
Jerusalem to Bethlehem is 6 miles , why not see the Church of Nativity

Jerusalem to Ein Gedi is about 50 miles


Jerusalem to Masada is 64 miles but over an hour and a half drive

Jerusalem to Jordan over the King Hussein Bridge is about 130 miles

then from here to Wadi Rum it is about 190 miles

From Wadi Rum to Petra is 70 miles.

From Petra you have to get back into Israel, perhaps via the same route.

When I booked my Tour Guide in Tel Aviv , I sent her an e mail and asked pertinent question for me and also sent her a list of the places in Tel Aviv and Jaffa

that I wanted to see.

She was excellent.

I am giving you her e-mail address and you can ask her what she thinks of your plans and what help or perhaps booking her if all is suitable.

[email protected]

She will remember me, as how many guys are named Percy from Canada !!

Best of Luck........... you will looooooove Masada , Wadi Rum and Petra.

Keep in mind it will be hot.


here is a link to my picture Report

https://www.fodors.com/community/fod...-back-1667063/


here is the next link when I had to move the picture report to the Middle East Forum

Percy's Continued Picture Report of Israel and Jordan Started in the Lounge


Percy
Percy is online now  
May 19th, 2019, 01:19 PM
  #4  
 
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Visiting the Dead Sea is much nicer on the Jordan side.

Some of the tourist sites for the Dead Sea on the Israel side is like a zoo. Sorry but Jordan side is much nicer.
Percy is online now  
May 19th, 2019, 01:24 PM
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
If you don't have much time and want to prioritize Petra and the Dead Sea, why don't you just go to Jordan? Or maybe Jordan and one city in Israel. You really need two full days - i.e. three nights - for Petra, and don't you want to spend a night in a camp in Wadi Rum? Plus, you can see the Dead Sea just as well in Jordan as Israel.

I thought that the Jewish Sabbath started at sundown Friday, so not sure how late you could travel that day.
I agree with this advice also.

It depends on how much of Petra you want to see.

If it is just the main trail which is about a 6.5 to 7 mile return walk or do you want to go to the Monastery, or see Little Petra also ( I did) or go to other places in Petra like the High Place of Sacrifice etc.

In Wadi Rum, I rode the camel .did a jeep ride into the desert, had tea with the Bedouins, so again you cannot just rush through here.

You may have to alter your plans a bit, but anyway , discuss this with Ruthie, it is free to talk and ask questions

Percy is online now  
May 19th, 2019, 02:15 PM
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I was not at all wowed by Amman, but another place you should consider in Jordan is Madaba: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ics-in-madaba/
thursdaysd is offline  
May 19th, 2019, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
I was not at all wowed by Amman, but another place you should consider in Jordan is Madaba: https://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com...ics-in-madaba/
I agree about Amman .. a nice big city but you do not need to go there.

Yes Madaba is nice and you are close to Mount Nebo...where Moses saw the Promise Land.

But your SO is day set on Petra and Wadi Rum....

so you have some thinking and/ or tweaking to do to your plans.

Best of Luck.
Percy is online now  
May 22nd, 2019, 03:24 AM
  #8  
 
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I agree with visiting the Dead Sea in Jordan.
I also agree with staying at the Movenpick when seeing Petra. We loved it there.
schmerl is offline  
May 22nd, 2019, 05:17 AM
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schmerl
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May 24th, 2019, 09:22 AM
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Why do so many people think that Jerusalem is "shut down" on Saturday? The truth is that other than the Jewish Quarter in the Old City and Yad Vashem, almost everything of interest to tourists is open: the rest of the Old City, the Israel Museum, the Bible Lands Museum, the David's Citadel Museum, etc, etc. Check websites for Saturday hours.
mbgg is offline  
May 25th, 2019, 02:16 PM
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I agree mbgg, I was in Jerusalem 4 full days Friday , Saturday ,Sunday and Monday.
Percy is online now  
Jun 3rd, 2019, 04:19 PM
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I have been to Israel three times and will be going again in a week.

******First - There is no reason to go to Tel Aviv for one day when you land and then go again at the end of your trip. Go from the airport straight to Jerusalem. No problem with the sabbath this way. Tel Aviv (the city) and Jerusalem are almost equidistant from the airport (TLV - Ben Gurion), with Jerusalem being about 10-15 minutes further.

The Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem will be "shut down" from Friday at sunset to Sat until sunset. However, with the exception of Yad Vashem, the rest of the city will be open. Jerusalem has a lot to see besides the Old City. The Israel Museum is fantastic and is open on Sat.

As far as the Dead Sea - there is no reason to go to Jordan for this. You will spend about an hour there, not a whole day. If you want to go to Masada as well I will recommend Abraham Tours https://abrahamtours.com/tours/masad...dead-sea-tour/which will bring you to these various places, drop you off at each and pick you up again. No need for a car or bus. Note that being on top of Masada in the summer will be very, very hot. Go really early in the day. Additionally, I would not go on a Saturday as it's probably the most crowded day of the week.

I would recommend you go to the north as well. Up the coast to Akko, and the Galilee. Green, green, green and crusader castle ruins . I also recommend Bet Guvrin, if you're going south. Amazing. https://www.israel-in-photos.com/bet...onal-park.html

One final recomm3endation - put your question and tentative itinerary on the Trip Advisor Israel talk forum. There are experts there who will really give you insight. Highly recommended!

Dianedancer is offline  

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