We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Negev and Petra trip for Mom

Level Contributor
547 posts
10 reviews
Save Topic
Negev and Petra trip for Mom

I originally posted this message in the Eilat forum, thinking that Eilat would be a good base for touring the Negev and Petra. Mom is traveling to Israel, arriving on 12/13, and has to be in Tel Aviv the evening of 12/18 to meet up with her tour group. She wants to go to the Negev and to Petra in the days before the group tour. I've started to look at options:

1 - Arrive at Ben Gurion, transfer to an Arkia flight to Eilat on 12/13. 12/14 and 12/15 tour of Negev - I've contacted Desert Eco tours to see if they can accommodate mom. 12/16 day at leisure in Eilat. 12/17 day trip to Petra. 12/18 morning at leisure then afternoon flight back to Tel Aviv (Ben Gurion or Sde Dov?) Her hotel is the Tel Aviv Crowne Plaza, so I don't know which airport is better.

2 - Arrive 12/13 and transfer to hotel in Tel Aviv. Start Negev tour from Tel Aviv on 12/14, end in Eilat on 12/15. 12/16, 12/17 and 12/18 same as option 1.

3 - Arrive 12/13 and transfer to a Kibbutz in the Negev with a guest house. Per Frommer's, there are a couple that will arrange touring in the Negev and Petra. Return to Tel Aviv on 12/18.

Her particular interest in seeing the Negev is because of her work with JNF in the US. She wants to see the places that JNF is working to reclaim the desert.

Any advice and suggestions would be appreciated.

New York
Level Contributor
32 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

I see that you have already received lots of advice from your other postings, but since I'm your neighbor from Hewlett and I'd be concerned for my mom every step of the way, too, here's my two cents: I just returned 3 weeks ago from an amazing vacation in Israel with my wife and 2 teenagers. We wanted to spend time really 'seeing' the Negev, and I was fortunate to locate a man named Adam Sela (www.adamsela.com). Adam has lived and worked in the Mitzpe Ramon area of the Negev for about 25 years and is a kind of 'Crocodile Dundee' of the Negev (he's got a British accent - he grew up in Kenya). While our needs were totally different than your mom's - we went off-road with him in a land rover and ventured into caves and craters, slept at a farm his friends own, etc. - he seems to be extraordinarily well versed in all things Negev and I'll bet he'd be able to steer you in the right direction.

Best of luck.

Level Contributor
547 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

LIDad, thanks for the suggestion. I'm reaching out, exploring all suggestions until I'm confident I've got a good plan worked out for her. Sounds like you had a great trip, I'll see if he's got any suggestions for mom.

NJ
Level Contributor
182 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

Would love to hear how the Negev tour went. We are planning to take our 3 kids, 7, 9, 13, and was hoping to fit in a day there.

Level Contributor
547 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

The Negev tour worked out great. I arranged for Desert Eco Tours to take mom to both Petra and the Negev. Petra was part of a group tour, but for the Negev they only do private tours. It was costly, but, mom is 83 and has been to Israel several times but never to Eilat, Petra or the Negev.

Mom had specific travel needs, which probably don't apply to you, but she loved the experience and would recommend Desert Eco tours, for sure. She wrote a review on the Ambassador Hotel in Eilat, but didn't write a trip report. I'll try to summarize on the Negev portion:

Mom wanted to see the Negev, but wanted to start in Eilat and finish in Tel Aviv where she was joining a group tour. The usual tours are round trip from one place or the other. Desert Eco Tours arranged for a taxi to pick mom up in Eilat and drive her to Mitzpe Ramon. She had the taxi driver detour through TImna Park on the way. She saw the Ramon Crater. They were supposed to go to a valley to see 1000 year old pistachio trees, but I don't think that happened. Lunch was arranged by DET, and included in the cost. She stayed at the Ramon Inn; DET made the reservations, we sent payment through them. It wasn't exactly clear when we made the reservation, but the cost of the inn included dinner and breakfast. The second day they visited Wadi Zin and other springs and oases, then went to Sde Boker to see Ben Gurion's grave. DET arranged a taxi to take mom to Tel Aviv from there. I know from the web site that DET can also make arrangements for a camping overnight instead of the Ramon Inn, if you think your kids would like that. If you have any other questions, ask away. Mom is touring in Iceland right now, but I can ask her when she returns in 9 days.

NJ
Level Contributor
182 posts
10 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

Sounds like your Mom had a great time, and the time and effort you put into planning everything for her was worth it.

Since we'll be based in Jerusalem, and are looking to drive ourselves down to the Negev, I'm getting discouraged about the distance, 3.5 hours to Mitzpe Ramon. Alternatively, I am looking to see the northern Negev, maybe just as far as Sde Boker, but I have to figure out how far that would be. I guess a driving distance of around 2 hrs would be the maximum, but not sure if that would actually bring us into the Negev. If not, perhaps I need to scrap this idea, and save touring the Negev for another trip to Israel. I welcome anyone's thoughts.

israel
Destination Expert
for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
Level Contributor
14,856 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

2 hours drive will get you to Massada. If you want to drive in the morning and come back in the evening you cannot do much. You can try to do a round trip: Jerusaelm, Dead Sea & Massada, Arad and back to Jerusalem using part of the way route 6. Near Arad you have Tel Arad for a quick visit. Still looks too much for 1 day.

7. Re: Negev and Petra trip for Mom

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 29 September 2009, 07:17