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May/June 2008 30 day trip planning

Miami Beach, Fl
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May/June 2008 30 day trip planning

I have been reading posts to this forum as we plan our trip starting in mid-May 2008 for roughly 30 days. The enthusiasm and general sharing has increased our anticipation! We have wanted to make this trip for a very long time & only now has the time freed up so that we can finally go. We would appreciate any comments on the following:

Flights: Is there a best day to arrive in Israel?

Order of itinerary? Where go first, second, etc.

How many days at each location? Please take a look at our general interests & ideas of what we’d like to see and do!

Lodging – on the areas of interest below, what makes sense in terms of where to stay and how many nights? Take day trips out of a location? Based on our interests described below, what locations/lodging would be suggested?

We are thinking of 30 days in Israel (could be a few more) + travel to/from

Regions to visit: Tel Aviv, Mediterranean Coast, Galilee, Dead Sea, Petra & Wadi Rum, The Negev, Jerusalem

AREAS OF INTEREST - BACKGROUND INFORMATION FOR DETERMINING ITINERARY & # DAYS

GENERAL INTERESTS:

Don’t like to rush – leisurely – less is more - don’t try to see too much!

Don’t like large groups

Travel independently – have a private guide or join small group where advised

Schedule 1-2 days every now & then for down time – nothing to do – just hang. Choose a special kibbutz or location for these days

Music! Really interested in this…if there are any music festivals, we’d like to go

Cultures & religions

Natural landscape & gardens: desert, oases, wadis, mountains/hills/cliffs, cultivated agricultural land

Science & Technology

A day on an archaeological dig

Camel ride

Folk dancing

Plant trees

Also interested in learning about water sources, agriculture in the desert

Lodging: In general, we like to stay places with some ambience, sense of history or in a special location. We prefer not to go to a hotel that has primarily tour groups or only other Americans. On each property, we choose the quietest section of the hotel and if possible, a view. In cities, location is especially important so we can walk to most places on our itinerary. Outside cities, we’re fine staying in kibbutz or small hotels. The program offered by Kibbutz Hotel Chain looks interesting in that it includes car rental and kibbutz lodging: www.kibbutz.co.il/en_discover-israel.cfm

In the areas of interest below, I’ve listed some lodging possibilities that I’ve been told about or read about.

Car rental: I’m thinking we would rent at end of Tel Aviv visit and return when we arrive in Jerusalem.

TEL AVIV

Of interest:

Bauhaus Architecture

Walk around – beaches, promenade

Old Jaffa – walk around

Interesting: Russian Orthodox Church of Tabitha: If you arrive for services (Sunday at 7:00 A.M., and most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4:00 P.M*) you may be treated to a celestial choir of unseen women chanting the liturgy a capella.

Museums

Bet Hatfutzot: The Diaspora Museum

Eretz Israel Museum

Ben-Gurion House

Rubin Museum

Music/concerts!

MEDITERRANEAN COAST

Of interest:

Rehovot – Weizmann Institute of Science – walking tour

Caesarea National Park, Jewish Quarter & Roman Aqueduct

Wine Country & Mt. Carmel

Zichron Ya’akov , Mukhraka & Carmelite Monastery, Druze villages of Isfiya, Daliyat el Carmel. Hurfeish & museum of Druze culture, Gush Halav (Christian Maronite community), Ein Hod artist’s village, Nahal Me’arot Nature Reserve & Carmel Caves , a winery or two

Possible Lodging: Carmel Gardens Hotel

Akko (Acre)- also walk around at night

Possible Lodging: Nes Ammim Guest House, www.nesammim.com

HAIFA

Of interest:

Baha’I Shrine and gardens

View from top of Mt Camel, Mt. Carmel National Park

Beach

Clandestine Immigration Museum

National Maritime Museum

Mitzpoor Ha-Shalom (Peace View Park)

Technion

Haifa University

Check out folk dancing schedule at Haifa University & Technion

THE GALILEE

Of interest:

Yizreel Valley: Zippori Nat’l Park, Megiddo

Tiberias: Beit She’an Nat’l Park, old Tiberias, hot springs, Hammat Tiberias Nat’l Park, Kibbutz Nof Ginossar has the Yigal Alon Museum of the Galilee

Lodging possibility: Scots Hotel

Sea of Galilee: Tabgha, Mount of Beautitudes, Capernaum, Korazim, Ein Gev, Hammat Gader

Lodging possibilities: Ein Gev Resort Village, Kibbutz Nof Ginossar Hotel, Vared HaGalil Guest Farm

Safed: take a guided tour

Jewish National Fund tree planting center

Lodging possibility: Ruth Rimon Inn

Nat’l Park at Bar’am - Bar’am Synagogue

Upper Galilee: Tel Hazor Nat’l Park (Kibbutz Ayelet Ha-Shahar), The Hula Valley Nature Reserve (Kibbutz Kfar Blum Hotel) , Tel Dan Nature Reserve, Gamla Nature Reserve, Ya’ar Yehudiya Nature Reserve

South of Galilee: The Jordan Valley: Bet She’an, visit vast Roman-Byzantine ruins, Crusader castle of Belvoir, , Bet Alpha Synagogue, swim at the springs of Gan Hashelosha

Bat Ya’ar – hiking, kayaking

DEAD SEA region

Of interest:

•East thru Judean desert to Qumran, where Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered.

•Ein Gedi Nat’l Park – archaeological site

•Ein Gedi Reserve’s Nachal David & Nachal Arugot canyons – are these areas safe to hike in? also, need guide to waterfalls & through canyons?

•Float in Dead Sea – Mineral Beach (?)

•Masada – hike at sunrise or cable car

•Lodging possibility: Kibbutz Ein Gedi Guest House

The Negev:

Of interest:

•Beersheva: Bedouin market (Thursday morning), Joe Alon Museum of Bedouin Culture

•Sde Boker, see David Ben Gurion’s house, Museum of Desert Sculpture

•Ein Avdat, a wilderness oasis with steps and ladders leading to white chalk canyon; also, Hebrew University operates an experimental farm using Nabatean agricultural techniques uncovered by archaeologists – need appt 08/948-1211

•Mitzpe Ramon, edge of Ramon Crater

•Explore Ramon Crater – camel ride/overnight (?)

•Lodging possibility: overnight in Negev/camping, Succah in the Desert (www.succah.co.il)

Petra: 2 full days + Wadi Rum(2 days)?

Of interest:

•Try to be there on Monday or Thursday night for candlelight tours, or on a full moon when they also have night tours – must be reserved in advance!

•Hot air balloon ride at dawn through Desert Eco Adventures

Consider overnight in Wadi Rum

Combination of jeep and hiking, overnight in Bedouin camp

Wadi Rum

•Lodging possibilities: Movenpick Resort Petra or Taybet Zeman (transportation to Petra? it’s 5 miles away)

Eilat environs:

Of interest:

•Timna Park for hike and view of Solomon’s Pillars

•Arava Valley – stay in kibbutz & take trip to Timna Park from here

Lodging possibility: Kibbutz Lotan

•Red Canyon

•Hai Bar Nature Reserve (late afternoon)

•Not really interested in going to Eilat itself

JERUSALEM: 8-10 days

So much to see!!!!!

Miami Beach, Fl
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11. Re: May/June 2008 30 day trip planning

OK, based on your thoughtful comments, here is a tentative itinerary! I welcome your comments and any suggestions or adjustments! I'm not really sure I've counted or planned out the travel from one region to another appropriately; please double check me on this. I've included some questions within the tentative plan....your time reviewing and commenting is sincerely appreciated.

Arrival: Thursday, May 15th

Return: Wednesday, June 18th

33 days/34 nights

Tel Aviv: 3 days/4 nights

Including Rehovot & Weizmann Institute of Science

Central Mediterranean Coast: 2 days/2 nights

•Pick up rental car, Caesarea, Jewish Quarter & Roman Aqueduct

Overnight Zichron Yaacov

•Day trip: Ein Hod, Nahal Me'arot (a very interesting prehistoric site with a nice audiovisual presentation in the caves), Ganei HaNadiv park (beautiful gardens which are also the burial site of the Baron E.D Rothshield), winery

Overnight Zichron Yaacov

Haifa/Acre – 3 days/3 nights

2 full days in Haifa

1 day trip to Acre, Rosh Hanikra

The Galilee – 5 or 6 days/nights?

Considering a stay in a zimmer in Rosh Pinna or Amirin (both near Safed) – all nights here? See places of interest in earlier post in this thread – reasonable amount of “commuting” each day?

Dead Sea 3 days/3 nights

•Leave Galilee and drive Qumran/ Dead Sea Scrolls.

•Ein Gedi Nat’l Park – archaeological site

•Ein Gedi Reserve’s Nachal David & Nachal Arugot canyons – are these areas safe to hike in? also, need guide to waterfalls & through canyons?

•Float in Dead Sea

•Masada – hike at sunrise or cable car

How to pace each day?

Negev 1 night ( do this after Petra & Eilat on the drive north to Jerusalem?)

•Beersheva: Bedouin market (Thursday morning), Joe Alon Museum of Bedouin Culture

•Sde Boker, see David Ben Gurion’s house, Museum of Desert Sculpture

•Ein Avdat, a wilderness oasis with steps and ladders leading to white chalk canyon; also, Hebrew University operates an experimental farm using Nabatean agricultural techniques uncovered by archaeologists – need appt 08/948-1211

•Mitzpe Ramon, edge of Ramon Crater

•Explore Ramon Crater – camel ride/overnight?

Eilat, Petra & Wadi Rum: 4 days/5 nights

Petra 2 days/2 nights, Wadi Rum 2 days/1 night, Eilat 2 nights

Continue with Negev above & land for overnight in Eilat

Overnight #1 in Eilat – book through Desert Ecco Tours – Kibbutz Eilat

Day 1 Petra – with Desert Ecco Tours

Overnight #2 in Petra

Day 2 Petra

Overnight #3 in Petra

Day 3 Balloon ride in morning – start Wadi Rum

Overnight #4 with Bedouin/tent

Day 4 Wadi Rum

Hotel#5 overnight in Eilat

Should we return rental car so it’s not just parked in Eilat while we’re at Petra/Wadi Rum?

Eilat environs: 1 day/1 night

At this point should we skip this & go on to Jerusalem?

Day trip: Timna Park for hike and view of Solomon’s Pillars, Arava Valley , Red Canyon, Hai Bar Nature Reserve (late afternoon)

Lodging: either another night at Kibbutz Eilat or Kibbutz Lotan, which looks like it might be a neat experience

Jerusalem 9 days/9nights

1 day drive to Jerusalem & return rental car

8 full days in Jerusalem

Cincinnati, Ohio
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12. Re: May/June 2008 30 day trip planning

It sounds terrific to me. Again, I'm envious!

You won't have trouble "commuting" from your base in Galilee.

Douglas Duckett

13. Re: May/June 2008 30 day trip planning

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