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limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

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limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

To start with, we already know that two days is not enough, but we will be arriving on a cruise this summer that docks in Haifa and then goes to Ashdod. We have the opportunity to disembark in Haifa and meet up with the ship the next evening,so that gives us ONLY two days in Israel and we have to be at the ship before 6PM on day two.

We are reseraching tour companies that will do an overnight. There are many of them out there. I have had very professional responses from Avitours and want to know if anyone out there has had any experience with them. I can't find any reviews on this website.

I would also like a recommended itinerary for the two days so that we can see the maximum amount of Israel, from a Jewish perspective. The cruise line is offering an overnight tour but seems to be emphasizing sites with a mostly Christian preference. Since we are limited on time...we need to see specifically those places that are more important to us. Hence why we will not be using the cruiseship overnight.

Experienced advise will be appreciated.

Thank you

Haifa, Israel
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1. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

What time of the year and on which days of the week will you be in Israel? This may make a difference to your planning.

Since you arrive in Haifa, you could for example spend day 1 in the north of Israel, drive/ride to Jerusalem that evening and stay overnight, spend day 2 in Jerusalem primarily in the Old City, and take a cab straight to Ashdod.

Avigail

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

I agree with Avigail's basic layout. That is how I would use my time.

Douglas Duckett

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3. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

We arrive in Haifa on June 30th, have hotel reservations in Jerusalem on the night of the 30th, and need to be back at the ship on July 1 by 6PM.

That means we arrive on a Tuesday and Leave on a Wednesday.

How realistic is it to see Jerusalem and then get to Masada and the Dead Sea and still make it to the ship on time.

Also, on day one, wouldn't there be time to arrive in Jerusalem with time to see some of the city on Day one and then see more on day two so that we still have time to get to Masada.

We can leave as early as need be on day two to accomplish this, but I do not know how late things will be open on Tuesday, nor how early they open on Wednesday. (museums and such).

Thank you

Cincinnati, Ohio
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4. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

You don't have time to do Masada and the Dead Sea and still give Jerusalem enough time. Save it for another trip.

Spend Day 1 exploring Haifa, Akko, and if you wish, perhaps the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) region. You can then head south to Jerusalem (itself a 2-3 hour drive) and get there that night. The next day, you can explore the Old City, then head to the ship. Those are VERY full days. You really don't have time to throw in Masada, though you can glimpse the Dead Sea if you head to Jerusalem via Route 90 and Highway 1.

Douglas Duckett

Cincinnati, Ohio
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5. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

Or, if Masada is that important, head straight to the Dead Sea from Haifa and skip the North. I wouldn't recommend that, but of course, it's your cruise!

Douglas Duckett

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6. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

Actually, Masada is rather important and we do not want to miss it. The ship arrives by 7 or 8AM...If we leave the ship right away, how much time would it take to do the drive north that you spoke about and then head south to Masada...What time do we have to be off the mountain?...and then how long is the drive back to Jerusalem?

From 8AM to 8PM is 12 hours of time...so three hours of driving, shouldn't be a problem should it? We are from California...we have to drive that much to visit my daughter sometimes...Not fun...but we do it!

So what would be the best agenda to accomplish this unbelievable feat?

Los Angeles...
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7. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

okay...another idea.

What if we leave right away and do the north...what time would we arrive in Jerusalem. What things could we tour late in the day in Jerusalem, so that the next morning we see more things in Jerusalem and then head to Masada on the way before going to the ship...

Is this a better plan?

israel
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8. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

With 2 days and Massada is so important to you, go there when you leave the ship. With all due respect to Haifa, Akko etc... they don't come close to Massada. The drive from the port to Massada is about 4 hours. Allow 2-3 hours for Massada. On the way to Jerusalem you might like a float in the Dead Sea, or a strall along the shore in Ein Bokek. Nothing interesting there, just hotel and a small minimarket. You could buy some souvenirs. The drive to Jerusalem is about 1.5 hours, so it will early evening when you get there. Devote the second day to Jerusalem. Allow at least 2 hours to get to Ashdod as it will be rush hour.

Jerusalem, Israel
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9. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

I agree with Shoshi, but I would do it the other way round. Since you are arriving at the end of June, which is very hot, I don't think you should plan to arrive at Masada right in the middle of the day.

I would go from Haifa straight to Jerusalem. It will take you about 2-2.5 hours. In Jerusalem, I would do the following: book a Zion Tours "1/2 day" (actually about 3.5 hours) tour of the 4 quarters of the old city. There should be one that leaves from Jaffa gate at 2pm. In the interim, I guess you will want to go to the Kotel. See if you can book a Kotel Tunnel tour for around 12 midday (book it about 3 months in advance), since that will exactly fill in your time (plus a bit of time for a bite to eat for lunch) before the 4 quarters tour begins.

For later in the afternoon/evening, see if there is a concert or show - you can check back with us about 3 weeks in advance to see what's on. Or just wander around the center of the new city, people watching, sitting at a cafe, etc. Note also that the Israel museum is open till late (9pm or 10pm) on Tuesday evenings, so you could easily spend a couple of hours there, at the temporary exhibitions (most of the museum is closed for renovations), at the Shrine of the Book, and the model of the 2nd temple.

Then on your 2nd day, leave the city early (also good to leave before the traffic gets bad), and drive down to Masada, which should take you about 1.5 hours. If you leave at around 7:30am, you should arrive at about 9am, and plan for about 3 hours or so on the top. After that you still have a bit of spare time, but remember that it will be midday by then.

There are 2 ways to get from Masada to Ashdod, and they take about the same amount of time: 1. via Arad, 2. via Jerusalem.

I would suggest taking the 2nd option, as it will give you the opportunity to stop off at the Ein Gedi nature reserve for a couple of hours, which will probably be cooler than going for a float in the Dead Sea, and is more interesting than the route via Arad. Plan to leave Ein Gedi by latest 2pm, so that you will have time to get back to Ashdod (via Jerusalem) without rushing.

Regards, Debi

Haifa, Israel
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10. Re: limited to two days to see Israel-need suggestions

One quick point: at the end of June, visiting at midday it will be extremely hot down in the Dead Sea area including Massada. Take tons of water with you. Re. stopping at the Dead Sea - I think Ein Gedi is a much nicer place to stop than Ein Bokek (which is basically just a strip of hotels); you can visit the public beaches and the nature reserve, though again it may be rather hot to want to do these things.

Avigail