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Extra days- Where?

East Meadow, New...
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Extra days- Where?

We will be on a tour for 10 days, staying in Tel Aviv (2 nights), Tiberias (2 nights), Dead Sea (1 night), and Jerusalem (4 nights). We have arranged to stay in Israel for additional 6 days (5 nights) on our own after the tour ends.

Some ideas:

* We would like to snorkel in the Red Sea and would like to plan to fly to Eilat, stay for two full days and nights, and return to Jerusalem.

*Since there is so much to see and do centered around Jerusalem, I am thinking of the following plan after tour ends:

Jerusalem 1 night more in a less expensive hotel

Fly to Eilat 2 days and nights

Return to Jerusalem 2 nights and 1.5 days more at end of trip, having left some of our luggage and purchases in the hotel in Jerusalem.

We can then return to favorite spots by car or bus or with guide, see more of Jerusalem, shop before returning home rather than at the beginning and carrying, and relax a bit as well. We think that with a hotel reserved, we can make decisions about where we want to go on extra time in Jerusalem as we go along. How does this sound?

(Note: we have been to Jordan and Egypt already but this is first trip to Israel)

Can anyone suggest a guide we might hire for at least one full day from the Jerusalem area?

Should we try to go to the West Bank with a guide and if so, who?

We have been advised to hire a private guide with car out of Tiberius for a free day while on the tour rather than taking their half day Golan Heights tour by jeep that would cost us $200. for the two of us. Then we can spend time at sights in the Tiberius area not covered by the tour, stop to see Golan Heights for only one hour quick view, etc. Does anyone have a guide with car to recommend who can pick us up in Tiberius for a one day tour?

Thanks for any suggestions and input.

Israel
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1. Re: Extra days- Where?

Eilat is a great place to visit. When will you be in Israel? I would go directly to Eilat at the end of your tour so you don't have to change hotels so frequently. Be there for 2 days and then back to Jerusalem either by bus or fly (note that you will fly either to Ben Gurion or Sde Dov -which is in north Tel Aviv). I recommend Oreet (posts frequently on this list) as an excellent choice of guides for a day tour in Jerusalem. As for a guide in the north Nat Zitomer is a great guide who lives in the north and also has a licensed tourist vehicle for taking you to those places you missed on your guided tour. He can be reached at: nat@nat.tours.israel.co.il

Chana

Israel

Israel
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2. Re: Extra days- Where?

Thanks Chana.

Great idea to leave most of your luggage at your hotel in Jerusalem. It will make your trip to Eilat less cumbersome and hotels gladly provide this service to their guests. You can even take Chana's suggestion and go to Eilat first, if you already have a reservation at the hotel, they should hold your luggage even before you have checked in.

Can you fill us in on the tour itinerary of what you will be seeing in Jerusalem with the group? That way we can suggest some places in and around Jerusalem that you may want to see after your group tour is over. Same for other areas of the country.

It's wonderful that you can extend your stay in Israel past the group tour. That will allow you to get more out of your trip and the fact that you have already gone through the long flight.

See you in Israel soon.

East Meadow, New...
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3. Re: Extra days- Where?

I have booked plane reservations to fly round trip to and from Eilat on El Al for only $105. round trip for both of us from Monday late afternoon 25 October returning to Jerusalem on Wednesday evening 27 October. So we will have two full days of snorkeling in the Red Sea. We prefer to switch hotels the day the tour ends since the hotel the tour uses is ridiculously expensive and by changing it will give us the opportunity to leave some of our things in the hotel we return to and to see and experience another neighborhood in Jerusalem.

I have emailed Nat and will review the list of many guides recommended in Jerusalem to see who we want to contact. Oreet seems so informative that we will surely contact her as well.

Thanks.

Arizona
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4. Re: Extra days- Where?

Unless you have particular interests, there isn't a ton right in the immediate 'Tiberias' area. Personally, I love the Golan and have enjoyed my two Golan jeep tours immensely -- both very different .

Here's a sample from Sept 2008: "Finally, half an hour late, we met up with Abraham Avremi for a 4 hour jeep tour. He may be the only Israeli who expects people to be punctual, but he quickly enough got over his dismay. He was recommended by Judy from driveisrael.com, and we will second the recommendation.

"He is a salty older Israeli – blunt, funny, curious, knowledgeable. He took us on back trails from below Mitzpe Golani through the Druze orchards and back around. We waded in an obscure oasis pool in an abandoned Arab village IDF used to use for training purposes, and were startled when he stripped to his boxers and dove in. (I suspect not all tourists would be charmed, but we were.) We picked wild almonds, figs, blackberries, grapes (wild and cultivated), chased antelope, were given some apples by a Druze farmer, had a tasty lunch in the Druze village of Masad’e at Nedal's (right on main street), and got another take on Middle Eastern modern history and geopolitics. It was a great afternoon, well worth the price of 850 NIS."

Edited: 09 August 2010, 22:04
East Meadow, New...
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5. Re: Extra days- Where?

So you would recommend taking the optional jeep tour of the Golan heights with lunch rather than hiring a private guide to tour around the area.....hmmm. I have been reading the guide books and it is becoming clear to me that to pay $600. for a guide for the day is really too much when we are not too excited about things there are to see that are not already included in the general tour.We would certainly prefer to pay $95. per person for the two of us instead of $500-600. being quoted by the private guides with cars.

In general we are finding the rates for guides very high, even those with car expenses. We have paid for private guides in India, China, Morocco, Egypt, Jordan, Bolivia, Argentina, Croatia, Romania, the USA, Spain, Italy, etc. None of them were as costly - even comparing the prices to the economy. Why are the prices so high for guides in Israel? This must be a very profitable career.

6. Re: Extra days- Where?

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