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What's a good sequence for seeing Israel?

Tampa Bay FL USA
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What's a good sequence for seeing Israel?

Our family of 4 adults is planning a self-guided 2 week trip in October 2013. I've got a good idea of what we want to see but I'm wondering which would be best - to go to Jerusalem and near-by sights first then rent a car and drive to the further away places OR to drive first then go to Jerusalem. I've gotten the impression that seeing and understanding Jerusalem might set the stage for appreciating the rest of the county. On the other hand, for us, it would be more convenient to drive first.

Does anyone have any words of wisdom? Thanks!

Tel Aviv, Israel
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1. Re: What's a good sequence for seeing Israel?

If this is your first visit to Israel, I advise starting in Tel Aviv and ending in Jerusalem. Jerusalem is a complex city and is best appreciated as the climax of a first trip and not at the very start.

I'd start in Tel Aviv, then rent a car and head north into Galilee. Next drive down the Jordan Valley to the Dead Sea region and, finally, drop the car off when you arrive in Jerusalem where you'll spend the last days of your trip.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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2. Re: What's a good sequence for seeing Israel?

Start with Tel Aviv to decompress and adjust to the time difference. Move north -- Haifa and the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) region for 3-4 days. Then end your trip with a week in Jerusalem, either seeing the Dead Sea and Masada as a day trip from Jerusalem, or clipping one day off Jerusalem and staying at the Dead Sea for a night (with your rental car), and then drop the car off on arrival in Jerusalem.

Do not use the rental car in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem -- driving is quite intimidating and parking is an absolute nightmare. Pick up your car when leaving Tel Aviv for the north, and then drop it off in Jerusalem when you arrive. You can use cabs and buses inside the city. And you can return to the airport from Jerusalem -- the airport is not in Tel Aviv beut between the two cities, and you can just as easily go there from Jerusalem. Why end in Jerusalem? It is the emotional and spiritual culmination of any trip to Israel, and I like building to that crescendo.

Finally, if it will help in your trip planning, I would be happy to share with you a copy of my free, noncommercial guide to Israel travel, a 54-page, .pdf file that I send free to anyone who asks. I'm not in the travel business, so no strings at all. If interested, please e-mail me at Labatt@fuse.net, and I will send it to you as a .pdf file attachment via return e-mail.

That offer goes for anyone reading this, by the way -- but do NOT send me a message through the Trip Advisor message system. I cannot send file attachments through that medium, and will not copy your e-mail address over to my e-mail program.

Good luck, and I know you will have a great trip!

Douglas Duckett

LOL -- David and I posted simultaneously, but great minds think alike.

Edited: 22 January 2013, 22:28
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3. Re: What's a good sequence for seeing Israel?

Great minds, indeed, and I agree with what they are suggesting to you. I will follow this type of itinerary when I return to Israel sometime this year....Tel Aviv for two nights to begin and get a bit rested, 5 nights (maybe 6) in the North and a week (maybe 8 nights) in Jerusalem to finish up. ENJOY!


4. Re: What's a good sequence for seeing Israel?

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