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Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

ny
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Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

Just booked a last-minute trip to Israel. Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay. Haven't booked anything else. We are 2 Christian adults interested in the Holy Land and in seeing the natural beauty of Israel. Please help create an itinerary and find suitable and affordable guides (where appropriate). What's the best way to squeeze in Petra and the Dead Sea? Wife has concerns over security and would be more comfortable traveling in a group. But am willing to consider all options.

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

You are going to have a wonderful trip, now for the planning part to make it happen.

You only have 7 days, it is not reasonable to 'squeeze' in Petra on an itinerary of 7 days.

Here is a suggestion of an itinerary:

Day 1 Tel Aviv

Day 2-3 take a 2 day bus tour of the Christian sites in the Galilee

Day 4-7 Jerusalem with a one day bus tour to the Dead Sea and an afternoon visit to Bethlehem.

In Tel Aviv you will get a chance to deal with that jet lag, enjoy the wonderful sea and beaches, visit Jaffa and the significant Christian sites located there and see modern Israel.

For the Galilee check out this example of a bus tour:

eggedtours.com/tours-new/nazareth-and-sea-of…

In Jerusalem there are walking tours of the Old City every day done in a group with a guide. You may be interested in Zion Walking tours. They also offer a good tour of the Mount of Olives http://zionwt.dpages.co.il/apage/62770.php

There are numerous bus day tours to the Dead Sea and Masada from Jerusalem. To go to Bethlehem you can take a city bus to the checkpoint and a taxi from there. It is very close to Jerusalem.

In Jerusalem there is so much to see, don't miss the fantastic Israel Museum and Shrine of the Book, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, the Tower of David Night Spectacular and if you can possibly squeeze it in, The City of David.

One thing to think about is that in Israel there is no public transportation on Shabbat. If you give the dates of your arrival and departure, we can make additional suggestions.

Jerusalem, Israel
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2. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

Hello and congratulations for the upcoming trip!

What's the date of arrival? it's important to note when Shabbat is falling to plan your itinerary well.

For a *rough* 7-day itinerary:

Day 1: Arrival at Ben Gurion int'l airport and transfer to Tel Aviv.

Day 2: Visit Tel Aviv & old Jaffa.

Day 3-4: Depart to northern Israel - Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee sites. (preferably with a guided tour)

Day 5: Jerusalem - the Old City. (guided tour)

Day 6: Jerusalem - Bethlehem. (guided tour)

Day 7: Dead Sea daytrip from Jerusalem - Masada & floating.

Day 8: Last day in Israel - last sights of Jerusalem, packing and transfer to Ben Gurion int'l airport.

This is as much as you can squeeze. Petra in Jordan will take out 2 days of your itinerary, and you have only 7 days whihc is barely enough to see the holyland.

Security: Your wife will laugh about her worries when she'll get here. Israel is a modern western country, but one with low crime rates and bad image of security, because of the media. Girls walk at cities alone at night with no problem!

ny
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3. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

We arrive March 21 and leave on Good Friday. That gives us 7 full days...not enough for Petra?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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4. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

Absolutely not enough time to visit Petra if you will only have 7 full days to tour our region.

Ottawa, Canada
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5. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

No, 7 full days is still not enough time for Petra unless you want to skip the main Christian sites and the fantastic natural landscape in the Galilee which would be a shame indeed. There are numerous UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Israel, maybe not all as famous as Petra but some that may be much more meaningful to you.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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6. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

I will pile on.

No on Petra -- unless you have at least ten days to explore the rest of the country, and 14 is better. As a point of reference, I am returning to Israel for the twelfth time this November, nearly every trip was two weeks in duration, and this will be the first time I am visiting Petra. I never ran out of things to see in Israel, and still haven't. :-)

Enjoy your visit!

Douglas Duckett

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7. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

I need to "modify" my post above -- and it's too late to edit it.

I should not have said "No on Petra." It's your trip, not mine, and obviously you alone can make that decision. But what you are hearing from all of us is two things. First, seven days in Israel is a very short visit that will only let you scratch the surface of the country as it is. And second, taking 2-3 days of that to visit Petra (including travel time, etc.) really reduces your time for Israel to a cursory visit.

That said, it's obviously your call to make -- but I should have worded my advice less "directorially."

Good luck to you!

Douglas Duckett

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

You will need to decide on your itinerary and book your hotels soon. You need to book before you arrive. Israel is not the kind of place you just 'wing it'. If you need suggestions, just ask but be sure to give a price range.

Jerusalem, Israel
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9. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

I think you might need to rethink this - the Jewish holiday of Pessach (Passover) starts in the evening of the 25th of March, so most of the country will close down early that day, including public transport. On the 26th, there will be no public transport, except for private taxis, and some sites will be closed. The same is true for Friday afternoon and Saturday, the 22nd and 23rd.

More of an issue is your hotel from the 25th onwards - Pessach is high season, most hotels are already fully booked, and many of them have a minimum number of nights. I would suggest that you come straight to Jerusalem when you arrive, and stay there till Monday morning the 25th, then pick up a rental car and drive to the Galilee area, staying there, and visiting the sites by car, until your last day. You can drive to the airport on the Friday, or drive to Tel Aviv on Thursday, drop off the car, and visit Tel Aviv for your last day before returning to the airport from there.

Edited: 23 February 2013, 18:47
Jerusalem, Israel
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10. Re: Leaving in 3 weeks for a 7 night stay in Israel.

Ran out of time to make any more changes to my previous post, so: the main thing is to make sure you have your hotels booked ASAP, and your car rental too.