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Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

Cambridge, England...
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Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

Hello,

I wasn't quite sure which forum to put this in, but here it goes...

I'm in need of a little help planning out a rough itinerary for a trip to Israel and Jordan, which I'm thinking of doing in about a months time!

I like to generally focus on visiting a few main things and the rest of the time I'm just looking to get a feel for a country.

The main reason for my trip is to see Petra - intending to do some trekking, camel ride, sleep under the stars etc. and possibly a night time visit! I've got 2 weeks so the other area's I'd like to visit are Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

Flights I've been looking at are flying into Tel Aviv (probably midweek), leaving from Amman 2 weeks later.

I'm not fixed on whether I fly into Israel or Jordan first, I expect to fly midweek though as due to my late booking flights are cheaper. I'm planning to take public transport the majority of the time (taxi's when that isn't available), and sleeping in hostels which should keep costs down. I will likely do a tour down in Petra as I'd like to sleep out in a Bedouin camp/cave.

Current order of places I'd like to visit:

Tel Aviv

Nazareth

Jerusalem

Dead Sea

Petra

Wadi Rum

Mt Nebo

Amman

Jerash

I'm planning 1 week in Israel, 1 in Jordan. The most amount of time I think I'll stay anywhere will be in Petra/Wadi Rum area 2-4 days and Jerusalem (3 days), the others I can imagine would either be day trips or on the way to somewhere new.

I'm interested to know if there are any places you think are worth visiting which I've missed out?

Thanks for any feedback/advice you can give!

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Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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1. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

The order of your travels make sense. Are you going to Nazareth because of it's Christian significance? If so, you are missing the area around the Sea of Galilee which has much more to see and do with regards to Christianity than what you can get in Nazareth. Given that you want to spend a lot of time at Petra, it seems that archeology is of interest to you. In that case there are many locations in Israel that you could see. Places like Ceasarea, Beit Shean, Sephorris, are all spectacular sites. Of course if you are going to the Dead Sea then Masada should be on your list for archeological and historical sites, and Ein Gedi for hiking in a desert oasis and which also has small archeological sites to visit. The other advice I would give is to ensure that you have a mix of 'sites' and cultural experiences in modern cities. Israel (and Jordan for that matter) are not just a sum of their archeological and historical sites, but incredible modern states with much to see and do that celebrates who they are today.

Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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2. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

Looking back at your post and details- public transport. I can't speak to Jordan, only Israel here. There is no public transport in Israel from late Friday afternoon until after sunset on Saturday. This means buses, trains, light rail. Taxis are always available but charge a 'Shabbat premium' during this time.

Hostels are a good way to go but in Israel you really need to book ahead. Israel isn't the kind of country where you show up and just check in. You may be stuck with some pretty shady options as the decent hostels are often full. Pricing for hostels in Israel are going to be more than what you pay in Jordan. In fact, my experience is that Jordan is cheaper in general with the exception of staying in a Bedouin Camp. On my visits, it was actually cheaper staying in a 3 star hotel in Wadi Musa (at entrance to Petra) than at the Bedouin Camp. You can't stay 'in' Petra and you don't sleep in the caves. You may find it worthwhile to rent a car for part of your time in Israel. It will give you so much more flexibility and better use of your time if you go to the Galilee or for trips around the Dead Sea. I think it would be money well spent and certainly less than taking a taxi for longer excursions.

Cambridge, England...
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3. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

Hi, thanks for your feedback!

Yes my intention to go to Nazareth was for its Christian significance, although I am not religious myself, I really enjoy visiting these sights. I have heard of Ceasarea although I think I would be more interested to visit the Galilee area than stick by the coast. I will have a look at the other places you mentioned; Beit Shean, Sephorris.

I am very interested in hiking and Ein Gedi sounds like it would be worth visiting. I agree with you about a balance to visiting countries, I often like to mix some the natural sights and wonders with modern cities as it makes you appreciate everything more so.

Thanks for the advice regarding hostels, I plan to book at least a few weeks before I travel, based on what I have seen regarding availability now this should be fine.

I may have to reconsider when I visit Israel to make sure I am not relying on public transport on Friday and Saturday, I could plan to do something local on these days where walking to and from an area is achievable - possibly when I am based in Jerusalem.

I will consider hiring a car, if I am able to meet up with other travellers sharing a hire car could be a really good option to get to areas easier.

Jerusalem, Israel
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4. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

hi

you can find hostels in Nazareth Jerusalem and TEL AVIV

lending in tel aviv,staying for 2 days heading north to nazareth staying 2 days and to jerusalem 1 day in the old city one in the new and one to the dead sea and masada.

public transport is good but time consuming,the Massada day could be cheaper with one of the day tour company,that can pick you up in tl aviv and drop at the end of the day in jerusalem

israel
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5. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

Petra in late November and sleeping "under the stars"? It will be very cold there during the night.

You need the rental car for the time in the Gallili not in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem. You can cross the border near Eilat and get there by bus. This you have to book a few days before your trip (egged.co.il).

Cambridge, England...
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6. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

@OriStern - I like the idea of using the Massada tour to get to Jerusalem. Although if I do decide upon hiking in Ein Gedi it would be good to visit these 2 areas one after the other.

@Shoshi - Yes that's a good point about the desert temperatures during the night, this may sway whether I decide to do Jordan/Petra first (early November) before visiting Israel although I doubt the weather could shift that drastically in just a week - I might be wrong :)

As the furthest South I am planning to go in Israel is Masada I was thinking of crossing the border in the north at Allenby Bridge.

Jerusalem, Israel
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7. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

The Allenby crossing is actually the crossing in the middle are of the Israeli-Jordanian border. The northern one is near Beit She'an and it is called "Jordan River border crossing" or "Sheikh Hussein Bridge". The Allenby (or King Hussein Bridge) border cannot be crossed unless you obtain a visa from a Jordanian embassy. If you don't, and since you indicate your destination in Jordan is Petra, then I suggest you to go south in Israel till Eilat, cross there to Aqaba and get to Petra. This is also the shortest way to Petra, and no visa-in-advance-from-embassy procedure is needed there.

Ny
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8. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

Just returned from 1 week Petra, Wadi Rum, 2 weeks Israel. My experience: the Treasury gets sunlight from 11am-1pm. It's about 1 km from the entrance to the Siq, 1 km to the Treasury, 1 km to the museum. Downhill on the way in. Start walking at 9:30am. Camel ride back from museum to treasury is 10 dinars. Walk the Siq canyon, as it is in the shade. Horseback to entrance "free" (5 dinar tip). More than twice is excessive. No clouds during the day, but no stars at night! Just 1 satellite (spy in the sky?). If you've been to Arizona/Utah, Wadi Rum is not very special, sorry to say. Nice if you haven't seen a slot canyon, arch, or driven on sand before. Snorkeling in Aqaba was a disappointment. Dead coral and damselfish/sergeant majors. Rabin border crossing was a breeze both ways about 1/2 hr. I'd spend more time in northern Israel. More lush, more interesting. One would think car rental a no brainier, as signs in 3 languages, but that's true on the main roads. Print and study your Google maps. Tel Aviv OK, but Haifa, Safad, Tiberias are easy to get lost in. My favorite archaeological site out of Jerusalem was Megiddo. Favorite restaurants, Eddies Hideaway, Eilat, el Babor, Akko, Chakra, Jerusalem, and Herbert Samuel, Tel Aviv.

9. Re: Israel/Jordan 2wk - rough itinerary, feedback/advice please!

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