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Israel... Advice... Please help

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Israel... Advice... Please help

I am going to Israel... What is the best order to travel?

When I leave Israel to go home to NYC what is the best time to leave Israel so I can enjoy the day in Israel

Israel

arrive Dec 25 thru Jan 4th

Where should we land and spend our 1st few days?

We need to be in Jerusalem on Dec 30th for Benno's BarMitzvah at the Wall.

We want to know the best way to see the following.

We need guides for the tours.

Jerusalem/Dead Sea/Yad Veshem/Arab Q/ Church's and tour Jerusalem/

Eylat/ Petra Jordan/ Negev Desert /Mitzpe Rumion

Nazareth

Yafa

Golan Heights/Sea of Galilea

Masada

TelAviv /Carmel Mkt

Where should we be staying [hotels], and from what airport should we return to NY and at what time to depart so we can arrive late Jan 4th , or early Jan 5th?

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

You will arrive and depart from Ben Gurion International Airport (TLV) located between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. The time of arrival and departure will depend on which flights are available.

You have too much on your 'want to see' list. Petra is 2-3 days out of your trip just for the one site at the coldest time of the year. You realize that Petra could have snow at that time of year?

You could look at a schedule like this

Dec 25- Arrival and travel to Tiberias stay in/around Tiberias

Dec 26-Sea of Galilee Sites stay in/around Tiberias

Dec 27- Golan Heights (Banias, Har Bental, Golan Winery, etc) stay in/around Tiberias

Dec 28- Beit Shean and travel south to the Dead Sea Overnight Dead Sea

Dec 29-Masada, Ein Gedi, travel to Jerusalem overnight Jerusalem

Dec 30- Bar Mitzvah

Jan 1-3- Jerusalem

This is one option of many, it really depends on what your priorities are. On a trip like this you need to rent a car. You could consider doing the north of the country (Galilee) or the south (Negev) but with a Bar Mitzvah in the middle in Jerusalem, it would be very difficult to do both.

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2. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

Regarding flights - I traveled to Israel this past January and am going again this winter using the same flight schedule.

I left JFK on a 9:30 PM direct flight and arrived at Ben Gurion at 3 PM the next day (not much we can do about that with the time change and all.) Returning to NYC we left Israel on a 12:30 AM direct flight and arrived at JFK at about 5 AM. I found that I was ready and able to sleep on both flights (with the help of melatonin, earplugs and and an eye cover.) :)

When we arrived at our hotel in Israel, we got dinner and went to bed which helped ready us for our first full day. When leaving Israel we needed to arrive at Ben Gurion anyway about 9 PM so one could do that after dinner or do as we did which was arrive about 8 PM and have dinner at airport. Arriving home at the beginning of the day allowed me to get started on settling back in - eg laundry and grocery shopping.

Israel
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3. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

In terms of flight times Eve's advice is the best - you will arrive in Israel with enough time to take a walk, look around a bit, have dinner and call it a day - that should make the time change easier - you'll get up the next day more or less at a normal time and can enjoy a full day. Going back, if you take a flight that leaves between 11 pm to 1 am you'll get back in to NY very early in the morning and should be able to function most of the day - tops it will take one more day to adjust.

With the time you have allocated I would skip Petra, it will take between 2 to 3 days out of a very short time here and leave you not enough time for Israel.

You will be flying in and out of TLV - Ben Gurion International airport - it's the only option.

Haifa, Israel
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4. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

Anmejoshme's suggestion is good but skips Dec 31. You could spend Dec 30-Jan 2/3 in Jerusalem, then your last couple of days in Tel Aviv/Jaffa.

I agree with the others that given that you have a bar mitzvah in the middle, you don't have time to visit both the north and the south. If you really want to go to Petra, fly to Eilat as soon as you arrive in Israel, take a 2-day trip to Petra from Eilat, then spend Dec 28-29 traveling back to Jerusalem via the desert and the Dead Sea. I actually think that weather-wise this is a good time for touring the south, which is less cold and wet than the north, though remember that weather will still be fairly cool. Snow is generally a bit later in the year. You should also book early if you're planning to stay in Eilat as it's a high season. One day in Eilat should be plenty but you'll need to stay there either side of the Petra tour. For a guide in the south see Labatt's current posts about Adam Sela for a very enthusiastic recommendation. In general for guides, see the Top Questions on the top right hand side of the page for advice choosing a guide.

Edited: 12 November 2013, 07:58
NYC/Israel
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5. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

I'm going to try to respond in the order you asked.

a. Start in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem

b. The best flights are the night flights that have already been discussed.

c. The ONLY international airport is Ben Gurion. The code is TLV, but it is located between the two cities. You will arrive and depart from this airport

d. I have no idea who Benno is, but if you have a Dec. 30 Bar Mitzvah you need to get to Jerusalem on the 29th. ( since Bar Mitzvah are usually held in the morning)

e. You have too much to see in the time you are allowing. I would skip Petra. As said, it takes a huge gap of time. Also, with the Bar Mitzvah in the middle, it doesn't easily fit anyplace.

f. The Dead Sea and Masada is a one day trip from Jerusalem ( same day)

g. Many places do not need private guides BUT if you want to hire this needs to be done in advance. Read the 8th Top Question ( upper right, Israel forum) for ideas. If you weren't talking about private guides I suggest you go and purchase Foders Tour book. ( Frommers is also good, but it is older and not as uptodate)

h. You need to stay a few nights in Tel Aviv, more nights in Jerusalem and some nights up North

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6. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

Thank you everyone!! What kind of clothes should pack for the weather and what Do I need to wear at the wall?

Israel
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7. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

End December/beginning January is winter, and rain is possible. Snow is extremely unlikely. You can do a Google search to see past average temperatures. Dress in layers. Comfortable shoes are essential, comfort being more important than style.

At the Western Wall, modest dress is essential. Since it's winter you won't be wearing shorts or sleeveless tops anyway. Males must wear head covering (any kind, a baseball cap will do). Women should wear a skirt or pants/trousers at least covering the knees but not very tight pants. No visible cleavage, nothing very tight or transparent. Arms covered to at least halfway between shoulders and elbows. Women do not need to wear hats.

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8. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

Odds are, in December, the weather appropriate clothing that you are already wearing will be fine. Here is a link to the Israeli Meteorological Service. It has loads of climate information.

http://ims.gov.il/IMSEng/All_tahazit/

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9. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

thanks!

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10. Re: Israel... Advice... Please help

Does anyone have suggestions for resturants/ cafe / food reccomendations for jerusalem and tel aviv?

thank you