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22 night Israel travel itinerary

Melbourne, Australia
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22 night Israel travel itinerary

Hi, We are a family of 4 (including 2 boys aged 15 & 19).

We are planning to got to Israel late December> and be there for 22 nts.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on the following itinerary:

Day 1 arrive Tel Aviv 3:30 am. Catch bus or plane to Eilat

Day 2 stay in Eilat to recoup

Day 3 & 4 Petra 2 day tour

Day 5 & 6 possibly 2 day bus tour to Cairo from Eilat if we can find one

(Otherwise extend stay in Jerusalem & Tel Aviv by a day each)

Day 7-10 stay in Tel Aviv

Day 11-14 hire car and travel around the North

Day 15 stop at Jerusalem for night (drop off bags)

Day 16-18 continue with car and travel around Dead Sea region

Day 19-23 (return car) then stay in Jerusalem.

We look forward to your feedback. Thanks

Israel
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1. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

I would put Eilat and Petra at the end of the tour and skip Cairo which is a 12 hour bus trip each direction due to security issues in Sinai(as of today). The rest of the itinerary looks logical.

Chana

Israel

Tel-Aviv
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2. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

Recoup in Tel Aviv instead of going to Eilat directly after your long flight.

Pick up your rental car and head north. Add two days to the north (instead of your Cairo tour). Drive directly to the Dead Sea via the Jordan Valley, then proceed to Eilat for your Petra tour. Drive to Jerusalem via Mitspe Ramon and return the car.

Gippsland, Australia
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3. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

I understand why the others are saying to stay in Tel Aviv after your flight but I don't necessarily agree. On our first trip we went straight to Eilat on arrival. We too went from Melbourne and on that trip we had to go via 3 planes just to get to Israel. We figured by the time we had travelled that far then an extra flight to Eilat as soon as possible would just get the travelling over with in one hit. We spent 36 hours getting from Melbourne to Eilat and it worked for us. We were very glad we did it that way.

It probably wouldn't work for us any more because of health issues with my back, and it doesn't work for everyone. You know your family - if you think it will work for you and your family then go for it!

On Day 2, after sleeping in, go to the Marine observatory. It's Eilat's equivalent to the Great Barrier reef - fantastic to see.

Don't do Eilat to Cairo. Travel advisories - including our Australian travel advisory - are against doing that route because of security issues. I would not go into Egypt that way. If you really want to add the pyramids to your trip then look at the different flight routes and work out a way to go into Cairo by plane. But check the travel advisories before you decide on this. You can probably achieve this by looking at flights from Melbourne to Jordan for your main flights. (Rather than Melbourne to Israel). Then add a separate flight from Jordan to Cairo and back at the beginning or end of your trip.

If you do that then go from Amman (Jordan) to Petra and then into Israel at the Aqaba/Eilat crossing. When you return from Israel to Jordan then go via the crossing at Beit Shean (in the Jordan Valley but further north than the Allenby crossing). If you use those two crossings it will be easier. The Allenby is much busier, you can wait hours there, and requires a visa in advance when going into Jordan.

Tel-Aviv
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4. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

An alternative is to look for an "open-jaw" ticket : fly to Cairo and return from Tel-Aviv.

From Cairo :

- fly to Amman, pick up rental car, visit Madaba, Jerash, etc, drive to Petra, drive to Aqaba, return rental car, cross over to Eilat.

- pick up rental car, drive to Dead Sea, then to Galilee via Jordan Valley, then to Tel-Aviv and return car.

- Transfer to Jerusalem for remainder of trip.

Edited: 25 May 2014, 06:44
Haifa, Israel
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5. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

There is a lot to do in the North of Israel, suggest to add a day or two for this segment of your tour

Haifa, Israel
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6. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

Assuming that you won't often have the opportunity to return to this region, I would absolutely not miss Cairo if you can work it into your trip. The antiquities there are spectacular. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you should look at spending 3-4 days there; even 5 days if you plan to go down to Luxor (which is worth it). Even if you made a week's side trip to Petra and Cairo you still have a really good amount of time to see Israel, and December-January should be great weather for seeing Petra and Cairo. Use the relevant forums to plan your travel there.

mbgg and Heather are right in advising you to fly rather than take the bus to Cairo, and to be creative about checking out flight combinations. Flying to Cairo from Amman is probably cheaper than flying to Cairo from Tel Aviv. It should be easy for you to get to Amman from Petra, and you can cross back into Israel from Amman when you return. However, you might want to plan not to have all your luggage with you for your Petra-Cairo side trip as there's a lot of travelling involved.

What are you planning to do in the Dead Sea region for 3 days? December could be a good time to head south into the Negev Desert. Bear in mind that you are coming here in the winter (essentially, January) and that it will be too cold to sit on any beaches, including Eilat; in a longer trip there's a fairly high probability that you will also hit some rain, especially in the north of Israel.

Haifa, Israel
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7. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

Giora - they already have 4 days allocated to the north - that seems to me to be more than enough to see the main sights.

Haifa, Israel
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8. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

Replying to the message you accidentally sent to me by PM rather than replying on the forum:

You are correct when you say we “won't often have the opportunity to return to this region.”

However we have limited funds and suspect the extra flights Amman to Cairo may cost ~$300 return per person which will add another $1200 and means we have to skip Cairo.

Desertecotours have a 4 day Petra and Cairo tour maybe that is an option? Or is this also unsafe?

- The Sinai region is unstable at the moment, so there is a certain risk in land travel there. However, Desert Eco Tours is a reliable company. I would discuss your concerns with them. NB once you get to Cairo, however you get there, my comments about making sure to spend enough time to properly see the sights remain. NB the Jordanian bus company JETT also offers a regular bus service to Cairo, via Aqaba, for 32 JOD (around 45 USD). The bus goes via the ferry rather than the Taba crossing. You could ask on the Jordan forum about this.

www.jett.com.jo/SubPage.aspx?PageId=230

In answer to your query “What are you planning to do in the Dead Sea region for 3 days?”.

It is still early days in regard to all of our plans.

At this stage all we have is the flight in and out of Israel.

We will probably be in the Dead Sea region 2 days/2 nights.

We will probably arrive middle of the day and go to Ein Gedi.

Then plan to sleep somewhere basic at the base of Masada so we can be be on Masada at sunrise.

(any suggestions?)

That afternoon we though we could go to the Dead Sea and stay at one of the hotels on the Dead Sea so we have access to their private beach/entry to the Dead Sea and facilities (any suggestions?)

Then the next morning before heading off we thought we will go to Quamran to see where the scrolls were found.

- 2 days would be plenty of time for this. January is too cold for hanging out on beaches, and in any case, entering the Dead Sea is a half-hour experience at most. The only advantage of a hotel spa is that they might have an indoor pool with Dead Sea water if it's too cold for a dip outdoors, but it's an expensive way to get a quick dip. Re. Masada - the only place to stay is the youth hostel at the foot of Masada. Book early as it fills up quickly.

You have suggested we head south into the Negev Desert.

What suggestions do you have for there?

- Go hiking. Contact Adam Sela who is recommended by everyone as a guide for the region; we can also help recommend hiking trails. It is also a good time of year for hiking around Eilat (Red Canyon, Eilat mountains etc). You can also visit Makhtesh Ramon.

Maybe we could drive to Eilat / Petra after the Dead Sea region stop in the Negev region on the way and bus back to Jerusalem after Eilat?

- That sounds like a sensible itinerary.

Gippsland, Australia
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9. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

From the Australian travel advisory....

About the Governorate of North Sinai, including the Taba-Suez Road - in bright red - Do not travel.

And from another place on the same page...

We strongly advise Australians not to travel to the Governorate of North Sinai, including the Taba-Suez Road, due to the high threat of terrorist attack and risks posed by violent criminals. See under Safety and Security: Terrorism for further details.

smartraveller.gov.au/zw-cgi/view/Advice/Egypt

Please make sure you read all the details on the safety and security page.

Melbourne, Australia
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10. Re: 22 night Israel travel itinerary

Thanks everyone for your input.

At this stage I think we may skip Cairo.

I am sure I will enter more posts re the rest of our trip as we have a ton of questions..