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Help with preliminary itineray

Aventura, Florida
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Help with preliminary itineray

We have our plane tickets and would appreciate some comments on our preliminary itinerary. We are not young (69/74) and are interested in culture, history, archeology, art and architecture and my DH has a penchant for military museums of any kind.

Tuesday

Arrive at Ben Gurion at 15:30

Rent a car and stay someplace no more than one hour north of airport (possibly Netanya)

Wednesday/Thursday

Drive north ending in Safed for overnight and return to Tel Aviv.

Ceasarea

Akko

Bet She’arim National Park to see the underground burial caves,

Beit Alpha to see the mosaic floor from the old synagogue

Rosh HaNikra

Tsippori

Not sure what we can fit in or what the best order would be. We want to get to the Israel Defense Force Museum by 13:30 on Thursday. (museum closes at 15:30)

Check into Tel Aviv hotel, Hatfusot, dinner

Friday

Eretz Israel Museum

Drive to Jerusalem

check into hotel, dinner

walk over to the kotel (after sundown?)

Saturday

early drive to Masada

Ein Gedi botanical garden

Dead Sea float

back to Jerusalem

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and half day Wednesday in Jerusalem

Tunnels

Walking tour of Old City

Wohl Archeology Museum

Ariel Centre

Burnt House

Israel Museum

Bible Lands Museum

comments and other suggestions please

Wednesday afternoon drive to Mitzpe Ramon

Thursday

morning in Mitzpe Ramon (suggestions what to do)

midday drive to Eilat where we will then return the car and cross into Jordan

Thanks for taking a look and letting me know what you think.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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1. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

Here's my input:

Don't necessarily stay overnight in Safed. It's not so easy getting in and out of that city for those unfamiliar. I suggest one of the kibbutz hotels instead, such as Pastoral Kfar Blum.

Don't miss the Golan Heights. I suggest a jeep tour in that region.

Rosh Hanikra is not a 'must' but I do recommend Akko.

Military related museums I highly recommend:

Ayalon Institute

Palmach Museum

Latrun Tank Museum

Skip Eretz Israel Museum.

Use one of the Ein Bokek hotels for a bathing and lunch package at the Dead Sea.

Ariel Centre and Bible Lands Museum are not 'musts' but the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial is. Don't miss Yad Vashem. I also suggest a visit to the Machane Yehuda market.

Aventura, Florida
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2. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

Thank you for your thoughtful reply. A couple of questions, if I may . . .

Why do you suggest skipping the Eretz Israel Museum?

Can you recommend a hotel for a spa/lunch package?

What about Tsippori? Will we fit it in (dropping Rosh Hanikra) and is it worth going?

and one more

what parts of the itinerary would you suggest having a private guide for?

Tel Aviv, Israel
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3. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

In Tel Aviv, the most meaningful museums to most tourists are the Palmach Museum and Independence Hall. The Eretz Israel Museum is primarily archaeology and does not even come close to comparing with the magnificence of the Israel Museum.

For a hotel spa and lunch package at the Dead Sea, I suggest either the Crowne Plaza Dead Sea or the Hod Hotel.

Tsippori is well worth visiting. It's a fascinating archaeological site.

In terms of a private guide, hiring a guide will always enhance your experience. You'll get the most benefit of a guide in and around the Old City of Jerusalem. If you do not wish to rent a car yourselves, then you could hire a driving guide for the coastal plain, Galilee and the Golan Heights as well.

NYC/Israel
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4. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

WHile Dave says the Eretz Yisrael museum is not a "must" I happen to like it. The only caveat would be if you are coming in the height of summer--the museum is very spread out , in multiple buildings and it can be uncomfortable walking from place to place.

Tzippori has beautiful mosaics. Rosh Hanikrah has beautiful natural caverns. Which is more important and what you go or do not go to is dependent on YOUR interests. Personally, I think alternatives should be shared here, but no one should eliminate something they are interested in because it isn't a "must see"

Friday in Jerusalem, I would take a cab to the kotel BEFORE sundown and then walk back. Remember you can not take pictures at this time so make sure you plan on going another time.

What hotel are you staying in while in Jerusalem? Parking is very difficult. I realize you are keeping the car to avoid a surcharge when returning in Eilat. However, if your hotel is not one of the handful with parking--you'll spend the surcharge in time and money with figuring out what to do with the vehicle AND have the aggravation as well.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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5. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

When I mention a sight is not a 'must', it doesn't mean I suggest scrapping it entirely. It just means that with limited time, I'd place lower priority on those sites.

If you have plenty of time, by all means do visit the Eretz Israel Museum. But if time is limited and you have the opportunity to visit only one archaeology focused museum, I still recommend first and foremost the Israel Museum.

It's your trip. Only you can ultimately decide what's best for you.

Israel
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6. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

First of all it's great that you are coming on a trip to visit Israel and are planning on driving to set your own pace. First of all I suggest that you stay in Tel Aviv or Herzliya the first night, so you don't have to drive after such a long trip when you have a lack of sleep. In general your itinerary is much to full. You must prioritize on what is most important to you and plan no more than 4 sites in a day (unless they are all in the same place such as the Old City of Jerusalem).

Safed is a perfect place to stay overnight for the type of tour you are interested in. It is not so inconvenient as led to beleive, just a bit confusing driving up and down the mountain.

On the first day you can go to Caesarea, Akko and Rosh Hanikra.

On the second day tour Zfat, Zippori, Beit Shearim (depending on how much you tour Zfat). Forget about Beit Alpha, it's so far out of the way that it's not worth it. There is a fabulous synagogue mosaic in Zippori which is well worth the visit (instead of the one in Beit Alpha). If you don't want to tour Zfat, then stay in Tiberias or even Akko to save driving time on second day.

The Eretz Israel is excellent and while it has an archaeological wing it does not specialize in archaeology but rather all that deals with the Land/State of Israel (hence it's name).

Definitely go the the Kotel (Western Wall) for Kabbalat Shabbat. It's an experience not to be forgotten.

I would skip the Bible Land Museum, which is excellent and put in Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum, even if you have been to one in another city. Be sure to make an appointment for the Tunnel Tours as soon as your itinerary is set (up to 3 months in advance).

Mitzpeh Ramon is on the lip of a very interesting geological site. The best way to see it, without making a several hour hike in the desert, is with a jeep tour. There are a couple of sites just off the road you can stop in on the way to Eilat. The town itself has a small desert animal visitors center, an alpaca farm and alot of ibexes roaming around.

Be sure to get to Eilat before the agency closes.

Chana

Israel

Aventura, Florida
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7. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

We will choose the mosaics over the caverns and we particularly like archeology museums.

Choosing a hotel with parking is part of our plan, but thank you for the caution. It is not just the surcharge (the extra days rental balance that out) but the time to return a car and then rent one again a few days later.

Thanks for the assistance.

Aventura, Florida
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8. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

We have taken everything that has been said into account and this is the revised itinerary -- so far. Still open to suggestions and comments.

Tuesday

Arrive at Ben Gurion at 15:30

Rent a car and stay at an airport hotel

Wednesday

Israel Defense Force Museum (8:30-10)

Cesearea

Akko (stay in Akko)

Thursday

Tsippori

Bet She’arim

Return to Tel Aviv

check into hotel

Friday

Hatfusot (opens at 9)

Eretz Israel Museum (open until 2)

Drive to Jerusalem

check into hotel, dinner

taxi to kotel before sundown (walk back)

Saturday

Drive to Masada

Dead Sea hotel lunch package

Ein Gedi botanical garden (if enough time and energy)

Return to Jerusalem

Sunday

Old City with guide

Tunnels

Monday

Israel Museum

Bible Museum (if time and energy permit)

Tuesday

Wohl Archeology Museum

Ariel Centre

Burnt House

Wednesday

check out of hotel

Yad Vashem

Yad La-shiryon Memorial, Latrun

Mitzpe Ramon (stay in Mitzpe Ramon)

Thursday

Nabaean Abdat Acropolis (will do this Wednesday if we arrive early enough)

Eilat - return car

cross into Jordan

A few questions:

Will we be able to park at the Israel Defense Force Museum?

We will not use the car around Jerusalem except when we leave on Wednesday. Will we be able to park at Yad Vashem?

Any recommendation for Shabbat dinner?

Chana, we are very excited to be planning this trip to Israel and we organized it around being in Jerusalem Friday afternoon to be at the Kotel for Kabbalat Shabbat. Would not miss it. BTW, we have been to at least a dozen Holocaust museums and memorials.

Thank you all again.

Tel Aviv, Israel
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9. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

You are missing two of the most interesting military related museums. Do not miss the Palmach Museum nor the Ayalon Institute. Many consider each to be top highlights of their entire trip.

israel
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10. Re: Help with preliminary itineray

No airport hotel, so book your hotel in Tel Aviv the same you will be using anyway. Again check parking options. Very few hotel have parking, others have some arrangements with parking lots nearby. Post your hotel for parking directions from this forum. When is your trip? If the days are long you can visit on the way to Mizpe Ramon the graveyard and hut of Ben Gurion in Sde Boker, These are two different sites and are just a stop along the way.

"Will we be able to park at the Israel Defense Force Museum" - yes, there is a big parking lot there (not free, not expensive). It is next to the Hatachana - an old train station now a recreation center with shops and restaurants.