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Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

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Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Hi,

I have been reading Margie's trip reports...they are amazing.We are leaving September 8th /08 from NYC and need some advice.

We will be in Jerusalem and want to take a day trip to the Dead Sea- Is that possible by bus or private car better?

We want to travel from Jerusalem - Eilat- I was reading in an earlier post about the Egged bus so I guess I will book that 14 days in advance.

Once we are in Eilat we want to travel to Petra and not sure if guided tour is an only way.How do you get to the border crossing in Eilat? bus ?

Also did you guys ever heard of a hotel from Petra picking guests up at the border crossing-of course for a fee and take us back to the hotel in Petra?

I would pay the $110/each way and I think I would prefer that then have Echo tour organize some guides on the Jordanian side waiting and be at their mercy.Margie and her husband are both very brave and like adventure- I would like to limit potential disaster and I'm not that brave....I admit it!Reading her report is fantastic and loved all her photos...helped me decide what we must see and what we are interested in and the rest can just edit out .

Ok so from Petra back to the border crossing then 1 night rest in Eilat and back on to Tel Aviv by ? bus?

are there any egged buses from Eilat to Tel Aviv or only from Jerusalem?

I know I asked too many questions and if you are able to help with ideas please do.

Thank you,

Hanna

Eilat, Israel
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1. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Egged has a day tour from Jerusalem to the Dead Sea every day.

I have not heard of a hotel in Petra that does transfers, but I would imagine they could organise one for money, however $ 100 each way?? the one day tour is only $ 159 and they pick you up from you Eilat hotel.

Egged go to Tel Aviv as well as Jerusalem.

new york city
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2. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Hi,

Thanks to all of you who responded.The reason for a hotel pick up from Petra is so we can stay there longer.In the event we have no choice I guess we will book the one day trip with Eco but if you read about Petra you must realize that the day trip there besides beeing a very long day it is also limited in terms of what you have time and energy to see.Once I'm there we will rest and soak it all up in 3-4 days.Getting there and back is an issue.I will contact Eco and will ask if they willing to drive us there and back 3-4 days later for a fee- maybe that is something I didn't think about as of yet.

Thanks again,

Hanna & Alan

israel
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3. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

You can take a cab to the border from Eilat. On the Jordanian side are many cabs, so you can take another one to your hotel. Post on the Jordanian forum and you will get recommendations for hotels and travel guides, cabs and much more. There rcommendations for tour companies too.

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4. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Oh ....all these great ideas! thank you!

Hanna

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5. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Hi there, a few hints about Petra.

I would recommend to go there indiviually, much easier than you think! Our Israeli friends who went to Petra on an organized tour missed out a lot, IMHO.

Take a cab to the Jordanian border, the earlier the better to beat the bus crowds.

Dont't forget to pay exit tax at the border bank first, before you go to passport control, you will be send back.

On the Jordanian side look for the booth for individual tourists, when we were there these guys were pretty lame. After crossing the checks on the the Jordanian side look for taxis at the parking lot. Try to find people to share a taxi with you and barter hard. In Nov 07 the official rate to Petra was 28 JD, but all the drivers asked for at least 40JD (60$).

BTW, the Mövenpick Hotel arranges taxis to the border - do not use it! They overcharge you and use unreliable drivers, at least that's what happend to us. In Petra I would highly recommend a local guide, you will get so much more out of it.

When you go back to Israel, remember to have 5JD spare per person for the Jordanian exit tax. On the Israeli side the border staff will call you a taxi if you ask for it.

Buses run from Eilat to Tel Aviv, but long distance buses to and from Eilat must be booked at least one day in advance, as far as I know. There are also flights to Sde Dov airport in Tel Aviv starting at 79$.

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6. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Hi,

Dudel..I printed out your tips...great value and one of the best so far...you have similar ideas in getting in and out of Petra.

What happened when the hotel booked you the pick up at the border ? overcharged? late? didn't show up? or took you to a different hotel/resort?raped? robed?what happend?

As a woman I'm preparing for this trip and I know some people might think this is crazy ...but as a woman I need to be more assured even if it costs more.The idea that I might be at some bedouin guides mercy who can drive me off the road and let me not continue the tought...you got the idea...especially if he has 1 or 2 other guys with him.

The idea of the hotel pick up I did like but need to know more about it!

The tour I don't want ...only the local guide I would consider as you cleverly pointed it out.

No into bedouin camping and hikes with strangers and dusty pick up car drives.We are in good shape and live in the gym 5 days a week and traveled around the world...including your great country- Germany.

Oh we loved Berlin, Munich:-Been to Zugspitze- fantastic,liked Frankfurt as well- great ballet company there.

Anyway thanks for the tips and if you have time let me know what happened with the Movenpick pick up at the border.

Thanks,

Hanna

israel
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7. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

dhsallay - your imagination is running wild. Why would any guide risk his livelihood for a few minutes with you?

If you likr ballet try the Suzzane Dellal center in Tel Aviv and what they have on when you stay here.

Cincinnati, Ohio
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8. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

dhsallay, if you have not already done so, review Journeyer's trip report (last few pages) and read of their trip to Petra using Desert Eco Tours. While it is a tour company, Margie and Harvey were NOT on a group tour. They had a variety of guides accompany them. That would be the way I would go instead of trying to navigate all this totally on my own. And I'm big on independent travel. But I also use other resources when I need to to navigate more complex or unfamiliar areas.

Douglas Duckett

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9. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Hi,

Thanks for the ideas and modern dance/ballet tips Shoshi.

It further complicates things that we will be there during Ramadan- holiday...this makes things a little dicey.

Douglas thanks for tips about Margie & Harvey -their trip and pictures are stunning and fantastic.Her writing is amazing! I would not however follow their path exactly the same- different tastes.

I will follow up with Eco tours and thinking how to arrange everything in order now.Apartment rental Tel Aviv,Jerusalem, bus or car rental to Dead Sea then on to Eilat and Petra then back to Tel Aviv.

We have 3 1/2 weeks so planning is a must.

Thank you again,

Hanna

Frankfurt, Germany
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10. Re: Jerusalem-Eilat-Aqaba crossing to Petra and back to Tel Aviv

Hi there Hanna,

to help you out a bit more. About the transport from the border to Petra... we were also kind of paranoid about the security situation when going to Petra, that's why we asked the hotel to provide us with transportation even though it was 50% more expensive. We thought you can't go wrong with a 5* hotel, well you can.

We were crossing the border late because we forgot to pay the exit tax, next thing we knew were bus loads of tourists standing in line before us. We were late at the Jordanian side (maybe 20 minutes, but we are Germans, being late freaks us out). No transport from the hotel waiting for us. We called the hotel from our mobile, to find out that the hotel had no idea how to reach the driver. After waiting for an hour (the cab was 1.5 hours late) an old, not very well maintained taxi came to fetch us, no exagaration to say that all the random cabs at the border waiting for customers were at least as good. Why would you ask a first-class hotel to pick you up at 150% of the official rate, if what you get is an under average, one and a half hour late ride? We lost time and money, it would have been much easier, faster and cheaper to take a taxi at the border.

As for security, my girl-friend and I have Israeli roots and speak Hebrew, but we never had the feeling of being unsafe in Petra, so don't worry too much about that.

As for the Mövenpick Hotel. Very nice indeed, ideally located, but has some very minor issues. First, the reception knew about the taxi incident, but did not feel the need to apoligize or to compensate (neither did the driver, btw). Secondly although it has very nice public spaces, rooms and good breakfast, it does not live up to European 5* standards, but it is still recommended.

As for the guide. You need to get your tickets to Petra at the Visitors' centre, there you can hire a private guide for 2.5 or 4 hours. We had a great entertaining guide who showed us some things we would never discovered on our own, in addition to be very knowledgable. This money was well spend, Petra had not been the same without a guide.

Hope it gives some more ideas, feel free to pm me if you have more questions.