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Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

Sydney, Australia
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Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

Folks,

I'm a well travelled lad and like to pack a lot (most people would say too much) into my trips. I live in Australia so any chance to get away needs to pack in a lot.

I have a 4-5 day window (Mon-Fri. possibly Sat) this month (Nov. 2011) to go to Israel. I really do want to see Petra in Jordan though, not bothered about anything else in Jordan. I had wanted to get to Egypt to see the Pyramids but with all that's happening I'd have to give that a pass.

I just love driving long distances on my holidays (used to Oz drining distances) so that's not a problem (2 hours is like a drive to the shops) and four hours sleep in cool too. Basically the show "The Amazing Race" was based on my holidays. Now I hope that does not offend anyone but...

...with a modus operandi like that, what would you guys suggest I can\should do with 4-5 days in Israel \ Jordan. I do want to see Jerusalem (Yad Vaschem, The Mount of Olives etc.), Tel Aviv, The Dead Sea possibly Nazareth and Masada and most definitely Petra.

Any advice or a running order suggestion ? I could fly into Tel Aviv and out of Amman if that helps.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

I should add, I realize that it is a ridiculously short time to do this all in but I may not have the chance again due to family reasons so it's either 4-5 days or never. So please be kind, I don't mean to diss anyone's beloved country.

My other question was is it easy to get a hire car and drive it across the border from Israel into Jordan and back again. I don't want to assume anything so I thought I'd ask first.

Thanks for your help folks.

NYC/Israel
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2. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

You are trying to do the next to impossible. Definitely an Amazing Race but they seem to see very little.

a. You can NOT drive an Israeli rental car into Jordan ( nor a Jordanian car in to Israel)

b It is 5 hours or so from Jerusalem to Eilat. While you may find that feasible---it isn't fair to those around you to have to deal with a sleep deprived driver.

c. I would suggest you fly into Israel and go directly to Jerusalem. Spend 3 days in Jerusalem. I would skip the Dead sea but go to maybe Bethlehem instead of Nazareth--or Masada/Dead Sea instead of both Nazareth and Bethlehem. I would then FLY to Eilat, spend the night in Eilat and take a one day tour to Petra. I would return to Eilat, spend a second night, fly to Ben Gurion and then fly back to Australia.

Realize that by missing the city of Tel Aviv you are missing seeing a modern Israeli city but....if this is what you want to do!

I realize it may not have been clear but Bethlehem or Masada/Dead Sea are day trips ( or 1/2 day trips) from Jerusalem

Edited: 03 November 2011, 04:16
Israel
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3. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

I would forgo the trip to Petra on such a short trip as you will need to use up 2 of your 4 days of being here for a one day visit in Petra and that would be ashamed. As little as Israel is, it's not that small and many of the roads are through the mountains making driving a bit slower than you may expect. Together with going from place to place, which in itself is time consuming you may run into delays due to traffic. If you are not willing to forgo Petra than I suggest you fly directly to Eilat (with a connection flight via Ben Gurion airport) and do Petra the next day, catching the last flight out of Eilat back to Ben Gurion. From there go to Jerusalem. In Jerusalem visit the Old City including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Western Wall, Arab Bazaar and what's in between. Second day in Jerusalem visit the City of David and Yad Vashem with the following day dedicted to the Dead Sea and Masada (in a rented car which is the only day you will need a car). If you opt to be in Jerusalem only one day, do the first option and then drive north to Nazareth and the churches around the Sea of Galilee. But keep in mind that you exhaustion may take over and could be potentially dangerous while driving on the roads. Also it gets dark at 5 and most sites close at 4 p.m.

Chana

Israel

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

Thanks rdglady,

I'll actually be flying into an out of Israel after 2-3 days in the UK and the flying back to the UK before coming back to Australia.

I've looked around and I think I can do what I'd like ariving in Tel Aviv on a Monday and leaving Jerusalem on the Friday. I've looked up a one day tour to Petra from Eilat which seems like the thing to do.

I think a can spend a night in Tel Aviv, a full day and a half in Jerusalem, and two nights in Eilat (either side of the Petra tour) before heading back to Tel Aviv and the flight to London.

Thanks for your help. Any more ideas and opinions would be really appreciated. Yes I know its short, my Israeli colleague will scold me at work tomorrow BUT I'd rather spend 5 days in Israel than spend it visiting friends in the UK who complain about the weather !

NYC/Israel
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5. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

Andy--reading the above it looks like you are eliminating Nazareth, Dead Sea. That works.

How much time are you actually going to be in Tel Aviv? If there to see some of the city ( good idea) than fine, if there because the airport says Tel AViv and you think it is closer than Jerusalem be aware that the airport is in between the two cities and only 15 minutes further from Jerusalem than from Tel Aviv.

Also, when you make Eilat-airport-London arrangements be aware you need to check in to an international flight 3 hours before your flight. You will also be changing terminals in Ben Gurion so make sure you are scheduled to land 3.5 hours minimum before you are scheduled to take off. I also think with your mini-trip and visit to Jordan squeezed in you are a good candidate for extra questioning by security SO-don't attempt to "Amazing RAce" through the process! ( I like/watch the show too)

Ottawa, Canada
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6. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

I totally 'get' your travel style and have been accused of it myself on occasion.

What about flying into Eilat on the Monday from Heathrow, hit the beach and see some of the sites or take a dive or parasail. Then touring Petra on an organized tour on Tues. Wednesday morning drive north and stop at the Dead Sea and Masada and arrive in Jerusalem in the early evening. Thursday touring Jerusalem, Friday touring Jerusalem and getting a late flight out back to London.

If you can get away on Sunday evening (Swiss Air has a flight from Heathrow to Eilat in the evening, you could have a full day on Monday and even do Petra on the Monday and then have an extra day to see the sites in Jerusalem or squeeze in a day to Tel Aviv.

Sydney, Australia
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7. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

Folks (rdglady, anmejoshme, VisitIsrael)

Thanks for the insights. I may well tweak that provisional schedule a bit. I have a BA flight so I have to be in and out of Tel Aviv. Flying to Eilat would have been a good move and then just travelling north (after Petra) would make more sense. I will see if I can change that. As for the israel\Petra stay being short, yes you are right but hopefully I get to return with my wife and kids (when I have some). This may well be just a taster but I'd rather have a taster than not. I will definitely advise others of my folly if thats the case and my Isareli colleague has been kind to me after reviewing my provisional plan. Thanks again and i will look out for any other opinions as they come in.

Barring the flight in and out, everything else is up for change once I'm on the ground. To be honest Yad Vaschem and Petra are the essential things for me and everything else will be a bonus.

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8. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

anmejoshme'a schedule makes the most sense. You miss Tel Aviv, but honestly (and I might get hated on the board for this) but there is not much to see there besides Jaffa, and it's not worth giving up the Dead Sea or Masada for.

May I suggest that after your tour to Petra, you stay overnight in the city of Aqaba, right by the Arava (Eilat) border crossing, instead of in Eilat? There is zero to do in Eilat at night. There is not much to do in Aqaba, either, but it is a more more interesting city to walk around in. It is perfectly safe and has an Arab castle from the 1600's and a Chinese market.

Go to the border crossing in the morning, cross into Eilat and continue on north.

I did this and was extremely happy. A taxi from Aqaba to the border crossing is about $10.

I can recommend a hotel for you, as well, if this is what you decide.

In terms of renting a car: I wouldn't, especially alone. Driving from Eilat to Jerusalem through the desert, with little sleep, is not advisable. There are no other cars on the road, no gas stations and no cell phone service. If anything goes wrong, you are totally on your own. Israeli buses are cheap and punctual. However, there are obviously more security concerns on public buses, so you have to balance that risk and decide for yourself.

I wish you the best of luck on your trip!

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9. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

I agree with Platna that Tel-Aviv should be given a low priority on such a short trip, but I disagree stongly with his statement " there is not much to see there besides Jaffa".

I also disagree with his statements about Highway 90. To the best of my knowledge there is complete cell-phone coverage, people complain that there is too much traffic for 2-lane road and there are 7 gas stations on Hwy 90 between Eilat and Massada (Yotvata, Yahel, Faran, Sapir, Ein Hazteva, Hwy 25 Junct, Neve Zohar)

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10. Re: Israel (Jerusalem, Tel Aviv), Jordan (Petra) in 4 days !

I wonder if Planta and I visit the same cities or different places with the same name?

There is plenty to do at night in Eilat. The boardwalk market, restaurants, bars, belly dancing and other types of shows are all filled with people. Even the beaches have lots of people sitting on them enjoying the evening air and meeting each other. I have met people from all over the world just sitting having a falafel on the beachfront in Eilat at night.

Staying in Aquaba is definitely a cheaper option and that might be a reason to stay there but not because there is no night life in Eilat.

As far as driving from Eilat to Aqaba. I also disagree that you shouldn't do this by yourself. I am a middle aged woman who often travels on my own. I see no reason why you couldn't drive Highway 90 by yourself. It is only 4 hours. If you drive long distance in Australia (I live in Canada and am also used to driving longer distances), it really is no big deal. Of course, always carry drinking water with you where ever you go in Israel but other than that, I just don't see a problem. As mbgg said, there are enough gas stations and washroom stops and traffic is fairly steady.

Although I agree that Tel Aviv might be a bit difficult on your timeline, I disagree that there is nothing to do there except Jaffa. So, so much to see and do and a different feel to the city than you get in other places. I love visiting Tel Aviv and in the 15 times I have actually stayed right in the city, there are still things that I haven't seen or done on my list. Depends what you want to do in your schedule. It is only a 50 minute busride to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem and if you want to take it on 'Amazing Race style', you could do it but you may want to spend that time exploring Jerusalem instead on such a short visit.