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Tours from Tel Aviv?

Bern, Switzerland
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Tours from Tel Aviv?

Hi!

In mid October me and my buddy (late twenties) plan to go to Israel for about 10 days.

We will go to Tel Aviv and visit some friends of us there. Next to that We also want to explore a little more outside of Tel Aviv. Off the top of my head I think of trips to Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and Petra in Jordan.

Do you have any hints for me regarding what is the best way to go to those places, how much time it would need, prices and other ideas?

Also: do you think there is something more we definitely should take into account for our itinerary? (I would also be interested in natural attractions and National Parks worth going to)

Especially for Petra I'm interested in tours or how best to get there? Is it doable in 1-2 days and how much would it cost?

Cheers

Tel-Aviv
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for Tel Aviv
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1. Re: Tours from Tel Aviv?

You definitely should not stay in Tel-Aviv for the entire vacation. You should budget at least 3 days in Jerusalem and stay overnight there to avoid traveling back-and-forth each day. The Dead Sea is also more easily accessible from Jerusalem and you should look at the Abraham Hostel tour:

abraham-hostel-jerusalem.com/en-us/activitie…

This hostel is often recommended as a place to stay in Jerusalem.

To go to Petra you have to travel first to Eilat, then either take an organised tour or do-it-yourself, i.e. take a taxi from Aqaba to Petra (post questions on the Jordan forum). Desert Eco tours have received good reviews:

desertecotours.com/English/jordan_short_tour…

The bus to Eilat takes over five hours so unless you fly, a Petra trip will take 3-4 days of your vacation. That will not leave you much time for exploring the Galilee and Golan.

The National Parks web site:

parks.org.il/parks/…entranceFees.aspx

Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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2. Re: Tours from Tel Aviv?

I agree with mbgg that you should have more than one base for this trip. Israel is a small country but it isn't that small that you want to spend half of your days traveling back and forth. Having a few days in Jerusalem will save you tons of time especially if you want to tour to the Dead Sea, and of course Jerusalem itself is pretty amazing.

There are several options for doing the kind of trips you want:

1) rent a car and explore on your own going to the Dead Sea and the Galilee-you absolutely do not need a car in Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, public transit and walking is a far better option

2) Some places have excellent public transit so taking a bus or train may be the best option, if you want to visit Akko, for example

3) Taking a tour that is transportation only such as offered through Abraham Hostel Tours (you don't need to be staying there to use their services)

4) Take a bus tour with a group...this is probably the best option for going to Petra as it is a huge time saver as opposed to trying to arrange transportation on your own

Petra is really far from Tel Aviv for a day trip when looking at distances. It is at least a 7 hour drive and a border crossing. The border crossing could take 15 minutes or it could take well over an hour or more. I have had experience with both and it is totally unpredictable. There are tours to Petra from Tel Aviv that fly you down early morning to cross the border (the airport is very close to the border crossing) and then spend the day in Petra and fly you back. No matter how you do the Petra tour, be forewarned, it is not inexpensive. The entrance to Petra alone is $127US for a single day entry. That is per person. Add on your transportation, you have to eat and drink, any souvenirs, etc. and the you can expect to pay about $250 for a day from Eilat. A group tour will cost about the same amount and will include a guide who will spend time with you as well as giving you time to explore on your own. You don't have to stay with the group, the guides give a 'return to bus' time. You might find a cheaper way to do this, but search this forum and you will see plenty of people who regretted taking a 'cheaper' tour.

The National Parks in Israel are fantastic. Some of the parks in the Upper Galilee are especially of note such as Banias or Tel Dan, Gamla which are all nature parks though they have ruins and history as well. Other parks such as Ceasarea, and Nimrods Castle are primarily ruins and very worthwhile to visit as well. Check out the National Parks website that mgbb posted above.

Haifa, Israel
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3. Re: Tours from Tel Aviv?

I do agree with the majority of mbgg and anmejoshme advice with some comments mainly due to your limited time in Israel:

1. Petra trip from Eilat is better organized than do-it-yourself (why to have headache?)

2. Despite loving north of Israel, suggest to keep it for next trip and use the time after Jerusalem to explore the south (Dead Sea, Masada, Ein Gedi, Ramon Crater to name a few)

Edited: 23 July 2013, 05:52
Washington DC...
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4. Re: Tours from Tel Aviv?

Re: Petra (from Eilat), you have option of doing the tour in 1 day or 2 days. Obviously your total time in Israel is one thing, but the other issue regards photography. If you are very into photography, it's better to stay overnight, then you do the Petra tour in the morning /early afternoon, when the light is better (and it's cooler to walk around, although this shouldn't be an issue in October.) If you do a one day trip, you end up in Petra in the afternoon and the light isn't as good.

israel
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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5. Re: Tours from Tel Aviv?

A 1 day tour is very expensive. The 2 day tour needs only a small addtion. Check with the companies offering these tours like Desesrt Eco Tours. There are companies too.

6. Re: Tours from Tel Aviv?

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