My wife has tasked me with the job of planning a trip to Israel for our family (wife, me and 9 year old) during the December/early January break. I wanted to ask the forum to help me, since I am a bit lost.
A quick list of what we want to see includes
- Jerusalem (old city, Yad Vashem, Hebrew Univ.)
- Akko, Caesarea
- Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, Massada
- Negev (Machteshim, etc).
- A little time in Tel Aviv to visit the Beith Hatefusot, etc
- would like to do a quick trip to visit Petra in Jordan
I have several questions
a) Are there specific, interesting places to go visit/do in the Negev (caves, unique landscapes)? Which/where? how does one organize a trip there?
b) What is the best way to do this logistically?
I am assuming this will require being based in Jerusalem for a few days (maybe 3 or 4 days?), spending some time around Massada, Ein Gedi, Dead Sea for 2 days, 2-3 days in the North to see the Golan, Galilee, Akko and Caesarea (where?), and 2-3 days to see the Negev and Eilat, and probably 2 more days to go and see Petra. We have two weeks and this just fits in theory.
- Is this reasonable?
- How would one organize an itinerary?
- If we go around X-mas and New year, are there logistic problems that may make this unrealistic?
- How does one
c) How does one visit the Golan heights? Are there specific areas or activities that make for interesting one or half day trips? how does one organize these trips?
d) similar question relative to the Galilee. We dont want to spend time in Tzfat or KfarNaum, Kinneret, etc as we dont think it will be that interesting to our 9 year old, but we believe there is natural beauty in the Galilee that may be interesting to explore?
e) Is it possible to hire a private guide with a car who would take us around, hike and climb with us, drive around and know where/how tro park, etc? Or is it a bad idea in your views and one should actually either drive oneself around or go around by bus (my one issue with going around by bus is whether it is flexible and time efficient given our packed schedule)?
f) How does one organize a trip from Israel to Petra? should we go from Jerusalem or from Eilat to Jordan? Can or should one do it independently?
g) Do you think we are missing something big or very cool (nature and ancient history are the things that excite us)? what is it?
Any opinions or ideas would be very welcome!