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Israel Trip in March

Los Angeles...
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Israel Trip in March

Hi Everyone

I am planning a trip to Israel mid March 2014. I would love some advice!

We are going for about 10-12 nights. Flying into Tel Aviv. I would love to visit Jerusalem as well. We are a married couple early 30's, love to walk everywhere, budget not really a main concern. So, here are my questions:

Mid March weather okay? I know weather is unpredictable =)

Is 10 nights enough to visit the main sites?

How easy is it to get around? I know the country is pretty small, so what areas can we go see from Tel Aviv and from Jerusalem if we based ourselves from there?

What areas are not to be missed?

I am just starting my research into Israel. Would love any advice. Thank you in advance.

Jerusalem, Israel
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1. Re: Israel Trip in March

Mid March weather is just fine - a bit cold (Jerusalem: 15 (max) 8 (min), Tel Aviv: 19 (max) 11 (min); degrees are in Celsius) and some occasional rains.

Flying into Tel Aviv - you're actually flying into Ben Gurion int'l airport, situated about halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv (just a bit closer to Tel Aviv - that's why it has this reference). You can actaully transfer to Jerusalem very easily.

Israel is very easy to get around - by a rental car or by public transportation. Road signs all have full English directions and buses are effective to the cities (but to a less extent to rural areas).

If you rent a car - use it only for travel across the country. Large cities such as Jerusalem and Tel Aviv are hard to drive and even harder to find parking - use public transportation in those cities!

I will propose a basic itinerary, but I need to know how interested are you in religious sites (and if so - which religion) to personalize it for you. Till then, a basic itineray of 12 nights for Israel:

Day 1 - Arrival at Ben Gurion int'l airport (code: TLV) and transfer to Tel Aviv. Overnight Tel Aviv

Day 2 - Tel Aviv and old Jaffa

Day 3 - Tel Aviv

Day 4 - Rent a car and depart north: visit Caesarea national park and Haifa's Bahai gardens. Overnight Haifa.

Day 5 - Visit Akko and Rosh Hanikra. Later drive to the Sea of Galile. Overnight at Tiberias or in a kibbutz.

Day 6 - Wake up early - go south and visit Beit She'an national park. Later drive south on hwy 90 till the Dead Sea. Visit Masada national park. Overnight at the Dead Sea.

Day 7 - Dead Sea dip + drive north to Ein Gedi nature reserve. Later drive north on hwy 90 then west to hwy 1 up to Jerusalem - return car at Jerusalem. Overnight in Jerusalem.

Day 8 - Jerusalem

Day 9 - Jerusalem

Day 10 - Jerusalem

Day 11 - Jerusalem

Day 12 - Jerusalem. Transfer via "Nesher" sherut (airport shuttle) to Ben Gurion int'l airport.

(5 days in Jerusalem is barely enough to scratch the surface)

Edited: 5:41 pm, November 01, 2013
Los Angeles...
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2. Re: Israel Trip in March

Thank you for your detailed advice! Majority of time I was thinking about spending in Jerusalem and surrounding areas, so thank you for confirming my assumptions!

Religion wise, I don't identify with any (I'm South American, baptized catholic but have not practiced Catholicism for many many years). I'm interested in historic sites and archeology. We like to take our time in different areas and not necessarily just tick boxes ;)

Would adding Petra be too much?

israel
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3. Re: Israel Trip in March

For Petra you need one day to get to Eilat, cros the border in the morning and spend two nights Petra and Wad Rum. Cross back and drive north. This will take a lot of your time.

On the suggested plan add a day in the north. Visit the sites around the Kinneret (sea of Gallili) and one or two of the sites there like Banias, Mount Bental or Gamla. If you visit Casearia youcan skip Beit Shean for a future visit.

Jerusalem, Israel
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4. Re: Israel Trip in March

If you're not particularly interested in religious sites, then your visits to Caesarea, Akko and Beit She'an will cover the historical sites and archeology interest, outside of Jerusalem

Visiting Jerusalem - you will see the sites of the 3 religions - Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Feel free to stretch another day in the Galilee or in Tel Aviv as you go - but that would be in the expense of Jerusalem.

Adding Petra would be too much - Petra is way off your route and add to that the hassle of crossing the border to Jordan. Had you done a different itinerary (a southern one) that would be very possible (and recommended). You haven't visited Israel yet, but let me say that in your second visit you can definitely add Petra, as part of touring southern Israel.

(a southern route on this first tour would be going on day 4 from Tel Aviv south and visiting the Negev desert ending at Day 7 at the Dead Sea. But there are much more important sites in northern Israel) (you would see a desert anyhow - the Dead Sea area is in a desert! (the Judea desert) )

Paragon
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5. Re: Israel Trip in March

You are getting great info/advice......I would only add that IF you can add more days that would be great. I am just home less than a week from a trip wherein 3 of us were two nights in Tel Aviv, six nights in the Galilee and a full week in Jerusalem and it wasn't enough.

Kathy

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6. Re: Israel Trip in March

Thank you all very much for the great advice!

Sorry If my answer was misunderstood, I am interested in the religious sites =) I just meant that I am not visiting Israel to focus on one religion, but rather see all three mentioned above by Amos R.

We are flexible with adding more time Kath4HIM, so thank you for your advice about not having enough time. I would rather see a country in a slower pace rather than just ticking boxes =)

I kept seeing recommendations for Abraham Hostel Tours by someone in the forums. Are they a good choice for transportation? I am not really keen on having a tour guide. We like to explore ourselves. Hiring a car is probably not an option for us.

israel
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7. Re: Israel Trip in March

Check the reviews on Abraham hostel tours and accommodation. As I live in Israel and tour by myself I have no personal experience, just reading the trip reports.

Israel
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8. Re: Israel Trip in March

If you are not planning on renting a car, then be prepared for spending additional time on the road using our excellent public transportation system. Additionally, you will find that it is nearly impossible to visit the religious sites in the Galilee, as buses do not reach these sites often if at all. Sites such as Mt. of Beatitudes, Tabgha, Capernaum, Mt. Tabor, Baniyas, Caesarea for instance will be nearly impossible to visit without a car or taking a taxi from the nearest city. I agree that it is too much to go to Petra on such a short trip where you are planning to visit the north as well as Jerusalem.

Chana

Israel

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9. Re: Israel Trip in March

hi

Can i ask you if you were on a tour? I am looking for a tour for Feb 2014...around 9-11 nights leaving JFK

Any suggestions?

NYC/Israel
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10. Re: Israel Trip in March

iolamia--just from their questions, writing an itinerary and asking for feedback seems to indicate they are going on their own.

Rather than write on this thread--since what you want is 100% different, I suggest you remove this post and start your own thread. --or if you are looking for a Jewish tour group, there are two threads going--read and see what feedback has been given about the tour groups these individuals asked about. ( but do not post your own, it just confuses things) If you are looking for a Christian or general tour I suggest your start your own thread and include information about what you are looking.