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Israel in 2009

London, United...
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Israel in 2009

Shalom everyone,

We are thinking of visiting Israel in Aug 2009. I take it the weather will be pleasent during that time of the year.

We are interested in a Christian tour which means going from one place to another. We would like to come for 2 weeks.

Can anyone recommend a local tour company that has these types of tour orginating from Jerusalem or even Tel Aviv?

Can these tours be done on our own? All I need to do is rent a property wherever I go.


Yoav Rotem Private Tours Israel
Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Food Tours, Wine Tours & Tastings , Archaeology Tours
Aviv Tours Israel - private tour guide
City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Private Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Day Trips
Yuval Statman Tours
Historical & Heritage Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Cultural Tours, Walking Tours
Shuki Cohen - tour guide
Day Trips, City Tours, Sightseeing Tours, Archaeology Tours, Cultural Tours
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for Tel Aviv, Galilee, Israel
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1. Re: Israel in 2009

Aug is our hottest month, temperatures in Tel Aviv will be 85-90 during the day, cooler in Jerusalem and the north, hotter in Eilat. Buses, hotels, restaurants etc.. have A/C. I can assure you, no rain! This trip is doable on your own and we can help you to draw your plan, book hotels, guides, rent a car and so on. There are also companies with organized tours. You can take short tours or a whole tour - up to you. My advice is to incorporate short tours for some places (e.g. Dead Sea as day trip from Jerusalem), with going on your own, especially in the Old City to feel and savor it fully. Still the Old City needs some guidance too, maybe with a tour company called Zion Walking Tours.

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2. Re: Israel in 2009

Unless you enjoy exceedingly hot weather - the weather is not pleasant during August.

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3. Re: Israel in 2009

I think that August is the most unpleasant month to visit Iisrael. It is hot and humid. Unless you simply cannot travel on other months of the year (are you a school teacher?), April, May and October are much more pleasant.

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4. Re: Israel in 2009

The people on this forum will be glad to give you help regardless of how you decide to do your trip.

2 weeks is a very nice timeframe in which to do your trip.

I will echo those who have already said that August will not be the best time to go to Israel. I went in mid/late July one time and roasted! *smile* I recommend April, May or even October/early November.........I've also been in late March and had nice weather. Much more moderate weather.

How many are traveling with you? Is it just two? Or perhaps more? You can do travel on your own (renting a car and/or using public transportation when possible.............), you can book a tour all inclusive type trip, you can do some travel on your own and join up with some day-tours, you can have some "off days" and hire a guide/driver for part of your trip-------so many ways to travel! And they have pros and cons.

So, before we offer any more suggestions please do post back and let us know whether or not you want somebody to plan your trip for you (all inclusive tour) or whether you would like to plan your own. This will help us to proceed to help you more.

You're going to love your trip to Israel........absolutely!

Kathy Walters

Paragon, Indiana, USA


Washington State
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5. Re: Israel in 2009

You might want to take a look at the below web page. It is from a company called MTS Travel. This page lists the upcoming trips booked through them. Click on each trip to get a day by day schedule.

There are none scheduled for 2009 yet, but this would give you a good idea of what you might see if you joined a group tour.


Thousand Oaks...
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6. Re: Israel in 2009

Coming from Chicago you may find the August heat of Israel a welcome respite !!

I have been there in the heat of August and found it not too bad. If you are healthy and in good physical shape you should be fine. If you are elderly, on medications, or have some underlying physical issues, you should definitely consult with your physician prior to booking.

Undoubtedly, your organized tour will include walking, perhaps some hiking, and a fair amount of outdoors time. As others have correctly stated, this is the hottest month of the year so good preparation is paramount.

Have fun !

Dr. Z

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7. Re: Israel in 2009

Thank you everyone for you input.

We are going to be a group of 4. Maybe more might join in later.

Me, the Mrs and my 9 year old daughter. And a friend of mine will join in to.

I want to know the best way to sort this trip out starting from Tel-Aviv and ending in Tel-Aviv.

Heat is not an issue. Unfortunately, we cant go for longer periods apart from August.

I thought 2 weeks will be enough to see Israel.

So, I dont mind if someone gives me a step by step itinary to cover all the relevant parts of a Christian tour.


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8. Re: Israel in 2009

I'll weigh in on this -- but with a suggestion. First of all, it is of course your trip. But while I understand a desire to focus on Christian sites (and I am myself Christian), I recommend that you try to experience Israel's character as a reborn Jewish homeland as well. Part of what makes Israel so uniquely fascinating is that juxtaposition of the ancient and new -- a land that is 3,000+ years old, but also turns 60 next year.

I would recommend this basic itinerary:

Tel Aviv -- start there for 3 nights, one of which is your arrival day.

Haifa -- 2 nights, using that as a base to explore Akko and the western Galilee as well. You can see Caesarea on the way from Tel Aviv.

Tiberias -- 2-3 nights. This is your gateway to the Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) region, where most of the major Christian sites are located. Wonderful area -- but brutally hot in August because it is below sea level.

Jerusalem -- 6-7 nights. Jerusalem is the heart and culmination of a pilgramage trip to Israel. But along with the Christian sites on the Mount of Olives and in the Old City, you should see Yad Vashem, the Israel Museum, and the Tower of David Museum of the History of Israel, and of course the Western Wall and Temple Mount. You can also journey to Masada and the Dead Sea as a day-trip from Jerusalem, but be aware that it will be VERY hot there.

If it would be helpful to you, I would be happy to send you a free copy of a 38-page, noncommercial travel guide that I have written on visiting Israel based on my eight trips there (with # 9 coming up in August). I'm a labor and employment lawyer, not in the travel business, but I like to help people plan their trips. If interested, e-mail me at Labatt@fuse.net.

By the way, I know you said start and end in Tel Aviv, but if you end in Jerusalem, you are only 15 minutes farther from the airport than you would be if you end up in Tel Aviv. The airport is actually between the two cities.

I hope that helps, and still others will obviously share their suggestions.

Douglas Duckett

Washington State
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9. Re: Israel in 2009

This is the itinerary for a trip I'm leading next fall. I've left in a little of the "brochure talk" to give you some idea why we're going to some of the spots.

I would certainly skip Tel Arad and I'billin if I was on my own and I wouldn't expect someone doing their own touring (without a guide and driver) could possible do all we have scheduled.

BTW, last time I led a group I took my 10 year old and 14 year old daughters. they loved it, but the 10 year old doesn't remember many of the specifics. I have a 9 year old child planning to go on my upcoming trip.

They may take 2-3 posts...we'll see


October 25 Departure

Depart on our flight for our transatlantic flight to Tel Aviv.

October 26 Tel Aviv / Galilee

Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv and drive north along the Mediterranean seacoast to Netanya for dinner and overnight.

October 27 The Galilee

Drive north to Caesarea Maritima with its magnificent harbor, theater and aqueduct constructed during the reign of Herod. It was here that Peter explained the way of salvation to Cornelius. Ascend Mt. Carmel, site of Elijah’s confrontation with the prophets of Ba’al. Drive to the mound of Megiddo, har megiddo in Hebrew, which gave its name to “Armageddon”. Stop at En Harod, the site of Gideon’s victory over the Midianite during the time of the Judges. Continue to Kibbutz Ma’agan along the southern shore of the Sea of Galilee for dinner and overnight.

October 28 Nazareth – Sepphoris

This morning travel to Nazareth, visiting Mary’s well (the chief spring of the ancient village), where Mary would have done her family’s laundry and walk through the present-day bazaar, over the site of the ancient village, to the Church of the Annunciation. Continue to the viewing ridge, from which one sees the site of the ancient village on one side and the Jezreel Plain and Mt. Tabor on the other. Stop by the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, then drive to nearby Sepphoris, the only city in the midst of Galilee at the time when Jesus was growing up—today a rich archaeological site. Brief stop at Cana, commemorating Jesus’ transformation of water into wine. Finally, visit the school in the village of I’billin before ending the day at the Arbel Cliff for a spectacular view of the northern part of the Sea of Galilee. Dinner and overnight.

October 29 Sea of Galilee

Today explore the area around the Sea of Galilee. Begin the day at Migdal, home of Mary Magdalene. Continue to Nof Ginosar for a visit to the museum displaying a first century fishing boat, found buried under an exposed section of the lakebed during a drought in 1986. Explore Capernaum, and to visit the remains of the fourth-century synagogue and the place where early Christians remembered Peter’s house. Continue to Tabgha (short for Heptapagon, “seven springs”) to view the mosaics in the Church of the Loaves and Fishes. Ascend the Mt. of Beatitudes, and listen to Jesus’ teachings. Visit Bethsaida, the home of several Apostles. End the day with a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee before returning to the kibbutz for dinner and overnight.

October 30 Sea of Galilee Area

Stop to see the remains of the black basalt town of Chorazim, a village condemned by Jesus for failing to accept his teachings. Continue to Hazor, the biggest of the Canaanite cities in the land, with its newly exposed palace. Then drive to Tel Dan. Here we walk through the nature reserve at the headwaters of the Jordan River, then visit the ruins, including the high place of Jeroboam. Proceed to Caesarea Philippi (Banias), where Peter answered Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?” Our route then takes us over the Golan Heights, skirting Mt. Hermon, with a view toward Damascus. Stop at Kursi, where Jesus heal a demon posessed man, before returning to the kibbutz for dinner and overnight.

October 31 Dead Sea Area

We head south to visit the mound of Bet Shean, which under the name of Scythopolis served as capital for the Roman Decapolis. Above the mighty Roman ruins is the tel, on which we stand to view the setting for the last days of Saul. Drive south through the Jordan Valley, viewing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan across the river. Stop at Jericho to visit the tell of this ancient city and to view the traditional mountain of Jesus’ temptation. Continue through the Judean desert to Qumran to view Cave #4, which contained the greatest quantity of Dead Sea scrolls. Enjoy a swim in the Dead Sea (weather permitting), where it is impossible to sink because of the high salt density! Dinner and overnight at Kibbutz Kalia.

November 1 Masada-Tel Arad

Start the day at Masada and take the cable car to the top, visiting Herod’s mountain bunker and the last stronghold of the Jewish revolt against Rome (66-73 AD). Visit Tel Arad, which encompasses ruins of a city 5000 years old, as well as an Israelite fortress from the time of Isaiah, complete with temple. Return along the Dead Sea and stop at the nature reserve at En Gedi. David hid from Saul in the caves here. Ascent the steep Roman road along Wadi Qilt that follows the path from Jericho to Jerusalem. Stop for a look at St. George’s Monastery, built into the Cliffside. Finally, atop Mt. Scopus, behold the majestic Holy City of Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem at the Ambassador Hotel.

November 2 Jerusalem

Begin our day with a visit to the Tombs of the Kings before continuing to Bethany, home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. From the Mt. of Olives follow the traditional Palm Sunday route to the church known as Dominus Flevit (the Lord Weeps). After viewing the Golden Gate, walk downhill to Gethsemane. Visit the Crusader built Mary’s Tomb.

Drive to Mt. Zion to the Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu, which affords the best view of early Jerusalem from the west. Assumptionist Fathers propose that this is the site of the house of Caiaphas, where Jesus was interrogated. Drive to Solomon’s Pools, Jerusalem’s main source of water for almost 2000 years. Continue with a visit to Bethlehem, walking through the alleys and markets to the Church of the Nativity. Drive to the edge of the Judean desert to the grand Herodian where Herod’s tomb has recently been discovered. We’ll spend some time Olivewood shopping and possibly have dinner in Bethlehem. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem.

November 3 Jerusalem – Three Quarters Tour

Entering through the Dung Gate, we make a quick stop at the Western Wall. Then, ascend the steps to the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site of Islam located on the traditional site of the ancient Temple Mount. See the Pool of Bethesda and visit St. Anne’s Church, taking time to sing a song to hear the spectacular acoustics of the church. Walk along the Via Dolorosa, the Way of Sorrows, ending at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Christian Quarter. We’ll visit the Moslem quarter along the way.

We’ll head past the Jaffa Gate and visit St. Mark’s Syrian Orthodox Church, believed by many to occupy the site of the home of St. Mark’s mother, Mary, where Peter went after he was released from prison by an angel. Some believe this to be the place of the baptism of the Virgin Mary, as well as the site of the Last Supper. Continue to the Armenian Quarter to see St. James Armenian Church, believed to be built on the site of the beheading of St. James, making him the first martyred disciple. Take time to shop in the busy souk in the Muslim Quarter, where bargaining is expected! Having visited “Three Quarters” of the Old City, end today’s touring at the Garden Tomb, a beautiful place to remember the resurrection. A special Middle Eastern dinner is planned tonight at Pasha’s, situated in the beautiful garden of a recently restored Arab villa. Overnight in Jerusalem.

November 4 Jerusalem

Much of the day will be spent in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City, beginning at the Western Wall, Judaism’s holiest site. Walk through the Rabbinical Tunnel, enabling you to examine the length of the outer Herodian Temple wall—mostly preserved in mint condition—including two stone blocks each weighing about 600 tons. Continue to the Southern Wall excavations and stand on the same steps that Jesus and His disciples used while descending from the Temple Mount.

Walk along the Roman Cardo and stop to see the Broad Wall, the remains of a fortified stone wall dating from the time of King Hezekiah. Visit the Wohl Archaeological Museum to see what is left of several mansions from Herodian times. Outside the city wall, take time to explore the excavations of the City of David, the oldest part of Jerusalem and the confirmed site of the city captured and developed by Kind David. See the Gihon Spring, source of the water supply for the city, flowing through the tunnel built by King Hezekiah, into the newly re-discovered Pool of Siloam. Optional visit to Church of the Holy Sepulcher to watch the door closing ceremony. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

November 5

Today is free to explore Jerusalem on your own. The possibilities are endless— bargain for olive wood and jewelry in the bazaars of the Old City, walk the rampart walls or spend time in several of the many museums. Those who are interested may join Pastor Al for an optional self guided tour of Israeli Museum in late morning. Located here is also the model of Jerusalem, representing how the city looked on the eve of the Jewish revolt 36 years after the Passion of Jesus, and the Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. You may wish to visit the nearby Holocaust Museum, Yad Vashem. Return to the hotel by taxi on your own. Afternoon free to shop or re-visit sites in the Old City. We’ll have lots of suggestions for you. Dinner and overnight

November 6 Foothills

This morning view the ancient approach to Jerusalem and high place of Gibeon where Samuel’s tomb is located. Travel the Emmaus road to the Valley of Elah where David slew Goliath and visit the archeological excavations of Tel-Maresha and Tel Lachish. Return to Jerusalem for last minute shopping or packing (or, we may visit the port of Joppa). Tonight enjoy a special farewell dinner. Transfer to the Tel Aviv airport for your late night departure to the USA.

10. Re: Israel in 2009

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