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Israel holiday

Sydney, Australia
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84 posts
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Israel holiday

Hello to Heather G Melbourne,

My husband and I were discussing a possible holiday to Israel in September with another couple. We would like to visit the places listed by Asty from England plus Tel Aviv and if we did a tour stay on in Jerusalum afterwards. We are not sure to do a tour or go independently. We have all travelled independently quite a lot and my husband has been to Israel some thirty odd years ago and spent a few months there. We would appreciate if you could advise if you stayed in the old city or outside and if so can you recommend to us the place. Also when you did take a tour which company did you use and did you book from Australia or when you arrived. Is September a nice time to visit weather wise, I know that anytime to see Israel would be wonderful to me except I do not like the heat or too busy. Many thanks for any information and your time

Cassandra 1984

sydney

Sydney

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Israel
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1. Re: Israel holiday

I am reposting my reply to this same message on another thread simply because it is better if discussion remains on this thread so your answers will be concentrated in one place.

If you read through many of the posts here you will find lots of valuable information.

I urge you to reconsider coming in Sept of 2013 - this year the month is full of the Jewish holidays, they all fall in Sept this year. What this means is that prices will be higher, places will be crowded and you will be faced with a good number of days with no public transportation and limited hours of admission at many sites and more days that sites are closed. If you can come in Oct. it will be better.

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Israel holiday

That's a shame as we can only take our holidays at that time, looks like we will have to think of an alternative trip. Many thanks for your kind reply and information

Haifa, Israel
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for Jerusalem
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3. Re: Israel holiday

The holidays are:

5-6-7 September (Rosh Hashanah/Shabbat)

14 September (Yom Kippur)

18-26 September will be busy for the Sukkot holiday but things will only be fully closed on 19 and 26.

For all the above, things will be closed from mid-the previous afternoon.

However, for example, if you come 8-17 Sept, there won't be so much extra disruption. Ideally you would choose a different month, but if September is the only option you don't need to give up - just to plan well, choose dates wisely for your activities, and book things far in advance.

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Israel holiday

Thank you so much for advising me of those important dates it is very much appreciated. Yes I was disappointed to have been that it would not be the best time to visit. In saying that you have sparked my interest again as we intend to travel in early September and stay around ten days to two weeks. So once agin thank you and we will reconsider travelling to your beautiful country

Israel
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for Israel
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5. Re: Israel holiday

The Jewish calendar does not coincide with the secular, Western calendar, so the holidays fall on different dates every year. Next year (2014), that string of holidays begins on September 24, and ends in mid-October. If you are set on visiting Israel in September and could postpone it to next year, that would work much better.

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Israel holiday

Unfortunately we cannot go next year at that time as we have family events happening, but thank you for advising me of the situation we appreciate the time taken to do so.

Gippsland, Australia
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for Jerusalem
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7. Re: Israel holiday

Hi Cassandra.

<<<We are not sure to do a tour or go independently. We have all travelled independently quite a lot and my husband has been to Israel some thirty odd years ago and spent a few months there. >>>

If you can afford to do so, I would suggest that you do both. On a tour you get to see more places in a short space of time. Everything is organised for you at every site by the tour leaders and there is less time wasted. Your days are very full and if you are with a good tour then you come away feeling that your money was very well spent. However, there is little time for shopping on a tour. Everyone who was on the tours we have been on wanted to stay on in Jerusalem to explore on their own and shop. Those who hadn't thought of that in advance regretted it. There are also places that you can't get to so readily on a tour (eg in the West Bank), and for some of those we hired a private guide.

The tours I have been on I booked via the Internet. We were specifically looking for tours with a strong Biblical interest because I lead ladies Bible Study groups and wanted to learn as much as I could. The first tour we did was organised by Woodrow Kroll - a well known Bible Teacher in the USA who for many years was President of the organisation called 'Back to the Bible.'. He has led many tours and everything was well organised. If you check out www.maranathatours.com you will see his tours among the many there. The page specifically for his tours is found here:

www.maranathatours.com/woodrow-kroll-journeys

The second tour we did was organised by a pastor from the USA (John Delancey) who has actually studied archaeology in Jerusalem. That was also excellent. John leads several tours every year to Israel. His website is here:

http://biblicalisraeltours.com/

<<<We would appreciate if you could advise if you stayed in the old city or outside and if so can you recommend to us the place>>>

We didn't stay IN the old city - but as close as we could to it. I have to be on a strict gluten-free diet and felt I stood a better chance staying in a good hotel, or near a place where there were a lot of restaurants to choose from. The first time we stayed at the Grand Court Hotel in George Street. The second time we stayed at the Harmony Hotel. (You can find both of those on www.booking.com). The Harmony hotels was the best located, but I personally probably wouldn't stay there again because the rooms are very small and the price has gone very high. I am currently looking at renting a short term apartment for our next trip which could work out a bit cheaper.

<<<Also when you did take a tour which company did you use and did you book from Australia or when you arrived.>>>

We booked from Australia via the Internet. You need to book well in advance for this kind of tour.

<<<Is September a nice time to visit weather wise, I>>>

Everyone tells me Sept is great. We went around Easter both times and that was good too. At that time it wasn't quite as hot as our summers, but was a really good temperature for touring, with almost no rain. We were in jeans and t-shirts every day and only needed a light jacket or cardigan once in a while or in an evening. We are currently planning another trip, and if we are able to, we will go around next Easter.

<<<, I know that anytime to see Israel would be wonderful to me except I do not like the heat or too busy>>>

You will find either March/ April or Sept/October ideal as far as heat is concerned.

As far as busyness is concerned, you will always find a lot of people in the Old City of Jerusalem. Just avoid being there on the busiest days - the tours we were on deliberately didn't go into the Old City on Good Friday but organised the itinerary so that they were out of Jerusalem on that day.

If you organise to join a tour like I did I suggest you get to a israel a day or two in advance to give yourself time to adjust to the time difference. That worked really well for us.

We also planned an itinerary for the days we were there before and after the tour and booked a private guide for some days before we arrived. You will find that the good guides get booked up well in advance.

Best wishes and feel free to message me if you want to. :)

Heather

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Israel holiday

Thank you so much for your detailed information and assistance. A previous reader advised me that there are many special days to be celebrated in September and maybe considering this we should forgo September this year or if we want to still go arrive very early in September. We will have to discuss our options and decide. Many thanks once again for your help, it is much appreciated.

Ottawa, Canada
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for Jerusalem, Galilee, Tel Aviv
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9. Re: Israel holiday

If you are planning on a tour, the tour will work around the dates in September and have you at sites, especially the Christian sites, on the days when other places are closed. I would check out the tours and their dates first, then the itineraries. There are plenty of tours going to Israel during the holidays. This is a time when it is very advantageous to be on a tour as everything is taken into account.

Sydney, Australia
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84 posts
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10. Re: Israel holiday

Thank you for your reply regarding a trip to Israel, we would like to do a tour but only a small group one as we are not fond of large tours, normally we have travelled our own way and I have organised most things like accommodation and flights before we leave, the rest we like to plan when we get there. But I am sensing at this time a tour would be best and then have our own time afterwards in Jerusalum and Tel Aviv as we would be flying elsewhere from there.Or perhaps spend some time in Tel Aviv before going to Jerusalum. Either way we would prefer to book a tour before we leave but not an especially religious tour. Do you have any recommendations, a kind lady from Melbourne advised me of some options for biblical tours and places to stay.In the meantime I will research Australian tours to Israel and see how I go. Any feedback is most appreciated and I thank you for your time