Four Days in Israel

Old Sep 30, 18, 5:48 pm
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Four Days in Israel

Hi guys - this will be our first time to Israel and would appreciate if I could get your 2c on our itinerary!


Saturday:
10PM arrival, pick up rental car, drive to Publica Isrotel and stay overnight (I need 3 more nights to qualify for Platinum......)

Sunday:
Visit Caesarea National Park in the morning, drive to Haifa to have a lunch with an auntie, then head to Tiberias (stop by Nazareth time permitting)

Monday:
Tiberias in the morning, then drive to Jerusalem. (someone told us to visit the dead sea but we may be spending too much time traveling then?)

Tuesday (Christmas - but I am guessing Christmas is just like any other day in Israel?):
Full day in Jerusalem

Wednesday: 7AM departure
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Old Oct 1, 18, 1:46 am
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
Sunday:
Visit Caesarea National Park in the morning, drive to Haifa to have a lunch with an auntie, then head to Tiberias (stop by Nazareth time permitting)
Caesarea National Park wouldn't really be on my list for a first time visit to Israel, if I were you, head to Haifa and spend some time there around the German Colony/Bahai Gardens.
Is there a specific reason to go to Tiberias and not just spend the night in Haifa?

Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
Tuesday (Christmas - but I am guessing Christmas is just like any other day in Israel?):
Full day in Jerusalem
That would really depend on where in Israel, you will be able to see a big Christmas tree driving through the German colony in Haifa for example, I would also expect Nazareth and parts of Jerusalem not to be "like any other day".
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Old Oct 1, 18, 5:50 am
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You have only three full days and you will be doing a lot of driving. Remember that in December it gets dark by 5 PM and many sites close around 4 PM.
Day 1: Try to visit the Bahai Gardens before or after Auntie.
Day 2: Get an early start and drive via the Jordan Valley (Highway 90) to the Dead Sea. Visit Massada and go for a quick dip in the Sea. Drive to Jerusalem via Highways 90 and 1 (before dark).
Day 3: Jerusalem - if you budget allows, hire a guide for the Old City, otherwise try the Sandeman's Free Tour.
Day 4: does you flight leave at 7 AM? This means that you have to arrive at the terminal at 4 AM (the airport is very busy at this hour). You have to allow time to return the car so you have to leave Jerusalem no later than 2:45 AM.
I suggest extending you stay if possible,
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Old Oct 1, 18, 6:28 am
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Question TLV?

Tel Aviv is reportedly a fascinating, diverse place to visit c/w incredible rests. Why skip it?
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Old Oct 1, 18, 7:23 am
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
Caesarea National Park wouldn't really be on my list for a first time visit to Israel, if I were you, head to Haifa and spend some time there around the German Colony/Bahai Gardens.
Is there a specific reason to go to Tiberias and not just spend the night in Haifa?


That would really depend on where in Israel, you will be able to see a big Christmas tree driving through the German colony in Haifa for example, I would also expect Nazareth and parts of Jerusalem not to be "like any other day".
I will consult with our auntie. She said it'd be cool, but we are happy to skip if it's not worth it. Good point on staying at Haifa for the night. While good old christian in me (my in-laws are jewish) wants to go stay near the Galilee, but it particularly isn't our priority.

Originally Posted by mbgg View Post
You have only three full days and you will be doing a lot of driving. Remember that in December it gets dark by 5 PM and many sites close around 4 PM.
Day 1: Try to visit the Bahai Gardens before or after Auntie.
Day 2: Get an early start and drive via the Jordan Valley (Highway 90) to the Dead Sea. Visit Massada and go for a quick dip in the Sea. Drive to Jerusalem via Highways 90 and 1 (before dark).
Day 3: Jerusalem - if you budget allows, hire a guide for the Old City, otherwise try the Sandeman's Free Tour.
Day 4: does you flight leave at 7 AM? This means that you have to arrive at the terminal at 4 AM (the airport is very busy at this hour). You have to allow time to return the car so you have to leave Jerusalem no later than 2:45 AM.
I suggest extending you stay if possible,
Thank you for that. Unfortunately, our flights are all booked and we have a non-refundable tour in Australia two days later

For the rental car, we will be returning in Jerusalem so that we don't have to deal with returning the rental car in the morning. Our flight is at 9AM


Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
Tel Aviv is reportedly a fascinating, diverse place to visit c/w incredible rests. Why skip it?
Generally, cities are fairly low in our priority list (probably something to do with the fact that we both grew up in NYC - not the suburbs).
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Old Oct 1, 18, 10:38 am
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I agree with mbgg re moving things around to visit Masada and the Dead Sea. Masada is spectacular.
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Old Oct 1, 18, 2:13 pm
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You have to be at the airport at 6 AM if your flight leaves at 9 AM. The airport is extremely busy at this hour and you may be subject to extra questioning in the security line (or maybe not....). If you do not have the car you can either take the 485 bus (stops at the Central Bus Station) , the Nesher sherut (10 seat minibus that will pick you up at your hotel, 67 NIS pp, must be booked the previous day ) or a regular taxi.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 12:26 am
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Regarding Christmas, if you're willing to go, Bethlehem should also be an interesting experience
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Old Oct 2, 18, 8:09 am
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Originally Posted by mbgg View Post
You have to be at the airport at 6 AM if your flight leaves at 9 AM. The airport is extremely busy at this hour and you may be subject to extra questioning in the security line (or maybe not....). If you do not have the car you can either take the 485 bus (stops at the Central Bus Station) , the Nesher sherut (10 seat minibus that will pick you up at your hotel, 67 NIS pp, must be booked the previous day ) or a regular taxi.
Thank you thank you!

What do you think is easier? Keeping the car and driving to TLV or taking the Nesher sherut?
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Old Oct 2, 18, 8:17 am
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
Thank you thank you!

What do you think is easier? Keeping the car and driving to TLV or taking the Nesher sherut?
It's obviously easier to take a taxi than to drive so early in the morning, though it will probably end up slightly more expensive.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 5:19 pm
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Originally Posted by Ditto View Post
It's obviously easier to take a taxi than to drive so early in the morning, though it will probably end up slightly more expensive.
It looks like my rental car rate will be $80 lower (Shlomo Sixt) for returning in Jerusalem & I can avoid 2 days of parking charges.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 8:34 pm
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Originally Posted by samwise6222 View Post
It looks like my rental car rate will be $80 lower (Shlomo Sixt) for returning in Jerusalem & I can avoid 2 days of parking charges.
There are several old threads here strongly advising not to use Shlomo Sixt. You may want to research this topic.

Another tip I found in those threads is about insurance. I understand credit cards issued in the U.S. cover rental car insurance. Rental agencies here claim that Israel is excluded. You need to have a letter (hard copy) from your cc company stating that Israel is covered by their policy.
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Old Oct 2, 18, 9:29 pm
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Originally Posted by FlyerTLV View Post
There are several old threads here strongly advising not to use Shlomo Sixt. You may want to research this topic.

Another tip I found in those threads is about insurance. I understand credit cards issued in the U.S. cover rental car insurance. Rental agencies here claim that Israel is excluded. You need to have a letter (hard copy) from your cc company stating that Israel is covered by their policy.
Thanks for that One of the first thing my Israeli in-laws said when I brought up the rental car was "GET THE LETTERRRRR"
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Old Oct 2, 18, 10:48 pm
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In my opinion, there's not so much to see in Tiberias itself. I usually use Tiberias as a base for exploring the Kinneret, Golan, Hule Valley, etc., so I wouldn't drive and check into a Tiberias hotel just to see the city of Tiberias itself.

Also, personally, I would take the car back to the airport. When you pick up the car at the airport, you have to pay an airport fee, and there's no extra charge to drop it off there when you've already paid the fee. On the other hand, you don't really need the car in Jerusalem. If you're staying in a hotel, most hotels have free parking for their guests, though.
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Old Oct 3, 18, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by RedChili View Post
In my opinion, there's not so much to see in Tiberias itself. I usually use Tiberias as a base for exploring the Kinneret, Golan, Hule Valley, etc., so I wouldn't drive and check into a Tiberias hotel just to see the city of Tiberias itself.

Also, personally, I would take the car back to the airport. When you pick up the car at the airport, you have to pay an airport fee, and there's no extra charge to drop it off there when you've already paid the fee. On the other hand, you don't really need the car in Jerusalem. If you're staying in a hotel, most hotels have free parking for their guests, though.


Thanks for your advice! This is what we are considering at the moment>

Sat Night : Publica Isrotel (well as i said i need those darn Marriott nights...)
Sun: Visit auntie in Haifa stay overnight at her place (she's been asking us to stay with her... like any other jewish auntie)
Mon: leave early to go see the dead sea - and settle into Jerusalem
Tue: Full day in Jerusalem
Wed: Depart to Istanbul
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