Our TRAVEX team has put together some information that we think will be useful in planning your amazing Israel experience.
A journey in Israel takes you through the land of creation, connecting you to the roots of your faith and inviting you to engage with the modern miracle of the “Start Up nation”. You’ll encounter holy cities and ancient sites, modern cities and state-of-the-art miracles, desert landscapes, lush forests, volcanic mountains and sandy beaches, people and stories. Lots of stories, for this is the land where it all began.
Our TRAVEX team will weave together the distinctive and diverse regions of the country to create your custom Israel experience.
Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city, is a multi-dimensional experience, rich in history, religion, culture and diverse peoples. Jerusalem is the spiritual epicenter for the world’s three major monotheistic religions – Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
A visit to Jerusalem is like a walk through history books of humanity.
The labyrinth of underground tunnels reveal secrets of the past. Every stone tells a story. Every alleyway – another legend. And, yet, upon the ancient rubble of the city’s past, new Jerusalem stone-clad buildings have arisen, ushering in a new generation.
A vibrant and modern Jerusalem has been reborn in the State of Israel, inviting you to explore and experience.
We suggest 3-5 days to explore Jerusalem.
Israel’s Mediterranean coastline is a wealth of activity, history and breath-taking vistas. From the ancient city of Ashkelon in the south to the cliff side grottos of Rosh Hanikra, the welcoming shores have served as a gateway between east and west. The region features urban metropoles each with their own unique character. It boasts amazing beaches, as well as urban, economic, cultural and leisure activities and archaeological sites dating back to biblical times.
The city of Tel Aviv exudes a modern energy, with its contemporary skyline, tempting world class cuisine and exhilarating culture and nightlife.
We suggest 2-3 days to explore Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas.
Galilee and Northern Israel
The Galilee and Golan Heights connect the center of Israel to her northern borders. It is here that some of the most significant narratives of the Old and New Testaments unfold and where picturesque serenity offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of Israel’s major cities. Explore the sites where Jesus established his ministry on the shores of the deep blue Sea of Galilee, discover ancient synagogues and charming galleries along the narrow alleyways of Safed – the city of mystical thought, art and music. The strategically significant Golan Heights plateau, which stands guard over the valley, is covered in sprawling green meadows and a labyrinth of streams and waterfalls, making this landscape ideal for hiking, biking and jeep excursions.
We suggest 2-5 days to explore Northern Israel.
Dead Sea and Masada
A short drive from Jerusalem the Judean Desert is considered a relatively small desert – with many stories to tell. The region features a rugged landscape and breath-taking views that are constantly changing, making it an exciting and unique place to explore. As you hug the contours of the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, you are actually driving along the earth’s floor. Enjoy the therapeutic qualities of the Dead Sea and a float in its salty waters. Ascend on foot or by cable car to the summit of Masada, King Herod’s hilltop fortress. The over 2,000 year-old Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered hidden in a cave in Qumran. In contrast to the surrounding region, the beautiful site of Ein Gedi is a lush, verdant oasis with greenery all year round and graceful waterfalls flowing into pools.
Masada & the Dead Sea can easily be visited as a one-day excursion from Jerusalem.
In the serene landscapes the Negev Desert the Biblical passages about Abraham, Isaac and Jacob come to life. The topography of the region with its colored stone and sand dunes, is perfect for Jeep exploration, rappelling down the jagged cliffs, hiking and biking as well as night time stargazing. The sweeping desert landscapes are home to a plethora of flora and fauna, some unique to this region. Reminiscent of ancient Biblical nomads, the local Bedouin tribes of today are known for their hospitality, featuring strong coffee, tea blended from the leaves of local desert plants and plenty of stories. Modern Israelis have brought the desert to life with innovative desert agriculture, solar energy and even wine production.
We suggest 2-3 days to explore the Desert.
Eilat and the Red Sea
The inverted pyramid-shaped Negev Desert reaches its pinnacle at the coastal Red Sea port city of Eilat – Israel’s sand and sun resort. The fish and corals of the Red Sea come to life by snorkeling, scuba diving – or with a visit to the distinctive Underwater Sea Observatory and aquarium.
The Ramon Airport is just north of Eilat, with several flights per day to and from Tel Aviv. The Arava Border crossing conveniently connects Eilat in Israel with the neighboring city of Aqaba in Jordan, affording easy access for pre- and post- excursions to Petra and other sites in Jordan.
We suggest 1-3 days to explore and enjoy EIlat.
Located along the ancient spice route, the ruins of this Nabatean city offer secrets to be discovered around each bend. The “Red-Rose” city features iconic rock-cut facades, tombs and temples. Enhance your visit with the magical Petra by Night. After dark, walk through the torch-lit siq to the Treasury, aglow with the light of 1,500 candles. Combine with a visit to Wadi Rum, land of Lawrence of Arabia, or a journey to the capital metropolis of Amman.
We suggest 1-2 days to explore Petra and 3-5 days for a more extensive Jordan tour.
We have collected some of our best tips to help you prepare for your Israel visit, covering a wide range of subjects. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us!
Passport & Visa
Passports must be valid for 6 months in order to enter Israel. Visitors from the USA, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, European Union, South Africa, Australia and UAE, to name a few, receive an automatic tourist visa upon entry to Israel. Keep the blue B-2 visa handy as you will need to present it at hotels for VAT exemption. Check with your local consulate if you are not certain about visa requirements.
The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. To charge your screens (phones, laptops, tablets), all you need is a simple plug adapter. Many hotels now have USB outlets for easy charging – but make sure to bring your cables. For items with a heating element (hair dryer, straightener, etc), a converter from 110V to 220V will be required. Most hotels have hair dryers available.
Cell Phones & Internet
Before travel, contact your cell provider to learn about options for using your phone in Israel. Most providers have convenient packages for data and phone that can be purchased prior to your trip. Travel SIM cards can be purchased in Israel – make sure that your phone is unlocked if you wish to go this route. Free WIFI is available at most hotels. At restaurants – just ask your waiter for the WIFI password.
Money & ATM
The currency in Israel is the New Israeli Shekel. Foreign currency can be exchanged at CHANGE booths throughout the major cities or withdrawn from local ATMs. To use credit or debit card at ATMs, make sure that you have a valid PIN code.
Major credit cards are accepted at hotels as well as at most stores and restaurants. Notify your bank/credit card provider of your travel plans to avoid having your payments blocked.
Have it your way! Hotels and restaurants are able and willing to accommodate special dietary needs including vegetarian, dairy free and gluten free. We can also request down free pillows or standing showers in your hotel room. Let us know in advance so that we can do our best to facilitate your special requests.
Weather & Climate
Israel’s climate ranges from temperate to tropical, with plenty of sunshine. Two distinct seasons predominate: a dry season which extends from April to October and a rainy winter period from December to March. Summers on the coasts and around the Sea of Galilee are quite humid and summer nights in Jerusalem can be quite cool. Winter is a mix of sunshine, rain and colder temperatures. Layers are a good solution to winter weather.
What to Wear?
While very fashionable and trendy, Israel is a very casual country – with comfort often winning out. Jeans, shorts, casual pants, T-shirts, polo shirts and light dresses are very common. Restaurants do not require a special dress code. Make sure to have comfortable walking shoes – and water shoes for the Dead Sea. A hat is a MUST all year round.
At holy sites, women are required to dress modestly, with knees and shoulders covered. At Jewish holy sites, men are required to have their head’s covered. Important to note that many churches will not allow shorts (men or women).
Israel Time & Shabbat
The local time in Israel is GMT+3, putting us 1 hour ahead of continental Europe, 6 hours ahead of Sao Paolo, 7 hours ahead of New York and Toronto, 8 hours ahead of Chicago, Houston and Mexico City, and 10 hours ahead of California.
When planning your program, please note that the Jewish Sabbath is observed from sunset on Friday through Saturday night. While there is still plenty to do and see, worthy to mention that Kosher restaurants, some sites and shops may be closed during this time.
Israel is a treasure trove for shoppers with a seemingly endless variety of shopping experiences and merchandise. High quality malls, designer boutiques, open-air traditional markets, art galleries and street vendors all have a home in the country. Gold and silver jewelry, fashion, religious items and local crafts can be found in specialty shops or local craft markets, like the Nachalat Binyamin Market in Tel Aviv, where many Israeli artists got their start. Many of the high-end shops, including several boutique wineries, offer international shipping services. Tourists are also eligible for a refund on Value Added Tax on purchases made at participating stores.
Help us help you!
We invite you to use this set of guidelines to provide us with the information our TRAVEX Israel Travel Experts need to help you create memorable Israel experiences for individuals and groups.
Are you planning a trip for a Group or for Independent Travelers?
How many people are traveling?
What are the relationships between the travelers? Family? Friends? Community?
How many of the travelers have visited Israel before?
What is the motivation for the visit?
Is there a special occasion being celebrated?
Are there any special interests that we should include in the itinerary?
Are travelers Christian, Jewish or a mixture?
(Even on a non-religious tour, this is very helpful for us to know.)
What are the dates of travel?
Even if you don’t yet have specific dates, let us know approximately when you want to visit Israel and how long you can stay.
What hotels or category of hotel accommodations will best suit you?
Not familiar with hotels in Israel? Tell us what you have in mind and our team of advisors will assist in finding the right accommodation to suit your needs.
Do you have a wish list?
Let us know if there are any “musts” that you want us to include in your program itinerary.
Please share any inside information that will help us to customize the trip to Israel.
– Travel experience
– Physical limitations
Israel is a small country with much to see. In order to help think about your travel, below are some estimated driving times that will be useful in putting together the pieces of the puzzle.