Pre-Travel Guide for Israel

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Whenever I plan my trip, I always check the weather at the destination.Every location has the best time to visit, so i make a habit to read about it. This has always helped in planning  my travel , places to visit , festivals to attend and nature to enjoy. Here I have put across all the important things which will help in your trip for ISRAEL.

Weather in Israel

The winters are colder than the temperature shows in degrees/Celsius. Even the temperature has variation depending on where you are planning the visit. Various factors contribute towards it – adjoining sea , lakes and high plateau.

November to March is the Winter period. The temperature ranges from 5-10C. You really need to have warm clothes to roam outside. Also check the rain forecast before moving out. Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee will be very cold at night.

March to May is Spring. The temperature ranges from 15-20C. But again Jerusalem and the Sea of Galilee will be very cold (5-10C).

June to October is the Summer time. Israel Temperature would be 27-32C. Tel Aviv and Tiberias will be Hot and Humid. Much better time to visit Tel Aviv , the place is much lively .Jerusalem will be dry and cooler at this time.


Israel Festivals

It was established as a Music festival, the Israel Festival has become the National Festival to showcase their Fresh Talent in different categories. Dancers, Musicians, Artists, Actors all take the street and stage to showcase their talent and skills. Everyone contributes to the Festival and feels pride to be a part of it.

Jerusalem Beer Festival

This is a Unique Festival with over 100 types of beer to offer. International Brewers folks will be available to showcase their products during this Festival. You will get a chance to taste the beer before you purchase. The night is arranged with music on the street with some local and national artists.

White Night Tel-Aviv

This place is very lively and the city is bustling. Someone decided, why can’t we keep all the things the whole night so people can enjoy a full night. So the White Night came into picture, when all the street stages, restaurants’ stay open and parties are all over the place. Music flows over Tel Aviv City.

Karmiel Dance Festival

Once a year Israel organizes this biggest Dance Festival and more than 2 Lacs people witness non-stop dance performances from those amazing artists for 3 days. Competition, workshop and showcase is the agenda of this lively festival. This Festival is suitable for all the age groups.


Israel Festival Calendar 2017

Here’s an overview of the Festival which will be held in Israel in 2017. You also have to look at this comprehensive list.

  • May – June(Dates TBD): Israel Festival (Jerusalem)
  • June 4th-9th: Tel Aviv Pride (Tel Aviv)
  • June 30th: White Night at Tel-Aviv
  • August 8th-10th: Karmiel Dance Festival
  • August (Dates TBD):: Kelzmer Music Festival
  • August- September (Dates TBD):  Jerusalem Beer Festival

Find Cheap Flights

I will suggest searching on every single website and compare the flight charges before you book your flight. And if you have the option of changing dates, then you should try to find more cheap flights. You can start your search with your local airline Philippine Airline and also look for other Make my Trip; they give combo offers of cheap flight + Hotel. Other sites are Momondo, Kayah and Cebu Pacific.


Find Hotels

Everyone has a different requirement for a hotel. So first you prioritize your requirements such as; you are travelling with family, , budget , cleanliness :-), which city you want to stay (the center of the country, so that you will not need to add extra time in travelling the other routes). Now you can start your search and very important thing, always read reviews about the hotel you are going to book. You can look at Tripadvisor, Agoda, Ctrip and Trivago 

After checking the hotel rate do check on the hotel website also. Definitely check whether the rates offered are refundable or non-refundable , is VAT included or not ? . Don’t escape the long statement during the booking , usually those are the ones that have hidden costs.


Useful Words

Hello – Shalom

Great – Sababa

Yes or No – Chen & Lo

What’s up – Ma nishmá

Thanks a lot – Toda

See you – Lehitra’ot

My Brother – Ach shely (or Achi)

TRIP ITINERARY: 4 DAYS IN ISRAEL

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Israel is one of the most memorable trip I had with my husband. He was on business travel and I had full luxury of time to visit all the places. This was my first abroad journey , so the thrill , excitement and expectations were high. I started my planning by searching everything on Google; and it was cumbersome. Hence, my quest to put the details in these posts.

This is one stop blog where you will get all the information – related to places, tickets, travel time from one place to other and how much you have to spend to cabs and so on. You can customize based on the availability of time and places to visit.

During the whole flight the majority of conversation that i had was about the safety and security measure. However, I would say from experience that Israel is very beautiful Country with very nice and polite people.

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“Read: Pre-Travel Guide for Israel


#DAY-1

First on my list is to complete Nazareth and Sea of Galilee in one day. Plan is to cover them both as they are in same direction and not very far. So, unless you have luxury of time , travelers are advised to visit both the places in single day. Nazareth is 106km from Tel-aviv; around one and half hours road journey. First thing to decide is Mode of transportation and there are multiple options available – cab for whole day or book a tour via agencies. Taxi Charge around 4.4 NIS per unit for 2 passengers and additional charge on extra passenger. I booked through an agency as they provide guidance and traveling alone in cab would have been boring.

you can also book the one day you’re with Rent-a-Guide for Nazareth and Sea of Galilee in USD 94 person, which includes the Tour Guide, entrance fee of places and transport charge.

Explores Nazareth:


#Church of Annunciation:
One of the most well known church in Nazareth; built around 1969. But archaeological evidence shows that the presence of the church since 3rd century AD. It’s quite an architecture and paintings on wall are very beautiful.

#Marry’s Well
This place is also know as Virgin Fountain whose water has healing powers. This place has become famous in among locals in last few years. This place also have small cafes and little great restaurants.

#Zippori National Park
Zippori National park talk about the living and archaeologist of hundreds of years of ancient history.It indicated the Jewish lifestyle during ancient time. It was indeed a big City of that time.

#St. Joseph Church
This church is popular fir resting site of Joseph’s carpentry shop. This church has religious artwork on walls and it has underground cave; which was used as grain store in past.

#The Ancient Bath House in Nazareth 
In the heart of Nazareth near to Merry’s well this ancient public bath room was discovered. As per guide this bath room exist at the time of Jesus. You can visit caldarium (hot water), most beautiful heating tunnels in middle east time.

#Old Market

It’s very colorful market to visit. Here you can buy souvenirs for your memories of Nazareth (Israel). While walking you will find all shops of scarves, bracelet, necklaces, umbrella, olives etc. Every shop owner opens in morning and shut his shades by afternoon.

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Explore Sea of Galilee


Sea of Galilee is 45 km fro Nazareth, around 50 minutes drive. It has a panoramic view. when i reached the place the fog was begining to kick in and that increased the beauty of this place.

#Water Sports
If you are visitng lake and didn’t get wet then the tour isn’t complete. All the items like- Cruise the lake in floating restaurant, nightclub yacht, fishing boat, kayak or canoe- all are available on rent.

#Hot Springs
Tiberias hot springs is very well known by 17 natural springs, where you can pamper yourself for taking massage, mud treatments and Turkish Bath.

#Naharayim
This place divide Jordan and Israel by Yamruk rivers which flows between both the countries. The site is also known as “Island of Peace”

“Our guide took us to one Restaurant located on the lake named Tchelet. You can have your lunch here and view the lake. They are popular to serve the fish from Galilee Lake which known to be very tasty. It was 10 dollar per head. Being a Vegetarian is always a tough job. I asked him vegetarian food and he gave me rice with boiled potato. How someone can eat plain rice with boiled potato that to no salt and no taste.

I gave my 10 Dollar and had nothing.”

#Sound-and-Light show on the Lake
If you have time then you should stay for longer and witness the musical fountain on the lake. It’s short 15 minutes duration show and doesn’t cost anything. It is on the southern end of Tiberias Lakeside promenade.dscn2459dscn2463

All the above places you can’t Visit in one day. So you should choose the places as per your interest. My favorite attractions are ‘Ancient Church’ and ‘Sea of Galilee lake’. Both the places are awesome in their way and I found them very peaceful. I thoroughly enjoyed my first day and by the time I returned it was already 7pm.

Although tired, my thoughts are already revolving around the next day trip – “Masada and Dead Sea”, which is Day 2 of my tour.

Read: Day 2 to Masada and Sea of Galilee

THINGS TO DO IN MASADA AND DEAD SEA-ISRAEL

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Masada Entry Point

With the nice experience of ‘sea of galiliee’, I look forward for the next day. Itinerary is planned for Masada and Dead Sea. Masada reveals the story of power  while Dead Sea provides Minimal and non-swimmer like me; an option to float.

#EXPLORE MASADA


Masada is around a 2 and half hour drive from Tel-Aviv. The roads are smooth with scenic beauty-what else one can wish for. Masada is one of the most exciting and frequently toured places in Israel. This place tells the story of perseverance and power, faith and surrender, ambitions and tragic end.

Masada is situated on top of the mountain and the sides are steep and flat on top.Masada has a thrilling story of battle with Romans. The guide narrated each and every place , it is thrilling as a Hollywood Movie, and filled with Tension, Struggle and Love.

After Reaching the Masada National Park tourist point, you can buy the entrance tickets. Tickets for Masada National Park and Cable car to Masada Mountain ,both the tickets can be bought with combinations or separate.

Masada Entrance fee

Masada National Park ticket (Entrance and Cable-car one way)

  • Adult: NIS 58
  • Child: NIS 30
  • Israeli senior citizen: NIS 30

Cable-Car one way

  • Adult: NIS 29
  • Child: NIS 15

Cable Car round trip

  • Adult: NIS 47
  • Child: NIS 30
  • Israeli senior citizen: NIS 30

Masada is on Mountain and I was visiting this place in Month of February, so the temperature is always colder than the base national park. So keep in mind to have an extra layer of cloth if you are visiting Israel in winters.dscn2565

The facility has a very big food joint , food and drinks are available for extra charges. It is a very big joint and seating is available in-door and out-door as per your liking.

It takes around a couple of hours to visit the whole place. There is a lot of information in the place and my recommendation is to take a tour guide. The next destination is “Dead Sea ” where I need more energy to play in Sea water , Take pictures while sitting on a chair and Read newspapers on the Dead Sea. As I said earlier, it is one of the panoramic places one should visit in a lifetime to experience.

“Read: Pre-Travel Guide for Israel

#EXPLORE DEAD SEA


Dead Sea from Masada is not more than a half and hour drive. The place is nicely maintained; Bathing Stations (washrooms) hot water swimming pools and shops to buy necessary stuff.

Please note the point that you will need rubber sleepers or aqua shoes to go into the dead sea; as the stones are very sharp and you can’t walk barefoot. shops are available at the Dead sea and you can buy rubber sleepers, but you can also carry one with you.

There is mud available at the Seashore, you can apply that and go into the sea. There is a saying that this mud is full of minerals and if you apply this mud to your body, you may get rid of skin issues if someone has some. There are multiple showers which you can use to wash your eyes if you by chance did dip in the dead sea.

” Important points to be noted before you visit the dead sea. Do not shave and wax a day or two before you plan to visit the Dead Sea. The water is extremely Salty and you wash your eyes if water goes inside your eyes. You should not spend more than half-n-hour in sea water. “

When I had visited , the Sea was very wavy and I couldn’t take that “seating on chair pic”; it was very cloudy, rainy and very cold. But, I enjoyed-a-lot. The color of the Dead Sea was very different and it gave a great feel to visit such places.0102201333501022013330

After a dip in the sea you may go to the pool for rest and then for shower, there are many shower stations and the good thing is: Women and Men shower stations are different.

“Read: Visit AHAVA – Dead Sea Mineral Products


I enjoyed the hot water pool in that cold day after Dead sea; overall experience was amazing and i want to visit again that place and enjoy more time. Definitely the plan will be in summer. I was very tired with activities and was looking forward to reach my hotel and sip a hot “Tea”. Yes, I am lover of Tea, I am not the coffee person.

And, I looking forward to visit Jerusalem tomorrow. The weather forecast was rainy; but weather conditions can’t bind me to visit holy city of Jerusalem……. Please read my Day 3 trip in details.

“Read: DAY 3 TO JERUSALEM-HOLY PLACE