10 days in Israel

ברוך הבא – Welcome! Here you’ll find travel tips to Israel, including my personal experience of travelling in a group. First of all, feel free to take a look at my post on preparing a safe and fun backpacking trip, which includes key organisational, packing and safety tips: https://thinkmoveeat.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/important-travelling-tips/

I would like to point out that this trip was organized by Taglit Birthright Israel, an organisation offering a FREE complete 10-day trip to Israel, for young Jews around the world to discover the country. If you have at least one Jewish grandparent, I definitely advise you to sign up for this incredible trip and visit the following websites for more information: http://taglitww.birthrightisrael.com/visitingisrael/Pages/default.aspx ; http://www.israelforfree.com/.

Personally, I used to hate organized and group trips, but this one was different; I really enjoyed to have an entertaining, open-minded and informed guide at our disposition, and to be part of an amazing group of people in an efficient and well organised road trip by bus (flight, in-country transportation, place to stay, food, activities and much more was already planned out). Plus, we got to travel with young Israelis of our age which were also participating in the trip, and we mostly stayed in local kibbutzim, as well as met with locals for multiple activities, so we were really immersed in the Israeli culture. Although I must say we didn’t have as much freedom or time as in another kind of trip, there was the possibility of extending it to travel longer in Israel or anywhere else (many people went to Europe or Asia), and the flight back was still covered by the organisation!

That being said, the itinerary and tips that I will present can be done by anyone travelling in Israel by car or by bus! So enjoy (:

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General Tips

  • Don’t let people scare you off! Yes, Israel is in the Middle-East, and yes there territorial issues and safety conditions to be taken in consideration. That being said, don’t get stuck on that, because Israel has one of the strongest armies in the world and as a tourist, as long as you don’t go off-path, you should be protected. There are many beautiful places, views, traditions, people, and foods to be discovered! Don’t let fear stop you.
  • However, definitely make sure you know about the current political situation before travelling to Israel, as regional tensions are culminating. Also, if you don’t speak Hebrew and are not travelling in a group, I would advise to hire a guide who knows the language, history, situation and much more!
  • If you go in the summer, be prepared to face intense heat!


Itinerary

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North half

Sleep:

  • Kibbutz Yeahi’am
  • Kibbutz Moran (my favorite)

Do:

  • Visit Tel Aviv: spend at lest two or three days there
    • Volunteer at the organization Save a Child’s Heart
    • Visit the Rabin Square
    • Spend time in the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv Shouk
    • Visit independence hall
    • Go to the beach
  • Visit Rosh Haniqra (border with Lebanon)
  • Relax at Nahariya beach
  • Hike at Kelil
  • Hike Mount Arbel
  • Visit the city of Zefat/Tzfat
  • Wine taste at Galil mountain winery
  • Hike Mount Jilabel at Golan Heights
  • Visit the Syrian Border
  • Raft in the Jordan River

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Rosh Haniqra, border with Lebanon

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Zefat

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Hiking Mount Arbel

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Nahariya Beach

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So many falafel restarurants!

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Border with Syria

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Rafting in the Jordan River


South half

Sleep:

  • Jerusalem: Kibbutz Almog (there’s a pool and a large green area, it’s nice)
  • Hotel Ha’negev field school
  • Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Camp
  • Netanya: Park hotel

Do:

  • Visit Jerusalem: spend at least three or four days there
    • Tour the old city
    • Visit the Kotel/Western Wall
    • Visit Yad Vashem holocaust memorial museum
    • Go out on Ben Yehuda street
    • Visit the Jerusalem Shouk: Mahane Yehuda
  • Visit the Mount Herzl memorial cemetery
  • Visit the West Bank border
  • Hike Ein Ovdat national park
  • Stay at the Kfar Hanokdim Bedouin Camp, walk in the desert, see camels
  • Hike Masada (hard but amazing)
  • Spend half a day at the dea sea spa
    • You can buy souvenirs there

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Kfar Hanokdim, Bedoun Tent

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Kotel, Western Wall

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Going out at Ben Yehuda

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Friendly Israeli cats

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View from Haar Ha’negev field school hotel

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Kfar Hanokdim, Bedouin Tent

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Mount Herzl Cemetery

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Hiking  in Ein Ovdat National park

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Hiking in Ein Ovdat national park
  • What I missed but definitely is a must-see: Haifa, the third largest city of Israel.


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ENJOY THIS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY! <3

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