Sacred sites that inspire reverence, ancient spaces that invoke awe, modern cities built to excite and simple villages that have sustained life for centuries, Israel holds many treasures for travellers looking to delve into history and make a connection with the past. From the glistening coast to the barren depths of the Dead Sea, mountain village communities and cosmopolitan cities full of bars and boutiques, a journey through Israel will stir the soul, challenge perceptions and arouse wonder.
Israel Tours & Travel
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Articles on Israel
journey to jerusalem
Posted on Fri, 12 Nov 2010 by Sue Elliot
One of Intrepid’s newest trips, Journey to Jerusalem, shares its name with the book by Grace Halsell, a play by Maxwell Anderson and a Biblical tale. The region has in [...]Read more
At a glance
|Capital city:||Jerusalem (population 705,000)|
|Time zone:||(GMT+02:00) Jerusalem|
|Electricity:||Type C (European 2-pin) Type H (Israeli 3-pin)|
Best time to visit Israel
Israel generally has a Mediterranean climate, with the summer months providing loads of sunshine and scorching temperatures that can reach 40ºC. June to August usually sees the highest temperatures, with milder weather prevailing during autumn (September and October) and spring (April and May). Winter (around November to March) provides cooler temperatures and light rain. Snow fall can sometimes occur in the highlands and even in Jerusalem. It's important to note that travel will be affected during religious holidays, with the majority of shops, businesses and public transport shutting down for major Jewish holidays. Israel offers a range of things to do in any weather, from skiing in the highlands to enjoying the sun near the Red Sea, so no matter what time you choose to go, it's a great place to travel all year round.
Geography and environment
Top 5 Gorgeous Gardens of Israel
1. Haifa's Baha'i Gardens
Haifa's incredible UNESCO World Heritage-listed gardens dedicated to the Baha'i faith are among the world's most impressive. Featuring more than 450 plant species, landscaped terraces, shrines and breathtaking views of the city and the sea, these immaculately maintained gardens are infused with a sense of spirit and grace.
2. Yarkon Park
This huge public park provides a place of recreation, respite and relaxation to Tel Aviv's busy citizens. Home to sports, outdoor concerts, picnics and festivals, there are many different elements at play - from rock gardens, to rivers, tropical gardens, lakes and an impressive six acres of cacti.
3. Wohl Rose Park
With more than 400 different varieties of rose, ancient mosaics, fish ponds, sculptures and waterfalls, Jerusalem's Wohl Rose Park is one of the only rose parks in the whole of the Middle East.
4. Akko's Baha'i Gardens
These tranquil gardens filled with historic buildings, potted flowering plants, clean-cut hedges and manicured lawns are cared for with love and precision. Ancient olive groves and sycamore figs add a historic dimension to this horticultural triumph.
5. Utopia Orchid Park
Home to thousands of orchid species from around the world, a beautiful butterfly garden, strange carnivorous plants, spectacular fountains and a plant maze, this vast tropical garden area proves there is much more to Israel than desert.
FAQs on Israel
One hour in an internet café = 15 shekels
Take-away snack or light lunch = 25-30 shekels
Simple dinner at a café or restaurant = 60-100 shekels
For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance
Mar 26 Pesach (Passover)
Apr 15 Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)
May 15 Shavuot (Pentecost)
Sep 5 Rosh Hashana (New Year)
Sep 14 Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
Sep 19 Sukkot (Tabernacles)
Sep 26 Simchat Torah
Nov 28 Chanukah (Festival of Lights)
Please note many Jewish festivals commence the evening before the holiday. Also, the first and last days of most holiday periods are listed above, although businesses may also choose to close on other days not listed above or declared official holidays.
These dates are for 2013. For a current list of public holidays go to: http://www.worldtravelguide.net/Israel/public-holidays
Australia: No - not required
Belgium: No - not required
Canada: No - not required
Germany No - not required
Ireland: No - not required
Netherlands: No - not required
New Zealand: No - not required
South Africa: No - not required
Switzerland: No - not required
United Kingdom: No - not required
USA: No - not required
It is important to be aware that many Arab and Islamic countries deny entry to any person that has evidence of a visit to Israel. Syria, Iran, Libya and several other countries are included in this list. If you are planning to visit any of these countries with the same passport you must request that your Israeli ‘tourist visa’ be stamped on a loose leaf ‘Form 17 L’ instead of in your passport. Likewise, if entering Israel through the land borders with Jordan please ask the Jordanian officials not to stamp an exit stamp in your passport. If you have evidence in your passport of visits to certain Islamic countries, Israeli border officials will scrutinize you regarding the purpose of your visit to Israel. They can sometimes appear difficult and the delay can be lengthy however patience and a friendly demeanor are advised.
Health and Safety
Intrepid takes the health and safety of its travellers seriously, and takes every measure to ensure that trips are safe, fun and enjoyable for everyone. We recommend that all travellers check with their government or national travel advisory organisation for the latest information before departure:
From New Zealand?
Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/
Go to: http://travel.state.gov/
Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/
The World Health Organisation
also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/
Israel Travel Tips
Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.
Top responsible travel tips for Israel
1. Be considerate of Israel’s customs, traditions, religion and culture.
2. Dress modestly and respectfully when visiting Orthodox communities and areas. Shoulders to knees should be covered, especially when entering places of worship.
3. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with tap or filtered water.
4. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
5. Learn some local language and don't be afraid to use it - simple greetings will help break the ice.
6. Shop for locally made products. Supporting local artisans helps keep traditional crafts alive.
7. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse endangered animals.
8. Please ask and receive permission before taking photos of people, including children.
|The Rock: A Tale of Seventh-Century Jerusalem||Kanan Makiya|
|A Wall of Light||Edeet Ravel|
|The Attack||Yasmina Khadra|
|The Hope||Herman Wouk|
|The Book of Saladin||Tariq Ali|
|A Tale of Love and Darkness||Amos Oz|
|I Saw Ramallah||Mourid Barghouti|