Israel

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

All our Israel trips

Egypt, Jordan & Israel

22 days from
USD $6,420
CAD $6,620
AUD $6,490
EUR €4,465
GBP £3,750
NZD $7,230
ZAR R64,990
CHF FR5,405

Set out on a Middle Eastern journey that takes in the famous landmark attractions of Egypt, the gracious hospitality...

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Real Food Adventure - Israel

10 days from
USD $2,645
CAD $2,730
AUD $2,675
EUR €1,840
GBP £1,545
NZD $2,980
ZAR R26,775
CHF FR2,230

Experience a smorgasbord of delights from vibrant Tel Aviv to historic Jerusalem. Take cooking classes, visit Israel...

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Discover Egypt, Jordan & Israel

23 days from
USD $6,365
CAD $6,565
AUD $6,435
EUR €4,430
GBP £3,725
NZD $7,170
ZAR R64,415
CHF FR5,360

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Articles on Israel

journey to jerusalem

Posted on Fri, 12 Nov 2010

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 [...]

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About Israel

At a glance

Trips Available: 0
Capital city: Jerusalem (population 705,000)
Population: 7.4 million
Language: Hebrew, Arabic
Currency: ILS
Time zone: (GMT+02:00) Jerusalem
Electricity: Type C (European 2-pin) Type H (Israeli 3-pin)
Dialing code: +972

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.

Israel weather chart

Geography and environment

Desert trail
Travelling through Israel will reveal a wide range of environments and terrain. With beaches and chalk cliffs on the Mediterranean coastline, parched desert in the north, mountains in the south and fertile valleys in the centre of the country, Israel has diverse landscapes to traverse, depending on which part of the country you're visiting. Bordering Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the people of Israel live in vastly different ways - from the modern, upwardly-mobile population of faced-paced Tel Aviv to the quiet simplicity of village life in the mountains.

Top Picks

Bahai Shrine,  Haifa

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

ISRAEL:
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.
Tipping 10-15% for good service is standard practice in restaurants, bars and cafes. Taxi drivers and other service workers like hotel staff generally don't expect tips.
Internet access is widespread in Israel, so accessing the internet via Wi-Fi hot spots and cyber cafes is easy in Israel's cities. Rural areas will have less internet connectivity, so beware of this when travelling through remote regions of the country.
Mobile phone coverage is excellent in Israel’s major cities and built-up areas. Expect limited to no phone coverage in more isolated areas like the desert. Ensure you have global roaming activated on your phone before leaving home.
Most toilets in Israel are of the modern, flushable variety unless travelling in remote areas, where squat toilets can sometimes still be found.
Can of soft drink = 6-8 shekels
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
Tap water is considered safe to drink in Israel, unless marked otherwise.
Most large hotels, restaurants and shops will accept credit cards.
ATMs are easily found in Israel's cities and major towns. ATMs are less common in rural areas, so prepare accordingly before travelling out of urban centres.
Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of your trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey.

For more information on insurance, please go to: [site:intrepid_insurance_link]
Feb 24 Purim
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

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 Australia?

Go to: http://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

From New Zealand?

Go to: http://www.safetravel.govt.nz/

From Canada?

Go to: http://www.voyage.gc.ca/

From US?

Go to: http://travel.state.gov/

From UK?

Go to: http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/

The World Health Organisation

also provides useful health information:
Go to: http://www.who.int/en/

Responsible Travel

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.

Further reading

Recommended reading

Title Author
The Rock: A Tale of Seventh-Century JerusalemKanan Makiya
A Wall of LightEdeet Ravel
The AttackYasmina Khadra
The HopeHerman Wouk
The Book of SaladinTariq Ali
A Tale of Love and DarknessAmos Oz
I Saw RamallahMourid Barghouti