Israel is huge … and small country, because of it’s many cultures and long history or tens of thousands of years, and the presence of so many major religions, it’s a perfect spot for not one, but many vacations. But I give you some tips for a nice vacation in this amazing country; the paradise for any tourist.
First of all, plan your vacation in the right period of the year.
In the month of August, Israel is very hot. In the autumn and spring, the temperatures in Israel is exactly right. In January till May, you can find rain. January and February you can find storms. Not good for the tourist. But be aware, desert is transformed in January-March because of the rain! You will see flowers and grass, but no desert!
After you figured out when you want to visit, you need to consider how long you plan to stay. Normally, between 10 and 20 days is enough to see some important things of Israel, unless you love hiking or adventure or you prefer a religious tour, then you might need to stay longer or return for followup vacations.
Then you need to figure out what type of vacation you like to have. Do you like hiking? Do you like nature? Do you love water, beaches, lakes and rivers? Or do you like mountains and deserts, or are you the adventurous type and want to race with a jeep through the desert or woods, or maybe you like to dig in the earth or creep through caves? Or maybe you want to be a simple tourists and visit the interesting sights? Or maybe you like history and culture, or maybe you want to meet the people, or you are more religious inclined and want to visit Israel as the Holy Land?
Also children are a factor. With small or young children you can’t have an adventurous vacation through the deserts and woods, but like to have a nice, restful, interesting vacation and with children there are so many opportunities. In those cases try the National Parks of Israel.
When you are so far as to determine when you want to come and for how long, you need to figure out how and what you are going to see and visit. You can do that in several ways:
- Buy several guidebooks and prepare yourself. Go with it with your guide book and that’s a really good method and way to explore Israel. Most of the guided tours in Israel are exactly (or less) then the guide book you buy for $30 in Israel. This approach also means the error-and-trial method, because certain things looks great in a guide, but not in reality, especially with children.
- Get to a city (Jerusalem or Tel Aviv) and join several days tours. That give you a good idea what you want to visit and what not. But here is also the problem of quality, but it gives you something!
- You can get a guided tour through Israel for 6-10 days and the rest of your time you spend yourself to the places you like. The problem with Israeli guided tours is that they also follow only the guide book (or less), so you need to know exactly which tour is good.
- Go to Trip Adviser (on the Internet) and let you be informed over there.
- Take a hotel in a city in Israel and let the hotel advise you.
There are all kind of ideas to make your vacation come true. But let me tell you a truth.
If you go to have a vacation in Israel with a guide book, or the Internet or listening to the people working in a hotel, it will always be much more expensive then the guided tours, or even a day tour.
Then there is the issue of the organized, guided tour. Many people don’t like the idea of a guided tour, because they are forced to move with the group. If people sees something of interest, they can’t continue visiting, because the guide has a schedule to meet and drags everyone to the next point of his program. That’s true.
The guided tours at Shalom Israel are a bit different. Even that the guide has a program to follow, the group decides what they actually want to see, not the guide. With every tour, there is a guide and an assistant guide present and for large groups there are two guides and two assistant guides present. All of them have mobile phones and keep contact with each other. When people split from the main group, one of the guides goes with them. You don’t see that in any guided tour in Israel.
Plus, the program for each guided tour is designed in a way, that it’s interesting for the group. The chance that one or more people of the group want to split is small.
And then let me tell you a truth about Israeli tourism.
Israel is expensive, more expensive then the US or Europe! As expensive as Hawaii! And the quality of hotels are every year becoming worse and worse. For example, a hotel room in a major tourist city in Israel can cost more then $400 a night, and when you lay in your bed and look up to the sealing, you see the cracks, you feel the shabby bed, the badly restored doors (someone broke them), the bad food, a rude service, speaking only Arab or sometimes Hebrew, but no or heavily broken English. Slowly, but surely Israel becomes a tourist-trap.
But there are hotels, which are excellent. There are hotels, which will bypass your most amazing dreams, unbelievable service. Such hotels you can’t even find at home or at Hawaii.
And then the food in the restaurants. Food is eatable, except they taste all the same. It’s hard to find good food when you don’t know where to look for. You cant’ find that in your guide books, neither in the Internet, neither from other people in the hotel. No, that knowledge comes from the tour guides, especially the tour guides from Shalom Israel. All their tours are based on the best quality of food, accommodation and travel.
When a restaurant owner sees a tourist group arriving, the quality of the food goes down and the price up (in Israel that’s common practice). Except when the owner sees a Shalom Israel group arriving … he swallows … the quality goes up to it’s maximum, because he knows there will be hell to pay when it is not the case and the last time for business with us.
With our tours, the guides and assistant guides sleep in the same hotel as everyone and eat the same food as the group eats. They know what’s good and what’s not. and no, it’s not a gift of the hotel or restaurant, you pay for that. In return you have quality control.
This is our view of your perfect vacation in Israel.