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The currency used in Israel is the Israeli Shekel.
Bring your own travel adaptor & converter. Their availability in hotels can be spotty.
Bring modest clothing, as most sightseeing and highlights will be religious sites with dress codes.
Don’t throw any documents away while in Israel – you may need them later – especially any visa paperwork from the airport.
Weekends are Fridays and Saturdays, so the working week is Sunday – Thursday. Businesses and public transportation will not be open during the weekends. (Friday & Saturday)
As anywhere else during your travels, limit tap water intake and instead opt for bottled water.
Try to learn some of the local language before you go, the locals will certainly appreciate it.
THINGS TO DO
1. Jerusalem Old City
The half mile area of the walled-in city of Jerusalem is the heart of Jewish, Islamic, and Christian religions. There are seven gates to enter from, leading to four separate quarters: The Jewish Quarter, Christian Quarter, Muslim Quarter, and Armenian Quarter. The Jaffa Gate next to the Tower of David Museum is the most famous for tourists.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
The Old City of Jerusalem can get really crowded. In this space, there are many famous spots to visit such as the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Dome of the Rock, Western Wall, and other important religious sites.
2. Dome of the Rock
One of the world’s oldest Islamic monuments is the Dome of the Rock, located in Jerusalem. Built in 691 by Abd el-Malik, it is believed by Muslims that this is the very spot where the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven. Judeo/Christians believe this is where Abraham offered to sacrifice his son Isaac.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
One of the most contested pieces of land in history, visiting the Dome can be very difficult. Temple Mount is only open to non-Mulims a couple of hours a day so you can imagine the line to get in if you’re not prepared. Speak with your travel director for tips on how to maximize your chances of getting in.
3. Church of the Holy Sepulchre
The Church of the Holy Sepulchre is built on the site believed to be where Jesus Christ was crucified and buried. The church is in the northwest quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem. Built, burned, rebuilt, and repeated many times throughout history, the present church dates mainly back to 1810.
BEST TIME TO VISIT You’ll find less crowds during the week, except Friday. Tuesdays, Wednesday, and Thursdays are the calmest days to go. As a major religious site, expect all Christian holidays to be extremely busy.
4. Jaffa Port City
Sitting on the Mediterranean Sea is the ancient port city of Jaffa. It’s been used for over 7000 years and mentioned in various ancient texts. Today it’s mostly a recreation area but still functions as a fishing port..
YOU SHOULD KNOW
Today, Jaffa is a major tourist attraction with modern buildings mixed in with the older, preserved structures. Just like any other modern city, you’ll find it’s more like a square with restaurants, cafes, and souvenir shops.
5. Dead Sea
The Dead Sea is a salt lake and a major must-see attraction. This landlocked body of water borders Jordan and Israel. Believed to be about 3 million years old, the Dead Sea is not actually a sea, but a hypersaline lake with super high levels of sodium chloride and other natural minerals.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
The shores of the Dead Sea are about 1400ft below sea level, making it Earth’s lowest elevation point on land. The water in the Dead Sea is so dense, swimming in it feels more like floating.
6. Golan Heights
Far north of Israel is a region of green rocky plateaus called Golan Heights. This region is relatively small in size but historically important. It also supplies Israel with over a third of its water.
BEST TIME TO VISIT Spring is going to be the best time to visit Golan Heights. You’ll find lush greenery and accommodating weather. Summer is hot and dry, and winter gets too cold and snowy.
7. Old City of Acre
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001, Acre is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Today, it is mainly a small fishing port, but Acre used to be as big and important a port as any other historically significant port city. Tourists will find a lot of great attractions and things to do here: retrace history in the Hall of Knights, shop in the Medieval Market, and walk the city walls.
BEST TIME TO VISIT Try to visit Sunday-Thursday to avoid the crowds. Typically, Summertime is the hottest and most crowded, however, all indoor activities are air-conditioned.
8. Western Wall
Located on the western side of the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem is the famous Western Wall. The Western Wall – or Wailing Wall – is all that remains from the ancient wall that used to surround the Temple’s courtyard. It’s also one of the most sacred and holy sites in Judaism.
Magdala was an ancient city on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. This city is significant as Mary Magdalene is usually assumed to have come from this city. When visiting Israel or a Holy Land tour, a visit to the remains of this ancient city is a must.
10. Masada Fortress
A fortress set atop a mountain in the middle of a desert, Masada Fortress is a UNESCO heritage site and was the setting for the last revolt against the Romans by members of the Hebrew Zealots. The fortress overlooks the Dead Sea and was built by Herod the Great between 37 and 31BC.
YOU SHOULD KNOW
There is a Snake Path climbing route for any hikers who want to do the path. However, if you’re traveling with one of our travel partners and your itinerary includes the Masada Fortress, tickets for both the entrance and cable car will be arranged for you.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
With thousands of years worth of history and some of the most religious and sacred sites in the world, Israel should be a bucket list destination for any traveler. Whether you’re here for the holy land experience, or a history buff looking to retrace footsteps, Israel will not disappoint. To help set your expectations, find the best time to visit based on what you want to do.
Summer is high season with the most visitors and crowds.
Winter is low season, during the months of December to February.
For religious travelers, June to September would be a great time to visit as there are a lot of religious festivals happening during this time.
General travel in Spring or Fall is a great time to visit as the crowds are thinner and the weather is not as hot.
1. Spring – March to May – Good Season
The average high during the Springtime is 81F, with average lows of 51F. Most would say Spring is the best time to visit Israel, regardless of what you want to see or do. The weather is cooler, the crowds are thinner, and your experience will undoubtedly be more pleasant.
2. Summer – June to September – High Season
The average high during the Summer is 89F and 65F low. This is the most popular time for Israel, when most people are able to get their time off from work and kids are out of school. Expect all the tourist attractions to be crowded, and plan accordingly.
3. Fall – October to November – Good Season
The average high in the Fall is 75F, with average lows of 59F. The Fall is a great time to visit Israel as the temperate weather is inviting and is mostly cooperative. You’ll still find some crowds but not nearly as much as during the Summertime.
4. Winter – December to February – Low Season
The average high during the Wintertime is 63F and 44F low. Surprising some, Winters can be very cold in Israel, with snow not that uncommon. If you don’t mind the cold, this is a nice time to visit and great for pictures. However, it does rain quite a bit during this time.
By: Sunny Lewis, Senior Travel Consultant, CTA Israel and the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure with Intrepid is a region full of cultural and religious experiences and is home to Jews, Muslims and Christians. It is impossible to go there and not be touched spiritually and mentally.
What's an Israel Tour?
Israel tours are prepackaged trips with a set itinerary and dedicated tour manager. Many people who want to take an Israel vacation want to avoid all the planning and logistics involved in a big week or two week foreign trip abroad and are looking to save money by doing it all in a package instead of piecing things together at full price. The trip is led by a tour director who will take care of all the services from beginning to the end of your vacation. Your tour director connects you with local tour guides who will have a lot of knowledge on the specific cities you explore. Typically, hotels, transportation throughout your trip, some meals and sightseeing are arranged and included with the price of your Israel tour.
Israel tours offer visitors an incredible journey into the past, and for many religious travelers a trip to Israel can deepen their faith. Tel Aviv, home to an international airport, is where Israel tours typically begin and end. From here it's a short drive to Jerusalem, the cradle of Christianity, Islam and Judaism and one of the most revered cities on earth.
What's Included on an Israel Tour?
Generally, an Israel tour will include as many services as possible, giving you less to worry about. Usually included on your Israel tour are: transportation (getting from place to place while on tour), accommodations, most meals, and the services of a dedicated tour director. As per the itinerary, certain sightseeing opportunities are also included: tickets to special VIP access to the most famous landmarks, skip the lines, and when available, access to a personal local guide for expert commentary.
In Jerusalem, spend time in Old City of Jerusalem and the Jewish Quarter, home of the Wailing Wall and the Dome of the Rock. On a walking tour, you can see so many biblical sites, including the Rock of Agony, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem, the Stations of the Cross and Jesus' crucifixion site, where now the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is found. A visit to the Dead Sea is the highlight of any Israel vacation. An inland lake, lying more than 1,000 feet below sea level, it has more minerals and salt than any other body of water in the world. Soak in the salty water, feel the unusual buoyancy and benefit from its rejuvenating properties.
What’s The Best Israel Tour?
The best Israel tour is the one that fits your budget and schedule! The most popular tour operators are Globus, Trafalgar, Insight Vacations, Cosmos, Costsaver, CIE Tours, Intrepid, Tauck and others. You can’t go wrong with any Israel tour. Please speak with one of our travel consultants to find the best tour for you!
How Much Do Israel Tours Cost?
You can book an affordable Israel tour starting from under $99 per day per person. Besides our award winning customer service, the best part about booking with AffordableTours.com is you will always receive a discount on your Israel tour. We are committed to providing you with the lowest prices on all top tour operators. No one beats our prices on all of our Israel tours!
Reviews for Israel Tours and Vacations
I had an amazing experience traveling to the Holy Land with Cosmos. Our tour guide Ori was extremely knowledgeable, helpful and kept our tour running smoothly the entire time. He answered all of our many questions, told us jokes, and even taught us a song to sing on the bus. I had a very positive experience as a solo traveler on my very first guided tour. I felt very safe and had an excellent support system with the guide and my fellow tour group travelers. I feel that I completely maximized the time short time I had in Israel. I saw all of the religious sites I wanted to see and experience a lot of history and culture. I was glad that we were also given time to shop and try some optional activities. I chose to ride a camel at the Dead Sea beach on the last day. I was very impressed that Cosmos arranged two private masses for our group, one in Bethlehem and one in Magdala. This made the experience extra special. Overall, I highly recommend this tour. It was spiritually and intellectually enlightening as well as just plain fun.
The Israel trip was very enjoyable and informmajopre was very good. The accommodations were excellent and well located. The bus from a local agency (Mayatours) was a little cramped.The trip was made in mid to late February, and the weather was very comfortable. I was surprised by the number of tourists and there were long waits to enter the major religious sites. March-April and September-October are peak periods but the crowds will be much larger.
The tour operator's Tour Manager in Israel Adina was very good, knowledgeable and patient. The Tour Manager in Jordan Abdell (Abdul) was excellent and attentive to our needs. Both were great!