Israel Overview

Israel is one of the world’s oldest travel destinations. It’s defined as a Jewish and Democratic State in the Middle East. The appeal of Israel’s ancient and holy past may be obvious enough but many new arrivals are surprised to see that it’s much more than a lesson in history. The whole country is a combination of everything from Mt Masada and the Negev Desert to the beaches of Eilat. On a leisurely weekend you could surf, ski, sip wine, ride horses, go clubbing in Tel-Aviv or enjoy some cutting-edge theatre.

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JERUSALEM

Starting From £ 719
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TIBERIUS ON THE SEA OF GALILEE

Starting From £ 1,559
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Highlights Tour

Starting From £ 1,669
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Heritage of the Holy Land Tour

Starting From £ 1,799
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Heritage of the Holyland and Jordan

Starting From £ 2,499
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Jerusalem & Eilat

Starting From £ 1,149
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Dead Sea & Jerusalem

Starting From £ 1,589
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Jordan & Jerusalem

Starting From £ 2,459
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Culinary Tour Of Israel

Starting From £ 1,949

  • Dome Of The Rock - the gold plated Dome of the Rock covers a piece of stone said to be where Abraham sacrificed his son. The Islamic people believe this is where the Prophet Mohammed rose to heaven to join Allah. This stone is sacred to both the Islamic and Muslim people.
  • Mount of Olives - with the best views across Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives is an important site for the Jewish people. The Book of Zechariah says that God will redeem the dead from here on Judgement Day. Many Jews choose to be buried here.
     
  • Bethlehem - according to the New Testament this small town 8kms from Jerusalem is said to be the birth place of Jesus. The town has become a popular place for pilgrims and tourists alike and is home to the Church of the Nativity, one of the oldest churches in the world.
     
  • Western Wall - built approx. 2,000 years ago as a simple retaining wall around Temple Mount. Following the destruction of the temple and return of the Jews following their exile, the Western Wall became the most holy of Jewish sites.
  • Dead Sea - sitting at 400m below sea level, the Dead Sea is the ideal place to visit for a natural spa experience. With its mineral rich mud and saline waters, enjoy a float in this magical location close to the city of Jerusalem.
  • Masada - overlooking the Dead Sea, Masada (Hebrew for fortress) was King Herod’s mountain refuge. Sitting atop a cliff with a 450 metre sheer drop to the Dead Sea below, the views are spectacular. It is accessed by a cable car.

  • Tel Aviv, the “City who never sleeps”, center of business and entertainment of Israel
  • The Wailing Wall an important religious shrine for the Jewish people
  • Biblical Dome of the Rock, the symbol of Jerusalem
  • Masada (Hebrew for fortress) overlooking the Dead Sea

  • Grab a bite to eat at the outdoor market Shuk Mahehe Yehuda in Jerusalem, known by the locals as simply The Shuk.
  • Head to the hill south west of Jerusalem and visit some of the stunning boutique wineries. The Latrun Monastery is one of oldest in the region founded by Trappist monks in 1890.
  • Stop by Barud Restaurant where you will find a traditional Israeli menu. Try their signature dish meatballs with aubergine.
  • If you are looking to pick up something special to take home, visit Gabrieli, a shop which specialises in prayer shawls and a range of hand woven products.
  • Head to the Mount of Olives for some of the best views across Jerusalem.
  • There are many different areas to the city so don’t miss out. Visit the Christian, Muslim, Jewish and Armenian quarters to truly experience Jerusalem.
  • To escape the city head to the Judean hills West of Jerusalem. Explore the hills on horseback which can be arranged at King David Stables.
  • Take a class on Jewish mysticism at the Kabbalah centre. Don’t forget to book in advance for a class taught in English.
  • Experience some traditional Arabic dancing, plays and musicals at Al-Masrah Centre for Palestine Culture & Art and Al-Kasaba Theatre.
  • Don’t miss seeing the Dead Sea Scrolls which are kept at the Shrine of the Book.

BRITISH AIRWAYS

Every day flights from London Heathrow to Tel Aviv with complimentary food and drinks. There are a range of pre-departure facilities such as online check-in, choose your seat and print your boarding card. Available up to 24 hours before your flight or at a check-in kiosk at the airport terminal, print the boarding pass and drop bags at the Fast Bag Drop desks.

Travel Classes:
Euro Traveller & World Traveller (Economy Class) - seat pitch approx. 31”; luggage allowance 23kgs (1 bag). World Traveller Y class can take 2 bags. Gold and Silver Executive Club members can carry an additional checked bag up to 32kgs as part of their free allowance. Entertainment’s Audio and Video system - choose from over 200 entertainment options is available for World Traveller passengers.

World Traveller Plus (Premium Economy Class) - seat pitch approx. 38”; luggage allowance 23kgs (2 bags). It is a private dedicated cabin with a maximum of six rows. Entertainment’s Audio and Video system - choose from over 200 entertainment options.

Club Europe (Business Class) – seat that converts into a 6ft fully flat bed; luggage allowance 32kgs (3 bags). Enjoy personal space in a separate, spacious cabin. Relax before your flight in one of BA lounges; enjoy complimentary hot/cold snacks and refreshments. A member of the British Airways Executive Club can take advantage of 50% more Avios when flying Club Europe. Gold and Silver members can also boost their Avios with an additional Tier bonus.

Language: Hebrew is the primary language and is spoken by the majority of the population, and Arabic is spoken by the Arab minority. English is widely spoken, especially in the cities.

Currency: The official currency is Israeli Shekel (ILS). Credit cards are widely accepted. Please note - prices for tourist services are sometimes quoted in US Dollars.

Time Difference: +2 hrs GMT (GMT + 3 during summer)
 
Visa Requirements: British citizens do not require a visa to enter Israel. However passports must be valid for 6 months, with a min. of 1mth remaining from the date of arrival back in the UK. There are 3 land border crossing points between Jordan and Israel. Allenby Bridge is the closest land border crossing to Amman and the Dead Sea, therefore most commonly used. However when crossing from Israel to Jordan visas cannot be obtained from Allenby Bridge and must be pre-arranged.

Passport: To enter Israel, a passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry is required by the nationals referred to in the chart above.
 
Voltage: 220v and while most sockets are of the rounded two-prong type, three-pin sockets are also common.  

Religion: Israel is a majority Jewish country. Muslims constitute Israel's largest religious minority. Just about 2% of the populations are Druze and other minorities. 
 
Airport Tax: Inc. in air fare cost.

Flying Time: 5 hours

Health/Vaccinations: No mandatory vaccinations. Check with your Doctor for latest information.

Water: Bottled water is recommended.

Tourist Board: http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Pages/home.aspx

Events: 
2012 Public Holidays:
08 Mar - Purim
07 Apr - Pesach (Passover)
26 Apr - Yom Ha'Atzmaut (Israel Independence Day)
27 May - Shavuot (Pentecost)
17 Sep - Rosh Hashana (New Year)
26 Sep - Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
01 Oct - Sukkot (Tabernacles)
09 Oct - Simchat Torah
09 Dec - Chanukah (Festival of Lights)
 
2013 Public Holidays:
24 Feb - Purim
26 Mar - Pesach (Passover)
14 Apr - Yom Ha'atzmaut (Independence Day)
14 May - Shavuot (Pentecost)
04 Sep - Rosh Hashanah (New Year)
13 Sep - Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement)
18 Sep - Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles)
25 Sep - Simchat Torah
28 Nov - Hanukkah (Festival of Lights)
 
Note - The festival of Hanukkah is a holiday period, but it is not a national holiday - businesses remain open. Jewish festivals always commence on the evenings before the dates given below.