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Israel

ISRAEL TOURS

Home to three of the world's greatest and most important religions, the fascinating history of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has created an incredible tie with the majority of people on earth and it therefore remains one of the most iconic travel destinations to visit. Whether you want to lose yourself in the intricate alleyways of Jerusalem as you move from one historical monument to the next, visit important and ancient archaeological sites or enjoy floating in the Dead Sea, a trip to Israel is sure to leave a lifetime of memories.

Our small group Israel tours are the perfect way to learn more about this fascinating country and discover how Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has shaped the world historically. From the religious fervour of Jerusalem to the tranquil villages along the Sea of Galilee and bustling, modern day Tel Aviv, we are passionate about showing you the best Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories has to offer. We also have some tours that combine Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories with neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Jordan.

TOP Israel TRAVEL DEALS & UPCOMING TOURS

Tour Name Tour Type Days Start Date Price

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What type of climate can I expect in Israel?

Spring is one of the most popular times to visit Israel as the country falls into full-bloom after the winter rains, leaving behind breath-taking scenery. Summer temperatures can be uncomfortable which is why it is recommended to do activities, such as hiking, early in the morning, however, Israel offers excellent beach weather in the area of Tel-Aviv and rain is extremely rare.

Autumn provides similar temperatures to Spring. In October, the rainy season starts and continues throughout the season. During Winter, the amount of rain is moderate and at high altitudes, one can often find snowfall - particularly in the north.

What are the top cities to visit in Israel?

  • Jerusalem - Synonymous for being a city sacred for millennia to the three religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
  • Akko (Acre) - Boasting an ancient walled port town and UNESCO World Heritage site which is home to multiple religions, namely: Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Bahá'í, and Druze.
  • Beer Sheva - The capital of the Negev Region.
  • Eilat - A vibrant resort city known as the ‘Goa of the Middle East and Israel’s window to the Red Sea.
  • Haifa - Home to the Shrine of the Báb and Terraces and the German Quarter, Haifa is the center of the Bahá'í Faith.
  • Nazareth - The largest Arab city in Israel, famous for being the hometown of Jesus Christ, now the largest Arab city in Israel.

What is the official language of Israel?

The official and most spoken language of Israel is Hebrew. Approximately 20% of the population are Israeli-Arabs who speak Arabic as well.

Arabic was formerly the official language up until 2018. However, English is the most widely spoken foreign language and Israelis study English in school from an early age. The older generation of Israelis are generally less fluent in English and therefore some knowledge of Hebrew will come in handy.

What currency is used in Israel?

The official currency of Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS) and colloquially it is referred to as Shekel (plural: shkalim) or sha-kh. Cash points and ATMs are available in most places throughout Israel and credit cards of all types are accepted widely.

What type of food can I expect to eat in Israel?

Falafel has become the official food of Israel and consists of small fried balls of mashed chickpeas, usually served with pita bread, salads and hummus. This is a relatively cheap lunch and can cost as little as ?10-15.

Another popular food is the Shawarma which consists of sliced meat, served inside a pita.

Hummus is also a popular food, made from creamed chickpeas, tahina, lemon and olive oil and often served with pita bread for dipping. Several restaurants which specialize in Hummus offer creative toppings such as: chickpeas, mushrooms, minced meat, fava beans and more.

TOUR REVIEWS

I have dealt with Anthony Horrobin on a number of occasions and it is like talking to an old friend on the phone. Anthony is super-efficient and will always go the extra mile to create the perfect trip.

This is our first travel through Encounters Travel and so far the arrangement is working very well. Our travel is not until April 2017 so I am more than hopeful all will continue to run as smoothly as it has so far.

Everything about the trip was thought through, fine-tuned , and marvelous. From Ant Horribin helping us arrange the trip, to rep Waled Ali, and our guide Big Mo, we could not have asked for a better team. Our sincere thanks to them.

Anthony has been amazing throughout my planning of my tour. He has been very quick in replying to my emails and always answering with everything I wanted to know. I look forward to hopefully planning my next trip through him next year!

Anthony has been a pleasure to work with and when he is not available, other members of the team respond in a timely manner. I have booked a total of 6 trips since December 2013 and plan to book more to fill my bucket list.

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Israel Country Guide

Israel Country Guide Flag

Factfile


Time: GMT+3
Dial Code: +972
Area: 20,770 km²
Elevation: The lowest point in Israel is the Dead Sea at ?430m (-1411 ft.) | The highest point in Israel is Har Meron at 1,208m (3,963 ft.)
Population: 8,452,841 (2018)
Capital: Jerusalem
Governemnt: Parliamentary system, Parliamentary republic
Language: Hebrew, Modern Standard Arabic, Arabic

Israel, officially known as the State of Israel, is in the Middle East on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. This country borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the east and west, and Egypt to the southwest.

The landscape of Israel is geographically diverse given the small area it covers. Tel Aviv is Israel's economic and technological centre and the seat of government while the capital is Jerusalem. The state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only limited recognition. Israel has the highest standard of living in the Middle East as well as one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

Israel is defined as a Jewish and democratic state. The country is a representative democracy with a parliamentary system, proportional representation and universal suffrage. Israel has the 33rd largest economy in the world and is a developed company. A highly skilled workforce and a high percentage of citizens holding tertiary education degrees make Israel one of the most educated countries in the world.

The coastal plain of Israel, on the shores of the Mediterranean, is home to most of the nation's population. The Jordan River runs along the Jordan Rift Valley, from Mount Hermon through the Hulah Valley and the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea - the lowest point on the surface of the earth.

Highlights

  • Tel Aviv – the second most populous city on Israel's Mediterranean coast with 1930s Bauhaus buildings.
  • Haifa – the third-largest city in Israel known for the Bahá'í Gardens and the Stella Maris Monastery.
  • Nazareth – Israel's largest Arab city and the centre of Christian pilgrimage with shrines and biblical buildings.
  • The Old City of Jerusalem – a walled area within the modern city of Jerusalem, home to the Western Wall.
  • Sea of Galilee – the lowest freshwater lake on Earth fed by the River Jordan with biblical associations.
  • Bethlehem – a Palestinian town south of Jerusalem in the West Bank and the biblical birthplace of Jesus.
  • Tiberias – a city on the shore of the Sea of Galilee with famous religious sites.
  • Golan Heights – the Golan Region in Levant, spanning about 1,800 square kilometres with impressive views.

Tips

  • Bargaining is normal, and customers are expected to haggle in the markets.
  • Do not be offended by Israelis as they can come across as brusque and direct.
  • Avoid talking politics with Israelis and criticising the country of Israel in particular.
  • In the summer, the temperatures can get extremely hot, especially when walking around the sights.
  • Shabbat takes place every week from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset and many places close.
  • It is standard practice to tip between 10-15% so you should carry some small change.
  • Women should cover their bare arms and legs in mosques and synagogues.
  • Watch out for jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea during the months of June to August.

Shoestring Israel TOURS

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TAILOR-MADE Israel TOURS

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Our tailor-made tours seek to create a personalised experience – one that is completely exclusive to you. By taking all your interests and requests into consideration, we design an itinerary that ticks off your specific boxes. If you are after adventurous exploration, cultural immersion, a relaxing escape or a balanced blend of everything, we can make it happen.

A highlight of our tailor-made tours is that the itinerary is flexible and incorporates plenty of free time – so you can do some exploring on your own. Our local, friendly guides, experts in their country’s history and culture, will be happy to adjust the activities or your schedule as you travel.

If you are a group of friends, a large family or a company, our tailor-made tours are an ideal, stress-free option. You can even select your own hotels or make use of our recommended accommodation. We have a varied selection of sample holiday itineraries to choose from, either as they stand or as a base for inspiration.

VIDEO FEATURE

Our video features aim to bring our adventure tours to life in a way that no photo can, giving you a great taste of the destination.

POSTS FROM OUR BLOG

Need some travel inspiration or looking for some handy travel tips? Our blog provides excellent insight into our travel destinations - from tour updates to country guides, packing lists to little known things to do, you'll find it all in our travel blog.

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