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Israel

Israel Tours

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 take pride in being one of the best Israel tour companies - we are passionate about showing you the best of what Israel has to offer as well as its and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

A select few of our Israel tours are combined together with Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and its neighbouring countries such as Egypt and Jordan - widely known for its pyramids, the Dead Sea, and more.

Our guided tours in Israel will show you the fascinating history of this beautiful land 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, move from one historical monument to the next, visit ancient archaeological sites or enjoy floating in the Dead Sea, a well-designed Israel tour package is sure to leave a lifetime of memories.

Need some help in picking dates? Find out when is the best time to visit Israel here.

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Group Departure Dates

3 Tours | From $1855 p/p

Duration:

8 Days

Country(ies):

Israel

Tour Type:

Shoestring

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 45

Meals:

B- 7, L - 1, D - 3

Highlights:

Tel Aviv, Roman ruins at Caesarea, Druze villages, Golan Heights wine tasting, Haifa, Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Nazareth, Masada fortress...


   From

$2055(p/p)

Duration:

8 Days

Country(ies):

Israel

Tour Type:

Shoestring

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 45

Meals:

B- 7, L - 0, D - 6

Highlights:

Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa, Acre, Galilee, Tiberias, Golan Heights, Nazareth, Qumran, Masada, Megiddo, Beith Shean, Bethlehem, Dead Sea, o...


   From

$1855(p/p)

Duration:

11 Days

Country(ies):

Israel , Jordan

Tour Type:

Shoestring

Group size:

Min: 2 | Max: 45

Meals:

B- 10, L - 0, D - 9

Highlights:

Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa, Acre, Sea of Galilee, Tiberias, Golan Heights, Nazareth, Qumran, Masada fortress, Megiddo, Bethlehem, Dead Sea...


   From

$2750(p/p)

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What type of climate can I expect on your Israel tours?

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.

For real-time information about Israel's weather patterns, visit Accuweather.

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 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 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.

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 ATM's 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 on Israel tours?

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.

Head over to Wikipedia for more information about Israel's cuisine.

What are the best tours of Israel?

The best tours to Israel depends entirely on your budget and how long you want to spend in the country. At Encounters Travel we offer a wide range of tours to Israel – from small group tours to shoestring, and tailor-made.

Do I need a visa to travel to Israel?

All nationalities don’t require a visa when travelling to Israel - Israel an agreements in place with 65 countries where no visa is required and entrance is allowed on the production of a valid passport.

The following countries are exempted:

Africa: Central African Republic, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, South Africa, Swaziland
Asia: Japan, Georgia, Mongolia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan.

Europe: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Republic of Slovak, Ukraine

Pacific: Australia, Cook Islands, Fiji, Micronesia, New Zealand, Republic of Palau, Tonga Vanuatu

The Americas: Argentina, Barbados, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Suriname, The Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, The Bahamas, The Dominican Republic, Uruguay, U.S.A.

Is it dangerous to go to Israel?

Israel to contrary belief is a very safe country to travel to - crime rates are low compared to many other countries.

The risk from hostile war-related activities to anyone traveling within Israel itself is very low and highly unlikely. Overall, you’re probability of being safe in Israel is about the same as travelling to any other country.

How much money should I bring to Israel?

How much it will cost to travel in and around Israel depends on your preferences and how you want to spend your time in Israel.

If you want to travel on an budget in Israel, you should budget for at least 30-40 USD a day – this includes accommodation, some transportation, attractions, and of course, food.

As a western country, travel in Israel does cost more than in the rest of the Middle East.

How much does a tour to Israel cost?

A tour in Israel for one week usually starts around $1850 per person. So, a trip to Israel for two people costs about double that amount but, bare in mind that the amount you spend on a tour is dependent on the type of tour you choose to take.

Which is the best month to visit Israel?

You can visit Israel practically any time of year – you’re unlikely to encounter bad weather or particularly bitter temperatures.

Israel tours are popular in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. In spring, north Israel displays its diverse flora, and wildflowers carpet the hillsides. By summer, the temperature in the low-lying areas get really hot – the Dead Sea and the Red Sea can see heat in the 40°Cs.

Whenever you decide to go, check the calendar: Israel’s social diary is crammed with various religious festivals all year round.

What is the best time to visit Israel?

Israel is an all year round travel destination and its highly plus you are unlikely to encounter any bad weather or uncomfortable temperatures.

Whenever you do decide to travel to Egypt, you should check the social calendar - Israel’s social diary is filled with various religious festivals all year round.

TOUR REVIEWS

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!

There was a lot of communication from the beginning. The encounters staff was very responsive and the tour guide was great and very accommodating. Encounters was also able to help me with last minute changes to my itinerary while I was on the trip.

My contact with Encounters representative was a pleasure, she answered my questions promptly, provided a quotation and changed it quickly when different flights were preferred. Both by e-mail and phone the response was very timely.

Amazing tour. Any issues we had were addressed in a timely fashion and the resolutions were satisfactory. My only complaint is the driver picking us up was late and none of the cell numbers worked when we tried to call and figure out what to do.

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.

ratings

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
Government: 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.
  • 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.
  • Haifa - the third-largest city in Israel known for the Bahai Gardens and the Stella Maris Monastery.

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.

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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.