Israel

Few places on earth stir up passion the way that Israel does: the breathtaking beauty of its hills and valleys, the eerie stillness of the Dead Sea, the multi-colored canyon of Makhtesh Ramon, and the ancient walls and pathways of Nazareth and Jerusalem. The call of the muezzin and the quiet prayers of Orthodox Jews at the Western Wall reflect how the religious devotion of the Muslims, Christians, and Jews who live here runs through every facet of life.

Yearly Weather

The climate of Israel is typically Mediterranean. It has long, hot and dry summers. This is followed by short, cool, warm and wet winters. Israel has heavy rainstorms that usually begin in November and end in March. Snow is possible in winter but only inland on high ground.

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Travel Facts

VISA & PASSPORTS

Travel outside of the United States requires a passport valid for at least the next six months. No visas are required for entrance to Israel. If your tour includes other destinations, please contact the respective consulate or visa agency of your destination in order to determine if any visas are required for your trip. This information is for U.S. citizens only.

HEALTH

No vaccinations are required to visit Israel. The country has one of the world’s most advanced healthcare systems. Most doctors at emergency clinics and hospitals in Israel speak English. Emergency and trauma care is among the best in the world.

It’s safe to drink tap water and eat fresh produce after it’s been washed as well as food from outdoor stands. Heat stroke and dehydration are real dangers if you’re going to be outdoors for any length of time. A sun hat and sunblock are musts, as is plenty of bottled water (available even in the most remote places) to guard against dehydration. Take at least one liter per person for every hour you plan to be outside. Use sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Most supermarkets and pharmacies carry sunscreen in a range of SPF, but it’s much more expensive than in the United States.

ELECTRICITY

The electric current in Israel is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 Hertz. Most hotels provide hair dryers and virtually all hotel rooms have 110/220 electric shaver sockets. Electric shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may require adaptors and/or converters, which you can purchase prior to your departure.

CURRENCY & BANK INFORMATION

The currency in Israel is the New Israeli Shekel (NIS). Each shekel is divided into 100 ‘agurot’ (singular ‘agura’). NIS bills are in denominations of 200, 100, 50 and 20 shekels. Coins are in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 shekels, and 50 and 10 agurot. One may bring an unlimited amount of local and foreign currency into Israel in cash, travelers’ checks, letters of credit and State of Israel Bonds. Foreign currency may be exchanged at any bank and at many hotels.

Bank operating hours (generally): Sunday through Thursday from 8:30 am — 12:30 pm and from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm.

SHABBAT

Jewish holidays are celebrated from the evening before the day of the holiday. For example Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath begins Friday evening at sundown and ends on Saturday after the sun sets. At this time all government services, public transportation, and banks close as do most retail stores. Some restaurants and places of entertainment remain open. Check with your guide or the front desk of your hotel.

SIGHTSEEING

Tour schedules are planned many months ahead, but occasionally there are changes made to your scheduled sightseeing and/or advertised visits. Your tour director or local guide will notify you of all changes.

TIPPING

Tips for your guide and driver are not included in the cost of your tour. The following suggestions are guidelines for tipping and are provided for your reference.

– 20 passengers and more: Guide $8, driver $4 – per participant per day
– Porter: $1 per luggage

HANDICAPPED FACILITIES

Israel is reasonably well equipped for catering to travelers with special needs. Airports, public transportation, and many tourist sites are wheelchair friendly and most hotels have special rooms designed for handicapped travelers. When making dinner plans, check with your hotel as to recommended restaurants that can accommodate your needs best. Should you require handicapped facilities please contact our office.

AIRPORT SECURITY

Security checks are carried out routinely for your protection and safety. Expect to be asked about the contents of your luggage – was it packed by you and in a supervised place before reaching the airport. Do not take any mail, packages or unknown items from anyone either before or after arriving at the airport.

DON’T FORGET

Please make certain that you have a valid passport.
Please do not forget your passport and flight tickets.
We recommend that you keep a photocopy of your passport in your purse or wallet.
Please pack medications in your carry-on bag and not checked luggage.
Never leave your passport, valuables or money in your hotel room, unless placed in the safe.