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a VirtualTourist member asked on Sep 12, 2015

Eilat

First time traverlers to Israel and Eilat

Would it be advisable to drive form the airport to Eilat or would you suggest a different mode of transportation to get there?



5 Answers


answered on 9/12/15 by
a VT member from Dublin

From which airport? Eilat airport is in a very central location in the town but do you mean from some other Israeli airport to Eilat?




answered on 9/12/15 by
a VT member from New York City

If you are talking driving from TLV as you land in Israel than it depends upon where you are flying from. If you are coming from many Time Zones away I would NOT recommend a long drive to Eilat with a jet lagged body clock. You can take a sherut to Jerusalem and a bus to Eilat. Note: the bus needs to be reserved in advance so you may have to call Israel to do this. ( or you can fly down, flights are usually rather inexpensive)




answered on 9/12/15 by
a VT member from Palatka

It would, I guess, also depend on when you land. I remember landing at 11:30 PM and not getting out of immigration and customs until about 2AM. It seemed that there were a lot of late arriving flights. I took a bus from Jerusalem to Eilat a few days later without making any reservations, but perhaps there is a new regulation that rdglady is aware of.
Both the bus and plane arrive pretty much in the center of town.




answered on 9/12/15 by
a VT member

Yes, my plans now are for us to arrive in TLV then perhaps stay in Jerusalem for a couple of days and then head on south to Eilat. I wasn't aware that there is a bus that goes to Eilat on a regular basis. That may simplify our travel instead of driving in the country without knowing the language.
How about safety, have any of you had any type of incidents in that respect? Also, while in Jerusalem, it seems that just like any other big city the tourist is the one to prey upon. Any suggestions?
Thanks for your information! It is very useful.




answered on 9/13/15 by
a VT member from New York City

There are multiple buses that go daily to Eilat. Usually you can find a schedule at www.egged.co.il/eng BUT the schedule , while usually the same week after week will NOT be the same this week due to Rosh Hashanah. If you are spending a few days in the country before heading to Eilat than you only need to stop at the bus station a day before, or if in a hotel ask the desk to make the reservation online. ( that part of the website is Hebrew only) Recognize that it isn't necessarily ONE vehicle that leaves at the scheduled time. There may be multiple vehicles but Egged ( the bus company) needs to know how many vehicles it needs. You will be assigned a vehicle.

You can NOT and haven't been able, for years and years and years to just appear and the bus station and assume you'll get on a bus. In fact, even back in 1984 I remember making reservations and finding my assigned vehicle and seat. ( not sure if they still assign seats)

To respond to other concerns you have a. driving in the country, especially if you are NOT from the UK or Australia, ie. comfortable driving on the right side of the road, is no big deal. Signs are in English as well as Hebrew and Arabic. b. Almost everyone speaks some level of English and if they don't, they'll find someone who does. c. Jerusalem is safe to visit, maybe even safer than where you are from ( which you have kept hidden) The tourist is NOT preyed upon, except in a few locations. ie. if you are shopping in the market in the Old City you are EXPECTED to bargain. If you don't you will pay significantly more than fair price. If you don't feel comfortable bargaining--don't shop there.

What other concerns do you have? Please share because inaccurate rumors seem widespread when it comes to Israel?

Almost forgot--figure out your plans in advance. Israel is NOT a country to travel without hotel reservations. If you DO decide to drive the best companies are Eldan, Hertz and Avis. Make sure you reserve from the sites that end in co.il, not international reservation sites! Otherwise you risk surprises ie. they forgot to add the cost of mandatory insurance.





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