It has been a while since I was in Israel together with my best friend. Although my travel diaries are all online by now, I don't want to deprive you of the itinerary of our road trip. After we had informed ourselves, we quickly realized that a rental car is the only way for us to see everything we want to see – even if it doesn't have only advantages. You can find more information in the last paragraph below. We booked all accommodations in advance and also reserved the rental car online beforehand.
Tel Aviv – Mitzpe Ramon – Eilat
After we landed late in the evening in Tel Aviv and after what felt like an eternal wait we finally got our car and went to an accommodation near the airport. The next day we had the first longer trip – from Tel Aviv we went to Mitzpe Ramon and from there to Eilat. The first part of the trip took about two and a half hours, because we wanted to avoid the toll Highway 6 and therefore had to take a little detour. In addition, it was relatively crowded on the highway, because at the same time a bicycle race took place, which also went over the highway and one lane was closed for it. In Mitzpe Ramon we had a long break before we continued through the desert to Eilat. This part of the route took forever – partly we were the only car far and wide, and the road just didn't end anymore. Fortunately we can always have a good time and so also this eternal drive ended sometime. In retrospect, I would have planned one night in Mitzpe Ramon and even skipped Eilat completely. You can find the travel diaries and my tips to Israel here.
Eilat – Jerusalem
From Eilat we went after only one night again in the direction of Jerusalem. After Eilat rather disappointed me, Jerusalem thrilled me all the more! The drive went again via Mitzpe Ramon and took forever, again we avoided Highway 6. In Jerusalem we had problems to find a parking place for our car, and when we finally found a free place, we decided to postpone the excursion to the Dead Sea for another day after all. In any case there is enough to do in Jerusalem and our Airbnb with roof terrace was the perfect starting point for the next days.
Jerusalem – Dead Sea – Jerusalem
Of course we also wanted to visit the Dead Sea and the Massada Fortress – but we decided to make a day trip to it. In retrospect, I would have liked to spend a night here, possibly on the way back from Mitzpe Ramon. From Jerusalem, it is best to drive through the West Bank, or you have to make a detour – but since this is usually not allowed with a rental car, we checked with the company beforehand. As long as you stay on the road and don't make any stops, it shouldn't be a problem.
Jerusalem – Haifa
From Jerusalem we went to the north of Israel – to Haifa. Here we planned to stay three nights, and that was a good decision. We would have liked to do some excursions in the surrounding area, but this was not possible due to the political situation, as there was a travel warning at that time. Therefore we limited ourselves to an excursion to Akko and a lot of time at the beach.
Haifa – Tel Aviv
At the very end we wanted to visit Tel Aviv, even though we heard several times before that the city is not really worth it. After we were at the beach in Haifa until noon, we drove to Tel Aviv, definitely the shortest route on our road trip through Israel. After testing the beach and exploring the old town, we had to go to the airport again the next day. In retrospect, I would have liked to spend a second night in Tel Aviv to see more of the city, even outside the walls of the Old City.
Israel road trip – is it worth it?
Yes, definitely! For us the decision to rent a car was one of the best we made. So we could plan all stopovers without any problems, besides it was the only option to really see everything in the short time we had in Israel. We reserved the car online beforehand – definitely a good idea, as the counters at the airport turned away some people who didn't have reservations and saved us quite a bit besides. In general, Israel is relatively expensive, so it makes sense to inform yourself beforehand. Besides, you can be sure that all insurances are included and you don't have to buy expensive additional insurances on the spot.
A big disadvantage when you are traveling by car in Israel: parking. Not only because it is naturally more crowded in the big cities, but especially because for tourists only the free parking lots or parking garages come into question. Who stands on a paid parking lot, has in most cases simply bad luck, because often one can pay only with an App, which one can use only with Israeli social security number. Only in rare cases there is a parking machine somewhere in the vicinity, where you can get a normal parking ticket. We were really just lucky in Jerusalem and Haifa that we found a parking place directly in front of the accommodation which was free of charge and in Tel Aviv we finally went to a parking garage. If you want to stand here longer, you have to expect relatively high costs.
Have you ever been to Israel? Where exactly did you go and what did you like best??