Tour Guides:
Itzik, a licensed tour guide, does tours all over Israel, and he did an amazing job on our walking tour of Jerusalem. Highly recommended by students that have used him when their families visited. Contact: moc.liamg|ianaykizti#moc.liamg|ianaykizti
Mike Turkenich, licensed tour guide, does customized private tours across Israel, including Jewish and Christian tours, and ones that focus on history, archeology, etc. Contact: li.ten.noisivten|ruotekim#li.ten.noisivten|ruotekim
Walid the Beast (known by most), does Bethlehem and other "similar" areas of Israel. Contact info is moc.liamtoh|dilaw.lla2ecaep#moc.liamtoh|dilaw.lla2ecaep or moc.liamtoh|0002_tsaeb_dilaw#moc.liamtoh|0002_tsaeb_dilaw, 972-52-237-2779. He's also on Facebook.
My Israel Wine Tours – Esther Cohen can organize winery visits and wine tastings for those who are interested in Israel’s wine industry. moc.liamg|sruoTeniWlearsIyM#moc.liamg|sruoTeniWlearsIyM

Easy Day and Weekend Trips
This is not a comprehensive list of places to visit, but here are some easy trip ideas that students have done in the past:

  • Tel Aviv/Yafo

Great for the beach, bars, restaurants, clubs, and cultural experiences in general. Unlike in Beer Sheva, life in Tel Aviv stays alive on Shabbat, although not public transportation. Take the train (80 minutes, 29 NIS), or Bus 370, 380, 371, 369 (70 minutes, 15 NIS).

  • Jerusalem

Tons of historical and religious sites to see. The Old City! Though maybe sleepier than Tel Aviv, there’s tons of modern culture as well. Take bus 470 (2 hours, 33 NIS).

  • Mitzpe Ramon

Home to the largest erosion crater in the world. These are great places for a day hike or overnight trip. Bus No. 60 shuttles hourly (80 mins) via Sde Boker and Ein Avdat.

  • Golan Heights

Great for hiking and other outdoor adventures. Montfort castle, Nimrod Castle, and Banias Falls are worth a visit. Unfortunately a car is required if you want to explore!

  • Haifa

An industrial city, sleepier than Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, but with some good restaurants and sightseeing. The Baha’i Gardens are beautiful - make sure to dress conservatively (shoulders covered) if you want to go inside.

  • Akko

A beautiful historic coastal city with Crusader ruins. Take the train, or bus 252 or 272 from Haifa.

  • Caesarea

This city, the former home of King Herod, is a beautiful historic site. It is well worth a visit to see the archaeological ruins and to eat by the beach. The best time to go is early fall before it gets too cold, or spring/summer. Caesarea is reachable by bus or train from Tel Aviv, but this trip is easiest with a car.

  • Zichron Yaakov

A sleepy little town south of Haifa and very close to Caesarea. Known for its lovely cobblestone streets and great wineries, Zichron is sometimes called the “Napa of Israel.” You can get there by train to Binyamina, but this is also a trip best made by car.

  • Ashkelon

Good for a day at the beach. Some students go surfing here frequently. Bus No. 364 or 366 (80 minutes, 22 NIS) or a sherut leaving from the Central Bus Station.

  • Ein Gedi/Dead Sea

Hiking and swimming. One of the best natural wonders of the world. Bus No. 384 (2 hours, 40 NIS).

  • Eilat

Red Sea! Watersports, snorkeling. Buses 392, 397, 393, or 394 (4 hours, 55 NIS) Tickets to Eilat must be pre-purchased online or (same day) at the central bus station before boarding.

The website for the Israel Nature and Parks Authority is http://www.parks.org.il/. Lots of info about parks & hikes. You can pay per site you visit or get an annual membership.

Pro tip: Remember to bring your passport if you plan to stay anywhere overnight, even in Israel. Hostels & hotels will need to check your visa.