YES! You can start by looking at our website and getting some info here regarding the process of planning and booking your trip. But most importantly - schedule a phone / Zoom call with us here, bounce around some ideas and ask whatever you'd like. We don't bite. And we promise - no strings attached.
We recommend you start planning your trip/tour to Israel at least 6-8 months in advance to ensure the best prices and availability. If you're planning a tour for a large group, 8 -12 months is best so families can plan around their kids' school schedules. Contact us and we'll talk about it.
US and Canadian citizens are not required to obtain a visa for travel to Israel. Citizens from all other countries will need to check with their respective embassies / consulates or visa agency to determine if a visa is required. You can also check here. Your passport needs to be valid for 6 months from the date you leave Israel after your trip.
Sunday through Friday, check-in time is generally 3PM. On Saturday, check-out is usually one hour after sunset (the end of Shabbat). These times may change depending on the season. It is important to note however, that check-in on Saturday will be at night (usually 2 hours after Shabbat ends - sunset). Check-out is generally before noon, no matter the day of the week (except Shabbat). Please take into consideration the check-in / check-out times when scheduling your flights. In most instances, we are able to arrange for early check-in / late check-out when needed.
It is always best to check the weather forecast beforehand as the weather during Spring and Fall seasons can be unexpectedly warm or cold.
Spring (late March – May): Daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant - around 65-70°F, though it can still be hot in some areas (such as the Dead Sea and Eilat). There is a slight chance of rain, but it doesn't happen often. It can be cooler in the evenings in the North and Jerusalem - approximately 45°F. Summer (late May - late September): Temperatures are usually in the high 80s-90s. At this time of year, humidity will be highest in Tel Aviv and Tiberias. Other areas such as Jerusalem are drier and cooler, particularly at night. The desert, Masada and Eilat are extremely hot, but dry. It will almost never rain in the summer in Israel!
Spring (late March – May): Daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant - around 65-70°F, though it can still be hot in some areas (such as the Dead Sea and Eilat). There is a slight chance of rain, but it doesn't happen often. It can be cooler in the evenings in the North and Jerusalem - approximately 45°F.
Summer (late May - late September): Temperatures are usually in the high 80s-90s. At this time of year, humidity will be highest in Tel Aviv and Tiberias. Other areas such as Jerusalem are drier and cooler, particularly at night. The desert, Masada and Eilat are extremely hot, but dry. It will almost never rain in the summer in Israel!
Fall (late September – November): Same as Spring, but the rain can begin towards the end of the season.
Winter (December - early March): Winter can be mild and sunny, or severe and overcast. There's often heavy rain and, in January and February, even snow at times! Temperatures will be in the 50s-60s most places, but in the 40s in Jerusalem and the Galilee hills, and cold at night. Pack layers and be prepared for anything!
Israel is a very informal country and the most formal you'll have to be is "business casual". Religious sites require long pants for the men and clothing that covers the knees and shoulders for the women. Men and women may be requested to cover their heads at Jewish and Muslim religious sites, while at Christian sites men are usually required to remove their hats. It's important to have comfortable walking shoes for the touring days. Summer in Israel is hot and during the peak months of July - September, it is very humid. Natural fibered clothes are best. We recommend bringing layered clothing as the night and day temperatures can vary greatly, regardless of season. The winter can be cold and wet, in particular in Jerusalem and the Northern part of the country. Bring long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, a warm coat / raincoat, as well as T-shirts - we do have lovely sunny days as well, even in the winter. A hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen is highly recommended for all seasons. Check out our article about Israeli clothing here (link) Also - check out how you can support others by donating your coat at the end of your trip (link)
The New Israeli Shekel (NIS), comprising 100 agorot, is the local currency. Currency can be exchanged either at the airport, at exchange stores located all over the country and are easy to find - or - with the Via Sabra touch, just tell us how much you need, and our staff will have cash waiting for you when you arrive, to save you valuable time. Just remember to mention it us before your trip.
Walking around with a large amount of cash isn’t advisable anywhere. Fifty to a hundred dollars in local currency is more than enough to cover small purchases and meals. Change your currency in Israel - it can be done easily almost everywhere. But, taking a few extra minutes at the airport to do this is always a good idea. You can also usually use your debit card to withdraw shekels from most ATMs, but make sure you check your bank's foreign transaction fees and exchange rate.
ATMs can be used to withdraw shekels using your ATM or credit card and are conveniently located in the airport and throughout the country. There are also regulated ‘change points’ located in larger cities and at the airport. Generally tourists get a fair exchange rate, but it's always advisable to check the current exchange rate to be sure. Hotels will also exchange money, but their rates are usually not as favorable. Israeli currency can be re-converted at the airport or border banks at the end of your stay. With the Via Sabra touch, just tell us how much you need, and our staff will have cash waiting for you when you arrive, to save you valuable time. Just remember to mention it us before your trip.
The electric current in Israel is 220 volts, C, single phase, 50 Hertz - the same as in Europe. If your appliance does not work on 220 volts, you will need an adaptor. Israeli plug sockets are three-pronged, but most accept European two-pronged plugs. It is recommended to bring your own adapter, although most hotels should be able to supply one. For cell phones & tablets you need a plug tip adapter. Smart devices (Android, iPhones, Kindles, iPads) can convert between 110v/220v by themselves and do not need a full power converter, only the plug-tip adapter. Many hotels nowadays have USB sockets and 110V sockets as well, but don't count on it. Also - we supply our guides with converters for our guests. Should you need it, we've got you covered.
Prior to your arrival, we can arrange a door-to-door transfer for you from the airport. There is a train station at the airport that links to the major cities. Check here for the train schedules and fares from Ben Gurion airport. There is also a taxi stand at the airport.
The level of medical care provided in Israel, as well as the facilities available, rank up top with the very best in Europe or the United States. There are excellent hospitals in all the major cities and many hotels have a doctor on call. It is required to purchase insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies (including COVID-19 coverage). For information about travel insurance, please click here.
Via Sabra is on call for all of our clients touring in Israel. We take customer support very seriously and we are here to help. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions while you are in Israel. A list of phone numbers will be sent to you approximately 3 weeks before your trip. And, while we take pride in getting to know our guests personally over the course of a trip, we would also love to meet you before you travel with us. Click here to schedule a Zoom / phone call with our staff - a short introduction will go a long way!
Shabbat (the Sabbath), the Jewish holy day of the week, starts at sunset on Friday and ends shortly after sundown on Saturday evening. All public offices, banks and many stores are closed on Shabbat. Museums, national parks and most art galleries are open. Non-kosher restaurants and entertainment spots are open. Buses and trains do not run on Shabbat in all cities, but taxis do. The airports are open as well. Naturally, cities differ from each other. While Tel Aviv is mostly open on Shabbat, Jerusalem will mostly be closed. Check out cool stuff to do on Shabbat when you have a free day (link).
Tour guides try to balance the tour schedule and free time for shopping in certain areas. Many nights are free so you will have the opportunity then to explore on your own as you please. Check out what you can do on your free time in your current location (link).
Value Added Tax (VAT) is 17% and is included in the price of most goods and services. Tourists to Israel do not pay VAT at hotels, car rental agencies and tour companies. It is possible to receive a refund of the VAT paid for goods under certain conditions when departing the country. Please see the full regulations for VAT refunds here.
Most Israeli shops, restaurants, gas stations, and other providers of services accept major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express (less common). Be sure to check with your credit card company what, if any, international transaction fees will apply. Discover Card is not widely accepted in Israel. Most of your purchases, hotel and restaurant costs can and should be made with any major credit card.
For all groups ranging from 2-6 people, it is suggested that you tip the tour guide $70 -$100 (from the group) per day. For groups larger than 8, it is recommended to tip $8-$12 per person, per day + 50% for your bus driver. Tips are not included in the cost of a tour and are always at your discretion.
Tips are not included in the cost of a tour and are always at your discretion. Having said that, in Israel, it is customary to add a gratuity of 15-20% at a restaurant and to tip your guide and driver. For all groups ranging from 2-6 people, it is suggested that you tip the tour guide $70 -$100 (from the group) per day. For groups larger than 8, it is recommended to tip $8-$12 per person, per day + 50% for your bus driver. Please note! Unless stated otherwise, on our group tours, the hotels, restaurants with meals included and serving staff is being generously tips by our staff - on your behalf. If you are not sure, check with your guide or operator for further details.
Our Israel4All tours are fully accessible and are geared to include the widest variety of clients. However, we always suggest speaking to us, so we can iron out some details before going ahead and booking your trip. Also, usually this trip sells out quick and allows us to "multiply" the trip, and group according to abilities and points of interest. Have a question? Give us a call, text us, or schedule a Zoom session to have a talk with one of our reps. We promise we don't bite - and there are no strings attached! Contact Us
Most hotels in Israel have free Wi-Fi available for hotel guests and many restaurants offer complimentary Wi-Fi as well. The city of Tel Aviv offers a city wide free Wi-Fi network, providing 80 free "hotspots" across the city. Other than that - please check your roaming services and international plan before you using your cellular data abroad.
972 (sometimes needs to be dialed +972)
Yes you can use your cellphone in Israel if it is unlocked, or if you have roaming services on. Your mobile carrier should be able to unlock your smartphone for you. It is possible to purchase a preloaded SIM card including data, text message, calls in Israel and a US / Canadian number for people back home to contact you. Please contact us to arrange a SIM card. Alternatively your carrier may offer international service for a daily or monthly fee. Please make sure to check the rates for international cellular usage before your trip, it will save you a bundle.
It is a condition of your booking through Via Sabra / Israel4All, as well as the State of Israel, that you obtain travel health insurance which includes coverage for COVID-19.
In addition, we strongly recommend that you purchase full travel insurance which includes coverage for ‘cancellation under any circumstances and for any reason’. It is recommended to purchase insurance as soon as the booking is made, as this cover is often dependent on purchasing as close to the time of booking.
You can purchase travel insurance with our partner, Travel Insured, an experienced company and one of the largest in the industry, through this link.
A custom trip to Israel is designed with your interests, dates and budget in mind. Contact us and we'll be happy to give you a quote. A very cost effective way to tour Israel is on a group tour, allowing you to participate in activities that would otherwise be too expensive on your own. Click here to find the right tour for you (link).
As COVID-19 subsides in Israel, rules for entering the country are rapidly changing. Currently, only Israeli citizens, first-degree relatives of Israeli citizens, and a limited number of tour groups are allowed into the country. The hope is that this will change as of July 1, and all those who have been vaccinated will be permitted to enter. As of now, in order to enter Israel, one must present a negative PCR test that was taken within 72 hours prior to your flight. Upon arrival in Israel, you must take another PCR test at the airport. In order to avoid the need to quarantine, if you have been vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 outside of Israel, you must take a serological test to determine that you have antibodies. Via Sabra can help arrange this test for you. Once the Ministry of Health receives the results of that test, you will be released from quarantine. All of our tours are planned in accordance with the Ministry of Health guidelines. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates on travel policies.
Yes! It is safe for you and your family to travel in Israel. The Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority (PA) have a vested interest in encouraging tourism. As a registered tour operator we receive security updates from the Home Front office and on rare occasions adjust our itineraries on their recommendations
Once you have an idea of when you'd like to travel to Israel, the approximate number of travellers in your group and the focus of your Israel tour contact us and we'll plan the ultimate experience for you.