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Getting Around in Israel
 
 
 

By Air

Israel is a small country, and because of this reason, it is only worthwhile to consider flying between Eilat and Tel Aviv or Haifa. Several companies operate flights from Eilat to Haifa, Ben Gurion Airport, or Sde Dov in north Tel Aviv. Airfares are reasonable, but are still much higher than bus fares.

There are also private companies that operate special flights from anywhere in the country upon request.

If you can afford it, then by all means use Arkia ( Tel: (03) 690-2222; Website: www.arkia.co.il), Israel's inland air service. There are no flights on Shabbat, but otherwise daily flights connect Tel Aviv with Eilat and Rosh Pina (Safed/Tiberias), Jerusalem with Eilat and Rosh Pina, and Haifa with Eilat. Other flights are scheduled according to demand, as the seasons change. A round-trip flight from Tel Aviv to Eilat, for example, costs US $160.

By Lake

Ferries operated by Kinneret Sailing Company (tel: (04) 665 8008) run across Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) from Tiberias on the west side to Ein Gev kibbutz on the eastern shore. There is no other navigable water in Israel.

By Rail

Israel Railways (Tel: (03) 577-4000; Website: www.israrail.org.il) operates six lines, with regular services down the coast from Nahariya to Ben Gurion Airport, stopping at Akko (Acre), three stations in Haifa, Binyamina, four stations in Tel Aviv, and five other smaller locations en route. A second line runs from Binyamina and Caesaria to Ashkelon, via Netanya, Herzliya, Tel Aviv and Ashdod. The other lines run from Tel Aviv to Kfar Saba; to Beersheva; to Rishon le Zion; and between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, which follows a particularly scenic route. Reserved seats may be ordered in advance.

Israel Railways has expanded and improved the train service in recent years. Trains run more frequently to more destinations and are even cheaper than busses. There are more train stations in the major cities, and the trains are more comfortable.

Train tickets can be purchased at the ticket booth or vending machine at the station. Seats can also be reserved in advance. There is no railway service on Shabbat and public holidays.

Subway System: The Haifa Carmelit (Tel: (04) 837-6661; Website: www.carmelit.com) is the only subway system in Israel. It runs from in the lower city, and stops at five other stations including the Hadar business centre, and ends at Gan Ha-Em in Merkaz Ha-Carmel.

By Road

Bus

Israelis make considerable use of buses, with frequent and comprehensive services linking even the smallest communities. Egged (Tel: (03) 914-2000; Website: www.egged.co.il/eng) provides these extensive services, which are fast and efficient as well as cheap. With a few exceptions, services are suspended on religious holidays and Shabbat (between sunset on Friday and sunset on Saturday).

The Dan Bus Company (Website: www.dan.co.il) operates public bus service in the Gush Dan area (Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs) and in Yehuda and Shomron. Passengers can obtain information about the various bus lines on the website or from the computerised customer service and information centre.

The Metrodan Company (Website: www.metrodan.com) operates public bus service in the southern city of Be'er Sheva.


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