A small and diverse country, Israel is one of the world's oldest travel destinations, with the land spiritually sacred for the three great monotheistic religions. With a long coastline on the Mediterranean Sea and a small window on the Red Sea, Israel is an undeniably beautiful country with alternating scenes of sea, desert, ancient towns and stunning nature reserves. Explore mesmerising culture at the Israel Museum in the city of Jerusalem, enjoy pristine landscapes at the Mount of Olives, stay at a Kibbutz for two nights and enjoy a wine tasting at Golan Winery! You can experience all this and more on a Israel tour with Bunnik Tours. Book a small group tour online today or contact one of our friendly Travel Specialists.
Israel Facts & Tips
Did you know?
- Israel has one of the highest ratios of university degrees to population, in the world
- The glue on the back of Israeli stamps is kosher
- In Israel, the expression “shalom” (peace) is used for both hello and goodbye
- Israeli bank notes have brail on them so the blind can identify them
- Israel spends more money on security than any other country in the world
- Although Israel’s agricultural production has increased seven times over in the past 30 years, its annual water usage remains roughly the same
- When Golda Meir became the prime minister in 1969, she was the 3rd woman ever elected to lead a country in the modern world
- Israel is only one of three democracies in the world without a codified constitution. The other two are New Zealand and Britain
- Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives is the world’s oldest continuously used cemetery
Visas & Passports
Australian passport holders travelling to Israel need a visa at this time. Please visit the Passports and Visas page for more information.
We require that your passport is valid for travel for at least six months from the date you are planning to return to Australia. Your passport must be valid to travel internationally and must be machine-readable. You also need to carry a valid return ticket on you.
Whether travelling on an Australian passport or the passport of another country, all travellers require visas for a number of countries, and it is your responsibility to secure what may be required before departing Australia. You can consult with your travel agent, but it is also recommended that you check the foreign embassy website for your respective destination as it can also provide you with useful information.
Australian Embassy in Israel:
Discount Bank Tower, 28th Floor
23 Yehuda Halevi Street (corner Herzl Street)
Tel Aviv 65136
Ph. +972 3 693 5000
Fax. +972 3 693 5002
The official currency of Israel is the New Shekel. Notes are in denominations of ₪200, 100, 50, and 20.
The recommended currency to take to Israel is the US Dollar. Ensure you change a small amount into small denominations.
Advise your bank of your travel plans so that they can make a note of it, otherwise they may cancel your credit card as a safety measure due to the overseas transactions. Also make a note of the 24-hour emergency contact number of the bank or building society which issued your credit card in the unlikely event that your card is lost or stolen.
Whenever possible use ATMs when the banks are open (Mon – Fri) so that if a machine ‘eats’ your card you can then deal with it straight away. It is always advisable to carry a supply of cash in addition to your credit card.
If you don’t have US Dollars with you on arrival, we advise you to exchange some money into the local currency at the airport even if the exchange rate is not the best, this way you’ll have money to get a drink, snack or give a tip during those first few hours of arrival. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best places to exchange money.
Small change is also useful for paying for toilets while on tour which is customary in many places outside of Australia.
- The price of a cappuccino in Jerusalem is approximately USD4
- The price of an inexpensive lunch is approximately USD20
- The price dinner in a moderate restaurant is approximately USD35
- The price of a beer in a local pub is approximately USD9
Israeli cuisine is a fusion of east and west and includes many dishes and flavours brought by Jewish immigrants from around the world. Fresh, finely chopped salads are popular and are eaten with every meal including breakfast. National specialties include falafel (deep-fried balls of mashed chickpeas) in a pita bread, with hummus (ground chickpeas), tahini (sesame seed sauce) and salads. If you have the opportunity, also try Ashkenazi classics like cholent (Shabbat meat stew) and gefilte fish, a white fish dish. Water should be drunk from bottles only, however please ensure that bottle top seals are not broken. Soft drinks and alcohol are not a problem but ice should be avoided.
Important: When dining at buffets (i.e. breakfast) please refrain from taking food away with you to ‘save’ for later! If you feel that you’ll need snacks between meals, pack some dried fruit, nuts, muesli bars etc.
If you have specific food allergies and/or preferences, we highly recommend you take every precaution before your tour, including carrying a small card with your food allergy listed in each language of every country you are travelling to show to table staff when ordering. Whilst we take all dietary requirements seriously, due to the serious nature of potential allergic reactions, it is your responsibility to be as prepared as possible.
Israel’s climate varies from the northern region to the southern region. Recommended months to travel are March-April, which is wildflower season, and September-October. The peak summer months of June-August can be extremely hot, especially in the Negev desert. Winters are wet, cold and occasionally snowy.
Want to get out and explore on your own?
The best way to get around Israeli cities and towns is to explore by foot. Taxis are readily available, however walking is a wonderful way to feel the history around you.
When catching taxis, have small change on you and choose one with a meter, if it doesn’t have one then negotiate the price before getting in. Also, ask your guide or hotel staff the names of reputable taxi companies.
So, you’d love to bring home a special souvenir from Israel…
Israel offers countless shopping opportunities as many malls have sprung up in the past few decades including the Malha Mall. There are also many colourful markets, annual bazaars, street malls and shops in the large cities - all of which offer attractive imported and locally-made items. Israel is famous for its exclusive lines of bathing suits (Gottex, Gideon Oberson), skin-care products made from mineral-rich Dead Sea mud, silver jewellery, diamonds, glass, art, leather coats, painted tiles, embroidery, religious items and antiques. Tel Aviv has entire streets devoted to one particular item: spices, bridal gowns, fabrics and gift items amongst other things. In Jerusalem the Old City is the place to visit for artefacts, ornaments made of wood, seashells and leather, blown glass items and traditional clothing. The annual art fair “Khutsot ha-Yotzer” offers both prestigious works of art and folk crafts created by Israeli artists.
- Be respectful if you’re visiting a mosque, synagogue or other religious site. Take off your shoes, and cover your head if you’re a woman, before going into a mosque or synagogue. Do not enter during prayers
- At some sites in Israel, male visitors may be given a smart cardboard yarmulke (skull cap) to respect the religious importance of the site
- Please be sensitive when discussing the political situation, remember you’re there as an observer
Celebrations & Public Holidays
If you’re in Israel during Sukkot, be prepared to be inundated with tourists and locals alike as cities come alive. From music festivals at the Dead Sea in the Negev Desert, to parades along the streets of Jerusalem, celebrations are in full flight, typically during October, to observe this sacred occasion. Karmiel, a city of Galilee hosts the 3 day Karmiel Dance Festival each year in July. Thousands of visits can marvel at over 80 events and performances including a huge bazaar and plenty of fun activities.
Other national public holidays to be aware of include:
- Election Day
- Passover (Day 1, usually in April)
- Passover (Day 7)
- Yom HaAtzmaut
- Shavuot (50 days after Passover)
- Rosh Hashana (163 days after Passover)
- Rosh Hashana (Day 2)
- Yom Kippur
- Sukkot (Day 1)
- Shemini Atzeret / Simchat Torah
A popular tourist destination due to its lively cosmopolitan lifestyle, Tel Aviv offers beautiful beaches, cafes, upscale shopping and a vibrant nightlife. The White City of Tel Aviv is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its many beautiful Bauhaus buildings, the largest collection in the world at over 4,000 and dating back to the 1920s. A perfect city to explore on foot, a great starting point is the Diaspora Museum, where you’ll gain an understanding of the origins of the Jewish community in Israel and around the globe. Nearby sites worth visiting include the scenic Jaffa Port, the treelined Rothschild Boulevard for all your up-market retail needs or check out the local crafts and spices at the Carmel Market. Photo by Shai Pal/Unsplash.
Situated in northern Israel, Galilee is most known for the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus is said to have walked on water. The region has a plethora of historical sites that makes it a fascinating place to explore, including Nazareth, believed to be where Jesus spent much of his life; Safed, nestled in the highest peaks of the Galilee region, its ancient cobblestone streets filled with myths and legends and where it is thought that the texts of the Kabbalah were written; the picture perfect Sea of Galilee and its history and Tiberias, the capital of the region with its famous hot springs. Photo by Joshua Lanzarini/Unsplash.
Located in the Judean Mountains, the country’s capital city is an important place in the hearts and minds of Jews, Muslims and Christians alike. It is a fascinating blend of ancient and modern, oriental and western. The city has a pleasant, temperate climate with extraordinary historical sites and world-class museums. The Old City is on the eastern boundary where most of Jerusalem’s main sites are found. With amazing stone walls dating back to the 16th-century, the enclosure is a labyrinth of winding lanes to explore. Photo by Stacey Franco/Unsplash.
Add a Qatar stopover to your Bunnik Tour!
Did you know you can add a stopover in Qatar to any of our Middle East small group tours, and a selection of our Europe tours! Despite being 660 times smaller than Australia, there are a plethora of sights and activities to experience in just a few short days in this incredible country! Immerse yourself in the charm of a traditional Souq, venture on an exhilarating desert safari, or delve into the rich history and modern wonders of downtown areas. There truly is something for everyone. If you're interested, please speak to our friendly Travel Specialists at the time of booking.
How much does an Israel tour cost?
An Israel holiday package is affordable for travellers! At Bunnik Tours, we have a 24 day small group tour, starting from $14,895 per person, where you explore Egypt, Israel and Jordan. We tour through the holy city of Jerusalem, discover the Sea of Galilee, explore the ancient Church of Annunciation in Nazareth, enjoy the beautiful view atop the Summit of Mount Carmel and so much more. Airfares and tipping is included on our Israel group tours.
What are the best months to visit Israel?
The best time to book a Israel small group tour is from January to June and September to December. The climate during these times is sunny and warm during the day and cooler at night - perfect for all types of outdoor activities!
What is the best way to tour Israel?
If you want to experience all that Israel has to offer, then we recommend booking an Israel tour with Bunnik Tours. On an Israel tour with Bunnik Tours, you will discover the extraordinary historical sites in Jerusalem, visit the iconic Dead Sea, soak up the nightlife in Tel Aviv and enjoy the famous hot springs in Galilee.
Is Israel a safe place to travel?
Israel is a safe country to travel to. The crime rates are very low, but as we advise with all international travel, please ensure that all your personal valuables are kept safe and secure. The Israeli community is friendly, so please ensure you are respectful of their culture and laws for the best possible trip to Israel.
How can I tour Israel as a responsible traveller?
At Bunnik Tours, we believe in responsible travel and sustainable tourism. For more information, visit our Sustainable Tourism hub.
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Egypt & Middle East Destinations
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