|February 7- 9,
2000 Tel Aviv, Israel
|Easy to Get to
from Most Anywhere
is closer and more accessible than you think. Almost any destination in
Europe is no more than a four-five hour direct flight away; add a couple
of hours and you're in Tel Aviv from Bangkok, or Bombay; even from New
York travel time is usually no more than 10 hours. Many of the world's
finest airlines fly to Israel on a regular basis; nearly all have
interline agreements, insuring trouble-free connections at prices that
are surprisingly inexpensive.
Most of the year Israel is
two hours ahead of GMT and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time in
the U.S., although during the switch between regular time and daylight
savings time, there may be some variations.
The unit of currency is the
"New Israeli Shekel" (NIS) commonly known as the
"Shekel"; It consist of 100 Agoroth.
Roads are excellent and well
signposted. Coaches are spacious, modern, air-conditioned and
comfortable, manned by experienced drivers and guides. Car rentals and
driver/guide limousines are readily available and of superior quality.
In Israel's major cities
shops are usually open from 9:00 am until 7:00pm, Sunday through
Thursday, with an afternoon break a custom that is becoming less and
less the norm. More and more shopping malls are springing up throughout
the country, with shopping hours that are even more flexible.
Nevertheless, on Fridays shops usually close between 2:00-3:30pm, and
most places of business in Jewish areas do not open on Saturdays.
Some public telephones are
coin operated. Most, however, take Israeli telephone cards, available in
a number of denominations, and international telephone cards. Israeli
cards are easily available from any post office and at various shops.
International calls can be made from phone card telephones, or from
special telephone company offices in Israel's major cities. Major
telephone companies have toll-free Israeli phone numbers. Telephone
books are available in English as well as in Hebrew. Most shops, restaurants and
hotels accept credit cards. The most common are Visa, Eurocard/Mastercard,
Diners Club and American Express.
Anyone packing for a trip to
Israel, should take the country's climate into consideration. Israeli
winters begin around the middle of November and end in April at the very
latest. They are also far milder than those of much of Europe and the
U.S. Even in the North of the country, winter rainfall occurs fewer than
70 days a year - less, the farther south one travels. Nevertheless, when
traveling to Israel in winter it would be advisable to take along
rainwear and warm clothing. During the summer, temperatures will usually
range between 22° - 30° C. Clothing tips: a practical head covering
for touring under the sun and for visiting holy places. Modest clothing
for the holy places, too; shorts and sleeveless dresses are not
acceptable. For men, unless you're coming on business, it's unlikely
you'll ever need to wear a tie.
Israel's major cities are as
modern as any throughout the world - seats of commerce, industry,
medicine, and higher education and offering the visitor all the comforts
and conveniences of home, together with the fascination of a new and
different world. Accommodations in Israel major cities run the gamut
from ultra-modern luxury hotels to more modest facilities. Many of the
country's hotels are of recent vintage, and each brings its own ambiance
to complement its particular location, be it a kibbutz, seaside resort,
mountain - top retreat, or bustling city hotel.