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Getting Around Israel

Air

Domestic flights focus on routes linking Eilat to Tel Aviv and Haifa. Arkia (www.arkia.co.il), Israir (www.israirairlines.com) and El Al (www.elal.com) operate regular flights between these cities. Flights operate daily except Shabbat (Friday evening and Saturday).

Departure tax

There is no departure tax on domestic flights.

Road

Side of the road

Right

Road Quality

Israel has an excellent road network, although congestion is a problem in urban areas. Navigating is easy with road signs in Hebrew, Arabic and English.

Car Hire

Most major car hire companies are represented in Israel as well as several local companies, notably Eldan (www.eldan.co.il). To rent a car, drivers must be over 21 and hold an international driving licence and credit card.

Taxi

Taxis are metered, and can be telephoned or hailed from the street. Taxis operate during Shabbat, but are more expensive. Another type of taxi is the ‘sherut’ (shared taxis). These minibuses follow the routes of the bus lines but can be hailed from anywhere.

Bike

There are many places, both in rural areas and cities, where you can rent bicycles. There are plenty of cycle paths including the National Bicycle Trail that traverses the country.

Coach

Buses are the top mode of transport in Israel and offer reliable, comfortable services. The main long-distance bus company is Egged (www.egged.co.il), and there are regional companies serving urban areas such as Dan (www.dan.co.il) in Tel Aviv. However, services to rural areas are sparse.

You can buy intra-city bus tickets at bus stations or from the driver. Long-distance bus tickets are available from Egged’s website or at bus stations. While most don’t need to be booked in advance, services to Eilat get booked up during the summer months.

Regulations

The speed limit is 90-120kph (60-75mph) on motorways, 80kph (50mph) on intercity roads and 50kph (31mph) within towns. It is illegal to drive without a seatbelt and hands-free kits must be used for talking on mobile phones.

Breakdown services

In case of breakdown contact your car rental service.

Documentation

Full driving licence and insurance are required.

Urban travel

The Egged bus company (www.egged.co.il) provides frequent local services in all the main towns except the Tel Aviv area, where Dan (tel: +972 3 639 4444; www.dan.co.il) runs the city's transportation system. Taxis are widely available.

Rail

Israel Railways (www.rail.co.il) has several lines running from Nahariya in the north, along the Mediterranean coast past Akko, Haifa, Netanya and Herzliya to Tel Aviv. From there it is possible to continue to the airport, or change to Jerusalem. From Tel Aviv lines continue south to Ashkelon and Beer Sheva. You can buy tickets from station kiosks or ticket machines.

Water

Ferries operated by Kinneret Sailing Company (tel: +972 4 665 9800) run across the Sea of Galilee from Tiberias to Kibbutz Ein Gev. There is no other navigable water in Israel.