Located about 180 miles from Haifa, Israel, the island nation of Cyprus provides a convenient jumping off point for visiting Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and many of the Holy Land's attractions. Larnaca and Limassol in Cyprus provide departure points for travelling to Haifa or Tel Aviv. Whether travelling by air, land or sea, a visit to Israel from Cyprus will provide a glimpse into a millenniums old culture, offering tourist opportunities to visit Mount Zion, Dome of the Rock or Via Dolorosa.
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Research entry requirements for Israel. This applies to all types of arrival, whether by land, sea or air. Almost all European and North American citizens can arrive without a visa. Also nationals from Russia, Ukraine, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Brazil and Argentina do not need a visa. All other countries will need visas before arrival, and it is illegal for citizens of Syria, Lebanon and several other Arab nations to enter Israel
Book a plane ticket from Larnaca, Cyprus, to Tel Aviv, Israel. Larnaca is the second largest city in Cyprus and the main entry and departure point for tourists. Nearly 30 flights per week fly from Larnaca to Tel Aviv, making this the fastest and easiest connection between Cyprus and Israel.
Research, and if possible, book a ferry from Limassol to Haifa. Ferry services from Cyprus to Israel are on a very limited basis, and do not operate year round. Currently only one company, Varianos Travel, provides limited ferry service - two times a month between May and October. It is possible to gain passage with a freighter or private boat making the trip between Limassol and Haifa, but this entails inquiring at the docks in Limassol and a lot of luck.
Take a cruise that includes ports-of-call in Cyrpus and Israel. For what these cruises lack in independence, they make up for in ease. Cruises depart from Limassol and visit Hafia - providing shore excursions to many of Israel's attractions. Salamis Cruises and Louis Cruise Lines offer itineraries that include Cyprus and Israel.
Fly from Cyprus to Egypt, and cross into Israel by land. Although this route will take a few days and, more than likely, induce a few headaches, it will be an adventure you will not soon forget. The trip will begin with a one-hour flight from Larnaca to Cairo, Egypt. From Cairo you will need to take a bus to Eilat, which will include a crossings of the Suez Canal and Sinai Desert. The border crossing at Eilat is open 24-hours a day, seven days a week, with the exception of Yom Kippur.
Tips and warnings
- When arriving in Israel, do not mention any plans for onward travel to Arab nations, especially Lebanon, Iran and Syria.
- If travelling by land from Egypt to Israel, be wary of tour operators--asking questions of hotel staff and other travellers will help in avoiding scams.
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