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Israel, Egypt... Syria and Turkey?

Travel Forums Africa and The Middle East Israel, Egypt... Syria and Turkey?

1. Posted by mythxation (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

Hello there. I am currently in Portugal. I have found a flight for about 100 Euro to Israel in about a week or so. A friend would like to come with me to spend a month in Israel and Egypt, then she must return to Spain. I would like to keep going, I want to see Turkey and Greece, and Syria if possible. I have heard it is difficult to get into Syria with an Israeli stamp on a passport -- is there any way around this? Is it difficult, or impossible to do?

If I can't go from Israel to Syria, can I fly into Syria cheaply and start there? Or else do Egypt and Israel, then fly or take a boat to Turkey or Cyprus or something? I am having a tough time finding information on affordable airlines in the area and how to get around.

I would welcome any help and suggestions on these plans as it's all tentative at the moment, I haven't booked the flight yet. And, if anyone is planning anything similar, lets do it together! Help me out,

Thanks and peace,
Angela.

2. Posted by boreal2673 (Respected Member 345 posts) 9y

You are correct I heard that they will not let you into Syria if you have the israel stop or you will have major problems. Also there is no boat from Egypt to Turkey.

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

With an Israeli stamp in your passport, you can go on from Egypt and visit Jordan. Turkey should also be no problem, I heard that for around 60 USD you can get on charter flights from Tel Aviv Ben Gurion Airport to Turkey. Best place to shop for such a flight would be downtown Tel Aviv or the airport itself.

It is also possible to get very cheap charter flights from Egypt to Europe. (See www.ltu.com, www.hapagfly.com, ...)

The flight to Israel is very cheap, I can highly recommend using it. The only alternative to a 100 EUR flight to Israel is a charter flight to Egypt, it is the only thing similarily cheap.

If you want to visit Syria and Israel, check whether the Spanish authorities will issue you a second passport specifically to get around the Israeli stamp problem. (The Germans would for do this for me if I planned such a trip.) You might have to research the Spanish laws regarding passport issue, the officials might not know about it as such a request is not common.

Another option is to get a new passport in Cairo or Amman. Be aware that the Syrians are very wary of new passports issued in Amman or Cairo and might refuse entry despite the fact that there is no proof that you visited Israel. If you go to Turkey from Israel, you could try to get a new passport in Ankara instead.

BTW, Turkey to Greece is possible and easy to do if you got time. There are no flights between Greece and Turkey, only connections are bus, train and ferry.

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/

Travel from Israel to Egypt is best done by bus, crossing the border at Eilat. Be aware that you need to get a visa for Egypt before you leave Israel, or you will be only allowed to visit the Sinai peninsula.

From Israel or Egypt to Jordan, you can also take the bus (or a shared taxi) for parts of the journey. Note that you cannot take a bus for the full length of Cairo-Amman, you have to make the journey with several stops.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions, I have been in Israel, Egypt, Jordan and Turkey.

http://wikitravel.org/en/Egypt

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 23, 2007, at 10:30 AM by t_maia ]

4. Posted by anglocelt (Full Member 5 posts) 9y

When you fly into Israel, you dont have to get your passport itself stamped. The customs officer at Tel Aviv will have a seperate card (that fits inside your passport) that they stamp to allow you into the country. Just ask them to do this, in my case they did it automatically. This means that you can get into the surrounding countries without them hassling you too much. Enjoy the middle east!

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 24, 2007, at 8:18 AM by anglocelt ]

5. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 9y

What anglocelt wrote doesn't work when entering Syria, because the Syrian officials look for Jordanian visa issued in Israel or Jordanian entry/exit stamps at the border posts with Israel. When they find such evidence of a visit to Israel, they will deny you entry.

The Jordanian visa issued in Israel is necessary when you enter Jordan through the Allenby-King Hussein Bridge border crossing either for the first time or after having been stamped out of Jordan. You get the entry/exit stamps at the Arava crossing (Eilat-Aqaba) or at the Jordan crossing (Beit She'an-Irbid).

The only 100% sure way to hide a trip to Israel is with a second passport. A 90 % sure way is by entering and exiting Israel through the King Hussein border crossing with Jordan. (90 % because the Israeli might still stamp your passport, you can never know. They also screen people who request that their passport is not stamped as potential terrorists.)

Unfortunately crossing King Hussein Bridge is also currently very dangerous.

http://www.jordanjubilee.com/travelme/toisrael.htm
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1064.html
http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/tw/tw_922.html

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 28, 2007, at 5:59 PM by t_maia ]

6. Posted by fraluchi (Full Member 129 posts) 9y

Just to keep it simple: anybody who visits Israel and intends to go to any of the surrounding countries is basically "persona non grata" and risks a hell of a hassle.
If you insist on visiting Israel AND the other countries, the best way is to fly 'round trip from Athens and request in Israel that your passport not be stamped (obtain a loose travel document).
Depending upon your nationality you will be required a visa for the various countries you mention. To-day you can obtain these at the various borders.
Maybe that by this time you have already traveled, but my suggestion would be to go first to an Arab country (Egypt, Jordan or Syria) and then from Jordan to Israel, if you insist.
Cheers!

7. Posted by sdumae (First Time Poster 1 posts) 8y

When you fly into Israel, you don't have to get your passport itself stamped. The customs officer at Tel Aviv will have a separate card (that fits inside your passport) that they stamp to allow you into the country. Just ask them to do this, in my case they did it automatically. This means that you can get into the surrounding countries without them hassling you too much. Enjoy the middle east!

-snip-

[ Edit: sorry, no promo links in the forum please. ]

8. Posted by QCLisa (Budding Member 40 posts) 8y

With all that is being done in the world today with respect to terrorism, passports are scanned now, not just stamped. In many places I have been retinal scanned or fingerprinted and or photographed. There has to be a clearinghouse on all of this data or else why collect it? I will not go to Isreal due to the future limitations it may place on my middle East travel, coupled with my last name being Jewish (even though I myself am not), is a recipe for disaster. I had all sorts of problems with Syria and with Lebanon. But particularly with Syria.

9. Posted by NantesFC (Respected Member 531 posts) 8y

Quoting QCLisa

With all that is being done in the world today with respect to terrorism, passports are scanned now, not just stamped. In many places I have been retinal scanned or fingerprinted and or photographed. There has to be a clearinghouse on all of this data or else why collect it? I will not go to Isreal due to the future limitations it may place on my middle East travel, coupled with my last name being Jewish (even though I myself am not), is a recipe for disaster. I had all sorts of problems with Syria and with Lebanon. But particularly with Syria.

This is one thing I'm also worried about as my first name is Sheik (Sheikh) which is obviously a muslim name. I'm curious to how much hassle I'll receive during this trip. I'm not muslim and I have an "American" surname but being being dark skinned with my name is sure to guarantee problems.

[ Edit: Edited on Jan 21, 2008, at 10:47 PM by NantesFC ]