I am a Swedish guy who are going to study in Tel Aviv this autumn...
I thought of hitch-hiking there from Sweden...I have been hitch-hiking a lot in places such as NZ etc and thought that this would be a great late-summer adventure!
I have got a few questions though...
1. How is the border crossing like from lebanon?
2. What are the borders and visa-situation like in countries such as turkey and lebanon
3. How can I get around the "rule" that you need a two way flight ticket to and from Israel to get the tourist visa on arrival?
I hope someone out there have experience or knowledge that will help me!
Any other thoughts etc are warmly welcome!!!
Have a nice day everyone!
I think cycling would be far easier and safer (just my 2 cents)
Do you mean to get down there? That won't be a problem I think )and hope) =)...just theborder crossing...baah...why must it be such a hassle? =)
hi! dont want to dissapoint u bt i m not sure that hitch-hiking in this region is such a good idea. It easily can turn from adventure to real trouble, believe me you dont want to check it up. Also there r no such a big distances like in NZ or in US, where hitch-hiking is practicing. One more point about summer-adventures: August and Sept r the hottest months, if in countryside, esp. in hills it someehow acceptable, but Tel Aviv and other cities become a real hell. In Isr. all public places you have AC, I guess so in Leb. Anyway, take the weather seriously. When it comes abt travelling around on the way to/from studies, then u better do it after your school - late autumn (up to +30C) or winter (+20C).
Abt border-crossing from Leb. Actually I dont know much about it, I think it's mostly for UN transport and another border-crossing for Palestinian families that visit families (who lives at differ sides). Never heared from anyone did it, even with Swedish passport! You need to try to ask authorites if it's possible. take a look here: http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Tourist+Information/Getting+There/Travel+by+Land.htm
Turkey-Israel were in good relations, but right now (after the mess with ship) it's turned to bad. I know that even regular flights (3-4 times/day) were cancelled. Maybe and hopefully it's getting better, but no one can promice if it'll happen and when. sorry for upsetting info, bt u 'd better know it b4 u going.
If you do intend to keep on going, find yourself something in israel - even the name of a hotel, to mention while you cross the border. Be ready to say for how long you will be staying and if you have the money to prove it. And think about the advice you got about the weather and the dangers of hitchhiking!
There are only two countries in the region which have overland crossing points to Israel: Jordan (three possibilities: the Sheikh Hussein/Jordan Valley Border near Beit She'an in Israel; the King Hussein/Allenby Bridge (near Jericho) and the Yitzhak Rabin/Arava Terminal near Eilat) and Egypt (ONLY on the eastern side of the Sinai at Taba where you can cross to Israel near Eilat).
There is NO possibility for a tourist to cross from Lebanon or Syria to Israel.
Besides that, if you are planning to visit Syria, do NOT mention that you are on your way to Israel and be sure to NOT have with you any material which even mentions Israel. There have been reports from people who have either NOT received an entry visa to Syria or who are deported (maybe even jailed) because of this. So, be careful.
Once you reach Israel, you will receive a tourist visa, usually valid for up to 3 months (though you should check with the Israeli Embassy in Stockholm about that) unless you have already applied for and received a student visa, which will include on it the amount of time of validity. Do NOT overstay your visa as this could lead to arrest, jail time and being deported. If deported, you will not be allowed back into Israel for an extended period of time.
As another poster suggested, it is NOT really advisable to hitch-hike, best to use other means of transportation in the Middle East.
And yes, you really should have, in your possession to show at border security, at least a flight ticket for the date of the end of your visa, whether tourist or student along with proof of enough money to support yourself while in Israel.
It hasn't always been this way, but like in other countries, we have a real problem with undocumented "visitors" (i.e., illegal aliens), who are, in some cases, receiving medical care and other services which drain our internal resources.
Martin - it's great that you want to visit Israel, and you will be welcome, however, it's disturbing that you plan to come as a student (in what sort of program will you be enrolled?) but don't seem to know very much about the Middle East and ask questions which reflect that lack... my suggestion, then, is to study up on general life (politics, religions, culture) in this region before arriving here. There are tons of resources available on the Internet and at your local library!
Thanks for all your help people!
I know it will be hot and I know it might be a hassle hitch hiking (that's a prt of the charm with it!)...BUT I have heard good stories from people who have hitch hiked in Europe and Turkey so I think I will go for it anyways!
As I asusmed the border crossings will be a hassle...so I am thinking of flying there from Turkey instead...
So I do have some futher questions...
1. Does anyone know of any cheap airlines from Turkey to Israel?
2. Does anyone know any cheap airlines from Isreal to Egypt? (Maybe I can just buy a cheap flight out of Israel that I can choose to use if I want...just to get round the two way flight ticket needed for a Visa)
Cheap airlines: Ask at Istanbul Sultanahmet area travel agencies. Give them a few days to sort you out, if possible contact some of them in advance. Maybe you also have a travel agency in your hometown that is run by a Turkish for his countrymen who can book cheap flights from Turkey to Israel. Cheapest way are usually the charter flights in winter, you might end up flying from Antalya.
No cheap flights Cairo-Tel Aviv, cost is still 2-4x as much as bus.