How to Visit Israel from Cyprus
Few travel destinations draw visitors for the reasons associated with Israel. Its various sites carry deep meaning for followers of many different religions and tie into rich ancient history. In addition, this small country boasts incredible landscapes, delicious food and some of the world's most vivacious people. For some, travel to Israel raises concerns about safety and being able to continue on to other Middle Eastern countries after getting an Israeli passport stamp. But, it's always possible to combine a visit to Israel with tours of other spots, and a good one to visit and travel to Israel from is the island country of Cyprus.
Why Travel From Cyprus to Israel
There are, of course, flights from all over the world to Israel, so travelers can really depart from just about wherever they want. But, Israel's proximity to so many other beautiful countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East can easily tempt a traveler to plan a longer trip that includes visiting Israel. If you're interested in hitting several countries on one trip, then you can start in Europe or northern Africa, make your way to Cyprus and then continue to Israel.
Cyprus' Location in Relation to Israel
Cyprus, located in the Mediterranean Sea below both Greece and Turkey, is only about 160 miles from Israel's northern port city, Haifa. Haifa is a melting pot for many of Israel's groups, where Baha'is, Muslims, Christians, Jews and followers of other religions live together. Haifa is also Israel's largest and busiest port, welcoming ships from all over the region. Because of Cyprus' proximity to Israel, it's easy to travel from one to the other.
Flights From Cyprus to Israel
One of the easiest and most preferred ways to get from Larnaca in Cyprus to Tel Aviv, Israel, is by a short flight. There are several airlines operating nonstop service between these two destinations, including El Al, Arkia, Cobalt Aero, Aegean, Armavia and Cyprus Airlines. Flights cost about $100 and take just under an hour.
Sail From Cyprus to Israel
Having an excuse to sail the beautiful Mediterranean is something to take advantage of. So, why not use your need to get to Israel from Cyprus as that excuse? The main company offering ferry service between the two countries is Cruise Cyprus. The company offers two- or three-day excursions aboard the Salamis Filoxenia ship that depart from Limassol, dock in Haifa and then return to Limassol. This journey takes 12 hours each way, and there's food and entertainment on the ship. Prices range from about $300 to $700.
If you're a bit time-restricted or would like a tour guide in order to get the most out of your visit, consider traveling with a tour company. There are a variety of different tours, whether you choose to fly or sail. Take a look at Cruise Cyprus, Chronos Travel or Varianos Travel. Once you arrive in Israel, these tour companies take you to destinations throughout the country like Jerusalem, Bethlehem and the Dead Sea.
What You'll Need
Since you'll essentially be traveling from one country to another, you'll need your passport to board the ship or plane. There's no need to be concerned about a stamp in your passport from Israel's immigration authorities preventing you from traveling to certain Arab countries afterward; Israel now stamps a piece of paper that you can hold inside your passport and give back to immigration authorities when you leave. This way, other countries have no way of knowing that you were in Israel.