PO Box 84
Telephone: +972 (0)8 637 60 15
Fax: +972 (0)8 637 60 17
PADI 5 Star IDC: courses for all levels, from beginner
to instructor levels. Exclusive PADI/DSAT Center specialized
in advanced courses for Pro and Tec divers. Serge Fitoussi,
Number of Dive Boats: Shore diving
» Maximum Number of Divers per Boat: NA
» Gear Provided: Scubapro
» Rental Gear Available: Scubapro
» Nitrox Available: Yes
» Type of Diving Available: Reef, wreck, scooters
» Total Dive Sites: 15
» Minimum Time to Dive Sites: 2
» Maximum Time to Dive Sites: 5
» Certification Agencies: PADI
» Courses Offered: all levels, from beginner to
instructor levels. Exclusive PADI/DSAT Center specialized
in advanced courses for Pro and Tec divers.
triangle shaped southern part of Israel is mainly covered
with a dry and hot desert, called Negev. This area is
nearly half the size of the country. The eastern side
stretches next to the Jordan Rift. The land meets the
Red Sea at the ancient port city of Eilat.
Israel's Red Sea coastline is a mere 4 miles (7 km),
sandwiched between Egyptian Sinai and Jordan, at the
top of the Gulf of Aqaba. Israel's southernmost city
and port Eilat takes up most of this shoreline, its
commercial port facilities servicing the import/export
industries and military docks supporting the navy. Beyond
the ports and the frontage of the city itself, there
remains precious little coast for divers to explore.
Yet there are several distinct dive sites, some of them
offering unique attractions.
Travel to Israel
Most of the international airlines operate flights to
Israel. El Al, operates many direct flights from the
United States, Europe, the Far East, and Africa.
Other Israeli airlines such as Arkia and Israir operate
flights from central locations in Europe. There are
no direct flights to Israel from distant locations such
as Australia or South Africa, or from countries that
have no diplomatic relations with Israel. It is therefore
a good idea to reserve a connecting flight from these
places, or to arrive in Europe and then purchase a ticket
Flight times to Israel from some cities:
From London - about 4 ½ hours
From Los Angeles - about 17 hours
From New York - about 11 hours
From Singapore - about 11 hours
Most international flights land at Ben Gurion Airport,
which is located near the town of Lod - approximately
a half hour’s drive from Tel Aviv. Ben Gurion airport
has recently opened a new, modern terminal with a large
variety of duty-free shops, restaurants, and coffeehouses.
Some flights from Europe also land at Sde Dov in north
Tel Aviv or at Ovda Airport near Eilat.
Al Israel Airlines
Swiss Intl. Airline
All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is
valid for at least six months from the date they enters
the country. People with no nationality must hold a
valid laissez passer, as well as a visa back to the
country that issued it.
Visitors are entitled to remain in Israel up to three
months from the date of their arrival, in accordance
with the conditions of the visa issued to them. Visitors
intending to work in Israel must submit a request to
the Ministry of the Interior for a special visa.
Important note for tourists continuing from Israel on
to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan): It is recommended
that you request that an Israeli stamp does not appear
on your passport. You must notify the clerk of your
request before your documents are stamped. The granting
of such requests is at the discretion of the authorities.
Citizens of the following countries will be issued tourist
visas free of charge at every port or entrance terminal
Europe – Austria, Italy, Iceland, Ireland, Belgium,
Britain, Gibraltar, Germany (people born after 1.1.1928),
Denmark, Holland, Hungary, Greece, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein,
Monaco, Malta, Norway, Slovenia, San Marino, Spain,
Portugal, Finland, France, Cyprus, Sweden, Switzerland.
Asia and Oceania – Australia, the Fiji Islands, South
Korea, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, New Zealand.
Africa – Lesotho, Mauritius, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland,
the Central African Republic.
America – Uruguay, the Bahamas, El Salvador, Ecuador,
Argentina, the United States, Bolivia, Barbados, Brazil,
Guatemala, Jamaica, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Trinidad
and Tobago, Mexico, Surinam, Nevis and Saint Kitts,
Panama, Paraguay, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Canada.
Visitors desiring to stop in Israel on their way to
other destinations may request a transit visa for five
days, which can be extended for another 10 days.
Travelers on passenger ships stopping in Israel will
be issued with a disembarkation card enabling them to
stay in Israel as long as their ship is anchored in
Israel. There is no need to submit a request for a visa.
Extension of Your Stay
Your visa can be extended (fee requiered) at the Ministry
of the Interior at the following addresses:
Jerusalem – 24 Hilell Street 02-6294726
Tel Aviv – 125 Menachem Begin Street 03-5193305
Haifa – 15 Pal-Yam 04-8633333
Eilat – Ha-Tamarim Street, City Center, 2nd Floor 08-6381333
Tiberias – 23 Zaki Elkhadif 04-6729111
Ben-Gurion Airport – 03-9774200/1/2
Israel is a small country, and it is therefore easy
to get from one place to another in a relatively short
time. Public transportation is convenient, and you can
get to almost any destination for a reasonable price.
Israel Railways operates convenient, inexpensive train
service. It is also possible to travel by taxi, but
this is more expensive, particularly for inter-city
trips. It’s therefore preferable to use shared service
Several companies provide internal flights between Eilat
and Ben Gurion Airport, Sde Dov Airport in north Tel
Aviv, or Haifa, but these flights are more expensive.
Busses are the most popular form of public transport
in Israel for both local transport and intercity trips.
The Egged bus company operates most of the intercity
bus lines, as well as the local service in most of the
large cities and towns. Local and intercity transport
in the Gush Dan area (Tel Aviv and the surrounding suburbs)
is provided by the Dan bus company. Bus service in Be’er
Sheva and Nazareth is provided by private companies.
The fare for all bus lines is reasonable, the busses
are comfortable and usually airconditioned, and there
is regular, frequent service.
Tickets can be purchased at the ticket booths in the
central bus station in each city or town, or from the
driver. Most of the bus lines do not run on Shabbat
or on Jewish holidays. Service ends on Friday afternoon
and resumes Saturday evening.
Local and intercity taxi service is available to and
from any point in the country. Fares within the cities
are charged according to the meter. The fares for intercity
taxi service are standard fares that are set by the
Ministry of Transportation. It is recommended to verify
what the fare will be before boarding the taxi.
Taxis can be ordered by telephone from a local taxi
station, or stopped by waving your hand at one on the
The starting fare within the city is NIS 9.10. An average
ride will cost around NIS 20. There is an additional
charge of NIS 3.50 for telephone orders and an additional
charge of NIS 2.90 for each suitcase that is not hand
Night rates are 25% more than the normal fare, and begin
at 9:01 pm and end at 5:29 am. These rates also apply
for Sabbath and holidays.
Drivers must operate the meter for trips within the
city. Do not let the driver convince you to agree on
a price ahead of time if you are not familiar with the
Most international car rental companies and local companies
have offices in the large cities and at Ben Gurion Airport.
It is recommended to reserve a car in advance from abroad.
To rent a car in Israel the driver must be over 21 years
of age, and must hold a valid international driver’s
license and an international credit card.
Driving in Israel is on the right-hand side of the road.
Israel has an extensive road system and clear signage
in most places (in Hebrew, English, and Arabic). It
is a little more difficult to find your way in the large
cities, but streets and roads are marked, and you can
use a map or ask for directions.
The State of Israel’s currency is the New Israel Shekel
(NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in
Hebrew or shekels in English). There are 100 agorot
(agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in
denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are
in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS1 and 50, 10 and
Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought
into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards
or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds
may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices,
most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities.
A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks.
The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge
a commission. It is recommended, though not obligatory,
to carry a small amount of US dollars, since certain
tourist sites, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem,
take payment in dollars.
Purchases and Payments
All goods and services may be purchased with the following
currencies, which can be freely exchanged: Euro; Australian
Dollar; US Dollar; Hong Kong Dollar; New Zealand Dollar;
Singapore Dollar; Canadian Dollar; Japanese Yen; Danish
Krone; Norwegian Krone; Swedish Krona; Pound Sterling;
Swiss Franc; South African Rand. Nevertheless, storeowners
and service providers are not required to accept foreign
currency and are permitted to give change in shekels
even if payment was made in foreign currency.
Tourists who pay for goods and services in foreign currency
are exempt, in certain cases, from VAT (Value Added
Tax). In addition, some businesses in Israel are registered
with the Ministry of Tourism program for refunding tourist
VAT payments. These merchants are required to inform
their customers of this arrangement, and to provide
them with an invoice which they must present at their
point of departure from Israel together with their purchase
in a sealed package. The VAT, less a commission, will
be returned on the spot. Those departing from Haifa,
Ashdod or Eilat will have the VAT returned to the address
on the invoice. If the amount to be reimbursed exceeds
$1,000, it will be sent after the invoice is verified
with the tax authorities.
The minimum amount of purchase eligible for VAT refund
is $100, including VAT. In Eilat, where VAT is not collected,
the minimum purchase for VAT refund is $200, including
VAT. The sale of jewelry whose shekel value equals $200,
including VAT, will not be VAT-exempt.
Major credit cards – American Express, Diners, Visa,
Mastercard/Access/Eurocard – are widely accepted in
Israeli restaurants, stores, hotels, museums, etc.
Tips and Bargaining
In Israel it is customary to tip primarily in restaurants.
When the bill does not include service, a 12% tip should
be added to the payment. In hotels, one tips the bellhop
or any other service provider. Taxi drivers are generally
Bargaining is acceptable in Israel, but not everywhere.
In the open-air markets, do not hesitate to bargain
as it is part of the experience and doing so can lower
the price. Storekeepers are legally required to display
prices and for the most part are not open to bargaining.
This is also true of restaurants and public transportation.
Passengers are advised to ask cab drivers to turn on
the meter, thus avoiding unnecessary haggling.
Various banks have branches in the large cities and
in smaller communities. Most banks are open from 8:30am
until 12 noon Sunday to Thursday, and 4–6pm on Sunday,
Tuesday and Thursday. On Fridays and Jewish holiday
eves, banks are open from 8:30am until 12 noon. All
banks are closed on Shabbat. Most of the large hotels
have banks which often offer additional, more convenient
Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October)
and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat
drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem
and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north
and center of the country, with much less in the northern
Negev and almost negligible
Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers
and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately
cold winters in the hill regions; hot dry summers and
pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round
semi-desert conditions in the Negev.
Amounts in the southern areas.
Weather extremes range from occasional winter snowfall
in the mountain regions to periodic oppressively hot
dry winds that send temperatures soaring, particularly
in spring and autumn.
The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at
50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin
holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European
plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons
and other small appliances may need both transformers
and adaptor plugs.