HOW TO GET TO ISRAEL?
The cheapest option is obviously flying with Ryanair or Wizzair. We chose the first airlines. We bought tickets from Poznan to Tel-Aviv and return one from Eilat to Poznan. The disadvantage of Ryanair is that you can only print out your boarding pass four days before departure, which meant we had to find a printer during our holiday. I advise to check whether your airport accepts electronic boarding passes, because some are only able to process printed copies. Fortunately, the Arava Hostel where we stayed in Eilat, enabled us to print out the documents before our flight.
TIP: if you are flying in Boeing 737-800 try to book a seat in row 16 or 17, which are situated at the exit wings, because they have a lot more space for your legs!
Please take careful notice what airport are you flying from/to. Eilat, the city, has an airport in the middle of the city (ETH) and many people (us included!) think that this is the airport they will be flying from/to. However, Ryanair and Wizzair operate on Eilat-Ovda (VDA) airport, which is situated 40 km from Eilat!
HOW TO GET TO OR FROM EILAT-OVDA AIRPORT?
This airport hires buses no. 282, which give their passengers rides between VDA airport and the central bus station in Eilat, and it is synchronized with flight schedule. One way ticket costs 21.50 NIS and you can buy it only at the driver’s. NOTE! The driver doesn’t accept any other currency than Shekels!
The bus line 282 schedule is available one day before each departure – you can find it on the central bus station next to the information/booking office window (please see the map on the right).
TIP: There is a drinking water tap available at the VDA airport, so make sure you carry an empty bottle to fill in on you – a small bottle of mineral water costs 10 NIS at the airport!
Prepare yourself mentally for a long check in before the departure – our took over two hours! Firstly, we had to wait in a long queue for so called ‘interview’ carried by custom officers who asked everyone about their luggage (‘did you pack your bags yourself?’, ‘did anyone except you had an access to your luggage from the moment you’ve packed it until now?’) and some private questions as well (‘how long do you know each other?’, ‘do you live together?’). Next, all the luggage went through an X-ray and if you were lucky, you could go on collect your tickets and check-in your main luggage (if you have one). But if the officers find something alarming in your bags, you and all of your belongings will be searched throughout…I’ve seen the officer taking out everything from the bags, using detector even for the flip-flops, searching through magazines, page by page. We were lucky to avoid these procedures, therefore we were free to collect the tickets, go through check-in with hand luggage, then passport control, collecting departure visa and…finally we got to the zero zone :)
HOW TO GET TO OR FROM TEL-AVIV AIRPORT?
An easy and wallet-friendly way to get to Tel-Aviv airport or to the city center from the airport is by train for 13.50 NIS for one-way ticket. The central station is called ‘Savidor’ and it’s a good starting point for further bus rides for 6.50 NIS per one-way ticket – the price is the same, no matter how long you are travelling for.
We met a couple on the plane who were also trying to get to their hotel in the center of Tel-Aviv, so we took a taxi and split the cost by four, so it wasn’t much more expensive than the train, but because we arrived late in the evening, it was much faster and safer. We were going to Momo’s hostel, which offers taxi transfers directly to and from airport for 135 NIS.
The check-in at the Tel-Aviv airport was quick and easy. We received the visa on separate piece of paper – read more about it HERE.