Atime2write - Fiona Tarr

Living A Creative Life

Planning a ‘Research’ Trip through the Mediterranean

I need your help!

I have wanted to visit the Greek Islands and the Mediterranean since I first saw James Bond in For Your Eyes Only many, many, many…. (you get the idea) years ago. Once I started writing novels about ancient Israel, Egypt and other areas of the Med, the lure continued to grow. So, I am planning a trip in May 2019 and I am chasing suggestions from you all about the must see places in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan & Israel.

Now my husband and I are having a rather extensive debate right now; do we stick to Egypt & Israel or do we broaden our travel considering how long it takes & how much it costs to fly from Australia to the Mediterranean? I think 2 months and as many stop as possible is the way to go. He thinks 4-5 weeks and more time in each place is better. Suggestions anyone?

We celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary late in 2018 and our 50th birthdays in 2019, so we thought it was about time and a perfect excuse πŸ™‚ to finally take this trip. I am always one of those people who think this might be my only chance so I should make the most of it, while my husband is never quite so anxious; hence the differing opinions.

So, to help with our decision, how about sharing your experience or suggestions in the comments below and help with the planning process.

Photo by



About Fiona Tarr

8 Replies

  1. Claire

    Israel you must visit Bethlehem it’s awesome and Cyprus if you can πŸ₯« plenty to see there tomb of the kids etc

    1. Fiona Tarr

      Thanks Claire. ‘Tomb of kids’ sounds interesting, I might have to Google that one. I do hope to include Bethlehem.

  2. lana turner

    there is no place called israel!! it is palestine and the zionist are illegal occupiers so i think you should give this a miss on principle! however you really must go to jordan to visit one of the seven wonders in the world Petra, it is purely magical and a real must see. i did petra by day and climbed to the topmost height and then petra by night and this was amazing, it was just lit by hundreds of candles and there was a folk/bedouin evening show. egypt also has lots to see like the pyramids of giza and the desert – the wadi also wadi rum found in jordan! Turkey has lots to see too, there are the hot air balloon rides of cappadocia, the thermal open air health baths, istanbul has lots to see and it has the biggest oriental bazaar ever full of different colours, tastes, smells and goodies to taste! The greek islands are awesome, i particularly love santorini, mykonos, paros and naxos which can all be done through island hopping as they are all cycladic islands and three days on each is ample time i think then there is hydra which is a gem of a little island where there are no cars at all and all travel is done by donkeys but i chose to walk of course but it is close to pyraeus and really pretty. then you should skip italy and come over to Malta and Gozo our sister island cause we have a lot of culture, prehistoric temples, beaches etc and our main city valletta has been chosen as the 2018 european city of culture!!



    1. Fiona Tarr

      Hi Iana, yes Petra is a must see. I have seen it in so many movie back drops. I always thought it was in Egypt until I did a little digging. You have been everywhere by the looks πŸ™‚ Some fantastic insights. Paros & Naxos are both kitesurfing spots, so they are on the list but I had not thought about Hydra. My friend is Maltese and he keeps telling me I should go to Malta, so we might consider Malta instead of Italy. Thanks so much for your great suggestions. It seems like my husband might be right & we might need two trips & less in each to ensure we get to see all these wonderful spots.

      1. lana turner

        yes some of the countries you intend visiting are amazing and yes i have travelled a lot both in europe and the middle east in particular as i love the fact that in the arab countries i can speak Maltese and we understand one another! hope you do consider coming to Malta i think you will fall in love with our little jewel in the middle of the Med and definitely the islands do not need so many days spent to see them at all! hope you manage to plan and do your bookings for you fantastic holiday and enjoy to the max!!

        1. Fiona Tarr

          I’m sure we will Iana. Thanks again. I might see you in Malta πŸ™‚

  3. Ya'akov Yehudi

    Hi Fiona,
    I have a few suggestions for your trip to Israel. If you Google the places that I mention you will be able to get more of an idea of what each place has to offer.

    My list is far from exhaustive so I am sure that you will come up with numerous other historical and contemporary sites which you will not want to miss.

    I have intentionally excluded the kangaroo petting park… πŸ™‚ , but have included the ANZAC Memorial Museum in Beersheva… It is only a few days over 100 years ago that the Aussie and Kiwi horse troops heroically charged the Turkish machine guns to liberate Beersheva!

    Many Israelis speak English – it is part of the school curriculum, but you could consider hiring a (licensed) tourist guide for a few of the places you will visit. There are Aussie (and Kiwi) born guides available! [just Google: Israeli tour guide Aussie Kiwi].

    Israel is also a great base from which you can travel to Egypt and Jordan.

    Particularly, since your trip is for research, I have included numerous museums – they are great resources of (interestingly presented) information.

    Here is my list (if it focuses heavily on Jerusalem that is because there are 3,000 years of continuous Jewish settlement there, and (not least) because I live there!):

    Old City of Jerusalem;
    Montefiore Windmill (Jerusalem);
    The Western Wall Tunnels (Jerusalem);
    The Temple Mount (Jerusalem);
    Tower of David Museum and Kishle prison excavations (Jerusalem);
    Yad Vashem (Jerusalem);
    Israel Museum and the Shrine of the Book (Jerusalem);
    Bible Lands Museum [beside the Israel Museum] (Jerusalem);
    The Biblical Zoo (Jerusalem);
    The Mount of Olives (Jerusalem);
    Garden of Gethsemane (Jerusalem);
    The Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Jerusalem);
    Hezekiah’s Tunnel (Jerusalem);
    Machane Yehuda Market (Jerusalem);
    Haas Promenade (Jerusalem);
    Mea Shearim (Jerusalem);
    Herodeon National Park (10 minutes south of Jerusalem);
    Biblical Museum of Natural History [must book your tour in advance] (Beit Shemesh);
    The Sea of Galilee, and Hamat Tverya National Park;
    Masada National Park and float in the Dead Sea!;
    Ramon Crater;
    Snorkel (or scuba) in the Red Sea or view from the Underwater Observatory (Eliat);
    The Red Sea Star underwater restaurant (Eliat),
    The Baha’i Gardens;
    Atlit Yam [an ancient submerged Neolithic village] (Atlit);
    Beit Hatfutsot – The Museum of the Jewish People;
    Palmach Museum (Tel Aviv);
    The Israeli Museum (Tel Aviv);
    The Tayelet (Tel Aviv),
    Gan HaGat (Tel Aviv);
    Jaffa Old City;
    Appolonia National Park [includes a Crusader fortress] (Herzliya);
    Basilica of the Annunciation (Nazareth);
    Nazareth Village [reconstructs / reenacts village life in the Galilee in the time of Jesus] (Nazareth);
    Manger Square (Bethlehem);
    The Cave of Machpelah (Hevron);
    Caesarea National Park;
    Rosh HaNikra Cable Car & Grottoes (Acre);
    Treasures in the Walls Ethnographic Museum (Acre);
    Beit She’an National Park;
    Beit Guvrin Caves (Ashkelon);
    Judean Date Palm Methuselah (Ketura);
    Tel Hazor (Ayelet Hashahar);
    Ayalon Institute Museum [must book your tour in advance] (Rehovot);
    Negev Desert Embroidery and Weaving (Laqiya);
    Negev Desert tour (from Beersheva);
    Hatzerim Israel Airforce Museum (Beersheva);
    Bedouin Market (Beersheva);
    ANZAC Memorial Museum (Beersheva);
    Sha’ar HaGolan

    Please feel free to contact me via email if I can be of any further help.

    1. Fiona Tarr

      Goodness! That is a huge list. How long would you allow to visit all these places? I think I might have to make a short list πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for all the information, that’s really awesome info.

Leave a Reply