The following can be useful for those people planning to go to Tel Aviv from Europe by car or by public transportation via Turkey, Syria and Jordan, especially if going back home crossing those countries again. If you dont plan carefully about the difficult visa policies among all these countries you can be in the middle of a nightmare when trying to go back home (or even on your way to Tel Aviv).
If you dont feel like reading all the boring explanations below, just follow this brief rules in bold:
1. Get your Syrian visa at the Syrian embassy in your country. If you plan to cross Syria twice (one-way and return) get a multiple entry visa.
2. When entering Syria, dont say you plan to go to Israel/Palestine or you have been there. Dont bring with you anything that could make them suspect you plan to visit Israel/Palestine or you have been there (Israel guidebooks, Hebrew writing, phone numbers, things bought in Israel
). If you go back to Europe across Syria, avoid stamps in your passport which are a proof of your stay: Israeli stamps, of course, but also Egyptian or Jordan stamps at the border-crossing to/from Israel. Jordanians and Israeli will accept stamping a separate sheet, but Egyptians wont. Avoid also issuing any visa at any embassy in Israel.
3. If you plan to re-enter Jordan when leaving Israel/Palestine AND you plan to enter Syria later, get a multiple entry Jordan visa at home or at a Jordan embassy/consulate in any third country before arriving in Jordan the first time.
Good luck you all.
SYRIAN VISAS: Have your Syrian visa issued at the Syrian Embassy in your own country (or country where you live). Dont take for granted you can get a Syrian visa in Syrian embassies or consulates in Turkey or any other third country. In most cases you cant get it, or else you can get it only after a long bureaucratic delay (weeks, not days).
If you plan to cross Syria twice (returning home via Syria again), you should get a multiple entry visa at home (dont get a one-entry visa). If you dont, youll have to do a lot of paperwork in Syrian Embassy in Jordan when trying to enter Syria in your way back home; this process can be several days (or weeks) long.
Take in account the rule by which you are not allowed to enter Syria (or Lebanon) if they find out you plan to go to or you have been to Palestine or Israel, and this makes advisable extending your entrance visa in Jordan up to 3 months (free of charge) in Amman before going to Israel/Palestine (as it was explained in a former mail).
JORDAN VISAS: You can not get a multiple entry visa at Jordan borders only a one-entry visa. If you get a one-entry visa at the Syrian-Jordanian border you wont face any problem for entering Jordan the first time, but this will involve a lot of problems when trying to enter Jordan again from Israel/Palestine in King Hussein bridge (a.k.a. Allenby bridge) border, as they dont issue any kind of visa at that border. So youll have to go back to Tel Aviv for getting a new Jordan visa at Jordan embassy (and youll pay twice the pricey Israeli exit fee); this new Jordan visa you get in Jordan embassy in Israel will allow you the entrance back in Jordan, but will stop you automatically when trying to re-enter Syria from Jordan as it will be a proof youve been to Israel/Palestine. SOLUTION: make sure you get a multiple entry Jordanian visa at the embassy/consulate in your country before starting your trip or at any Jordan embassy or consulate in any third country (Turkey, or even Syria) before entering Jordan the first time.
DRIVING YOUR OWN CAR: Beware of very aggressive driving in Turkey and Syria. Contact Turkish, Syrian and Jordan Embassies and ask for information about driving your own car in these countries, as special car permits and/or international driving licenses may apply for nationals of different countries. Most Europeans can use their national driving licenses in Jordan and Syria, but check it just the case. Some friends of mine had problems when trying to cross borders in the middle east without certain requirements related to their car. Though petrol is very cheap in most of these countries, Jordan taxes for private vehicles from abroad are very expensive (abusive). So public transportation could be a better idea than bringing your car with you in Jordan. Cheaper, with no doubt. Public transportation in the middle east is frequent and cheap (buses and shared taxis, at some routes also trains).