This was an amazing tour! Our guide named Rikki was fantastic! She was very knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions. Masada was an amazing place to see. Floating on the Dead Sea was so much fun! I would recommend this to anybody. We were very lucky to get a great guide for Jerusalem and Bethlehem too, named Ron. He showed us all around and we had a fantastic day. Beware of the Orthodox Easter as we were nearly crushed in the crowds at the tomb. That was an experience in itself. All good fun.
due to a traffic jam from tel aviv to jerusalem our tour guide was a bit in a hurry to keep the time schedule. Jerusalem was very intersting, the tour is too short to explore the whole city.
Bethlehem was also very intersting too, and also too short to explore everything.
Better to book the tour and add another day to explore both cities on your own.
Day One tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem was great with excellent guides in both places.
Day Two going to Masada and the Dead Sea was interesting but the tour leader was poor! She catered
to the Spanish speaking people, which only made up 1/4 of the bus. The worst part was that in the
Cable car she pushed one of our group aside to make room for one of her Spanish friends. My opinion
Is that she is not fit to lead tours.
Jerusalem is such an interesting city and full of history and magic whilst the time spent in Bethlehem is relatively short the visit to the Church Of The Nativity was exciting when you think of the history of the region. Israel has much to see but for those interested in History or Religion Jerusalem and Bethlehem are a must.
Very good guide for Jerusalem, knowledgable, sense of humour. Bethlehem was in the afternoon with a different guide and there was a long wait to get a brief glimpse of the birth place, but that wasn't the guide's fault.
My only niggle was that it took a minibus ride and a bus ride over an hour and a half to get dropped off in Jerusalem at a point that was only about a mile from our hotel. It would have been better to have been advised to walk there and meet the group.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
This tour was a waste of time. It was supposed to be a half day but turned into 8. When we arrived in Bethlehem, we switched to a Palenstian guide who more interested in getting us into a souvenir shop and restaurant where I am sure he received a cut. 2 hrs in line to see birth spot. DONT GO!
Touring Jerusalem is an absolute must-do for anyone visiting Israel. Obviously, Bethlehem is important and interesting too, but it's definitely small potatoes compared to the big enchilada. So many others have raved about this Jerusalem that I won't waste my time trying to add to it. Definitely do this—or one of the similar Jerusalem tours.
Day one of the tour was great (Jerusalem and Bethlehem, specially Jerusalem). They will always take you to souvenir/traditional shops but I guess it's part of the tourism industry in the Country and it's unavoidable. Sometimes annoying for me to be honest.
Day two, Masada and Dead Sea, was a chaos in our tour. The group was too big to be handle only by one tour guide (50 people apron.). We spend half a day getting to Masada because of pick-up and shop stops (ridiculous). Very little time at the Dead Sea.
I would highly recommend to take a semi or private tour instead of this chaotic tour so you can enjoy proper time at the attractions.
The tour guide in Bethlehem was excellent; however, the arrangements for pick up at our hotel were horrible. We booked this company because we had read bad reviews for another company we had been considering but I don't see how the other company could have been worse. We waited for well over an hour to be picked up at our hotel and then were deposited at a location where dozens of other people were standing about waiting to find their particular tour with no direction offered. Once the actual tour started everything was fine but everything leading up to it needs major correction.
Dont forgot you passport, you definitely need it as you are entering an Arab city. This was another excellent trip with "Isaac" (Zahi Shaked), and a Palestinian guide, both were very knowledgable and friendly. They took us around Bethlehem, including the lactation grotto church and church of the nativity. They provided local food at a reasonable cost, which we ate nearby and had a chance to buy the locally crafted figures made from the olive trees growing in the picturesque hilly landscape around Bethlehem. This gives you an idea of how the shepherds lived during Jesus's birth and the part they played in communicating the news of the birth of Jesus. As this is a half day tour, you will be dropped off in Jerusalem, so you have to make your own way back to you accomodation.
This was a very bad experience as we were sent to Bethlehem with a driver and no guide. We were dropped off in Bethlehem with a Palestinian guide who rushed us to the Church of the Nativity, told us there was no time to go into the actual grottos ( which is the focus of the tour), asked is we would pay extra to jump the queue, directed to go in the exit where we were greeted with distain by thosewho waited in the real queue, dumped at a souvenir shop for ages, finally told to go in a car with a man from the shop who left us at the crossing, and left to find our way through security with Israeli guards yelling at us in Hebrew! one of our tour group was called aside before being allowed to re enter Israeli territory. Shame Ben Hareim Tours for putting us through this ordeal! As We have had good experiences with Viator elsewhere maybe you should disassociate yourself from this provider.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Our guide Haya for Jerusalem was extremely knowledgeable. Definitely recommend the trip.
The guide in Bethlehem was amazing
However Ben Harim could do a better job about communicating pick up time.
The general choice of sights to visit was spot on, but the Jerusalem hotel used in at best mediocre. Both the dinner we opted for and the included breakfast were absolutely the poorest quality in ALL of our time in Jordan and Israel. The room was also noisy and the TV access "shut down" for almost 5 hours in the late afternoon and early evening.
Our tour guides were well-informed and competent, but on the Jerusalem/Bethlehem day, we moved too fast and did not get enough time for actual "trinket shopping" in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Masada was especially impressive and worth every penny of that day's cost.
I would recommend booking just the Masada/Dead Sea single day option and seeing the Old City of Jerusalem on your own with a guidebook at hand, so you could stroll at leisure and reflect more at sights of YOUR own selection. This is especially recommended as long as Viator uses the Prima Park Hotel as their overnight option in Jerusalem, as it is SO below the acceptable standard in terms of food options in the hotel.
This tour was all about getting all of us to a souvenir shop in Bethlehem that the tour guide had a deal with. They were so blatant about it they left his commission sheet right by the cash register and he repeatedly was checking it.
They had us in a restaurant and asked that we return by 12:30. When we got back, our guide was sleeping on a couch.So as one of the others on the tour put it, "We ate cafeteria food and watched the mass on TV."
The only reason I gave it 2 stars was that we were two of the fortunate ones that got to see the shrine where tradition states that the manger actually was. Most of the people on our tour didn't.
Also, the tour of Jerusalem was all about rushing through everywhere but the 'Wailing Wall'. No time to speak of in the Church of the Sepulchre.We had taken a free tour of the city the day before that was far more informative. The guide on the Viator tour was either misinformed or simply lying when talking about many of the different places in the Old City.
Jerusalem, Masada and Dead Sea were great experiences. We learned a lot and got to see a lot of Israel and float on the Dead Sea. Bethlehem was another story. Our guide there was trying to get money from us so we wouldnt have to wait in line to see where Jesus was born and he got mad when we said no
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