All in all a good tour with very good guide who seemed to know his stuff. Small group of about 10 and was well organized so we could see lots
I've been on hundreds of tours around the world and my experience with Bein Harim the local operator of this tour was the worst ever.
First, pickup time was scheduled for 7:15am, which we reconfirmed the day before the tour. We waited outside from 7:10 until 7:48 when the driver finally arrived. Not once did the tour operator contact us to say they'd be late. We called at 7:25 and again at 7:35, both times were told the driver would be there in a minute. We asked if we could go inside and wait until he arrived and have him call us -- we were told no, wait outside. Minor delays are understandable, but 33 minutes past the pickup time of standing on the street was unacceptable.
Second, our tour was late obviously so we skipped a portion of one city on the destination Acre that I had really looked forward to seeing.
Third, and by far the worst -- the van returning us to Tel Aviv suddenly broke down on the highway leaving us stranded in a remote area of Israel for over 2 hours without air conditioning, water or food on an extremely hot day. The police eventually made us leave the broken down van, so we were forced to sit in the hot sun as there was no shade along the highway. A replacement van finally came and returned us to tel Aviv at 7:49pm, more than 2.5 hours late. We missed our evening plans in Tel Aviv, which was moot anyway because we both felt sick from the hot sun and lack of water.
Bein Harim did nothing throughout all of this to communicate anything to anyone. Their only answer is it'll be a minute. Well it wasn't a minute, or an hour, it was the entire day. We eventually stopped at a gas station on the way back since we were all hungry and thirsty and needed a toilet, but they couldn't even provide us with water, we had to buy it ourselves.
AVOID THIS TOUR. Just get on a public bus and buy a book if you want to see sites in Israel, don't waste your money or your time or your health or your safety with this company.
excellent tour guide
Solid tour that hit the highlights. Our lunch on your one ended up with the entire group being seated at a,place that charged 3x what other locations in the market did. Tour guide was knowledgeable but lacked people skills.
Tour started very well but it became less interesting as it was ending. Lunch was too low-cost. I know that people in tours have different budgets but I took 3 consecutive tours and I ate shawarma the 3 days!! Van was broken in the way back and the guide couldn't control the situation as she was getting upset when people started complaining. A couple was lost during a museum visit and the guide took all the rest to look for the lost couple. Then she wanted me to step right beside her, even I was not part of the lost couple. Worst thing of the tour was the broken van and the lunch
The tour sites were important, beautiful, and exciting. The guide. Aussie, was extremely knowledgeable, available, professional, and considerate. I highly recommend this tour!
I felt that the tour company is a little disorganized in picking people up and getting them on the correct busses. Other than that I had a wonderful time. Accommodations were very nice. Tour guides were knowledgeable and very nice and very accommodating to each person.
The tour was very well run, with pick-up, drop-off, lunch, and all other logistics handled perfectly.
All the destinations are fantastic, but we only got a few minutes at the Baha'i gardens; I'd have preferred to skip this stop in favor of exploring the hippodrome at Caesarea. But that's a quibble
Our tour guide was Jacob. He was very knowledgeable and funny at the same time. The tour was exactly what was advertised. Very interesting and beautiful sites. It is a must if you are in Israel!
Everything went ok, no problems, very little free time
The guide was on his cell phone 95% of the time likely running a side business. The few explanations were hurried. We felt taken advantage of by the tour company.
great guide, amazing sights - very good value for money, learned a lot
good tour, lunch at a very bad place
Firstly, the 5 guides (especially Amir, Eyal and Rami) were very good. It is deceptive to advertise this as a 5 day tour - it is 5 individual 1 day tours (different guides, drivers and tourists every day).
There was no continuity and much repetition. Dual language tours wasted more time. The result was very limited time at many Holy City sights, particularly in the Christian, Armenian and Muslim Quarters. Everything listed on the itinerary was "seen" (but in a fly-by manner, or only from a distance). If transport issues were resolved, more time would be available for these amazing sites.
Our advice - get your own guide and driver to avoid the logistical issues apparently common in this tour.
Expect a total of 4-5 hours wasted daily in transit before and/or after the actual guided tours (tours ended on time at app 4PM regardless of time wastage on unnecessarily long lunches etc). Expect a 30-45 minute late pickup (4 days out of 5), numerous stops to pick up/drop off other tourists for their tours (different to yours), meeting at bus checkpoints to transfer everybody between buses.
The order in the itinerary advertised in Viator was changed. A call after the first day's travel to the Bein Harem office resulted in an email with our revised itinerary (not previously provided). Prior to the call, we had no idea of our collection times, nor did the guide of the day. However, the staff in the Bien Harem office were very helpful.
The accommodation in Prima Park Hotel was good ( and we learnt later that compared to others, we should be grateful to be here). The restaurant in the hotel was the only viable option for dinner and was good, as was their breakfast. The Nof Tavor Hotel was basic - no restaurant and no eating options within walking distance, bar snacks (6-8 options) only. The breakfast was acceptable.
This was unlike any Viator "tour" that we have previously experienced. We have done many throughout Europe but this one was most disappointing.
Another excellent tour. Very knowledgeable guides. A long day but worth it
Very enjoyable tour with a very knowledgeable tour guide.
The Bahai Gardens and Rosh Hanikra was absolutely stunning! The views were simply breath taking!
This tour is a nice break from all the religious tours, which of course are important in their own right. You'll see sites of historic significances (more so than religious) and they are quite varied. Caeserea and Acre (or Akko) are fascinating and delightfully diminutive. The trip to Rosh Hanikra, while a natural beauty, was easily my least favorite part of this trip, yet the farthest point. But one of the most interesting stops is not listed in the tour's title: The Bahá'í Gardens. Stunningly beauty. An oasis of peace.
It's a nice tour, but like guided tours you have to follow the group and it can go a little bit fast. I didn't like that we expended more than half an hour in a store (obviously commission for the guide) and then we were hurried in everything else.
Pros: tour guides give good history of the area. You get to see many historical and religious sites, once in a lifetime experience.
Cons: could be much better if every tour didn't waste time at a sales shop like jewelry etc. Also alot of time is spent shuffling people around to rendezvous points. The hotel for the nazaerth trip is really really bad, outside of town and had ants in the bed. Heard there were ants in every room, but they had good wi-fi (Nof Tavor). Hotel in Jerusalem was good but really non-existent wi-fi at the scottish guest house.
One thing i wish it included was the Dome of the Rock, you Do Not get to go this.
Make sure you bring a towel and bathing suit to both the Jordan River baptism tour and the Dead Sea tour, things they do not explain in advance.
Really enjoyed our trip to Israel with this tour,
A few notes:
1) the hotel that we were initially placed with in Jerusalem (Seven Arches) was not very good so we asked them to switch us to Prima Park. That hotel was great since it is near the light rail and the central bus station.
2) the itinerary that we actually followed was different from the standard one given from the web site. They rearranged the order of viewing the attractions to have the Dead Sea tour coincide with the Shabbat holiday (many things in Jerusalem are closed on that day).
3) the local operator never had anyone explain the adjusted itinerary to us. So from day to day we were never quite sure which tour we were taking.
The tour overall was good, but didn't leave much time to self explore. Would have been good to have an extra 30 minutes or so in Caesarea to walk around on our own. The tour guide we had was very knowledgeable.
Loading more reviews