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Tour was fascinating. Ami, our guide, was very knowledgeable. Great tour!!!
This tour was amazing!
Isaac and Ami are fantastic tour guides. great package, both tours work very well with each other.
Our tour guide Yariv,was informative,enthusiastic and amusing.He really knew his stuff!
We had a very large group,but we were able to see everything that was promised.
Great tour that really captures the heart and soul of the city.
Doing what: Jerusalem Three Religions Holy City Walking Tour
Our guide, who - together with other young adults doing 'general service' - lives at that spot was brilliant!! Really, she created an atmosphere of interaction, enthousiasm, obviously she knew everything in great detail of all there is to see and she is able to connect it all very vividly to passages of the Old Testament Bible / Tenach. Very interesting, sometimes even moving! Thanks again!
Michael United States of ...
Liat and Avi are excellent Tour Guides and Driver. I've had this same team from last year and they didn't disappoint. I took my Mom with me this time and had an amazing time.
Special thanks to our guide in Bethlehem. I forgot his name I thought it was Christian but he was an excellent caring guide. My elderly Mom cannot keep up with the pace of the walking tour so he advised the rest of the tour group to proceed on his instructions while he escorted my Mom through out the Bethlehem tour. He was able to talk to the right people and get permission to allow my mom to use the elevator. My Mom and I were very grateful for his help and we really appreciate it. We gave him our heartfelt thanks and a generous tip.
Please don't forget to tip your guides and drivers as they are kind and supportive people who are doing their best to ensure you enjoy the tour and go out of their way to ensure your safety and enjoyment.
Doing what: Day Tour of Jerusalem and Bethlehem
Fantastic view, but we missed the sunrise because of the weather conditions. The tour guy was awesome. I recommend this trip.
Good tour worth the workout.
The tour and tour guides were excellent! The only issue were the pick up times and drop off as it wasn't clear when booking. We understood we would be picked up at 8:30 at hotel, but a car came to get us at 9:15 and then took us to the tour bus transfer location and didn't actually leave for tour until after 10:00. We were dropped off on a street about a 15-20minute walk from hotel which was Ok but not understood when booking that it would be the case.
Doing what: Bethlehem and Jericho Day Trip from Jerusalem
More of a 2.5 star than a 3, but there doesn't seem to be a half star option. Masada was great and the driver was great, but it was a gong show getting to the tour bus including a taxi driver who was sent to get me when the bus couldn't get to me because of some accident and expected me to know where to tell him to take me. Sort of scary when you're in a foreign city and don't speak any Hebrew and are dropped at what looks like a University with no tour bus in sight. After that misadventure, and finding the right bus around the corner in a whole sting of buses, we were off. The camel stop was ok, the second stop at the Dead Sea cosmetics outlet seemed unnecessary when I discovered later that they had the same products at the gift shop at Masada. Masada was excellent, truly memorable, and our guide knew what he was talking about, so we had a very good tour there. However, because we started late and there was obviously no attempt to make up the time anywhere, by the time we got to the Dead Sea and had changed and had found where the trucks to take us to the water were, we had about five minutes in the water before we were told that we beach was closing and had to run to take the last truck back to the change rooms. Most of us hadn't even had a chance to find the mud. There was no attempt to make up for the mishaps of the morning in any way. I would have appreciated a free drink and snack or something along those lines. Our guide sort of apologized, as in sorry for this morning but it wasn't my fault so I wasn't impressed there. The driver was great and super polite and friendly though. I'd take a different tour company next time to see the Dead Sea, like really see it. Tip: bring flip flops to wear in the water because the crystallized salt is as sharp as glass.
Doing what: Masada and the Dead Sea Day Trip from Jerusalem
Yael, our tri-lingual guide, was fantastic. We were especially interested in Ein Geri but didn't get dropped off there until 3 pm. The guard didn't want to sell us tickets because they ask people to leave at 3:30and close at 4 pm. We argued our way in and had to rush to the first sight. Despite running we weren't able to make it to the upper waterfall. Staff at Ein Gedi made us leave the grounds and stand out in the street waiting for the bus to pick us up. The 5 of us on the tour for Ein Gedi felt that part of the reason we were so late being dropped off was because we were on a Spanish/ English tour. Everything had to be said twice which took twice as long. This also rushed us ridiculously through lunch. We enjoyed the Masada and our tour but felt slighted on what we wanted to be the focus of our excursion. Viator should not combine Spanish/English tours without informing customers and should not combine Ein Gedi customers on a bus with those interested in the Dead Sea.
The northern part of Israel is well worth seeing, but there were two significant problems with this tour: 1 Despite our itinerary stipulating that we be at the pick-up location at 5:50 AM, the driver did not show up until about 40 minutes later. Additionally, we had to change vehicles in Tel Aviv we originated in Jerusalem both on the way to the north and back 2 Our tour guide presented in both English and Spanish though I had booked only English and it was apparent that she was more comfortable speaking either Hebrew or Spanish than English. The real problem though was her lack of knowledge of the sights. A number of times, she put off questions, saying she would address them later. In Akko, particularly, it was frustrating, as was the omission of the prison and the synagogue from the tour.
Seeing these sights is worthwhile, but the logistics need improvement. First, despite the fact that the tour itinerary stipulated a 4:00 AM departure from the pick-up location, we sat in the vehicle waiting for almost half an hour while the driver tried to figure out what to do about one passenger not on his list ultimately, he told her she could not be on the tour--something he could have done easily in the first five minutes. Then, to make up for lost time, he drove from Jerusalem to Masada like the proverbial bat out of hell, taking curves much too quickly. He got us to the base of Masada just in time for us to make the 45 minute extremely strenuous hike to the summit by sunrise. It would have been far easier had we arrived at Masada earlier, as it took everything we could muster to make it to the top on time.
After Masada, we hiked in the Ein-Gedi nature reserve, which was lovely. Finally, we went to the Dead Sea after a stop at the factory making Dead Sea products, not on the itinerary, but a good opportunity to buy these and because there was no warning about rocks, I ended up with deep gashes on my feet and legs, as they were quite slippery and the breakers threw me off balance as well.
As I mentioned earlier, all of these sights are well worth seeing. The problem is that this tour is unguided which is stipulated, and really should be guided. It is disappointing to be at the summit of Masada with no guide to describe the ruins at the top. Similarly, it would be immensely helpful to have guidance at the Dead Sea. Surprisingly, the driver who was also our driver for our tour to the north spoke very little English, and in this case, depended on a young woman who was a U.S. American in the IDF as a translator. It was lucky for him and for all of us that she happened to be on the tour!
Be careful. I paid X but get Y. It was quite frustrating: we did not visit Church of the Nativity. Regarding Grab a light snack and beverage at a local Christmas shop: I recommend you bring your own snack - there was zero snack. The tour guy from Israel was a little bit rude. And the tour guy from Bethlehem did a very poor job. The Jerusalem tour was very short the Bethlehem tour was too long. I do not recommend this company. Find another trip to Bethlehem in a different company. Good luck!
It was not a great experience with Ben Harim tours who operate this tour. Firstly, I had to call Viator to see if the local operator were confirmed to pick us up from our hotel. Viator were great and contacted the Ben Harim to confirm but the lack of direct and pro-active contact was poor. Secondly, it is actually a seven 7 hour expedition starting with an 8:30am pick up and almost half the time was actually spent in Jerusalem. We did not arrive in Bethlehem until 11:00am - the 3 hours of which were spent being driven from our hotel to a car park where we waited for 1.5 hours for our Bethlehem bus to arrive, 1/2 hour spent at a look out point over looking Jerusalem, and 1/2 hour driving from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.
Yes we did see the religious sights as promised in the tour but we were forced to spent 40 mins in a shop selling religious artifacts - as opposed to being sent to an area where we could shop as we pleased. I hate tours that force its guests to spend time in a chosen shop where Ben Harim presumably has a relationship with the shop. Same again for the food/restaurant option which was not part of the tour and was only suggested at the last moment when many of us complained we were getting hungry - as we had anticipated having lunch back in Jerusalem since it was apparently a 1/2 day tour. Our Ben Harim guide sat us down and said it was USD16 for a buffet which had a long queue and we had 20 minutes to eat....We went to a local kebab shop and meet the lovely and friendly guys who worked there - I felt much better supporting them. Finally our Israeli Ben Harim guide - he was initially charming, but although he promised not to speak about politics, he spent much time espousing certain strong political view points over the PA system on the bus. Tiring. I also saw the Israeli Ben Harim guide take a cut of the tips that our Palestinian Bethlehem guide had got from the group - disgraceful.
A positive - the Bethlehem guide was excellent and friendly.
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