home Travel Rent A Guide – Israel – Tour Review for the Holyland Tour

Rent A Guide – Israel – Tour Review for the Holyland Tour

My wife and I were on a week long tour of Israel for 7 days in July of 2010. The experience was really great and I thought I would write about it a bit.

We booked our tour through the site Israel a la Carte and the tour was specifically the Holyland Tour – 7 Nights (Sunday Arrival). Our email contact was someone from Diesenhaus, whom I am assuming is the parent company. When we arrived, we discovered that the tour operator was Rent A Guide.

Guide

The tour guide we had was Yossi Gelem. I found him to be an excellent guide. An Israeli, Jewish guide, he was very knowledgeable about the country and even history/politics in the rest of the world. He has a passion for the news and history and has had an interesting past that gives him some perspective as well. If he is running the tour, I would highly recommend him.

Yossi very much tried to give just the facts and non-biased information. He would also expand on it quite a bit if you wanted to get into it and ask more questions.

Pros

  • Great guide
  • Quick pace (this can be bad if you wanted to spend more time in some sites
  • Price was way cheaper than anything else we could find on the internet.
  • All the hotels were nice and worked just fine.
  • Included breakfast and dinner every night.
  • Buses had good air conditioning.
  • We were a fairly small group so got to know everyone quite well and had lots of time to speak with the guide if we wanted.
  • Good selection of site to see. 75% religious, 20% historical, and 5% other.

Cons

  • Quick pace so you won’t get a lot of time at each site if you were wanting it.
  • A couple of the lunches were at “tourist trap” types of places. They drop you off but it is really the only option you have and the prices are high. Other times it was totally fine. Just carry some snacks with you so you don’t have to worry about it.

Summary

Overall, I would recommend the tour. Especially for the price.

Itinerary

This is a just a copy and paste from the itinery on the site we booked through

Holyland Tour (7 Nights) Sunday Arrival

Language: English Tours – Israel

Sunday – Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, where you will be met by a Diesenhaus Unitours representative and transferred to your hotel.
Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Monday -Caesarea / Megiddo / Haifa / Acre
Depart Tel Aviv and drive along the coastal plain to Caesarea, the capital of Judea under the Romans.Visit the excavations of the ancient city, the Roman theatre and aqueduct. Continue to Megiddo, identified as the site of Armageddon; Visit the archaeological excavations including the well-preserved water supply system.
Drive to Haifa, view the Persian Gardens at the Bahai Temple. From Haifa, drive to Acre to visit the ancient city and harbor.
Continue to Kibbutz Lavi for overnight stay.

Caesarea
Caesarea

Tuesday – Tiberias / Capernaum / Banias
After a short tour of Tiberias, we take a boat ride to Capernaum. Visit the remains of the 2nd century synagogue. Proceed to Tabgha, the site of the miracle of fish and loaves, and visit the Church of Multiplication with its 4th century mosaic floor. Continue to Mount of Beatitudes, the place where Jesus delivered the sermon on the Mount. Drive to the Banias Springs and waterfalls and tour the Golan Heights.
Return to Kibbutz Lavi for overnight.

Wednesday – Nazareth / Beit Shean
Drive to Nazareth via Cana of Galilee. Visit the Church of Annunciation, St. Joseph’s workshop and Mary’s Well.Drive to Yardenit, where the Jordan river lies, the Sea of Galilee, and Baptism place, Continue to Beit Shean, a newly excavated city, and visit the Roman theatre.
Drive along the Jordan River to Jerusalem.
Overnight in Jerusalem.

Jerusalem
Jerusalem

Thursday – Jerusalem – Old City
Drive to Mount of Olives for a panoramic view of the city; visit the church of All Nations, King David’s tomb and the room where the Last Supper took place on Mt. Zion. Enter within the walls of the city and visit the Cardo, Temple Mount (entrance to the mosques not included), Western Wall, Via Dolorosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, oriental Bazaar.
Overnight in Jerusalem.

Friday – Jerusalem – New City and Bethlehem
Drive to Ein Karem to visit the Church of Visitation; proceed to Yad Vashem, the memorial to the holocaust; Visit the Israel museum, the shrine of the book, where the dead sea scrolls are housed, and the miniature model of Jerusalem as it was during the second temple period.
Proceed to Bethlehem to visit the Church of Nativity.
Overnight in Jerusalem.

Saturday – Dead Sea / Massada
Drive to Qumeran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found. Visit the ancient city of Qumeran and drive along the shore of the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth, to Massada, which was the last stronghold of the Jews after the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 A.D. Ascend Mt. Massada by cable car and visit the food storeroom, water irrigation system and Herod’s Palace.
Return to Jerusalem .
Overnight in Jerusalem.

Dead Sea
Dead Sea

Sunday
Transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure.

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