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Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

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Trani, Italy
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Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

Hello,

I would appreciate some help on finding a tour guide or join a tour group (small, <15ppl) in Jerusalem. My husband and I are visiting May 3-10. We would like to see Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Mount Zion, Mount of Olives, Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Jordan River, etc. We would also like to explore the Jewish origins of our Christian faith, as well as the Jewish culture and environment in which Jesus lived and shared his message. We would prefer to spend less than $450 per day including hotel, guide, and transport. We will arrange our own air travel.

Thanks for the help!

NYC/Israel
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1. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

I do not know of any small group tours. A private guide is going to be above your budget. A private guide costs about $350 a day and if you hire a guide who drives--it will double. The itinerary you are proposing means multiple hotels and a guide traveling with you needs to be provided with room and board.

I strongly suggest you consider renting a car and doing this on your own. The group here will be more than happy to help you plan such a trip.

Israel
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2. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

A private guide in Italian will most likely cost more than the average of an English speaking guide but will also allow you to get the most out of a tour. There is no possibility of under $500-550 per day for driver and transportation no matter what the language.

I suggest in your case contacting an operator such as Guy Tours to see what they can offer in the form of a package deal.

Chana

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Trani, Italy
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3. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

Thank you for the input! We are native English speakers, so English guides are preferred. Doing it on our own seems daunting...can we take city buses and/or taxis? Is it difficult to find the sites in the various cities?

Bethlehem...
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4. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

It depends on how many touring days you are interested in and what is your total budget per person. Anything can be customized to match your preference. I can help you in arranging your own itinerary but I need to know more information. Alternatively, there are several one day tours that start from different parts of the country.

John

Trani, Italy
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5. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

Thanks John,

We are interested in 6 touring days, covering Nazareth, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Capernaum, Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, Jordan River, and Mount of Beatitudes. We are open to other places as well. We would prefer to spend less than $500 per day including the guide, transportation, and hotel for the both of us. We were hoping to be able to join a tour group, but if that is not a good possibility, we are open to booking multiple day tours/guides or doing it on our own if it is feasible.

Thanks,

Brandi

Israel
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6. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

Based on your budget you should be looking at one or two day tours offered by some of the touring companies - either Egged Tours, United Tours, Rent-a-Guide, etc. which include guiding and if a two day tour include the overnight. Or take a look at the tours offered by the Abraham Hostel - they are transportation only.

As already noted, your budget does not allow you a private guide, unless you do most of the days on our own and splurge for a guide for one or two days.

Bethlehem...
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7. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

If you budget is around $250 per person per day, that means it's a total of $1500 per person for the whole tour. From my own experience and knowledge, you can get a private tour in a decent 3 star hotels with a private guide and driver in the regular season for around $1700 per person. Below is a sample itinerary I just wrote for you:

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[Day 01: Arrival]

Arrive Tel Aviv Airport, meet and assist then transfer to Bethlehem and overnight at hotel.

[Day 02: Bethlehem/Jericho]

After breakfast, visit the Church of the Nativity. Visit Saint Catherine’s Church and Saint Jerome’s Cave. Drive to Jericho and visit the baptismal site and then continue to visit Qumran. Have a look at Mount of Temptations and the Sycamore Tree. Float in the Dead Sea. Drive back to Bethlehem and overnight at hotel.

[Day 03: Jerusalem]

After breakfast, go to the Mount of Olives and visit Pater Noster Church. Continue to an observation point that overlooks the Old City of Jerusalem. Proceed to Dominus Flevit then walk the Palm Sunday route and descend to the Garden of Gethsemane. Visit the famous Church of All Nations. Go to Saint Ann’s Church through the Lions Gate and visit Pools of Bethesda. Start walking the Via Dolorosa and end at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Drive back to Bethlehem and overnight at hotel.

[Day 04: Nazareth]

After breakfast, drive to Jezreel Valley and visit Mount Tabor. Continue to Nazareth and visit the Basilica of the Annunciation and Saint Joseph’s Workshop. Proceed to visit Cana of Galilee. Drive to Tiberias and overnight at hotel.

[Day 05: Tiberias]

After breakfast, go to visit Mount of Beatitudes. Continue to visit Tabgha then visit Saint Peter’s Primacy Church. Continue to visit the ruins of Capernaum. Drive to Kibbutz Ginosar for a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. Overnight at hotel.

[Day 06: Departure]

After breakfast, transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for departure.

-----------------------------------------------------------

Note: When you're on a budget tour, staying in Bethlehem is more affordable than staying in Jerusalem. For example, staying in a 4 star hotel in Bethlehem will cost lesser than staying in a 3 star hotel in Jerusalem and so on. That's why I used overnights in Bethlehem in the itinerary above. There are so many key factors that can effect the price, so if your travel agency was good, they can customize anything and match your requested budget.

John

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8. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

When planning please remember that in areas that under the Palestinian Authority such as Bethelehm and Jericho you must use a guide licensed by the Palestinian Authority - when in Jerusalem, Mt. of Olives, Jezreel VAlley,Galilee, Nazareth, etc. you must use a guide licensed by the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

Bethlehem...
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9. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

It's actually not necessarily Oreet.

All licensed Israeli guides (By the Israeli Ministry of Tourism) can guide in both Palestine and Israel. However many of them don't guide in Palestine at their own free will and choice. Only a few of them enter Palestine and don't mind guiding in there.

All licensed Palestinian guides (By the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism) can guide in both Israel and Palestine. However to enter Israel and guide there, they need a special permission. Many Palestinian guides have that.

John

Jerusalem, Israel
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10. Re: Jerusalem and surrounding cities tour

VisitBethlehem,

While I do not know the Palestinian legislation, therefore it could be that an Israeli guide can guide in the PA (in contrast to Oreets post),

The laws of the State of Israel FORBIDS any paid guidance in Israel unless done by a guide licensed by the Israeli Ministry of Tourism.

Link to the law (relevant section - no. 9(c): (Hebrew only)

tourism.gov.il/GOVheb/Ministry%20of%20Touris…

לא ישמש אדם מורה דרך בתמורה, לא ישמש מסיע בתמורה כמורה דרך ולא יציע אדם שירותיו כמורה דרך בתמורה, אלא אם יש בידו רשיון.

Therefore, any person conducting a paid guidance in Israel while not having a license from the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, is conducting a felony and breaking the law.

It should be noted that about 40 Palestinian guides do hold an Israeli license.

Edited: 04 April 2014, 10:26