We booked the Highlights tour online through different agency and were a little surprised to see that it was actually being operated by CTO with whom we had never actually had any prior contact. But we didn’t mind. It turned out to be one of our most memorable trips ever.
We were initially apprehensive about the idea of doing an organised group tour because of the strict programme, lack of flexibility and not knowing who our fellow travellers might be. We worried needlessly. There were plenty of opportunities for shopping. The group comprised a wonderful mix of people from all over the world: young and old, solo travellers and families, people from literally every continent and from every walk of life.
Our tour guide deserves special mention here. He did an extraordinarily fine job at bringing the many historical sights to life. It is obvious that he loves sharing his contagious enthusiasm for this beautiful country. His knowledge of all things Israel, of history, geology, and politics is amazing. His story-telling skills are second to none. Some of his stories are so funny that I still remember them. The programme is quite packed (which is great because you get to see so much) and Shuki did a great job in keeping us on schedule. The history and culture of Israel is so rich that it was particularly reassuring and rewarding to have such a great tour guide.
On one or two of the days there was quite a fair amount of walking (which we didn’t mind). Other than that we were ferried around in a comfortable coach which tended to drop us off and pick us up close to the sites we would visit which we thought was a great convenience.
We booked the three-star option for our hotels which was fine for us. The rooms were generally quite small but clean, quiet and comfortable. Both breakfast and dinner were great at all the hotels, in particular though at the Kibbutz where the choice and quality were exceptional.
I am usually too lazy to write reviews. I tend to align myself with the fraction ‘I’ll report on it if an experience was either truly amazing or truly awful’. This Israel tour was truly amazing.
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