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Israel - Best day tour company? Egged, United, Bein Harim, or another?

Israel - Best day tour company? Egged, United, Bein Harim, or another?

Old Nov 28th, 2010, 01:26 PM
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Israel - Best day tour company? Egged, United, Bein Harim, or another?

Hello Fodorites,
Hoping to get your expert opinion on a company you used for a day tours in Jerusalem, and to visit outlying areas on day trips,

I have been surfing the web for days now, trying to research day tour companies in Israel. I haven't seen a lot of recent reviews unfortunately.

I have come across Egged, United and Bein Harim a fair amount. Also City of David has tours, but not alot of info unfortunately. Please let me know what your experience was if you used one of these. The Good and the bad. Or if there is another tour company that you used, that you can recommend I join?

I will be in Israel in December for the first time. It's a bit daunting. I am hoping to do some in depth touring of Jerusalem, (old city, Western Wall Tunnel, Underground) and then some day trips outside of Jerusalem. I was surprised not to see more choices, so far I've seen and been interested in Massada/Dead Sea, and Caesarea/Rosh Hanikrah. Strangely enough, many of the tours, no matter the company seem almost like carbon copies, even down to the same day. It's hard to see what's distinctive about each company.

Thanks in advance for taking the time to share your expertise.
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 05:34 PM
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If you are more then three people, I highly recommend a private tour guide. They are generally expensive, but have a vast amount of knowledge because they are required to take a two year
course. The price when you are three people comes out even in most cases. The tours are
then geared to your interests. Some guides have a car.
In December there are a lot of tours. There are free tours that take you around the Old City. You will need to ask when you get there. You definitely want a tour of the Jewish Quarter, the Burnt house etc. There are western wall tours which have there own guide. The same is for Davidson center which is archeological. Don't miss Yad V'shem. There you can rent a tape guide.
You shouldn't miss the Golan and Galilee. Depending on your religious interests there are
many interesting places there. Also some of the most beautiful hikes.
I have never been on Egged tours because I use a private guide - who is fabulous. But I have heard the Egged tours are excellent.
You can take a bus/train/sherut to many places.
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Old Nov 28th, 2010, 06:20 PM
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I almost forgot to mention, there is one tour company with excellent tours that might be different from the ones you have seen. Its called ARTZEINU which is hebrew for our land.
I think the website is artzeinu.com - if not just google artzeinu + Israel and I am sure you will find it,
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Old Nov 30th, 2010, 06:39 AM
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Lyelyash - would you mind telling me how much your guide was. There are 2 of us.
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Old Nov 30th, 2010, 11:19 AM
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Egged, Bein Harim, United and Rent-a-Guide all offer very similar tours (not a stretch to say carbon copies). The companies are all experienced and reputable and the difference between them is basically the luck of the draw for the day and tour you take - it all boils down to who the guide is - and that is really a matter of luck. You can hit the jackpot and get a top notch guide or you can end up with one that you don't connect with.

Artzeinu offers wonderful tours too - but you need to know that their basic direction is Jewish tours aimed at a Jewish, perhaps even more traditional audience.

A private guide is always the best option if your budget allows for it. The fee for a licensed guide (and guides must be licensed) will run from $250 - 400 a day for the guide. This will not include admission fees, meals or transportation. Some guides are guide/drivers and their daily fee will be upwards of $600. Other guides work with their regular drivers - and again the daily fee will be similar.
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Old Mar 20th, 2011, 02:55 PM
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Lyelyash- Would you be able to give me the name of your wonderful guide? We are looking for a guide for our trip in August 2011. Thanks
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Old Mar 27th, 2011, 11:34 AM
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Oreet and Lyleyash--How much should we tip our private guide? There will just be 2 of us for 8 days. If there is a separate driver then how much do we tip the driver and the guide each?

Also do you tip every day or wait until the very end of the tour? Thanks in advance!
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