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Testimonial of Tours in Israel Jordan Egypt Greece Turkey & Tanzania Safari

 

 
On Fri, Nov 27, 2015 at 6:44 PM, Henry     wrote:
 
 Dear Yuval and Steve,
  
 tour of Israel, Jordan, and Egypt by Wonders-Tours
  
 We enjoyed this trip very much.  Just got back last night.
 Everything was perfect, and all four of us are utterly satified.
 
 You resolved the small issue at the Kfar hotel to our satisfaction.
 
 We noticed that we had a suit in the text stop, and I presume you made a
 special effort to make up the first night at Kfar?
 
 This shows that you care for your customers even after all the accounting
 has been settled.
 
 Connections from one point to the next, which were our biggest concern, were
 flawless.
 
 I appreciate your patient answers to my repeated and redundant security
 questions.
 
 
 In return,
 
 
 
 I’d like to give the best and highest appraisals/reviews for your company on
 the web sites.
 
 Henry
 
link to facebook  review
 
 
 
On Fri, Oct 23, 2015 at 12:12 AM,    
Dear Yuval and Steve,
 
We arrived back from our Israel and Jordan trip a couple of days back and wanted to Thank You for all the arrangements.
 
Our stay was wonderful and we were very impressed with ALL the arrangements that you had made for us regarding Hotels, Travels and the Guides.
 
Both Gadi in Israel and Omar in Jordan were Excellent guides and took great care of us and everything went flawlessly.
 
We will definitely be recommending you to our friends and Thanks again.
 
regards,
A.Nawaz
 
 
On Thu, Oct 8, 2015 at 9:59 AM, Wonders Tours <info@wonders-tours.com> wrote:
 
Fantastic Tour of Israel, Jordan and Greece with Omer the Amazing Guide 
 
First off I have to say thank you for the wonderful trip.  From half way
around the world you arranged an amazing vacation for us.  Most of all I am
so impressed when we had the sandstorm problem how you fixed the situation. 
All in all it was excellent>
 
Amazing ease.  This is the first time I booked through a tour company and I
was more than pleased with the amount of effort that went into this trip. 
We had a back to back itinerary where if one thing went wrong then the whole
trip was screwed up.  You had everything planned to perfection.  We just had
to step off the plane or get out of the hotel and a transfer or guide was
waiting for us.  This made everything worry free.
  
here is  the link  for the  tripadvisor review
 
Thanks again for a mostly great trip.
Best,
Eric
 
 
 
 
 
 
 On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 3:37 AM, Maria  > wrote:
 
Hi Yuval
 
This is just a small note to thank you for the trip that was booked through you. We were a little hesitant to book the trip through you at the beginning but after talking to you we decided to book it with you.  I and my wife had a wonderful time. In particular I took your advise regarding the dinners and the flight from Sham el Sheik to Cairo. It would have been nice if the St. Catherine monastery was open on the day of my travel for me to visit. Unfortunately it was a holiday and it was closed.
 
On the whole we enjoyed all the aspects of the trip and also the one day day stay at Hilton in Taba which was very relaxing. We even had a swim in the red sea.
 
I liked the way the trip was organized as it was both informative and educative and it broadened my knowledge about the three countries that I visited (Israel, Jordan and Egypt).
 
Thank you
 
Tarci  
 
 
 
 
On Fri, May 15, 2015 at 8:24 PM, Pablo Aleman   wrote:
 
Steve, Yuval:
 
This is to thank all your help in preparing our trip to Jordania & Egipt.
The trip was magnific. We are very happy with the guides, the vehicles, the Nile cruise, the hotels, the flights and the food. Everithing resuted much better than expected and we enjoyed a wonderful tour.
You and all representatives, guides (Eyad, Thelma, Wadi, Ash, Gigi and others) and drivers were very professional, well prepared, kind and ready to help.
Thanks a lot and we hope to travel with you next time.
 
Pablo & Diego
 
link to facebook  review
 
 
 
 
Sent: Saturday, March 28, 2015 at 3:01 PM
From: "Aracelia Vila"  To: Yuval <tour2@usa.com>, "Steve CtoTours"  
Cc: "Bill Looney"   
 
Subject: Trip Israel Jordan 
Dear Yuval and Steve,
 
Just a few lines to tell you that the trip was wonderful. At times a bit of a marathon, but we can't say we did not make the most of it. The guides, Boaz and rami, we're outstanding. Very knowledgeable, flexible and a pleasure to be with. So was Mahmoud, the Jordanian driver.
 
I can't say enough good things about the trip. The two countries and their people were amazing. And so much history.
 
I posted a couple of photos daily on my Facebook page, hoping that friends will overcome their fears and visit. Telling everybody both countries were safe and worthwhile
 
If you ever need someone for a reference in the US, pls don't hesitate to use my name.
 
Thanks for all you did in putting it together, your patience and flexibility. Took a long time but we did it.
 
Best wishes. shalom
 
Aracelia
 
link for her trip advisor review
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Date: Fri, May 23, 2014 at 12:18 AM
Subject: RE: SERVICES CONFIRMATION - ISRAEL/PETRA/EGYPT TOUR - MAY 8-19.
To: Wonders Tours <info@wonders-tours.com>
 
 
Hi Yuval, Sonia
 I want to thank you both for the excellent job you did on regards of this tour.
We had such an interesting time visiting these 3 countries. We appreciate all your help on putting things together for us. Everything was excellent.
 Thanks,
Mari
 
 
 
 
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:38 PM
To: Sonia Segal
Subject: RE: SERVICES CONFIRMATION ISRAEL/JORDAN/EGYPT TOUR - TRUCCO/OUBINA - FEB. 6-26
 
Dear Sonia Segal,
We are very please to inform you that our booking of the 21 day Israel-Jordan-Egypt grand tours (February 6-26, 2014) organized by your CTO was an exhilarating personal experience, a total success.
While visiting Israel Mr. Emannuel Levi proved to be a superb tour guide and a prudent driver. He provided us with abundant info on past and present days Israel and cordially responded our questions. He is an unusual polyglot.
In Jordan Mr. Omar-Al-Alamat was a warm and highly educated tour guide and exceptionally accommodative. His driver was also very prudent.
Since arriving at Egypt’s Taba border until our Cairo departure the guides were  always in time and provided us with the pre-planned itinerary. Our special thanks to theirs Mr. Raffa and Ms. Gigi from Cairo. The Nile cruise was a fascinating 5 star class.
All the transfers from the Ben Gurion through the Cairo airports were done in time and helpfully.
The overall tour itinerary selected by CTO was very comprehensive, say nonpareil.
Even though our flight time from Buenos Aires to Tel Aviv amounted to 22 hours and the return from Cairo took us 32 hours it was a worthwhile fatiguing journey because the cultural enrichment gained from the tour.
Summarizing, we will highly recommend this CTO tour to friends.
Cordially,
Horacio and Liliana
 
 
 
Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2013 11:39 AM
To: Sonia Segal
Subject: Re: Our Israel/ Jordon/ Egypt trip
 
 
Hi Sonia
We are back in Australia; we had a wonderful trip. The guides and drivers were great, the organization excellent, the cruise down the Nile wonderful. We did have a hiccup at Cairo airport re flight to Luxor. But overall fantastic,; we are very grateful.
Thanks for doing a great job. We will recommend you to our Australian friends.
Steve and Kim Francis
 
 
 
Subject: Re: SERVICES CONFIRMATION - STAYMAN FAMILY - PETRA TOUR - JAN. 1-2, 2014
 
Thanks Yuval.  The tour was great.  Everything went very well and the guides/driver/etc were all great and helpful.  Petra was spectacular.  Thanks for setting things up.
 
Yes – we are still in Israel.  Somehow it is even more fun to be in a warm place when you know it is very cold back home!
 

 

 

 

 

 Date: Fri, May 23, 2014 at 12:18 AM

Subject: RE: SERVICES CONFIRMATION - ISRAEL/PETRA/EGYPT TOUR - MAY 8-19.

To: Wonders Tours <info@wonders-tours.com>

Hi Yuval, Sonia

 I want to thank you both for the excellent job you did on regards of this tour.

We had such an interesting time visiting these 3 countries. We appreciate all your help on putting things together for us. Everything was excellent.

 Thanks,

Mari

 

 Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:38 PM

To: Sonia 
Subject: RE: SERVICES CONFIRMATION ISRAEL/JORDAN/EGYPT TOUR - TRUCCO/OUBINA - FEB. 6-26

Dear Sonia ,
We are very please to inform you that our booking of the 21 day Israel-Jordan-Egypt grand tours (February 6-26, 2014) organized by your CTO was an exhilarating personal experience, a total success.
While visiting Israel Mr. Emannuel Levi proved to be a superb tour guide and a prudent driver. He provided us with abundant info on past and present days Israel and cordially responded our questions. He is an unusual polyglot.
In Jordan Mr. Omar-Al-Alamat was a warm and highly educated tour guide and exceptionally accommodative. His driver was also very prudent.
Since arriving at Egypt’s Taba border until our Cairo departure the guides were  always in time and provided us with the pre-planned itinerary. Our special thanks to theirs Mr. Raffa and Ms. Gigi from Cairo. The Nile cruise was a fascinating 5 star class.
All the transfers from the Ben Gurion through the Cairo airports were done in time and helpfully.
The overall tour itinerary selected by CTO was very comprehensive, say nonpareil.
Even though our flight time from Buenos Aires to Tel Aviv amounted to 22 hours and the return from Cairo took us 32 hours it was a worthwhile fatiguing journey because the cultural enrichment gained from the tour.
Summarizing, we will highly recommend this CTO tour to friends.
Cordially,
Horacio and Liliana


 

Sent: Saturday, February 02, 2013 11:39 AM
To: Sonia Segal
Subject: Re: Our Israel/ Jordon/ Egypt trip
 
Hi Sonia
We are back in Australia; we had a wonderful trip. The guides and drivers were great, the organization excellent, the cruise down the Nile wonderful. We did have a hiccup at Cairo airport re flight to Luxor. But overall fantastic,; we are very grateful.
Thanks for doing a great job. We will recommend you to our Australian friends.
Steve and Kim Francis

 

 

 

Subject: Re: SERVICES CONFIRMATION - STAYMAN FAMILY - PETRA TOUR - JAN. 1-2, 2014

 

Thanks Yuval.  The tour was great.  Everything went very well and the guides/driver/etc were all great and helpful.  Petra was spectacular.  Thanks for setting things up.

 

Somehow it is even more fun to be in a warm place when you know it is very cold back home!

 

 

 

Sent: 01/21/14 06:15 PM

Subject: Israel tours and Travel -

 

From: carla
Subject: C.T.O - Israel tours and Travel -

 

 

Comments: Excelente tour… de parte de shuki y mohammad … muy amables atentos y explicaron todo super bien.. quedo muy contenta de este tour…

--
This mail is sent via contact form

 

 

 

 

From: Lolly Kakuman

Sent: 11/10/13 09:27 PM

To: Sonia Segal, Yuval Israel

 

Israel exceeded my expectations and Petra is breath taking. It was a great trip, with fun group and a very funny guide. Enjoyed his sense of humor. Thank you.

 

Sent from my iPhone

 

Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2013 6:45 AM
To: Sonia Segal
Subject: Re: FLIGHT DETAILS
 Dear Sonia,
 Returned Sunday evening from our tour of Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
 The holiday and experiences were exceptional. I know that we could not have managed to do the trip on our own without the help of the numerous guides, drivers, helpers etc. you arranged for us at the various pick up points, border crossings etc. All of these people were on time and extremely helpful. 
 You need to be congratulated on the superb co-ordination of the entire holiday through three countries and the many border crossings, flights and cruise on the Nile.
 Many thanks for making our holiday a memorable adventure. We will be happy to recommend CTO to our friends and hope we can use the services of your Company again
 Sincere regards
  Shirley and Denzil Simeon

 

Sent: 03/22/13 11:21 PM

To: tour2@usa.com

Subject: TRIP FEBRUARY

 

Dear Yuval

We did not meet during our trip unless you were

incognito, but we had a  great time with Emmanuel . I am still working on my write

up of the trip, give Emmanuel our best warmest  regards Tony & Diana Stagg

 

 

---Messaggio originale----
Da: 
info@wonders-tours.com
Data: 9-nov-
2012 22.59

per Yuval

Voglio ringraziarti per l'organizzazione del nostro viaggio alla cui riuscita hanno contribuito la competenza e la disponibilità della guida .

Vladimiro ha capito immediatamente che volevamo un percorso non religioso ma culturale ed ha pienamente soddisfatto le nostre esigenze.

L'autista Camal è stato molto bravo e paziente.

Alcune cose potrebbero essere migliorate. Ti dico questo non per avanzare alcuna lamentela ma perchè tu possa migliorare il tuo lavoro.

Se lo ritieni utile posso in dettaglio darti quei piccoli suggerimenti che potranno tornarti utili con clienti che chiedono

un viaggio diverso da quelli classici.

Ancora grazie e buon lavoro

Mariavittoria

 

From: Carlos Raúl Aguilera

Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 3:40 PM
To:
 Sonia Segal
Subject:
 Re: SERVICES CONFIRMATION - ISRAEL TOUR

Sonia:

Muchas gracias por tus buenos oficios. Hilda te envía saludos y te está muy agradecida por haberle enviado la pequeña diferencia por su pago en efectivo. Dios mediante el año que viene estaremos enviando a nuestros padres y por supuesto te contactaremos, igual cuenta con nuestras promoción entre amigos. Cuando llegué a venezuela te escribo de nuevo para dejarte saber que todo salió bien.

Shaalom
 

 

 

Sent: Thursday, July 19, 2012 7:43 AM
 
Subject: Re: Our Israel trip 
 
 
 
Dear Ira, 
My husband and I would like to thank-you very much how you organized our trip. Everything was just perfect. We couldn’t have a better tour guide and bus driver than Cassandra and Robert. They make a good team together. We would like to know if it’s possible to get an e-mail address for Cassandra so we could thank her personally for a job well done. 
Best Regards 
Sincerely, 
J Bercovitch 
 
Sent: 05/01/12 02:39 PM
 
From: J Gsenger
Subject: Israel tours and Travel - 
 
Dear Sirs, we had been on tour to Israel with your company from 22. – 29. April!
Our fabulous tour guide was Mr Ron Paul. I’d like to thank him for his wonderful accompany of this week. Would it be possible, that you give me his email address, so that I can send him a thank personally and a short feedback?
Yours sincerely
J Gsenger
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sent: Saturday, April 28, 2012 8:34 PM
To: 
Subject: RE: Israel Turkey  trip 
 
Hi Rebecca:
 
We had a wonderful, Spiritual trip on the whole. Nuerite the guide in Israel was very good and helped us a lot.  Meher the guide in JOrdan was very good too and we had a good tour.  The Turkish guide Ahmet was awsome and we really enjoyed visiting Cappadocia and Ephesus.  Thank you for arranging the whole trip.  We came back refreshed spiritually and physically.  
 
Theodore
 
 
 
 
Hi Yuval
 
Finally I am getting around to sending you a feedback e-mail regarding our trip in Dec-Jan. I mentioned on the phone some of the items below but repeat in writing to assist you with future tour planning.
 
Overall I want you to know that the 4 of us had a fantastic time and greatly appreciated the care shown to us by EVERY tour guide and driver we encountered and yourself of course. You truly have a terrific group of people working with your company! Below I include particular negatives and positives for your information.
 
A few things which would have made our trip even better and our ONLY- we think- minor criticisms would be:
 
1. Some guidelines provided before we left for amounts to tip in various places would have been excellent - particularly for Australians who know little of tipping as it does not happen here as a matter of course. We were often anxious about whether or not to tip and how much would constitute a good or excellent tip. We still feel we made some errors in this department and received conflicting information on tipping staff directly or in an envelope at the end of the Nile Cruise. We hate to think that the people who looked after us so well might have not received a proper tip.
 
2. Alex - our guide in Israel was great but could have allowed a little free time in a couple of places we visited. In particular Masada where we would have loved to climb down to Herod's Palace and didn't get a chance and Beit Sh'ean to climb the hill there and look over the city. Each would have only taken 30 mins at the most as we are reasonably fit and we would have been happy to do it without Alex accompanying us.
 
3. In Petra the King's Way Hotel was lovely but a LONG way out from Petra itself and restaurants we wanted to go to. We walked into town the first night as we were told it would be about 20 mins walk but it was in fact more like 40 mins and would have been longer uphill coming back so a kind restauranteur found us a taxi back. There seemed to be lots of hotels closer- in fact one person on our tour was staying 3 star much closer to the action. 
 
4. The hotel at Sharm el Sheikh "Marmara Hotel" was awful. The pool area was beautiful but the rooms were being cleaned when we arrived and were still dirty when they finished cleaning! Toilet dirty, chipped glass top benches, dirty tiles and fridge which nearly fell out of it's place onto us when we opened it. Not good and one to avoid I think. The rest of the hotels in Egypt were excellent as everywhere else.
(CTO Comment we complain about it but we have many staying there it might because of late checkout of a group but shouldn’t happened! )
 
5. On the Nile Cruise our very knowledgeable guide Magid was great but he did not inform us of a dress up night on board and we were embarrassed to arrive at dinner to find most of the other groups in fancy dress. If we had realised we would have been happy to hire a costume from the ship store. We also had a free afternoon on board but we were not told of an optional tour to a Nubian Village on that afternoon and only found out about it at dinner when others were raving about it. We would have loved to do it had we known.
 
6. Finally on transfer from Jordan to Egypt we had to pass through Israel for about 10 mins and were really annoyed to find we had to pay another departure tax of $60 US for this 10 min trip having already paid departure tax when we exited to Jordan 3 days earlier! Our friend was also invited to exchange money at the Israeli border and found himself short changed $40 US compared to ourselves who changed the same amount over the Egyptian border. I am e-mailing the Israeli embassy here also as we felt well and truly cheated at that border crossing. 
Not sure how you could avoid that cost for your clients - I'm told there used to be a ferry direct from Jordan to Egypt but that option is no longer available. Seems Israel should have a lower transit fee or not charge at all for this kind of crossing.
(cto comment-  most of the people stay in Eilat for a day & night but it is an option we can offer  and we will make sure that at the border you will pay the exact amount )
 
The overwhelming positives were:
 
1. The tour guides and drivers everywhere who could not have been more helpful and had excellent knowledge to pass on to us. Alex in Israel, Eli in Jerusalem, Rami in Jordan, Magid on the Nile, Wadi in the Sinai and Gigi in Cairo in particular. Mohamed (working with Gigi) in Cairo having heard we were not happy with our hotel in Sharm came up to our rooms in Cairo to check we were happy before leaving us for the night. Wadi offered advice on all sorts of things in Egypt and answered any questions we had on tipping etc. Fantastic.
 
2. At all border crossings and airport transfers we were walked through every step and always knew who to contact if anything went wrong which it didn't. Excellent.
 
3. The cost of the tour was extremely competitive with any tour I could have accessed here in Australia. Great value for money.
 
4. The itinerary covered everything I wanted to do and you were always accommodating of any changes or options we wanted to take.
The itinerary delivered was as promised with only very minor changes or omissions. We did not travel to Haifa and Mt Carmel or disembark at Edfu to see the Temple of Horus. We were not told why these were omitted but were not greatly concerned so didn't ask.
 
5. Beautiful 4 star hotels everywhere (except Sharm) with fabulous food and breakfast inclusions. The 5 star Nile Cruise was fantastic and the food to die for!! Awesome.
 
6. Communication was always excellent. We knew from first enquiry to the end of the trip exactly what was going to happen next. We were given phone numbers as contacts every step of the way so always felt secure.
 
I have already spoken to friends and recommended you to them if they are planning a trip any time soon and will post a recommendation on the Trip Advisor web site as well which was how I learned about your company in the first place.
 
Thankyou so much for a fantastic trip of a life time.
Regards,
Lyn and Doug Lapthorne
 
 
 
 
 
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2012 1:39 AM
To: Ira Daychman
Subject: Re: tour to Jordan & Eilat from Jerusalem
 
Hello Ira
I want to thank you so much, I was very nervous  about crossing in to Jordan, You did such amazing job on our tour, Our hotel,s were amazing, the guide was absolutely perfect. The driver from Petra to Eliat was so professional , We felt very safe at all times, You and your company are true professional,s .I look foward to useing your service again. Thank you very much
stephen bulboff
 
 
 
 
 
 
On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:20 PM, Yuval Eshed <info@wonders-tours.com> wrote:
 
 
On Fri, Jan 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM, kbochick <kbochick@gmail.com> wrote:
 
Thank you, Yuval! We are settled back at home, and rather missing Israel. In general, we were very happy with our tour. Our tour guide and bus driver in Israel, Orna and Gaby, were both excellent. I wanted to see as much as I could for the time and money that I had, and the tour definitely did that for me. I was happy with the hotels in Israel. They weren't great, but they were fine for the amount of time we spent in them. Plus, I know that we were in the lowest class, so I didn't expect too much. Safe, clean, and operational were what I needed, and that's what I got. 
 
Excellent! We are thinking about visiting Greece and possibly Turkey in the spring, and after our wonderful experience in Israel, I was going to look into a tour. If we do decide to go, I'll definitely contact you. 
 
Thanks!
 
Karen

 

 

 

From: Charles Handel
Sent: 05/15/11 10:37 AM
To: tour2@usa.com
Subject: Trip to Israel, Jordan and Egypt

Dear Yuval,

We want you to know that our three week trip to Israel, Jordan and Egypt was just fabulous. Everything worked like clockwork so that we never felt that we were alone. The hotels were a pleasant surprise since those that you listed on our original itinerary had questionable reviews on the internet and, as you may remember, we considered upgrading- all of the hotels had large, clean rooms and were very satisfactory. The guides were great except for  Brenda  who was very knowledgeable but not very nice. We were impressed with the tour operators and other  guides in Israel, Jordan and Egypt. We would certainly recommend your organization to anyone traveling to the Middle East.

Thanks for everything,
Shari and Chuck Handel
Chicago, Illinois USA

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

 

To: tour2@usa.com
Sent: Mon, Apr 4, 2011 3:05 pm
Subject: (no subject)

Yuval,

I hope this finds you well?
I apologize for not having written sooner but trying to get caught up and back into the daily routine seem to take longer with age.  In any event I did want to thank you so very much for your extraordinary assistance in executing the details for our most wonderful and exciting private tour.  The four of us could not have been more pleased with every detail which would not have been possible without your guidance.  Most particularly I want to express how impressed we were with your periodic calls to check on our satisfaction as well as to keep us posted on events in the region which were of course a concern we all shared.  We are so glad that once we all agreed Egypt was out of the question that we reworked the trip to focus more time on Israel and to keep Jordan in the agenda, it all worked out just wonderfully.  You did a great job for us and we appreciate everything very much.  I know we weren't the easiest clients to deal with and were very particular about our desires but you came through on all accounts and it just couldn't have been a more superb trip.
As you know the only problem we experienced during the entire 3 weeks was the pickup while crossing back into Israel for Jordan in the north.  Certainly the fact that the drivers car broke down was obviously out of your control.
The guides were all stellar.  Yankele, our guide in Israel for both segments was extremely knowledgeable, personable, and just a wonderful person We truly felt comfortable with him and felt we got an extraordinary over view of Israel and that he truly was concerned for our welfare.  I think after that much time together we looked at him as a friend.
Aladin our guide in Jordan was also excellent and a very fine person.  We found him to be knowledgeable, forthright, and also very concerned for our well being.  He kept us posted on current events and we felt assured we weren't in any danger while in areas where protests might have been a concern.  He was politically wise and did not insert any opinions unless we pressed him and even then he was very perceptive and diplomatic.  Don't think we could have had a better guide for Jordan.  Our driver, also named Aladin, was excellent both in driving and in helping us understand things as well.  Both Aladins spoke very good English and we had absolutely no communications issues.  We hope you will share our appreciation with them for securing the services of both Aladin's when we crossed over into Jordan, where they expedited our processing and all went smoothly.  We would certainly recommend both Aladin's for future use based on our brief stay in Jordan.
Our tour guide at Makhtesh Ramon was Boaz and he too was excellent and we would recommend him highly.  He was knowledgeable, very friendly, helpful and just a very nice young man.  We enjoyed our four hours with him and learned a lot.
All the transfers went off without a hitch, except for as previously mentioned above and even that little issue was only of minor consequence.  The vehicles were all as requested and the drivers very pleasant, on time, assisted with our luggage and most accommodating.
The hotels were of course at our choosing so how could we complain even if there was anything to complaint about which there wasn't. Once again on behalf of us all I want to thank you and your associates for a job extremely well done and for helping us have a marvelous time in Israel and Jordan.

With all best personal regards,
Steve.....
Steve Naman
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL

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Cc: tour2@usa.com;
Sent: Tue, Feb 8, 2011 9:04 am
Subject: Hellooo from Puerto Rico

Dear Avi:

Thank you very much for your hospitality while we were in Israel. We have so much fun and learn so much from you, that we still talk about it. You are a wonderful person and I specially Know that you will have a very special place in the heart of everyone who meets you. Your Knowledge, attitude and charisma  make you a #1 Tour Guide in the world. We miss you so much. And hope you keep doing as well as you did with us. Our experience was  unforgettable, not only in Israel but in Jordan and Egypt too. I will recommend the CTO Tour Co. to everybody. Also we were very please with Sylvia Tours in Egypt. The people in Jordan were also great. Give my regards to Ira and Yuvale. Hope the best for you and your family. Here are some picture for you to remember us. Hope Mrs. Moyra got home ok.

Thanks you,
George & Annette

P.S.
We got out of Cairo alive Ja,ja

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Sent: Mon, Dec 13, 2010 12:57 pm

Hello Yuval,
Mostly everything went very well on our Jordan/Egypt vacation Nov 25-Dec 8, 2010 that you planned and arranged for us.
Thank you for your team and organization especially with "Anton" in Jordan, Medhat Yacoub Ishak on the Nile Cruise and George Solby Nagib in Cairo/Alexandria were exceptionally great guides who took very good care of us and were brilliant in their historical descriptions!

Jay

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

 

Sent: Saturday, November 27, 2010 11:45 AM

Hi Yuval,
My husband and I had a really fabulous trip. We thought the whole tour was very well organized and it went without a hitch. We saw much more than we could ever have imagined. Ezra did a great job in Israel and Michael was on the ball and really fun for  the Egypt leg of the trip together with George on the final couple of days.
We agreed that the 3 a.m wake up call for the 3 hour drive to Abu Simble and back, followed by the overnight train ride to Cairo was pushing it a bit on the final stretch, and would recommend taking the flight instead, to anyone thinking of taking that optional tour.

Thanks again....it was great.
Jacqueline and Stephen

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Sent: Sat, Oct 30, 2010 3:39 pm
Subject: Re: tour info for Klein

We just wanted to let you know that we had a terrific time on our recently completed 17 day tour of Israel, Petra and Egypt. All the guides were excellent and we were met promptly at the airports and border crossings. We especially appreciate the small group we had in the Israel part of the tour which definitely enhanced the experience for us.

Les Klein

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Sent: Sat, Aug 21, 2010 12:59 pm
Subject: Israel,Petra Egypt tour

Sirs. My family and myself did this tour Mar1 2010. We thought it was outstanding. Avi our guide in Israel was very knowledgeable and helpful at all times. Petra was great, Our guide on the Nile excellent. George at Cairo was especially good. We appreciated the small groups, in Egypt just the three of us. Please extend my thanks to Avi, when it ended at Tel Aviv it was confusing and I did not get a chance to personally thank him.

Thanking you,
Doris Esplin. Manitoba, Canada

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Sent: Sun, May 9, 2010 11:59 am
Subject: HI SILVIA & FANNY.

HI SILVIA &FANNY!
WELL, WE LIKE TO THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL AND GREAT TRIP THAT YOU GUYS ARANGED FOR US. IT WAS VERY FASCINATING AND GREAT HISTORY AND CULTURE OF OUR COUNTRY "ISRAEL". AGAIN PLEASE SEND OUR THANKS TO YUVAL ALSO.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU HAVE DONE,
IRENE KIRSH

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Sent: Saturday, May 08, 2010 2:29 PM
To: Noam CTO
Subject: A wonderful tour

I wanted to let you know the four of us had a wonderful tour. In Israel Mickey was the best guide we have ever had. In Egypt Gigi was fantastic. Throughout the tour we were treated like visiting royalty. The food was great and the hotels as expected.

Thanks,
Ashton Page

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Sent: Feb 4, 2010, at 10:07 AM

Sylvia,
We have just returned from your Israel/Jordan/Egypt, and other than being completely exhausted, we want to compliment you for putting together such a fine trip. Your attention to detail has blown our minds! It was fantastic. I will write more in detail when my head clears, but I couldn't let a day go by without letting you know of our pleasure.

Davis Lauweret

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Sent: Sat, Nov 28, 2009 12:06 am
Subject: cto tours in israel testimonial and referrals

HI NOAM,
We are finally settling in after our wonderful trip to Israel which we and the Schultz family enjoyed thoroughly. It was well worth the wait and we are eager to return at the first opportunity to visit the many sites time restrictions would not permit us to experience.
Our satisfaction is due in no small measure to the Israel Highlights tour and the hotels you and your staff Yuval and Yossi recommended. We particularly appreciated your flexibility and sincere interest in insuring we would be comfortable and satisfied with your arrangements. And the favourable pricing was likewise much appreciated. As a result I WILL NOT HESITATE TO RECOMMEND CTO / TOURS IN ISRAEL to anyone visiting Israel who seeks good value and honest service.
I have recently referred to you Dr & Mrs. Kleinmann who will be attending a conference and also visiting Israel in July 2010. They require some hotel accommodations in Tel Aviv and possibly elsewhere. I mentioned that we enjoyed the location and service at the Grand Beach Hotel (and the Prima Kings in Jerusalem).and that your pricing should prove to be very competitive. They are supposed to contact you and I am confident you will look after them and others we hope to refer / book through your agency.
We leave tomorrow for our winter stay in Florida returning to Toronto end of March 2010. I would be pleased, between cruises, to offer my favourable impressions of CTO at consumer travel sites.

All the best,
SHALOM
Marv. Fajertag.

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Date: Mon, 6 Apr 2009

Dear Yuval
The trip that we made, was the most well planned trip I ever made. All details, were R>followed up in details I would recommend the trip to all my friends The guids, hotels ete were first class
Thank you and all people working with you ,that added plesure to our life, trough you hard work

John sinkeldam
john and ans de Beus

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Date: Tue, 6 Jan 2009
Subject: RE: FW: Michael W. Major booking invoice Israel Petra Egypt Highlights tour p...

Yuval,
I am back from the wonderful trip organized by you and your agency, despite the outbreak of the war. Orna, Amos and even the guest were outstanding. The flight connection arranged by Shoshana worked perfectly.
So was the Cairo part of the travel.
Thank you again for making everything work on time.

Sincerely,
Michael
Michael W. Major, Ph.D., D.Sc. President & CEO Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc.

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Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008
Subject: Thank You!

Noam and Yuval
My son and I have just returned from our two and a half week tour to Israel, Petra and Egypt.
We had a wonderful time and I wanted to thank you very much for all the hard work you put into getting the itinerary details nailed down, making sure everything ran smoothly, etc.
This allowed us to just enjoy the experience and truly appreciate the amazing locations we visited. The historical significance in many of these venues was simply overwhelming.
In Israel, our guide was Rosa; we found her to be very gracious and extremely knowledgeable. We came away with a much clearer understanding of the history of this beautiful country.
Our day trip to Petra was fabulous; definitely a highlight for us both.
Our extension into Egypt was exceptional; your people took very good care of us. The guides and drivers were excellent, particularly Mohsin and Adel. Everyone all along the journey really went out of their way to make sure we saw everything we wanted to see and to be sure our time was well managed. Unlike some visitors, perhaps, we were not looking to relax but instead to maximize our time there by seeing as much as we could. We both feel we accomplished that. At the same time, we did not feel rushed or hurried.
Thank you from both of us for making this such a special trip. We will cherish our wonderful memories for a lifetime.

Warm regards, Renee Tucei
Westport, Connecticut USA

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Date: Tue, 23 Sep 2008
Subject: Neugebauer Trip

Yuval,
our guide and driver in Israel were wonderful!! They went above and beyond what we thought we were going to experience in Israel, we enjoyed very much the tour and the people who joined us.

Thanks for everything,
Tom Neugebauer
U.S. Operational Integration Manager
Scent Detection Technologies Inc.

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Date: Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just a quick note to tell you that we had an absolutely wonderful tour.
Not only is Israel a great place to visit, but our tour guide, Ezra Ben Dori, made the tour an absolute pleasure - his knowledge of the places visited was complete, and his ability to enthusiastically communicate knowledge and context made Israel's history
come alive! All facets of the tour were "spot on" meaning that accommodations, meals, timing, etc. met or exceeded our expectations, starting with the courteous greeting at the airport when we arrived.
Again, Ezra kept the tempo comfortable and suited to the group's interests and abilities. He led the group and his leadership brought out the best in everyone.
This tour made a lasting, favorable impression - we will never forget how wonderful it was and how Ezra help us to understand and appreciate the land, cultures, and people of Israel!
We will gladly tell others about your company and of our positive experiences.

Best regards,
Dave, Connie, and Mattie Albert

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Dear Noam,
We are finally unpacked, rested and almost caught up on home and business responsibilities since arriving home from our adventures in Egypt and Israel. You and I had spoken briefly on our last night in Tel Aviv, but both Lyn and I wanted to more fully tell you about our time traveling with Avi Hochner in Israel.
Avi was the consummate guide in Israel. He is a master of Israeli history and culture. He can explain thousands of years of changes within Israel, as well as other parts of the worlds impact on Israel, in terms of her culture, religions, languages, art, music, food, struggles, geology and more. Amazingly, he was able to meet the needs of every person in our very diversified group-age range from ten to ninety-four, coming from several different parts of the world, representing several different religions and cultural backgrounds.
Avi was always energetic, responsible and responsive to the groups needs. He kept up a schedule that allowed us to see a tremendous varied amount of sites and experiences in Israel. We are indebted to him for sharing so much with us during our time there. His driver and helper Mohammed was also very in tune with meeting the needs of our group. We think we speak for everyone in saying that we are all fortunate for having traveled with them both.
Please convey our thanks again to Avi. We will always remember wonderful images of Israel due to Avis guidance.

Best regards to you and yours,
Leonard Rosenblatt
(Dianna) Lyn Rosenblatt

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My wife and I very much enjoyed traveling through Jerusalem with CTO week before last.
Our Guide Brenda was really exceptional and we learned a great deal from her.A few of the others were unhappy with some aspects of the trip (Trivial things like the time for lunch), We (my wife and I) felt the complaints were way out of line and felt that BRENDA is owed an apology from them. Anyway, we had a great tour and look forward to traveling with Brenda again soon.
How can we make sure we travel with her next time??

Thanks Again
George & Stephanie Cornwall
Lake Oswego, OR 97034 USA

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Happy New Year!
We would like to share with you some of our comments about our travel experience in Israel and Jordan with your Company.
We had looked at eight tour operators on the Internet, and choose CTO because your tours were comprehensive and reasonably priced.
We especially appreciated that your tours had planned sightseeing every day, without "leisure" days like many of the tours have. As you know, we like to add our own leisure days after the planned tour. This was my first travel purchase on the Internet, and I was apprehensive.
I called the Israel Tourist office in the United States to ask about CTO, but they had "never heard of" your Company. I learned after talking to them further that they only had information about U.S. travel agencies, and not about travel agencies in Israel.
They did state that "all the tour companies in Israel were good", so we decided to go ahead. This was our first time with an organized tour, and it was a very positive experience, beginning with our being met at the airport by Julia, who helped us get through the confusion and find our transport to our hotel.
We enjoyed meeting you, Noam, at our hotel that day. It was very reassuring to have such personal attention.
The next day we began our trip. Our tour guide (Alex) was excellent and well informed. He anticipated our needs and looked after us most competently, without our having to ask. His best skill was to keep the tour moving, but without rushing us. We got to see many "extra" things, which greatly added to our enjoyment of our trip. The small size of our group was a definite plus.
Notes/faxes received from CTO informing us of the next part of our trip (transfer to Jordan, transfer from the hotel to the airport) were accurate, punctual and well coordinated. Raquel was super, changing the time of our taxi to the airport and the driver was right on time. All of this good service was very reassuring!
Our tour guide in Jordan needed some work with his English, and gave people too much time for lunch and stops. (I'd rather be seeing things.) He was polite and pleasant, and we did stop at a Bedouin wedding, which was great fun!
Hotels in Jordan were luxurious, with excellent service and great food. There was no need to change money at the border, since U.S. dollars were accepted everywhere. The commission charged was awfully high, so please tell people not to change money there.
Overall, a truly wonderful trip which we will long remember. Please feel free to use any of our comments and we would heartily recommend your tour Company to anyone. Many thanks to you and all of your staff for a memorable experience.

Mr. & Mrs. Walter Seidel
Tybee Island, Georgia, U.S.A.

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Dear Sir
We had your Highlights Tour No2 starting on the 4th September then went on to the Jordan extension and finished for a week at Ein Gedi. I would like to say that we all enjoyed our stay in Israel.
The organization of the tour, accommodation and Israeli food were excellent, the Park Plaza Hotel in Jerusalem deserves a special mention.
We were tremendously impressed by the achievement of the Israeli people. However, we would like to thank Herman Kohn, our guide, for the brilliant way he conducted the tour. His knowledge, anecdotes, care for the well being of his guests and his humor were superb. He made a great impression on us all, we shall remember him as a great character!

With best wishes,
Janos Korn

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To: The Management,Tours in Israel /Tel Aviv

Dear Sirs,
We had the pleasure and priviledge of joining one of your above mentioned tours starting from Tel Aviv on the 12th June. Our guide was Brenda and the driver of the Coach was Rami. We wish to express our most sincere gratitude for a wonderful and inspiring guided tour we have ever enjoyed. Brenda was the "perfect" guide anyone can ask for. Her vast knowledge, patience and wonderful sense of humour, besides the way she handled the multifarious group has to be experienced to be believed. And in the hands of Rami,everyone felt perfectly safe and secure.
We wish to convey our appreciation for the care and pains taken to make our holiday such a pleasant one and a special word of thanks to Brenda for the same. To all of us she was more than just a guide - she was an advisor and a friend.

Mr. & Mrs F.M.Patel of Pune/India
presently with our son in Germany

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Welcome back home
I too would have liked to have met you. However, Meira did a fine job of taking care of us. Our accommodations were quite nice, especially the Renaissance in Jerusalem. Our trip was very educational. We learned far more about Israel than we had expected to. Our guides were very knowledgeable. Only two things about them put a damper on the trip for us and others in our group.
The tour guide, Herman, is a marvelous story teller. I thoroughly enjoyed him. However, the one behavior that both of the guides exhibited that rankled nearly all of us was their taking us to their favorite little rip-off store to buy souvenirs. people on tours are not dumb, and can quickly figure out when they are being had. (American slang. It means: you are being duped,or conned, or cheated.) More on the plus side - The bus driver, and I am sorry that I do not have his name, was a wizard with that bus. I have never seen anyone drive a vehicle as big as that through the narrowest streets, and do it quickly without causing any accident. That man deserves some special recognition!
Would I recommend CTO Tours to my friends? Most definitely!!
My profession for over 30 years was as a Quality Control Manager for some of the large electronic companies in the U.S. So when it comes to customer service, I am expert in that field. You do an excellent job of providing a high quality customer service. I do not know if this is by training or is simply an extension of your personality. Wherever it comes from, keep up the good work!!

With warm regards,
Harry W. Wilson

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Dear Noam,
Our trip in Israel was a wonderful one. Thanks to your excellent arrangement and a good guide. As mentioned before, we will not hesitate to recommend you to any of our friends who would be going that way. Israel is always in our heart, and we will love to visit again with friends(that are many who would love to visit Israel), hopefully in the not too distant future. We feel safe and at peace in Israel. Hope your business is doing well and May God bless you and your family Abundantly.

Shalom,
Veron

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Dear Sir
The tour was very interesting with a lot of photo opportunities. Due to the fast pace to cover all the information may I suggest that you advise your clients to in addition to camera they bring a small portable cassette recorder {a micro recorder} and a number of blank tapes. The Driver, Mohamed and Guide Ehud, from the Consolidated Tour Organization that you provided were excellent. They seemed to have genuine concern that all went well and safe. I do not know yet when I may return but when I do I hope to get the same tour and Driver/Guide. Please pass our appreciation on to Mohamed and Ehud Thank you.

Grace Galindo Plunkett

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Noam, back in the swing of things and hard at work.
Thinking of the wonderful time we had in Israel.....I truly thank you for your outstanding service and personal attention. Also the family especially wishes to be remembered and thanks to Ehud, he was fantastic. I would have no hesitation recommending your services to anyone I know touring Israel...an absolutely wonderful country, with so much to offer...and hopefully a lasting peace.
Keep well and safe.

Again a big thank you,
Kindest personal regards,
Howard Kaplan ( Wendy and Grant)
New South Welsh
Australia

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Dear Sirs,
I made a wonderful tour of Israel with Your organization the first week of August 2005. I enjoyed it very much and remember the experience with great pleasure, hoping to come again as soon as possible. I wish to thank especially Mr Dan Arnold, perhaps the best guide I have ever met (he maybe remember of me: I was the only Italian tourist of the group of ten).

Hag sameaH and happy new year!
Annalisa Ferramosca,
Bologna, Italy

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Dear Sir
Just to tell you that it was full of very happy memories that our group has gathered again last Saturday to meet and eat and talk about the precious experiences we had with you as our guide there in your country. We looked through more than 700 pictures that had been taken by different people showing all the interesting places and people! Thank you again for all that you have done for us.

May the Lord bless you on your way!
Rev Louis Louw.
Pretoria
South Africa

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Hello,
You arranged a 2-day trip to Petra for me and my 2 friends last week. I just wanted to write and let you know that it was a great success. The guide (Saimir) and driver (Ishmael) were exceptional. They went out of their way for us, and I would recommend both of them highly.

Thank you again for arranging a memorable trip!
Kristin Richardson

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Date: January 2006

Dear Ezra
Greetings from Korea. Just to say hi and to say thank you once again for a fabulous tour in Israel. I remember the bus ride with great fondness and have lovely pictures to remind me of all the wonderful places we visited. Thanks, too, to Mohammed for his careful and excellent driving.
My love and best wishes to you both and may the Lord bless you as you continue with your tour work into the Spring and Summer.

Sincerely,
Andrea Henderson

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Date: Feb 27

Att: Noam.
I had an e-mail from Mrs Vasut on Saturday. All in all they had a wonderful time and they were very complimentary about your services and the guide. They liked the guide very much. They said he was helpful, flexible, friendly and really made the trip. SO with regard to CTO they were really pleased and , of course, I was thrilled to hear it. So we will definitely use you again. It was a good trip, well organized and I appreciate your cooperation on it. I do not know when we may have another client for Israel but perhaps the Vasut's will convince friends to do a similar trip. They said they did not feel unsafe and enjoyed the country very much. 

Kind regards,
Charles Stuart
Managing director
American Travel Center

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Dear Yuval,
My wife and I would like to thank you for the pleasure we got from the Highlights Tour (2) of Israel last week. The tour let us see all of the land: its ancient wonders, as well as the great achievements made by the people of the modern State of Israel. It was well planned and perfectly organized from the beginning to the very end. We appreciate in particular how well structured it was since we arrived and left later than everyone else.
My wife and I are Jewish, American citizens who came originally from the former Soviet Union. Along with our Christian counterparts from Europe and Canada we enjoyed the friendly and comfortable atmosphere the tour guide and the bus driver provided with ease and professionalism.
There is much to say about our tour guide Ms. Lea Veerman. She spoke with great tact and clarity on many complicated religious and political issues. It was extremely helpful when she continually invoked the Jewish and Christian Bibles together with exact comments about the current situation in Israel. This made it possible for everybody to understand the Middle East reality with all its rights and wrongs, whatever language she spoke, English, German or Dutch. We thanked her for a wonderful job. In conclusion, we are going to enthusiastically recommend the CTO Tours in Israel to our friends and colleagues.

With great respect,
Dr. Lev Gogish

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Our recent trip to Israel and Jordan was spectacular and informative. Everything was meticulously planned and executed by you and your company: drop-offs and pick-ups at the Jordanian border, 2 a.m taxis, which arrived on time, exceptionally well-informed tour guides, good hotels, excellent food, and above all, fabulous tours of two fascinating countries -- by far the best planned tours we have ever taken.
Because of your efficient planning, our trip was perfect. We had a positive experience every inch of our itinerary. I would and have recommended you and your company to everyone who expresses an interest in Israel and Jordan.
Thank you so much.

Sincerely,
Vic & Phylliss Stenger

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Dear Gina and Shloma,
We have been home already 10 days from our highlights tour and visit to Israel. Dan, my daughters and I would like to thank you both very much for all you did to make our trip so smooth and enjoyable. Firstly, Alex, our tour guide as well as Haim the driver, were outstanding as tour guides and chaffeur! Our days of the tour were busy, educational and with Alex's immense knowledge of history and the country, served the tour excellently!! The itinerary was full and our destinations were very meaningful and impressionable. Each of the hotel's were first class and the service at the Dan Hotels were outstanding! Gina, I was certainly surprised to reach the King David Hotel when Dan decided to change accommodations. Thank you for your assistance in Eilat as well. The transfers went off without a hitch and certainly made our trip smooth without wasting any time. Your proficiency is greatly appreciated. Our trip to Israel has been a trip of a lifetime and my teenage daughters as well as Dan and I are grateful to have experienced this at this time in our lives. Once again, thank you both and are regards to Alex and Haim, Le'hitraot,

Dan, Darlene, Jackie and Cara
Lebenzon

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Newspaper & articals that mention the company C.T.O - Consolidated Tour Operators

The Guardian newspaper from the UK
American travel paper 2007 March issue a long article about visit in Israel by Noel Canfield
July 2006 reporter that visit from Maimi Florida

City break... Tel Aviv (and Jerusalem) Biblical proportions It sounds like a weekend break too far,
but David Munk crams in a fortnight's worth of fun David Munk The Guardian Saturday July 8 2000
The scene was familiar. A man stumbling, sweating, on a cobbled street, the midday sun screaming
at his back, a noisy crowd surrounding him as he dragged a wooden cross behind him.

The difference this time - 2,000 years or so later on the Via Dolorosa in Jerusalem - was that the man and his friends had chipped in together to hire the cross. You, too, could have your own cross to bear for 15.

It's a bit of a peculiar experience going on a weekend trip to a country 2,300 miles away. In the morning you are standing on a Tube platform in leafy Tufnell Park, north London, by mid-afternoon you are in downtown Tel Aviv. Over the next two days you cram in as much sightseeing, sunbathing, swimming and eating as you can, and you arrive back at Stansted airport feeling as if you've been away for a fortnight. The weekend break as condensed holiday.

As a base for a mini-break, Tel Aviv, the rapidly expanding 115-year-old city on the shore of the eastern Mediterranean, is pretty much ideal. First impressions of cities should never count. And Tel Aviv is no different. Standing on the 15th-floor balcony of the Sheraton hotel, looking southwards along four miles of beach, you could be in Benidorm. You have the all- night bars with English and Australian waitresses, burgers and chips on the menu and European football playing on an oversized screen. Beneath lamposts and umbrellas sit the street vendors, their sunglasses, bracelets and beads laid out for sale.

The place is noisy with a busy road running along the full stretch of a promenade, horns honking and car stereos playing loud. But then things start to get better. On one side of the busy road lies sand. A long, wide beach littered only with deckchairs and freshwater showers.

Offshore, artificial islets have been created to stop the full force of the ocean from crashing in on swimmers. The rock deposits create a calm, gentle sea that is both warm and clean and populated by a surprising amount of fish. Inland from the beach is where the fun of Tel Aviv really starts.

Ask Israelis to describe this city and you find yourself being addressed by two different camps. Tel Aviv or Hill of Spring was named after a biblical reference, Ezekiel 3:15.

But for the Orthodox inhabitants of Israel, this is the closest the city gets to the spirit of the bible. For them Tel Aviv - only an hour's drive from Jerusalem - is the city of sin, a modern day Sodom, a city which never sleeps, merely sleeps around. It is flash, brash and unashamedly cosmopolitan. Its nightclubs open at midnight and close after dawn.

Lots of lights, lots of cars. Worse still, it was from Tel Aviv that sprung Dana International, the transsexual Eurovision Song Contest winner whose victory brought groans of despair from Orthodox Jews and wild celebrations from its more liberal population.

For many of its 700,000 inhabitants, it is the things that so enrage the conservative Israelis that provide them with the reason for living here. And for the traveller, it is those things that prove so attractive. The streets inland are packed with hostels, bars and restaurants. There are bazaars and markets, including Carmel Market and its array of cheap T-shirts and trainers, its spice and nut displays and its busy eateries.

Nearby Sheinken Street is more upmarket, with designer clothes, psychedelic T-shirts and expensive shoes - beautiful clothes attracting beautiful people to a series of young, feelgood bars and restaurants. Indeed, food seems to be all around. From small, hole-in-the-wall felafel houses to pavement cafés, you are hardly ever a few yards from your next lunch. For vegetarians, it is a holy grail, salads and sauces offered with mashed-up pulses, potent pastes and cold beer.

A day trawling the roads and alleyways will leave you exhausted and full. A trip to Jerusalem changes the pace. An hour by coach from Tel Aviv, you have to be prepared to join in with the tens of thousands of other tourists. Going on a Saturday helps as the Jewish part of the city is far less crowded, but still the throng can be overwhelming, as can the amount of information to absorb. Jerusalem is the cultural, political and religious heart of Israel, and with that burden comes a myriad of problems for the visitor.

What to see? It contains some of the most holy sites in the world for Christians, Muslims and Jews alike. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where Jesus was crucified; the Haram ash-Sharif or Temple Mount, where Mohammed is believed to have risen to Heaven; and the Western Wall - or Wailing Wall - where Jews go to pray. Add in Bethlehem, just down the road, and you are swamped. In a day you can only get a feel for the city. It is hot - the June sun is extreme.

Refuge from the heat can be found in the cool alleyways that transport you from site to site. On either side of the cobbled streets are shops selling spices and breads, antiques and souvenirs. Like many cities invaded by tourists, tack is never far away; a serious exploration of history turned into a bit of a carnival. Pilgrims who want to retrace the final steps Jesus made along the Via Dolorosa, or Way of Sorrows, can do so literally.

Hiring a replica cross, you travel past 14 stations from the place where Jesus was tried, past the spot where he saw his mother in the crowd, past where Simon the Cyrene helped carry the cross and on to Calvary where he was crucified. Jerusalem is literally a divided city with Israelis and Palestianians living in different sectors and laying claim to it as their own capital. In many ways, it reflects the problems of Israel. Scratch the surface and there are tensions.

Occasionally, you are given a stark reminder that Israel sees itself as a nation under threat. Uniformed teenagers walk the streets in groups, semi-automatic rifles slung casually around their shoulders as if they were rucksacks.

At airports and other security areas, expect to be asked whether you have talked to any local people during your visit. Police officers and guards will not mince their words. You are told quite frankly that someone may want to use you as an unwitting conduit for an explosive device. They may want to blow you up.

Scary. After a hard day's sightseeing - be it in Jerusalem or at the Dead Sea - Tel Aviv, with its beach and swimming pools, is a relief. It may seem extreme to travel 2,300 miles to get out of London but as you return on the 270-minute flight from Ben Gurion airport to Stansted, you will realise what a feast you have experienced. It certainly beats Brighton.

The best of what's around Where to stay There's an abundance of hotels in Tel Aviv, ranging from the expensive to hostels for budget travellers. The 345-room, five-star Tel Aviv Sheraton has recently undergone a refit. It is luxurious, air-conditioned throughout - a must in summer - has two swimming pools and is just across from the beach.

Cheaper accommodation can be found on Ben Yehuda Street or nearby Hayarkon. The Noa Hostel at 34 Ben Yehuda Street, ( 03-6200044 www.noahostel.com) offers dormitory beds from �6 a night and private rooms from �23. At Hayarkon 48 hostel ( 03-5168989 www.hayarkon48.com), dorms cost from �7, private rooms from �30.

Where to eat Chaim's at 16 Lilienblum Street serves felafel and a beer for 12 shekels (�2). Nearby is the Suzana bar and restaurant in the secluded Shabazi Street ( 03-5177580 ). Dine on salad and fish on a beautiful terrace for around �7. Lunchner Coffee at 22 Sheinken Street ( 03-5284027 ) serves salads and meat dishes with local Gold Star beer for �7. The Café Tam on Gordon Street serves Mediterranean fare - pasta, ravioli and salads with fish - for around �25 for two. For a different experience, the Yoezer Wine Bar, Yoezer Street, Jaffa ( 03-6839115 ), is tucked away in what appears to be converted cellar and has an extensive European and new-world wine list as well as local vintages which can cost �40 a bottle.

Just round the corner is Dr Shak shouka 3 Beit Eshel (6822842), which serves shwarma or doner kebabs. Bars and clubs Israelis love clubbing, which means there are loads to choose from. Most don't open until midnight, but stay open until breakfast. Door charges can be up to , although some are as low as.

The most popular in Tel Aviv are Pacha on Kaufman Street ( 054-680380 ) and Lemon on HaNagarim Street (3- 6813313). Bars are scattered along most of the seafront in Tel Aviv. For those wanting standard British fare, Buzz Stop, at 86 Herbert Samuel (3-5100869), serves Guinness plus chips with everything. The International Bar, on the same road, is similar. Inland, check out Sheinken Street, which has good bars at numbers 20 and 22 - both in Hebrew. For a young place, go to the bar above Café Tam on Gordon Street.

Where to visit In Tel Aviv, the Carmel market has stalls selling cheap T-shirts, sunglasses, fake designer trainers, as well as vegetables and nuts and spices. Nearby Sheinken Street is a trendy shopping area where you can eat, drink and buy clubbing fashions. Jaffa town is a short walk from the end of the main Tel Aviv beach. Worth seeing is the old port with its seafood restaurants and the HaPisga Gardens, which offer a glorious view of Tel Aviv at night.

The Dead Sea is around two-and-a-half hours' drive from Tel Aviv, but offers all that is expected - a boiling day out and a bizarre floating experience. In Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives is a real spectacle, with hundreds of thousands of graves with stones scattered on them as a mark of respect. Robert Maxwell took up residence here in 1991. A guided tour should take you to the Via Dolorosa, the Western Wall or wailing wall and Bethlehem.

Top tips

  • Change you pounds for shekels with moneychangers on the street
    Ben Yehuda Street is full of them) and pay no commission.
    Hotels will give you an appalling rate.
  • Many restaurants have their signs in Hebrew so ask a local to translate.
  • It's hot, with temperatures passing 35C (95F) in the summer, so bring a hat and carry bottled water.
  • Check-in for El Al early and avoid huge queues.
  • Don't joke with security services - they are deadly serious.

The practicals Superstar Holidays ( 0645 125847 , www.superstar.co.uk) offers a three-night break, staying at the Sheraton Tel Aviv for �394pp, sharing a twin room on a bed and breakfast basis. This includes return flights with El Al and all taxes. Seven nights in the five-star Sheraton Tel Aviv would cost from �616 on the same basis. Day trips from Tel Aviv can be booked locally through Consolidated Tour Operators ( 972-3-6295151 , www.inisrael.com/cto). A day trip and tour of Jerusalem costs $56 and the Dead Sea $74. If you want to base yourself in Jerusalem, three nights at the five-star Sheraton Jerusalem Plaza costs from �395 (seven nights from �616). Alternatively, three nights at the Four Points Sheraton costs from 332 (seven nights from 442 )

 

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  3* 4* 5* Top Grade
Class Tourist First Superior Deluxe
Jerusalem Jlm Tower Grand Court Dan Panorama David Citadel
Galilee Kibbutz Hotels or Holiday inn kibbutz (deluxe room) or Scots house
Tel Aviv Sea Net Metropolitan/ Mercure Dan Panorama Carlton/Sheraton
Eilat Adi Vista/Ceasar Dan Panorama Dan Eilat
Petra Petra palace Golden Tulip Crowne Plaza Movenpick
Amman Liwan GT grand Palace Ramada/Regency Palace Marriott