Fellow solo travelers - Arriving one day early on November 13, 2019. Leaving out of JFK. Maybe we can meet up before tour starts.
We took this incredible trip in October 2018. If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask.
Just got back from this tour a week ago. You'll love it. Lots of highlights - Bahai Gardens in Haifa, Roman Ruins in Jerash, many things in Jerusalem/Bethlehem, swimming in the Dead Sea, but number one for me was Petra.
Sam - did you arrive early in Tel Aviv? If so, how did you spend your extra time there?
Lotusgirl - We arrived in TA around 1 AM and a day early. We spent our day having a relaxing breakfast at the hotel, walking up and down the beach because you are a 5 minute walk away, and an afternoon at the Carmel market. The market is 5-10 minute walk from the hotel and has been in TA for a very long time. It is fun to walk around and see all the goodies and souvenirs to buy without being hurried on a tour walk. The tour does not visit the market. The beach and the market are fabulous easygoing ways to spend the day and you will need it. Our TD estimated the tour required 39 miles of walking but we estimate we did about 50 walking a lot on our own. Our favorites were seeing and touching the Western (Wailing) Wall and visiting and seeing the Grotto at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem where Jesus was born. The Star marks the spot. We basically had one second to see the Star and leave. Be ready for the photo op. It was an amazing trip.
Thank you, Virginia Travelers.
Lotusgirl - I'm on the Nov 3 trip and arriving a day early. My flight doesn't get in until 4:30 PM, but the day of the welcome dinner, I'm doing what I do on most of my trips prior to the tour - a day on a bicycle touring around.
A good way to get some exercise, BKMD. I see that there are some interesting bike tours on offer. I have also been looking at walking tours. Thank you.
Lotusgirl - We did arrive one day early, which means we got to the hotel around 9PM the day before the tour Welcome dinner. So in the morning before the tour start (welcome dinner) we did stuff close to the hotel. First we walked through the HaCarmel market (about two blocks from the hotel), which I highly recommend. It is like most public markets - very colorful, very lively, etc. After the HaCarmel market we walked along the beach and had drinks in one of the beachside eateries and watched the activities on the beach. After that we just went back to the hotel and got ready for the Welcome dinner. The next evening is on your own. We ate at the Manta Ray restaurant which is a couple of blocks from the hotel, in the Jaffa direction. NOTE: If you want to eat here make reservations through the Concierge the day of the Welcome dinner. Some people on the tour that wanted to eat there couldn't because they waited too long to get reservations. We enjoy the food and location of Manta Ray. It is a casual attire restaurant. If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.
Thank you, Sam!
Smiling Sam - Did you find the need for local currency or did they accept credit cards most places?
BKMD - Both. For purchases of any size credit cards were accepted. The only thing I used local currency for were quick purchases of refreshments (soft drinks, juice, etc.) at various stops during the tour. Our tour director recommended that everyone get $100 in New Israeli Scheckels (NIS), which we did. That said, most of that money ended up being part of the tour director's tip. If you're OK with using credit cards for meals, souvenirs, etc. then I'd recommend only getting $20-$30 worth of NIS for purchases like I described above. In Jordan, they are very receptive to getting US dollars, so I only got Jordanian Dinars when I received it via change.
Appears like everyone who takes this trip really enjoys it. Looking forward to my trip starting November 14th.
It's a fabulous trip ! We would go back to Israel in a minute. Enjoy !