Have just returned from the Jerusalem, Galilee and Dead Sea tour. What a tour! Saw so many sights during the tour and thanks must go to all involved in the planning and execution of the tour. Raya (Israel) and Samir (Bethlehem) were excellent and knowledgeable guides and Val, who came from the UK with us, did a grand job as well. Big thanks must also go to Gadir, our driver, He manoeuvred the coach expertly often in very crowded situations.
We stayed in excellent hotels and had fabulous buffet breakfasts and dinners. The BBQ on the second night was wonderful. The pre-arranged lunch stops were a bonus as well.
A wonderful trip! I have never been on such a tour before and, if it is the last one I ever do, it was a great one to finish on.
Review by: Lynn Finn on 05/11/2018
We have just returned from a holiday to Israel with a tour guide called Francesca. The only issue we had was the 3 hour delay at Heathrow which meant that we did not arrived at our hotel in Te Aviv until 3 am. The hotels were very good and the food was excellent with a big choice. The contents of the tour was first class as was the weather. The tour guides did a great job managing a group of 50 which is not easy . Certainly value for money.
Review by: ALAN PARROTT on 08/10/2018
What a great tour! It was exactly what we were hoping for and expecting. Full itinerary which included many of the top sights in Israel, we did so much we had to write down a list of what and where and when. Our fellow travelers were great people. Always felt safe even walking around Jerusalem on our own and Raya and Geoff were terrific guides, so knowledgeable, caring and helpful. Full marks again Riviera.
Review by: Jerry Braker on 21/05/2018
We have recently returned from having spent a week in Israel; what an experience! The group was very diverse; from teens to eighty year olds. We are not religious people; but the stories from the bible as told to us in school were brought to life every day. This holiday is a must for many reasons; the tour manager Norman, who willingly "went the extra mile" each day. His knowledge and enthusiasm were second to none, but most of all his compassion had to be seen to be believed. The local guides Eli and Louis; two very different men from opposite sides of this amazing country; but the love and pride they have for Israel could not be divided. Our driver Nissin who kept us safe. On Christmas day we will shed a tear and recall a group of strangers singing "Silent Night" in the birthplace in Bethlehem. I will always remember floating in the Dead Sea. So many memories to treasure; but the one that will stay with me forever is of being on a fishing boat early one morning; when as a group we danced with the fishermen on the Sea of Galilee. Please continue to offer this holiday for many more years; as people need to visit Israel and the people of Israel need to be allowed to welcome them.
Review by: Mary, Harry and Jenny Wedge. on 24/07/2017
We have just returned from a tour of Jerusalem and the Holy Land, 22-29/05/17. Please accept this letter as our praise for all aspects of the tour. All aspects of the tour were exceptional value for money.
The hotels used on this tour were all of high quality, emitting a welcoming atmosphere. The accommodation was excellent, the rooms well equipped, clean and furniture without signs of wear. The food was uniformly excellent (save that the enforced dietary arrangements on Friday and Saturday based upon faith did diminish the selection - but this was known about and expected). Staff were friendly and efficient throughout our tour in every restaurant.
The tours themselves, whether sightseeing at Roman remains in Caesarea, the inclusive boat journey on the Sea of Galilee (inclusive of poignant readings and a sudden surge of dancing), The serenity of the many visits to sights of both archaeological and spiritual importance, The epic of Masada, plunging, (or rather floating), into the rejuvenating waters of the Dead Sea and finally, but not least, the tours of Jerusalem and Bethlehem were all captivating, uplifting and enjoying. In Bethlehem we were struck by the fortitude, forbearance and friendliness of those Palestinians living in conditions that can only be described as similar to a prison camp. In the Banksy inspired and funded ‘Walled-Off Hotel’ we touched the reality of life for these oppressed yet surprisingly ebullient and enterprising people. We were reminded of the distance we must all travel to understand how so many of our fellow members of Mankind live such different lives to those of us enjoying freedoms to them unknown, on whichever side of any wall.
The foundation of this exceptional trip was undoubtedly the inspirational leadership of our Tour Manager, Francesca. Unlike the children taught for 40 years where authority ensures compliance,Francesca, by the use of her immaculate interpersonal skills and effusive personality, managed to ensure that we maintained strict punctuality and enjoyed every second of the tour to its maximum. She is to be congratulated for her erudition and perspicacity into the management of such diversity.
Congratulations must also be given to our local Guide, Natalie. Imbued with a vivacity and tenaciousness in ensuring that we all fully understood and appreciated all aspects of the tour and using her knowledge not only of anthropology but also archaeology, she exuded authoritative, pertinent information, always tinted with humour, that made the learning experience not only interesting but fun. She is to be congratulated also for the excellence of her communication of complex issues, not least surrounding the current and long-standing difficulties between the two main religious groups. As an old teacher of History it is saddening to note that so many of the current evils in the world are based upon an unremitting and isolating interpretation of faith.
This is our 16th Riviera holiday in 11 years and we are looking forward in a few weeks to travelling to Austrian Lakes and Mountains and in August to the Dordogne and Carcassonne. In 2018, we hope to undertake the Queen Mary 2 Tour to New York, Niagara and Toronto and also to Lake Maggiore and thereafter Moscow / St Petersburg and the Danube cruise to Romania, Bulgaria and the Black Sea.
Your holidays always provide just that insightful balance between leisure and learning coupled with such exemplars of excellence in your tour managers and local guides which, in all our years of travel holidays, we believe to be unsurpassed. Long may it continue.
Review by: M.J.Chapman on 22/05/2017
This was a great experience led by a first class and wise tour manager, Norman, ably supported by the knowledgeable Eric. The tour is great value for money and the hotels in Jerusalem, on the Dead Sea and at Tiberias all had their very good points. The food was varied enough to satisfy everyone whilst the excursions were memorable and thought - provoking. Israel is a great country to visit and, during our time there, perfectly secure. I strongly advise you to try it out.
Review by: Kevin on 04/08/2016
We have just returned from 8 days in Israel and Palestine and must complement you once again on a superb trip. Excellent tour featuring good hotels, great sights and above all a good local guide and great tour manager (Norman).
A great venue/trip combining both religious & historical venues.
Review by: Ian Kittle on 03/06/2016
Thank you once again Riviera for a truly excellent holiday- this time in Israel.
We have returned feeling very satisfied with all aspects of the holiday and much better informed about the region.
We would like to thank our guides for the week, in particular Francesca, Eric and our Bethlehem guide as well as our coach driver Muscah and the hotel staff along the way, who were most helpful and welcoming.
We will no doubt travel with you at a future date and for a different destination.
Thank you again.
Review by: Lesley and Steve on 13/05/2016
Excellent holiday. Accommodation was extremely good, food was well prepared and the staff were very helpful. The Trip was made by the Courier Norman, a good bus driver and by the local guide. They went to considerable efforts to ensure that everyone’s wishes were met and when they did not know the answer they found out by the next day. The Group had a very gregarious attitude and this was mainly down to the efforts of the courier. We have just booked another Riviera Holiday for 2016, this time to the States.
Review by: David Houliston on 11/04/2016
My dream of visiting the Holy Land came true when I took the opportunity to join the Easter Jerusalem, Galilee and the Dead Sea Tour. Easter being one of the most important dates in the Christian calendar, this was more of a pilgrimage for me, not just a holiday. What an awesome experience I had! I went to the Holy Land for two reasons: first, to see the Holy sites and visit some of the places I’ve read about in the Bible since I was a young child; secondly a long held ambition to be baptised in the River Jordan. I achieved my ambition to be baptised in the River Jordan with the help and assistance of our English tour manager Norman who I cannot thank enough. Clearly very experienced and knowledgeable, he epitomises a good tour manager - always going above and beyond his duty. A big thank you also to our Israeli guide Eric, whose extensive knowledge of the history of the Holy Land, peppered with his American humour kept the group smiling all the way. I would definitely recommend this tour. Religious or not I believe anyone who goes on this tour will derive some benefit from the experience. Thanks Riviera Travel for a very well organised tour. I will definitely travel with with you again.
5th April 2016
(Travelled on 21 March 2016)
Review by: Shirley Donaldson on 05/04/2016
I surprised my mum a present for Xmas, a trip to Jerusalem at Easter, It’s always been a dream of her’s to go and visit the holy land. But what I was not expecting is it to mean sooo much to me, it took my breath away, the people, the places, history, smell of baked bread, herbs and spices though the market place just take you back in the most wonderful way I know you’ll laugh but I found it so peaceful I never wanted to leave. If I were to write it all down it’ll be book, you have to experience it for yourself. Knowing the history and the loss of people, there is still something very special about Israel and I am glad my mum had that wish or I wouldn’t have known such a wonderful land its truly spiritual and don’t have to be religious to feel it, it’s everywhere u go. I can’t thank Norman enough for organising this amazing trip and adding more on his free time of which was not on our itinerary, our wonderful guide Eric for taking us back in history and his love for Israel and it’s people, our bus driver Zid, safe driving though those amazing site’s and the great people we shared it with. I thank you all, my mum can’t stop smiling she feels the same as if it was a dream. I hope to see Israel again . X
Review by: Sonia Da Silva and Adela Da Silva on 29/03/2016
My husband and I recently booked a holiday with Riviera Travel to Jerusalem Galilee & the Dead Sea, to anyone thinking of doing likewise, I strongly urge you to do so. From the first day it was an unforgettable experience. The weather, hotels and food were excellent, as were the fantastis sights to be seen in the Holy Land. The icing on the cake was definitely our tour guides and our driver, their knowledge and insight helpfulness and good humour made it a holiday to remember. Thank you all. We shall return
Review by: Mrs Hamilton, Glasgow on 23/05/2012
Wow! A Big thank you to everyone at Riviera for the best holiday we have ever had (and we’ve been on many over the past 30 years). Everything went smoothly and was well organised from beginning to end. We had excellent local Guides and our Tour Manager was superb. He was a most unusual Tour Manager in that he was always “around” if needed, he knew his subject and he genuinely cared that we had a good holiday. We are so impressed with Riviera that we are planning to book another holiday with you in the not too distant future. Again, many thanks all round.
Review by: Mr & Mrs Bulmer on 09/10/2011
A superb holiday with an excellent guide and tour manager. We were on the October 16th tour. It blew our minds all that we saw and experienced. Fabulous hotels and food. Highly recommended. Richard and Kath.
Review by: Richard Sloan on 05/11/2012
We have just returned from the Jerusalem, Galilee and Dead Sea tour (departing Tuesday 16th October). This was a really superb tour staying in excellent hotels with fabulous buffet breakfast and dinner. The Grand Court in Jerusalem was particularly good.
There was a tiring tour schedule but it was really worth it. We saw an amazing variety of fascinating sites. The highlight for us was the boat trip on the Sea of Galilee. Our tour manager was superb. He had a great sense of humour and made us feel safe. His only concern was our wellbeing and enjoyment of the tour. He looked after us like gold. Our Israeli guide , What a fund of knowledge! He not only told us about the history of Israel but also about the politics and the Jewish culture. He is one of the best guides we have ever encountered. Our delightful guide in Bethlehem. He was a gentle man who was so keen to show us the sights of the town of his birth.
Review by: Richard and Kathleen Sloan on 06/11/2012