We just got back from an amazing trip to Israel and Jordan orchestrated by Jonathan at Cicerone Travel. First, the hotel accommodations were all exceptional for the location- in Jerusalem the location of the hotel was perfect- we could walk to the old city, restaurants, and the market and the room was nice and breakfast was good. In Nazareth the hotel was very nice and included a good restaurant. The hotel in Petra was right outside the visitor gate, and the room was lovely and then we stayed in a Bedouin camp for a night which added a day of rustic adventure! The boutique hotel in Tel Aviv, across from the beach, was the perfect way to end the trip! Our tour guides were all very well educated and professionals that were adapt at moving through the cities and sights. We learned so much about Israel in a short amount of time through our time and conversations with each of them. They were also great at making restaurant reservations and recommendations for shopping! Every detail was considered for us in advance including drivers to airports and other locations. The attention and care that went into planning all this on the front end was evident in the perfect selection of accommodations, touring sites and tour guides!
While i was excited for our family trip to Israel (my first time) I was a bit skeptical about how fun it would be. I thought it would be more of a history lesson than a fun vacation.
Not with Cicerone.
Our tour guide, in addition to dealing with a large family with diverse desires, hit it out of the park every day. While there was tons of history, it was living history as we toured many parts of the country to the typical and not so typical stops.
While we were able to spend time at the major sites, where our guide did a great job of making our tour feel unique and specialized, we were also to spend a lot of time off the beaten path.
I travel a lot, and to me when I leave a destination I want to feel like not only did I see all the big things, I also got to go where the locals and absorb a feel for the community.
I thought there was no way that would happen traveling in a private bus with ten people from three generations all over a small country in 10 days, but Cicerone pulled it off. Every day I thought, well that was awesome, there's no way the rest of the trip will be that exciting, but every day it was.
Our guide was great with the children and detail oriented enough for the adults.
And the FOOD!!! Every restaurant on the itinerary hit it out of the park. We have relatives and family friends who lived in different parts of Israel for years. We asked them for their best local recommendations, and all of them were already on our itinerary.
I never go online to review anything, but I had to do this for Cicerone. Mainly because we were very anxious about our trip and would we be seeing the right things and doing the right activities. From the beginning of our planning, the staff at Cicerone was patient, responsive and flexible based on our changing needs.
I know you will feel the same way about your experience with them.
I hope this letter finds you well!
On behalf of Kol Israel Haverim the Posen Foundation and the UJA Federation New York , WE wish to offer our warmest thanks for meeting with our MAOF (Tradition, Values and Politics) delegation of parliamentary advisors last month.
Thank you for taking the time to share your knowledge, expertise, and valued perspective on the challenges and intricacies of the American Jewish community. Our group of parliamentary advisors were excited, and inspired by what you had to teach them.
This trip overall contributed and challenged our advisors to sharpen and deepen their understanding of North American Jewry, which they will now be able to use in their parliamentary work in the Knesset.
We are convinced that this experience will ultimately raise awareness in the Knesset, and in the Israeli public sphere, of the importance and benefit of connecting our communities across Israel and North America.
Wishing you all the best,
Ms.Yael Nakhon Harel Ms. Hani Mimrame
Director, Chief of Staff,
Posen Foundation Israel Kol Israel Haverim
After booking plane tickets to Israel, I waited far too long to start looking for a tour guide. When I emailed a handful of guides, none were available. One of them highly recommended Jon of Cicerone, though, so I contacted him as well.
Sure enough, he was busy too.
However, by that time we'd decided that what we really wanted was a travel expert to help us design our trip. Then we'd rent a car and venture off by ourselves.
We spoke with a Jon a handful of times, and he custom-designed the perfect trip. I'm just going to quote from an email that I sent him, unsolicited, after we returned: "... every single thing you recommended was special. Every single day, we thought, 'now _that_ was the high point of the trip.' The lunch in the Galilee, the ATVing, the water tunnel in Jerusalem. We had a dinner at Eucalyptus that we'll always remember, and the Jeep ride in the crater was a truly special moment."
And that doesn't even mention the hotels. Jon booked us into hotels that matched out preferences exactly. Casual, comfortable--and of course with stellar breakfasts! We still talk about the meals at the Alexander Hotel in Tel Aviv.
A few times during our trip, we got a little turned around; every time, Jon was just a phone call away, to straighten us out. We can't recommend him highly enough. He was thoughtful, charming, responsible, responsive, well-informed ... he designed a vacation that the whole family loved, and that my young son will never forget.
We booked Jonathan for a walking tour of Jerusalem for a group of 8 people and he was an incredible guide! We only had 1 full day in Jerusalem and we were able to cover all the major sites! He was so knowledgeable and really engaging. Our whole group was very attentive and felt we learned a ton! He was also so friendly and we really enjoyed getting to know him! I highly recommend booking a tour with Jonathan!
Awesome private tour of Israel for our family! Cicerone set up an impressive array of activities to explore Israel's archaeology, history, culture, geography, politics, and even a little wildlife. The guide was incredibly knowledgeable on all fronts. The hotels and food were also excellent. This was the perfect trip for all of us--from the grandparents to the children. Thanks, Cicerone!
The Immigrant NYC walking tour with Jon was fantastic. With his impressive background knowledge and genuine enthusiasm, Jon is able to curate a rich experience that brings history to life in the streets of New York. This is a great tour to take, whether you are brand new to NYC or have lived in the city your entire life.
Cicerone Travel led an amazing tour of the history of immigration on the Lower East Side. Jon Goldstein is both a great student and teacher of history. Jon's welcoming energy made everyone on the tour feel comfortable asking questions, sharing thoughts, and engaging with what they were learning. From stories about Socialist Protests, to Gangsters, to Old time Movie theaters, Jon kept everyone on their toes. I would recommend Cicerone Travel to anyone who has a curiosity about the world and loves to explore!
I participated in one of Jonathan's tours of the Lower East Side of New York City. He gave an erudite, engaging and thought-provoking tour that was an absolutely terrific experience. He has a gift for teasing out the human details of history and for pointing out the really fascinating landmarks that most people would just walk past. I recommend his tours without reservation. Go! You will have a wonderful time.
I loved touring the Lower East Side and Chinatown with Jon, as part of the tour on Immigrant NYC.. His knowledge is tremendous, spanning history, geography, culture, food and any other question that came up during the tour, and his passion for the subject matter is contagious. I will definitely take every opportunity to go on other Cicerone tours in the future. Highly recommended!
I was lucky enough to join a group of 10 people for the “Immigrant NYC” walking tour. I am a lifelong New Yorker and still learned so much about the history and impact of Jewish, German, Irish, and Chinese communities on the city. Jonathan has clearly done his research. He was able to share the historical trends and broader national story of immigration as well as point out the fun and intimate details that make a place and time come alive. This was a wonderful way to spend a few hours and rekindle a sense of connection and enchantment with the city I have called home nearly all my life. Go on this tour, the museum is in the streets!
My experiences in Jaffa, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were most definitely enriched by Jon's tours. He was great about adapting the tours to my interests and background, tapping into his broad knowledge of political, social, cultural, religious and even architectural history of the area. Jon somehow always found a way to tell the human and humorous side to the history, sites and events we visited with a knack for telling a good story and finding great local restaurants and bars along the way. He is a friendly, flexible, engaging, fun and reliable guide for the area and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him to friends and family.
Before our wedding we wanted to expose our guests to both the obvious and obscure highlights of Israel, since we had a mix of people joining us; some were on their first trip to Israel, and others had been raised there. Jonathan put together an amazing day of artisanal culinary delights sampled in the beautiful Judean Hills that impressed our most discerning foodie friends and allowed everyone to learn about Israel on different levels. Thank you Cicerone Travel for an amazing experience!
Ruthie and Forrest Zlochiver
New York City, US
Jon was a fantastic guide for our group of 24 young professionals. He spent time talking with us and planning our trip before our departure and he only exceeded our expectation during our 8 day tour. Jon’s rich knowledge of Israel’s history and cultural helped create a memorable experience for all of our participants.
Rabbi Menachem Schmidt
Executive Director, Jewish Heritage Programs
Cicerone Travel reveals Israel’s culinary treasures, from home-brewed beer with a view to a secluded cheese farm run by a botanist. Our tour guide was passionate about the region’s history, architecture, landscape and food – through his wit and wisdom, you’ll get to know Israel intimately and knowledgeably.
New York, N
Last summer, my girlfriend and I had hosted family visiting Israel from abroad. With the little time we had to spend together with our family during their stay, we wanted to ensure that their first visit to Israel would include a genuine, tangible, and captivating experience. We were fortunate enough to choose Jon Goldstein of Cicerone Travel who ended up taking us through a captivating and engaging walking tour of the Old City of Jaffa. As we walked through the cobblestone paths and winding alleys of the timeless city overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, Jon brought its stories to life, answering everyone’s questions in depth and was a true pleasure. I’ve traveled the world and have experienced many tour guides. Jon is truly exceptional. Simply one of the best in the business, and has a gift for what he does.
Yoni Avital Kibbutz Ga’aton, Israel
My family spent a week with Jon in Jerusalem, the area around the Dead Sea, the Galilee – it was a wonderful and memorable trip for all of us. The four members of my family have varied interests – history, religion, literature, birds, food – yet Jon was able to address all of our questions. He took care of the details involved in travel and touring – and thus made it possible for each of us to relax and fully soak in the wonder of Israel. I have recommended Jon to a number of friends – and will continue to do so.
Nashville, TN, United States of America
Just wanted to tell how much I enjoyed the tours that I took with you, Jonathan. Snacking on olives, Turkish coffee and fresh pita with hummus on Mount Carmel with you and the Druze is something I’ll always remember! I also really liked the high-end shops that we stopped by, even though I’m not a shopper. Twenty five hundred year-old Phoenician blown glass isn’t something that I get to see daily! Best wishes and good luck always
Phoenix, Arizona USA