In August, 2012, my family, (which includes my husband, 15 year old daughter, 12 ½ year old daughter and myself) were blessed to celebrate our daughter’s Bat Mitzvah in Israel. And had Yuval as our private tour guide.
As we got closer to our departure date, we all got a bit nervous and concerned, ‘what if we don’t like our tour guide’, ‘will he like us’, ‘will he take us to places not every tourist gets to see’. Within no time, all these concerns were erased from our minds and we knew the next 8 days of our 2-week trip were going to be an experience of a lifetime! From the very first morning we met Yuval in our hotel lobby until the last day he spent with us, he brought his deep love for Israel, passion as a tour guide, enthusiasm, incredible knowledge and humour to our trip. Yuval conducted himself in a very professional manner. During the many long van rides, he was very engaging with us in conversation and loved to share so many stories about the country, while at the same time he took the time to listen and get to know us. This allowed Yuval to cater our trip to accommodate our interests. Yuval had a wonderful rapport with our girls and took the time to converse with them and get to know them as well. This was very special and greatly appreciated to see how he cared for each of us equally.Yuval definitely enhanced our trip and left us not only with a greater love for the country, but a friendship. We would highly recommend Yuval as a tour guide and, without hesitation, call upon his services next time we visit Israel.
One guide stood out head and shoulders above the rest, Yuval de Joannes was knowledgeable (most guides fit this category as there is rigorous education, testing and certification for guides), energetic (keeping up with us was no easy feat), protective (he steered us clear of pushy merchants or uncomfortable situations), insightful (he listened better than he spoke…and tailored the tours and explanations to include specific personal references to us). Yuval’s greatest trait was his objectivity, we never knew his personal political opinions he gave us a well-rounded view of the socio and geo-political situations in Israel. Yuval was a wonderful ambassador for all things Israel. He went above and beyond in terms of expanding our itinerary and showing us as much as possible in a given day…we experienced way more than just what was on our itinerary