Q: I am a travel enthusiast and have travelled extensively around the world solo as well as in groups. I want to visit Israel in July to celebrate my friend’s birthday. I’m not sure whether I should make my own itinerary or join a group. What do you suggest? Also, can you advise me on the Israel visa process? Please suggest a reputable tour company as well.

 Marco Says:

 If you are an experienced traveller and able to roll with the punches, you should be all right visiting Israel on your own. In fact, about 40 per cent of tourists to the country are lone travellers, and English is spoken everywhere. However, I would recommend that you plan meticulously—bookings as well as days of travel. The inconveniences that most people prefer to avoid include, for instance, planning something on a Saturday and finding that trains don’t run till Shabbat ends. An organised group tour takes away these little niggles, and you might find it worth your while after all. Or have it both ways: go with a group and stay on longer.

Many of the tours from India bundle Egypt and Jordan along with Israel, but there are a few Israel-only trips as well. Mumbai-based Shalom Holy Land Tours (shalomholylandtours.com) have trips of a religious bent. More secular itineraries come from On The Go Tours (onthegotours.com/in/Israel) and Akshar Tours (akshartours. com/akshar-tour-package/israel-for-famlies/158).

For visa, apply to the Israel Visa Application Centre International Trade Tower, S-1 Level, Nehru Place, New Delhi 110019; Tel: 011-42220365; delhi@israelvisa.in. They also have centres in Mumbai and Bengaluru. The visa fees come up to `1,700 plus a logistical fee of `1,080. All the details are here: israelvisa-india.com.