Discover Israel’s culinary traditions from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

Discover the classic dishes and delectable delights of Israel and the Palestinian Territories on this Real Food Adventure. Savour shakshuka in Tel Aviv, learn the tricks of tahini from the Samaritans of Nablus, break bread with Druze folk in Buq’ata and sample mouth-watering knafeh. In between these delicious diversions, float on the Dead Sea, drink wine in the Negev desert and see the holy sights of Jerusalem. Brimming with charismatic cuisine and rich history, this is an epicurean odyssey to remember.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tel Aviv, Israel
Finish
Jerusalem, Israel
Country
Israel
Style
Original
Theme
Food
Code
EUZF
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Feast on classic dishes in Israel’s legendary local eateries, from shakshouka to a beloved hummus institution in the Old City of Jerusalem

  • Take a dip in the famously salty Dead Sea

  • Trip through the legendary Zichron Yachov wine region and stop for a picnic in the vineyards

  • Learn some age-old kitchen secrets cooking up a storm with Druze villagers in Golan Heights and Palestinian slow-food experts in Nablus

  • Savour Jewish dishes in a local home in the Negev Desert

  • Enjoy a full-day tour of Jerusalem, visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the excellent Machane Yehuda food market

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip aims to give you an exciting, diverse and well-rounded experience of a country’s cuisine. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements (let us know in advance), some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust.

  • The West Bank is full of welcoming people, markets and food. It's also one of separation and hardship, however, so crossing through the area can be confronting. This is a politically sensitive region, and we do our best to provide a balanced overview. We ask that travellers keep an open mind when they visit.

  • As the days get warmer, temperatures can start to soar. From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, we start some days very early (e.g. at 5am). Though we try to make things as comfortable for you as possible, please be prepared for these conditions. It’s not all hot desert days in Israel, as the winter months (December through to February) can be quite cold. Temperatures in northern parts of the country can drop to freezing overnight. Snowfall around these areas is also common. Be sure to pack clothes that will prepare you for varying temperatures especially during these months.

  • Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with coaches of large pilgrim groups. We do our best to plan our visits around these times but sometimes it is unavoidable. There may be delays, queue's and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

  • Some of the sites we visit involve walking on rocky and/or steep hillsides, where there is often little or no shade. Comfortable walking shoes and a hat will make it easier to explore the sights.

  • Known as 'baksheesh' in the Middle East, tipping is an entrenched feature of the tourism industry. If you are satisfied with the services provided a tip - though not compulsory - is appropriate and always appreciated. While it may not be customary to you, it is of great significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. Don’t be taken back if this tipping culture is even more apparent here.

  • Israel & The Palestinian Territories is by no means a cheap destination and you should budget accordingly. The good news is that your expert local leader is on hand to help you uncover the best deals!

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Welcome to Israel and the Palestinian Territories, a region steeped in spirituality and legend; a rich tapestry of the many cultures, religions and nationalities that call it home, be they Palestinian Muslims & Christians, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenian Christians, Ethiopian Copts or Greek Orthodox monks. Your food adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it’ll take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, maybe arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please have these on hand. After this meeting, take a short taxi ride to the Jaffa area and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner at a local institution famous for the North African dish, shakshouka - a delicious concoction of eggs poached in tomatoes and chilli with Mediterranean vegetables. The group can decide to either take a taxi back to the hotel or walk.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Pay a visit to Jaffa, then continue through Zichron Yaakov and stop in at one of Israel's finest wineries. Enjoy a wine tasting and perhaps make some purchases to accompany a picnic brunch in the nearby Rothschild Gardens. Continue up to Akko to visit the Old Town and explore the Templar Tunnels built during the Crusades. Reach Haifa by late afternoon and view the Bahai Gardens, containing ornate works of landscaped art. Retire to your hotel afterwards for a well-earned rest. For dinner, perhaps take up the option of a home-cooked meal.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Zichron Ya'acov - Winery visit
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
Optional Activities
  • Haifa - Home-cooked Experience - USD60
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive up to Golan Heights to visit a Druze village called Buq’ata. Historically, the Druze have been an agricultural people, tending olive groves and fruit orchards (mostly apples and cherries). Many families also grow their own vegetables, bake their own bread and live on a largely vegetarian diet. Here you will be greeted by a lovely host family. Be invited in for a cooking demonstration and a delicious Druze lunch. Afterwards, head to Tiberius and take a stroll along the famous Sea of Galilee, Israel's largest freshwater lake. Finish in Nazareth with a stop past the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Settle in to your Nazareth hotel for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Golan Heights - Druze Cooking Demonstration and Home-cooked Meal
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to Nablus, one of the West Bank’s largest cities, most famous for the Arabic sweet knafeh. Start at Mount Jerazim and meet some local Samaritans – a Jewish minority group living in Nablus (the only group to hold Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian passports) to learn about their culture. Visit the tahini factory below the Samaritan Museum and see how the sesame seeds are crushed and made into the finished product. Next, visit the local chapter of the 'Slow Food' network for a cooking class. Accompany the chef to the kasbah to collect your ingredients, then learn to prepare some classic Palestinian dishes. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this small Palestinian town. After lunch, visit a knafeh producer for an insight into the production of this much-loved sweet and, of course, to enjoy a taste. Continue to Jericho for the night. This slow-paced West Bank town is considered by some to be the longest inhabited city in the world.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
  • Bait Al-Karama - cooking class
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Stop by the Dead Sea, the lowest-altitude place on earth, where you will experience what it's like to float in the world's saltiest body of water. Afterwards, drive back to Jerusalem via the famous Mount of Olives, an important pilgrimage site and home of the Garden of Gethsemane. For dinner, why not hunt down a delicious plate of musakhan, a much-loved Jerusalem dish.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jericho - Mount of Temptations visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Feast on a delicious breakfast of kaek and falafel. Enjoy a full-day tour of Jerusalem, starting with a walking tour of the Way of The Cross (Via Dolorosa) in the Old City. Stop at one of the city's favourite eateries and watch a master prepare mutabbaq (stuffed pancake of Yemeni origin). Continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to visit the Golgotha (where Jesus was crucified) and then down to the Tomb where he was buried. Walk through the spice market to the Jewish Quarter and witness the Wailing Wall. Finish at Machane Yehuda and lose yourself in the amazing food market. If you buy a Machane Yehuda Bites card here you'll be able to sample a broad selection of market flavours. Alternatively, grab some lunch in one of the neighbouring restaurants. Say goodbye to your leader at the market, and enjoy free time for the rest of the day. Return to the hotel on your own on by foot or taxi.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, head south into the Negev Desert to meet some food producers. Our first stop is at a goat cheese farm. Next, be welcomes into the home of a Jewish resident of the Negev. Here we will learn about Jewish food traditions and methods of cooking, as well as getting an insight into the life of an Israeli in the desert. Lunch will be a feast of vegetarian dishes. After lunch, drive up to visit the Tomb of David Ben Gurion – the first prime minister of Israel and one of its founders. Before the drive back to Jerusalem, visit an ancient winery that dates back to the Nabatean era. In recent years, an Israeli couple replanted the winery along with other fruit trees, producing an interesting selection of wines and jams that are only sold in that farm. Continue up to Jerusalem for a well deserved rest.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Negev Desert - Desert Producers Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy breakfast in one of the Old City’s most beloved hummus restaurants. Take a short drive to Battir (recently listed by UNESCO) where villagers continue to practice ancient agricultural methods. The village is surrounded by an impressive Roman-era system of stone-walled terraces and a unique irrigation system fed by seven springs. Next, head to the holy city of Bethlehem. The route passes through a gap in the controversial security wall that separates Israel from the West Bank. Take a walking tour of this famous city. Opposite Manger Square is the Church of the Nativity, the world's oldest continually operating church, which also marks the birthplace of Jesus. Enjoy a final meal at a local restaurant well-known for its fabulous barbeque. Have a go at mincing your own meat. You'll have two huge cleavers to get the job done the authentic way! Return to Jerusalem for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Your real food adventure comes to a close this morning after breakfast, yet the Levant still has so many flavours to offer – why not continue your journey on a Real Food Adventure to Jordan? Just search with the trip code EEZF or book both as one longer trip under EUZJC.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Zichron Ya'acov - Winery visit
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Golan Heights - Druze Cooking Demonstration and Home-cooked Meal
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
  • Bait Al-Karama - cooking class
  • Jericho - Mount of Temptations visit
  • Negev Desert - Desert Producers Tour
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Israel before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - www.intrepidtravel.com/au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Reviews

Our Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure trips score an average of 3.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Real Food Adventure - Israel & the Palestinian Territories, May 2017

Michelle Knox