From Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, eat the local way

Not only is Israel and the Palestinian Territories steeped in religious history and longstanding cultures, it has a food and wine scene to rival any other. Embark on an epicurean odyssey, spending nine days exploring the sights and sounds of this country, with a focus on memorable and local culinary experiences. Feast on sabiach in Tel Aviv, savour the many snackable items at Machane Yehuda market in Jerusalem, sample some of the finest wines in Zichron Yaakov, learn age-old food secrets at a traditional Druze village, and understand what it’s like to live as a Palestinian woman at a local village cooking demonstration. Indulging on daily sights and feasting on the history and culture surrounding you, both your hunger for the best food and your mind for the most authentic experiences will be filled.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • Feast on classic dishes in Israel’s legendary local eateries, from a hearty shakshuka and fresh sabiach to an institution in Jerusalem’s Old Town acclaimed for its silky hummus.

  • In between snacks, don’t miss any of the sights and sounds of this diverse country. Take a dip in the famously salty Dead Sea, discover the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, and explore the Negev Desert.

  • Pay a visit to Zichron Yaakov and stop in at one of Israel's finest wineries. Enjoy a wine tasting and perhaps make some purchases to complement a picnic brunch in the nearby Rothschild Gardens.

  • Learn some age-old kitchen secrets while cooking up a storm with Druze villagers, and discover the country’s ‘Slow Food’ network at an insightful cooking class with Palestinian women.

  • Embark on a full-day guided tour of Jerusalem, visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, passing pilgrims at the Western Wall and ending at the Machane Yehuda market for you to choose your own food adventure.

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, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. In many countries, dietary restrictions are not common or well understood. If you have dietary requirements, please advise your agent at time of booking to receive information on how this may impact on your ability to take part in included activities and meals. Come with an open mind and open mouth, and you won’t be disappointed.

  • 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.

  • During your trip you will visit numerous religious sites. You will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and legs. A light scarf is a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot. Your leader will be able to advise when such clothing is necessary.

  • 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. 6 am. 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.

  • At major sites you can expect to be exposed to the elements at length, so be prepared with a hat, sunscreen and plenty of fluids. Sites can get congested during peak travel periods with buses of large pilgrim groups. While we do our best to plan our visits around these times, it’s not always possible. There may be delays, queues and private services that prevent us from entering the site. Your trip leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

  • Israel and the Palestinian Territories is by no means a cheap destination, so it’s important to budget accordingly. The good news is that your expert local leader is on hand to help you uncover the best local deals.

  • 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.

  • You may also want to consider our trip Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure if you have more time to explore this region.

Itinerary

Welcome to Israel and the Palestinian Territories – a region steeped in spirituality, and a rich tapestry of the many cultures, religions and nationalities that call it home, be that Palestinian Muslims and Christians, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenian Christians, Ethiopian Copts or Greek Orthodox monks. Your Real Food Adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. After this briefing, take a short walk to the market area and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner, sampling sabiach – a delicious vegetable and pita dish boasting fresh Mediterranean flavours with Middle Eastern roots.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
Pay a brief visit to Jaffa, then continue to Mount Jerazim and meet the local Samaritans - a Jewish minority group living in Nablus - who are the only group to hold Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian passports. After learning about their culture, visit a tahini factory to see how the sesame seeds are crushed and turned into the finished product. You will have the opportunity to purchase goods on site before heading to enjoy a wine tasting at one of Israel's finest wineries. By late afternoon, you’ll have reached Haifa, and if you’re up for it, catch a glimpse of the Bahai Gardens, containing ornate works of landscaped art. Retire to your hotel afterwards for a well-earned rest. Dinner is free this evening and your leader can make the best local restaurant recommendations.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Zikhron Ya'akov - Winery visit
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
You will arrive in Haifa by mid-late afternoon; however, please note that the Bahai Gardens close by 5pm. If the group arrives in Haifa too late to enter today, your leader will endeavour to arrange a visit tomorrow morning.
This morning, drive to Akko, visit the Old Town and explore the Templar Tunnels built during the Crusades. Then take a 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, and growing 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, and be invited in for a cooking demonstration, where you’ll share local culinary secrets and a delicious Druze lunch. Afterwards, travel to Nazareth and settle into your hotel for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Golan Heights - Druze Cooking Demonstration and Home-cooked Meal
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, visit the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well – two of the most significant sights in Nazareth. Then head to Tiberias for a stroll along the famous Sea of Galilee - Israel's largest freshwater lake. Continue on to Nablus – one of the West Bank's largest cities – most famous for the Arabic sweet knafeh. You'll visit the local chapter of the 'Slow Food' network for a cooking class, focusing on some classics of Palestinian cuisine. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this Palestinian town. After lunch, visit a knafeh maker for insight into local sweet making, and of course to taste! Drive to Jericho for your night's stay. This relaxed West Bank town is considered by some to be the longest inhabited city in the world.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Nablus - Palestinian cooking class at Bait Al-Karama
  • Nablus - Knafeh maker visit and tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning, visit Tel Jericho, also known as ancient Jericho, then continue to the Dead Sea – the lowest-altitude place on earth! You will have the chance to experience what it's like to float in the world's saltiest body of water. On the way, make a stop in Bethany, known biblically as the site of the resurrection of Lazarus, to visit a local family for a home-cooked meal. Today you’ll feast on maqluba – an 'upside-down' style dish consisting of chicken and vegetables. Afterwards, drive to Jerusalem via the famous Mount of Olives – an important pilgrimage site and home of the Garden of Gethsemane.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bethany - Home-cooked meal of maqluba
  • Jericho - Tel Jericho
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Enjoy a full day tour of Jerusalem, starting with a walking tour of Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross) in the Old City. Stop at one of the city's favourite eateries and watch a master prepare mutabbaq – a stuffed pancake of Yemeni origin. Your leader can assist you to purchase one to try, if you wish. 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 pilgrims at the Western Wall. For lunch today, sample the local hummus and falafel at one of the most famous places in the Old City. Afterwards, continue to Nachlaotf or a tour of one of the oldest neighbourhoods in West Jerusalem, finishing at the renowned Machane Yehuda food market. The best way to tackle these wondrous food stalls is with a Machane Yehuda Bites Card – where you’ll be able to sample a broad selection of foods while you wander. Alternatively, this area is ideal to just pull up a chair and grab an early dinner at one of the nearby restaurants, perhaps order shakshuka – a North African dish served in a pan, consisting of eggs poached in a sautéed tomato, chilli and vegetable sauce.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Nachlaot
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
The Machane Yehuda Bites Card is ILS105 and available for purchase at the market or online.
After breakfast, head south into the Negev Desert to meet some food producers. Your first stop is a goat cheese farm. Next, be welcomed into the home of a Jewish resident of the Negev. Here we will gain insight into the life and food traditions of an Israeli in the desert. Lunch will be a feast of vegetarian dishes and a sampling of the local goat's cheese. 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 on that farm. Arrive back in Jerusalem by evening for a well-deserved rest.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Negev Desert - Goat cheese farm visit
  • Negev Desert - Home-cooked lunch in a local home
  • Negev Desert - Tomb of David Ben Gurion
  • Negev Desert - Winery and farm visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Take a short drive to World Heritage-listed Battir, 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. Continue on to the holy city of Bethlehem, and along the way, pass through a gap in the controversial separation wall that separates Israel from the West Bank. Take a leader-led walking tour of this acclaimed city, passing Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. For lunch, enjoy traditional barbecue where you’ll try your hand at mincing your own meat the authentic way – with two huge cleavers! Head back to Jerusalem, where you might like to share one last delicious meal or drink with your newfound friends.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Leader-led walking tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
With no activities planned today, you are free to leave at any time. However, that doesn’t mean that your food adventures have to come to an end! If you would like to consider continuing your journey with a culinary escapade through Jordan, search for our trips Jordan Real Food Adventure (EEZF) and Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure (EUZJC) on our website.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Due to strict security measures in Israel’s airports, we recommend that you allow a minimum of 3 hours to pass through airport security before your flight departure.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Private vehicle, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights)

Included activities

  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Zikhron Ya'akov - Winery visit
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
  • Golan Heights - Druze Cooking Demonstration and Home-cooked Meal
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Nablus - Palestinian cooking class at Bait Al-Karama
  • Nablus - Knafeh maker visit and tasting
  • Bethany - Home-cooked meal of maqluba
  • Jericho - Tel Jericho
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Nachlaot
  • Negev Desert - Goat cheese farm visit
  • Negev Desert - Home-cooked lunch in a local home
  • Negev Desert - Tomb of David Ben Gurion
  • Negev Desert - Winery and farm visit
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Leader-led walking tour

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 
2. While we endeavour to cater for specific dietary requirements, some meals and food activities are set in advance and may be difficult to adjust. Please advise us of any dietary requirements at the time of booking so that we can ensure you’ll enjoy this trip.

Essential trip information

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