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 tasting regional favourites at the Machane Yehuda 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 at time of booking), 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. 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.

  • 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 and 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 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 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 taxi ride to the Jaffa 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 through 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. Continue up to Akko to visit the Old Town and explore the Templar Tunnels built during the Crusades. 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
  • Zichron Ya'acov - Winery visit
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
You will arrive in Haifa by mid-late afternoon; however, please note that the Bahai Gardens close by 5 pm. If the group arrives in Haifa too late to enter today, your leader will endeavour to arrange a visit tomorrow morning.
This morning, 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, head to Tiberius for a stroll along the famous Sea of Galilee – Israel's largest freshwater lake. 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
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, visit the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well – two of the most significant sights in Nazareth. Continue on 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, who are the only group to hold Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian passports, to learn about their culture. Visit a tahini factory to see how the sesame seeds are crushed and turned into the finished product! Also, you’ll visit the local chapter of Israel’s 'Slow Food' network for a cooking class. Join a local chef and head to the kasbah to collect ingredients for a class, focusing on some classics of Palestinian cooking. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this small, 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Bait Al-Karama - cooking class
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning, visit the old Tel in Jericho, also known as the 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. This relaxed West Bank town is considered by some to be the longest inhabited city in the world. 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
  • Jericho - Maqlubeh Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
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. 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 Nachlaut for 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 with some 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
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The Machane Yehuda Bites Card is NIS 105 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. 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. Arrive back in Jerusalem by evening 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 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. Once arrived and settled in, take a leader-led walking tour of this acclaimed city, passing Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. This evening, join your group at an included barbecue dinner in town, where you’ll try your hand at mincing your own meat the authentic way – with two huge cleavers! Take your food coma back to Jerusalem and settle in for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
With no activities planned for this morning after breakfast, 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, learn about Jordan Real Food Adventure by searching trip code ‘EEZF’ on the Intrepid website.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Both Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure and Jordan Real Food Adventure run together as a combination trip. Discover a true taste of the Middle East by searching trip code ‘EUZJC’ on the Intrepid website for more 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 if you have an onward connection today.

Meals

8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 2 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Taxi

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
  • Golan Heights - Druze Cooking Demonstration and Home-cooked Meal
  • Nazareth - Visit to Church of Annuniciation & Mary's Well
  • Bait Al-Karama - cooking class
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
  • Jericho - Maqlubeh Dinner
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Negev Desert - Desert Producers Tour
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field

Dates & availability

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Important notes

1. A Single Supplement is available on this trip, please ask your booking agent for more information.

2. 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

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