Map of Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure including Israel and Jordan

Discover the rich, earthy flavours of the Middle East

Discover the rich history and richer flavours of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories on this 14-day Real Food Adventure. Here, the sweeping deserts of Wadi Rum offer themselves to roast Bedouin feasts underground, the Dead Sea grants its salt as a world-class garnish and the region’s climate has allowed olives to thrive for over 6000 years. Savour sabiach in Tel Aviv, learn the tricks of tahini from the Samaritans of Nablus, break bread with Druze folk and sample mouth-watering knafeh in Amman. In between these delicious diversions, float on the Dead Sea, see the holy sites of Jerusalem and explore rock-hewn Petra. Brimming with charismatic culture and lively dishes, this is an epicurean odyssey to remember.

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Tel Aviv, Israel
Finish
Amman, Jordan
Destinations
Israel, Jordan
Style
Original
Theme
Food
Code
EUZJC
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 Nazareth acclaimed for its silky hummus.

  • Sit down with locals for a hearty serving of mansaf – delicious lamb with fermented and dried yoghurt sauce – in Jordan's remarkable ‘Rose City' of Petra.

  • 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.

  • Uncover secret traditions and flavours with a Jordanian shepherd over breakfast. Drink fire-warmed sheep’s milk, then scoop bread into a pot of rich Galayah Bandoora.

  • Savour the smells and tastes of a freshly prepared Bedouin zarb – slow roasted vegetables and juicy spiced meats cooked to perfection in an underground barbecue.

Is this trip right for you?

  • The Middle East is a great food destination for vegetarians. With wonderful fresh produce and many delicious local dishes, you'll have a great time on this trip. For vegans we recommend reviewing the itinerary and inclusions to ensure that you will be able to fully participate and enjoy this trip. We also have many other trips to the Middle East which can accommodate a range of dietary requirements.

  • 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.

  • Major sites can become 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 some sites. Your leader will manage this as best as they can on the day.

  • During your trip you will visit numerous religious sites. You will need to bring clothes that cover the arms and legs. Your leader will advise when such clothing is necessary.

  • 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. 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.

  • Temperatures can vary across this region and throughout the year. From April to October, to avoid the midday heat, we start some days very early e.g. 6am. Be sure to review the ‘Climate and seasonal information’ section of the Essential Trip Information and consider the weather at the time of year you wish to travel.

  • The desert camp in Wadi Rum is basic, but incredibly memorable. There are tents and shared western bathroom facilities. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.

  • Ramadan is an annual month-long festival, during which travel can be a rewarding cultural experience, however some regular services may not be available during the day, such as restaurants or cafes, and occasionally travel can be disrupted by events. Your leader will adjust the itinerary accordingly, but please consider this when selecting your travel dates. You'll find dates and further information in the 'Climate and seasonal information' section of the Essential Trip Information.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2022.
View the 2023 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 6pm. 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.
Your first stop this morning is Jaffa, the Old Port of Tel Aviv. Continue to Nablus, one of the West Bank’s largest cities, most famous for the Arabic sweet knafeh. 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. Next up, put that tahini to use in a Palestinian cooking class. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this small Palestinian town. Afterwards, visit a knafeh producer for an insight into the production of this much-loved sweet and, of course, to enjoy a taste. By late afternoon, you’ll have reached Haifa. Make a stop to take in the view of the ornately landscaped Baha’i Gardens before heading to your hotel 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
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
  • Tel Aviv - Leader-led tour of Old Jaffa
  • Haifa - Bahai Gardens view & photo stop
  • Nablus - Knafeh maker visit and tasting
  • Nablus - Palestinian cooking class at Bait Al-Karama
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
This morning, drive to Akko, visit the Old Town and explore the Templar Tunnels built during the Crusades. Your next stop is a Druze village to meet a lovely host family, who will invite you in for a cooking demonstration, where you’ll share local culinary secrets and a delicious Druze lunch. 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. After lunch, travel to Nazareth where you’ll stop in at a local winery for some sniffing, swirling and sipping of Israel’s finest wines, before settling into your hotel for the evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Druze Village - Cooking demonstration and home-cooked meal
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
  • Nazareth - Wine Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, your leader will show you around Nazareth, including a visit to the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Before leaving town, visit a restaurant that has been owned by the same family for over 40 years. Those years have been well spent perfecting their hummus. Enjoy a lunch of hummus, falafel, pita, pickles and cabbage salad and see if you love it as much as the locals. Let your appetite rest this afternoon, as you visit the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site of Tel Jericho and the banks of the Jordan River where Jesus is said to have been baptised. Head to your accommodation for the night – a former refugee camp turned eco guesthouse. Meet the manager of the guesthouse to learn about their local environmental projects, protecting the Jordan River and Dead Sea. Your evening is free to spend as you wish, your leader may be able to arrange an optional home-cooked dinner with a local family.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Nazareth - Church of Annunciation & Mary's Well
  • Jericho - Tel Jericho
  • Nazareth - Old City walking tour
  • Jordan River - Baptism Site
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Tonight you’ll stay at a guesthouse, where the accommodation is part of an NGO, originally a refugee camp and now a community initiative that aims to protect the ecology of the Dead Sea and the Jordan River Valley. The accommodation might be simple, but the experience is memorable. Rooms are twin share and have basic ensuite facilities.
This morning, visit 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. Travel onwards to 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 and Church of All Nations.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Bethany - Home-cooked meal of maqluba
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Jerusalem - Garden of Gethsemane
  • Jerusalem - Church of All Nations
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. Having worked up an appetite, head to the renowned Machane Yehuda food market for lunch. Your leader will likely select a variety of dishes for the group, allowing you to sample more of the vendors wonderful specialties. Get moving again with an afternoon tour of Nachlaot, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in West Jerusalem. The area is full of winding lanes, hidden courtyards and tiny synagogues, and has a fascinating history of different residents that has created a relaxed, creative and religious neighbourhood today. With a free evening, you may like to return to Machane Yehuda or ask your leader for their best restaurant recommendations.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Machane Yehuda Market and Nachlaot
Optional Activities
  • Jerusalem - Machane Yehuda Bite Card - ILS120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
After breakfast, head north to Ramallah, the capital city of the State of Palestine. Learn more about the city and Palestinian food from a local chef, tasting as you go. You might try the city’s best falafel or kebabs, but be sure not to miss manakish – flatbread topped with fragrant za’atar and melted cheese. Travel a little further north to the town of Taybeh, home to the Taybeh Brewing Company. Established in 1994, this family-run brewery hasn’t just been crafting refreshing lagers and ales, they’ve been developing and evolving to become a sustainability champion in the region. Enjoy a tasting while hearing more of their fascinating story. Return to Jerusalem for a free evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ramallah - Food tour with a local chef
  • Taybeh - Brewery tour and tasting
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 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, dining on grilled chicken, kebabs and vegetables. 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
This morning bid farewell to Jerusalem and make the journey to the Allenby Bridge Crossing for your onwards journey to Jordan. Your leader will explain the process, and you will be met on the Jordanian side of the border crossing by an Intrepid representative who will transfer you to the hotel in Amman. Enjoy free time before a meeting at 6pm to welcome you on the next stage of your adventure. After your meeting, get your first taste of Jordanian cuisine at the Hashem Restaurant – a favourite of royals, diplomats and celebrities travelling through Amman. Your plant-based dinner will consist of their famous Jordanian stuffed falafel, which is fresh and crunchy on the outside while fluffy on the inside. There’s also the chance to dip bread through smooth creamy hummus and moutabel – a smoky eggplant dip served with Arabic salad.
Included Activities
  • Amman - Welcome Dinner
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
The transfer from Jerusalem to Amman is a shared service.

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers and your Jordanian tour leader.
Keep an eye out this morning for people stuffing their faces with hot sesame bread sandwiches – most of these will be pouring out of the Salaheddin bakery, today’s breakfast joint and a favourite among locals. Walk in, choose a hot, fresh loaf and fill it with baked eggs, cheese, spices or anything else you want from the counter. After filling up on arguably the best bread in town, board a bus and head to Madaba, famous for its Ottoman-style houses and beautiful Byzantine-era mosaics, including the acclaimed sixth-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. After seeing the mosaics, head to the Dead Sea (approximately 45 minutes). This body of water is famously salty – 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. As a result, it’s believed to have healing properties that can be tested first hand during an optional swim. After drying off, prepare for a traditional picnic lunch, mezze style. Mezze consists of setting up a series of small appetisers with a group of friends, then scooping them up with bread. Kibbeh (fried meat with wheat), manakish (flatbread with za’tar and olive oil), spinach bread and cheeses are all served, followed by a cup of shaneeneh (an aged goat milk yoghurt drink) and a serving of hareeseh (a sweet, syrupy pudding) for desert. Continue to Petra for dinner (approximately 3 hours). Learn from a local family how to prepare mansaf, delicious lamb with fermented, dried yoghurt sauce. After a hearty meal and a few shared stories from the family, arrive at your hotel near the ancient ruins of Petra.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Madaba - St Georges Church
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Petra - Home-cooked meal
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today you’ll have the chance to explore ancient Petra, known as one of the new ‘seven wonders of the world’. This archaeological city sits within 80-metre-high cliff walls – the iconic treasury, carved into the face of one of these cliffs, is the highlight of this visit. The site is expansive and to explore it all requires quite a bit of walking, and a basic level of fitness will enhance your experience. With a free afternoon to proceed at your own pace, there’s ample time to see the museum, the Roman amphitheatre, the palace and other places – just head to the visitor centre for a map and a few suggestions as to where to go. Once the day is done, head back to your hotel for a free evening.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra
Optional Activities
  • Petra - Petra By Night - JOD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise early this morning as today’s breakfast will be shared with a local shepherd as you bask in awe of the beautiful dry countryside. By this stage of the adventure, it should be apparent that a Jordanian breakfast is varied but sticks to a few staples; breads and garnishes being two of the favourites. A typical breakfast can consist of hummus, falafel, salad, pickles and khubz (a pita style bread), although dipping flatbread into olive oil then za’atar is also common. A mezze style breakfast under this towering scenery will be the perfect setting to chat with the shepherd and learn about the life and culture of a local. Afterwards, head on to Wadi Rum (approximately a 3 hour drive), a place often referred to as The Valley of the Moon. Enjoy a true Lawrence of Arabia moment while exploring the sparse red sand dunes, steep craggy mountains and the legendary Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation on a 4-hour jeep ride through the region. Later, head back to a Wadi Rum campsite for a traditional Bedouin barbecue, known as zarb. Zarb is one of the staples of Bedouin culture, capturing a long running tradition of cooking food underground in earth ovens. Bedouin locals will prepare dinner by digging a large hole in the ground and stoking a coal fire underneath it. Then, meat is prepared with water, lemon juice, pepper and salt before adding a variety of vegetables. A multi-layered barbecue rack is used to cook everything with the meat at the top and the veggies at the bottom. Once it’s cooked, enjoy this hearty meal before enjoying an evening under the stars.
Included Activities
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari
  • Wadi Rum - Zarb dinner
  • Petra - Breakfast with a shepherd
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Tonight you’ll stay in a permanent tented camp with shared bathroom facilities. Please be aware that while the desert may be very hot during the day, it will still be cool at night and warm clothes and a sleeping bag are highly recommended when travelling outside of the summer months.
This morning starts off with a delicious Bedouin breakfast – not to be confused with bed and breakfast! This typically consists of labneh (strained yoghurt, usually served with olive oil), zait (olives), za’atar, jebneh (cheese pastry) and tomatoes. You may get the chance to wash it all down with a cup of Bedouin whiskey; it’s non-alcoholic and consists of tea with sugar and sage, so don’t worry about getting tipsy before lunch. Prepare for a 3.5-hour drive back to Amman through stunning desert scenery and stop for a delicious falafel sandwich along the way. The final meal of this Real Food Adventure awaits in the city with a self-prepared dinner at the Beit Sitti cooking school, known as one of the most innovative developments in Jordan’s dining scene. Visitors to the school get to cook (and eat) an authentic meal under supervision, with tonight’s dish being maqluba. Literally translating to ‘upside down’, maqluba is a casserole with rice, vegetables and chicken which is cooked, flipped, then served with either yoghurt or an Arab salad with tahina sauce. Dessert this evening is a slice of warm knafeh – delicious buttery cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar syrup. Savour this last meal with newfound friends before the trip comes to an end tomorrow morning.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Amman - Beit Sitti maqluba cooking class and meal
  • Amman - Knafeh tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
There are no activities included and you’re free to depart your accommodation at any time today. If you would like to spend some more time in Amman, we’re happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). Ask your leader for more tasty local recommendations if you plan to spend more time in Jordan.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

13 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 5 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, 4WD Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (12 nights), 1 Night (Desert Camp)

Included activities

  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner
  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit
  • Tel Aviv - Leader-led tour of Old Jaffa
  • Haifa - Bahai Gardens view & photo stop
  • Nablus - Knafeh maker visit and tasting
  • Nablus - Palestinian cooking class at Bait Al-Karama
  • Druze Village - Cooking demonstration and home-cooked meal
  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels
  • Nazareth - Wine Tasting
  • Nazareth - Church of Annunciation & Mary's Well
  • Jericho - Tel Jericho
  • Nazareth - Old City walking tour
  • Jordan River - Baptism Site
  • Bethany - Home-cooked meal of maqluba
  • Dead Sea - Visit and float
  • Jerusalem - Mount of Olives
  • Jerusalem - Garden of Gethsemane
  • Jerusalem - Church of All Nations
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Old City
  • Jerusalem - Guided tour of Machane Yehuda Market and Nachlaot
  • Ramallah - Food tour with a local chef
  • Taybeh - Brewery tour and tasting
  • Battir - Guided Village Walk
  • Bethlehem - Church of the Nativity & Shepherds' Field
  • Bethlehem - Leader-led walking tour
  • Amman - Welcome Dinner
  • Madaba - St Georges Church
  • Petra - Home-cooked meal
  • Petra - Guided tour of Petra
  • Wadi Rum - 4WD jeep safari
  • Wadi Rum - Zarb dinner
  • Petra - Breakfast with a shepherd
  • Amman - Beit Sitti maqluba cooking class and meal
  • Amman - Knafeh tasting

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Jordan, 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

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement excludes Day 12 (Desert Camp) where you will be in shared accommodation 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.
3. Petra By Night is offered as an optional activity. This activity is currently scheduled to operate on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Please check your departure date if you are planning this activity as it is not available on all departures.

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.

View Essential Trip Information

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