Culinary Tour (11 days)

jerusalem, israel
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Israel – 11 days/ 10 nights Culinary Tour sample Itinerary

Highlights: Tel Aviv, The Negev, Ramon Crater, Ein Avdat, Spice Route, Jerusalem, Jordan Valley

Day 1
Arrival in Israel

tel-aviv-7Upon arrival in Israel, and after clearing customs, you will be welcomed by your driver and transferred to your hotel in Tel Aviv.

Rest of the day is at leisure in Tel Aviv to relax, enjoy and get ready for your Israel experience.

Overnight in Tel Aviv. Dinner on your own.

Day 2
The Negev, Ramon Crater

mitzpe_ramon-negev-4Today you will follow Ben Gurion’s vision of settling the Negev Desert. You will drive south toward Beer Sheva, the Capital of the Negev Region and a historical city dating to the days of Abraham. You will visit Kibbutz Devir where you will have an opportunity to learn about the kibbutz movement, meet kibbutz members, view different agriculture growing and enjoy an authentic kibbutz lunch with members.

Continue along the “Negev Wine Route.” The Negev region today, even though a desert, is one of Israel’s premier wine producers. Visit a a family owned winery and learn about the very unique biblical wine press and wine making process in the desert.

On your way to Mitzpe Ramon you will stop at Kibbutz Sde Boker where you will visit the gravesite of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, overlooking the Tzin Valley. Arrive at Mitzpe Ramon, a town located on the edge of the Ramon crater.

Check into your hotel. Enjoy dinner at the hotel.

Overnight at Mitzpe Ramon

Day 3
Ramon Crater, Ein Avdat, Spice Route, Jerusalem

ein_avdat-3Start your day with a visit to the Ramon Crater. After a visit to the newly created Crater’s Visitor Center, board a jeep for a jeep ride into the crater, the only way to see the different crater formations and sand colors.

Continue to Ein Avdat, a canyon oasis in the Negev Desert. Archaeological evidence shows that Ein Avdat was inhabited by Neanderthals and the Nabateans. Hike to the numerous springs and waterfalls.

Enjoy special Bedouin hospitality. This traditional hospitality dates to ancient times. Learn about this Middle Eastern gypsy like community, enjoy Bedouin tea, coffee and fresh baked pita with labane cheese made from local goats.

Continue to the city of Yeruham where you will have an opportunity to learn about the settlements of the desert during the 1950s. In Yeruham, you will have a unique opportunity to experience first hand ‘The Culinary Queens of Yeruham” whereby Yeruham cooks will host you in their homes of tasting and meeting local immigrants from Morocco, Kutchin (India) and Ethiopia.

After lunch make your way to Jerusalem. On your way you will have an opportunity to view the Dimona Nuclear Center.

Enjoy dinner on your own.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Day 4
Jerusalem- The Flavors of the Old City

Tjerusalem-old-city-10oday you will visit the four “culinary quarters” of the Old City. While visiting each quarter you will have the opportunity to learn and taste special typical food.

Start your day by entering the Old City via a short walk on the Old City Walls to the Western Wall. Visit the Davidson Center and its archaeological garden, south of the Temple Mount, with its new multi-media presentation revealing Jerusalem in the days of Temple time. Continue to the Armenia quarter, where you will meet with the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. This will be a once in a life time opportunity to get an insight of the Arminian culture and community.

Continue to the Christian Quarter for a visit at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where you will learn about the many Christian sects that are part of the Christian Quarter mosaic.

After lunch (on your own) you will visit a tahini making facility, where you will see first had how tahini is being made. from there continue a local old city bakery where you will learn first hand how to make some of the most amazing Middle Eastern desserts: baklava and kunafe. You will meet with local vendors and taste many of the deserts available. Enjoy free time for shopping in the “Shuk,” the Arab market.

Dinner tonight will be at the home of a local arabic Palastinian family, where the members of the family will be preparing for you an authentic meal. You will also have the opportunity to engage in conversation about the day to day life of the Palastinians, politics, cuslture and more.Group dinner at biblical restaurant where you will a chance to experience authentic biblical dishes.

Overnight in Jerusalem
Day 5
Gush Etzion Region, Herodium, Western Wall Shabbat Service

jerusalem-old-city-12Today you will start your day with a visit to Gush Etzion, a cluster of Israeli settlements located in the Judean Mountains directly south of Jerusalem. In Gush Etzion you will visit Kafar Etzion and see a very moving audio visual show about the fall of the Jewish settlements in 1948 and the battle to free the area. Visit one of the active ancient aqueduct systems built to provide water to Jerusalem and the area.

Lunch experience will be at a local Winery where you will be able to taste the special Jerusalem Hills wines, local cheese and salads.

Continue on to visit Herodium, the highest peak in the Judean desert where King Herod built a magnificent palace where he is believed to be buried. You will visit the ancient synagogue, bathhouse and the Tomb of Herod.

Return to your hotel, refresh and continue to the the Kotel (the Wailing Wall) for Kabbalat Shabbat (receiving the Shabbat).

Group dinner at the hotel.

Overnight in Jerusalem
Day 6
Jerusalem- Free Day

jerusalem-old-city-9Free day in Jerusalem.

Optional activities (more activities will be offered by your guide):

– Morning service at one of the many Jerusalem synagogues
– Visit to the newly renovated Israeli Museum and Shrine of the Book.
– Yemin Moshe and the Valley of Hinnom.
– Enjoy more time at the Arab market.

Overnight in Jerusalem

Optional – Dinner in an Israeli home

Day 7
Jerusalem- Cooking Class and visit to the New City

jerusalem-old-city-13Today, you will have the opportunity to learn how native Jerusalem people shop for fresh produce and cook authentic dishes.

After absorbing the sights, smells, sounds of the lively and colorful Mahne Yehuda market with Chef Tali Friedman, a native Jerusalemite, take part in an interactive cooking workshop* and lunch.

Free afternoon and evening for time at leisure in Jerusalem

Optional – group visit to Yad Vashem, Holocaust Memorial and Museum or Ammunition Hill (Givat Hatahmoshet), the site of one of the fiercest battles of the 1967 War.

Optional/Evening: Light and Sound Show at the City of David

Overnight in Jerusalem
Day 8
The Jordan Valley

beit_shean9Today you will start your trip down the Jordan Valley on your way to the Sea of Galilee.

Visit Ez Eiz farm, a unique goat dairy farm where you will see first hand how gourmet goat cheese is being made and be able to participate in cheese product making and enjoy special light lunch.

Then continue to Beit She’an, an extraordinary excavation of an ancient Roman city. At Beit She’an, relive the glory days of the Roman Empire at this site which contains some of Israel’s most spectacular archaeological finds – the remains of a large amphitheater, a Byzantine era colonnaded street, ritual baths, a pottery workshop, a basilica, a Roman temple and more.

Continue to Moshav Sde Eliyahu for a visit to its organic farm, the largest in Israel, where you will learn about the unique aspects of organic produce growth in Israel, visit the fish growing pools and fresh dates farms and processing.

Time permitting visit Nahaharayim, the site of an old hydro electric water station on the Jordan River right on the Jordanian border and learn about the history of the Jordan Valley.

After checking into your Inn you will enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 9
Western Galilee, The Mediterranean Coast

haifa-7Today you will visit the Western Galilee and the Mediterranean Coast. Start with a visit to Moshav Shadmot where you will have the opportunity to learn about, and participate in, the process of making honey. There are more than 400 types of honey which have been used since biblical times as food, medicine and wax.

After a view from the top of Mt. Tabor drive across the Galilee to the Carmel Mountain for a majestic view of the Haifa Bay. Continue to Kefar Kama a Circassians Village where you will learn about this very unique and interesting sect and have the opportunity to enjoy a local cooked meal while listening to ancient tales.

On your way to Tel Aviv, visit Atlit detainee camp where immigrants to Israel were held during the early days of Israel’s independence and where you will learn more about the story of Exodus.

Time permitting, visit Caesarea along the coast of the Mediterranean. End your day in Tel Aviv.

Free evening in Tel Aviv. Dinner on your own.

Overnight in Tel Aviv
Day 10
Tel Aviv

tel-aviv-4Tel Aviv, also known as the ‘White City” with over 4,000 Bauhaus style buildings. Start your day with a panoramic tour of the city visiting some of the most interesting architecture and buildings of the city.

After a visit to Neve Tzedek, the first Jewish neighborhood of Tel Aviv, continue to Old Jaffa where you will have the opportunity to visit with local fisherman. Your visit to Jaffa is not complete without a visit to the Abulafia Bakery, known for its fresh baked bread, pita bread and specialty breads.

Enjoy lunch and afternoon at leisure at the Jaffa, named by Departure Magazin, one of World’s most beautiful shopping districts including the “flea” market where you will enjoy visiting the many antique stores and and vintage boutiques.

Farewell dinner in Tel Aviv.

Overnight in Tel Aviv
Day 11
Tel Aviv Leisure, Departure

Free day in Tel Aviv.

Additional optional activities and museums will be provided.

Late check out from the hotel and private transfer to Ben Gurion Airport for your flight back to the home

Map of Culinary Tour (11 days)