Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure

Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure

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Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure

9 Days Starting in Tel Aviv and ending in Jerusalem

Visiting: Israel

Tour operator:

Intrepid Travel

Tour code:

EUZF

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

1 - 12

Physical rating:

Low, Low

Age range:

15-99 years

Special diets catered:

Vegetarians

Tour operated in:
English
Trip Styles:

Small Group

Activities:

Sightseeing, Walking

This tour is no longer available

Tour Overview

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 sabich in Tel Aviv, learn age-old food secrets at a traditional Druze village, explore Ramallah with a local chef, sample local drops in Nazareth and Taybeh, understand what life is like for Palestinian women at a refugee camp cooking class. 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.

Highlights

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Share authentic home cooked meals with Druze villagers and a local family in Bethany, and join an insightful cooking class with Palestinian women.

  • 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 see the sights in Jerusalem.

  • Feast on classic dishes in Israel’s legendary local eateries, from falafel, knafeh, and maqluba and fresh sabich to a selection of local favourites at Machane Yehuda in Jerusalem.

  • Locals always know best when it comes to the region’s best food and drinks and the winemakers, chefs, brewers and market stallholders you'll meet on this trip are no exception.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Tel Aviv
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.

Day 2 Haifa
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!

Day 3 Nazareth
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.

Day 4 Nablus/Jericho
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 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.

Day 5 Jericho/Dead Sea/Jerusalem
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.

Day 6 Jerusalem
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.

Day 7 Jerusalem (Negev Desert)
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 in that farm. Arrive back in Jerusalem by evening for a well-deserved rest.

Day 8 Jerusalem (Bethlehem)
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. For lunch, enjoy traditional barbecue 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 afternoon.

Day 9 Jerusalem
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.

What's Included

  • Bethlehem - Leader-led walking tour

  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens

  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner

  • Nablus - Samaritan & Tahini Factory visit

  • Golan Heights - Druze Cooking Demonstration and Home-cooked Meal

  • Zikhron Ya'akov - Winery visit

  • Akko - Old Town Walk, including Templar Tunnels

  • Nablus - Palestinian cooking class at Bait Al-Karama

  • Nazareth - Church of Annunciation & Mary's Well

  • Jericho - Tel Jericho

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What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • International Travel

Accommodation

  • The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline only and may change. On some occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our preferred accommodation. In these cases, we will use a similar standard of accommodation.
  • Throughout the trip, we request that our properties prepare rooms in time for our arrival, especially if we're arriving prior to normal check-in time. However, this isn't always possible which means we won't be able to check-in immediately on arrival at some hotels. Instead, we can store our luggage and explore our new destination or on some trips, have use of shared day rooms until all rooms are available.

Included Activities

  • Tel Aviv - Welcome Dinner
  • Haifa - Baha'i Gardens
  • Israeli 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
  • Bait Al-Karama - cooking class
  • 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

Transport

  • Private vehicle

Important Information

  • 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.

Check out our Q&As

  • Are all entrance fees included in the price?

    No

  • Are international flights included in this tour?

    No

  • Are all the relevant entry visa’s included in the price of the tour?

    No

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

    Yes

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    No

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    Yes if aged 15+ and accompanied by an adult

  • Is this trip right for you

    Israel and the Palestinian Territories 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 Israel and the Palestinian Territories 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.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Please contact us for latest COVID-19 policies

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Intrepid Travel has been taking travellers around the world for over 30 years

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Yes

  • What Ethical Travel credentials does the tour company have?

    Since 2002, The Intrepid Foundation has supported over 130 organisations across the world. We’re creating positive impact through the joy of travel, community and connection.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Over 50% of traveller travel solo with Intrepid. You can choose to share a room with another solo travelle of the same sex for no additional charge, or choose to pay a single supplement if you’d like your own room. Please request this when booking, and we will secure you a single supplement wherever possible. Please note, if you are booking a last-minute trip, it may be harder for us to secure a single room

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Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Intrepid Travel allows you to make 10 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 56 days before the start of the tour.

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Intrepid Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform intrepid travel, 56 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Intrepid Travel requires a minimum deposit of 200 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 56 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of intrepid travel charges.

    Up to 56 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 55 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 30 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

  • COVID Protection

    Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
    From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19.

    However, we continue to strongly recommend that all travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and other Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

    This policy excludes all Polar trips and select adventure cruises, where testing and vaccination remains a requirement. Please refer to the Essential Trip Information of your chosen tour for more details.

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