Food and Culture Tour
Day 1. Arrival – Caesarea and Akko
Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv. All of our guests will be met, assisted and we will travel to Caesarea for a wine and cheese reception overlooking the Mediterranean Sea hosted by a renowned wine expert. We’ll spend the night in a unique hotel in Akko and enjoy a special seafood dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2. Akko and Western Galilee
We will begin our day with a walking tour of the Old Akko, visiting the Old Crusader sites, the Tunisian Synagogue, and tasting some of the local specialties as we meander through the ancient market with a renowned chef. We will then continue with a cooking workshop and enjoy a spectacular lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the grottos of Rosh Hanikra and then return to Akko for a boat-ride in the Mediterranean, festive dinner and overnight.
Day 3. Galilee
Cameras ready, we will drive up to the Mount of Beatitudes for a panoramic view of the Sea of Galilee and other important biblical sites in the area. We will visit Tabgha, the place where Jesus multiplied the loaves and fish, and take a boat-ride across the Sea of Galilee. After a delicious lunch of the famous St Peter’s Fish, we will take an afternoon stroll through the quaint city of Safed, also known as Tzfat. Here we will learn about Jewish mysticism and get to know a local artist as she discusses her art of glass blowing and the connection of her craft to the Talmud. Dinner and overnight in the Galilee
Day 4. Golan Heights
In the morning we will drive up north to the Golan Heights and visit the beautiful nature reserve of Banias (Caesarea Philippi), where we will take a walk along the new footbridge overlooking the waterfalls. We will then continue to the Druze village of Majdel Shams, where we will be met by a local escort and introduced to the Druze community. We will take a walk through the market, rich with locally grown fruits and vegetables, and enjoy the hospitality and a light lunch as we watch the Druze women in the village bake the flat-bread which is served with za’atar and labaneh. Continuing south in the Golan Heights, we will take a jeep ride along the border and learn a bit about geopolitical issues of the region. You will have an opportunity to “pick your own” at the local orchards (and eat) the seasonal fruits of the area. We will end our day touring and tasting exquisite wines produced by a local winery. Dinner this evening will be at an exclusive chef restaurant in the Galilean mountains. Overnight in the Galilee
Day 5. Lower Galilee and Jenin
Today our tour will travel to the lower Galilee region. We will visit a local kibbutz and participate in an organic tour led by a guide specialized in organic farming. We will continue to the first kibbutz in Israel and enjoy a chocolate workshop. We will cross into the Palestinian Territories for lunch. Our next stop is a visit the Burqu’in Church also known as the Church of St. George, considered one of the four oldest churches in the Holy Land and the place where Jesus healed the 10 lepers. We will continue to an organic fair trade factory to taste the olive oils, learn about the production process from the tree to the bottle and hear how this successful cooperative originated and how it has subsequently impacted Palestinian life in Samaria. In the evening we will enjoy a traditional oriental dinner accompanied by Oud. Dinner and overnight in Jenin
Day 6. Samaria and Nablus
We will spend much the morning in the Old City of Nablus, learning about the ancient soap production, famous Nablus sweets, and other items within the ancient market. We’ll dine midday with a local women’s group learning about the Palestinian slow food movement and local culture. Ater a brief visit to Jacob’s Well, we’ll meet with the Samaritans on Mt. Gerazim and learn about their culture and traditions. We will arrive in Jerusalem and enjoy a panoramic view of the Old City from the rooftop of the Notre Dame Center where we will enjoy a light wine and cheese dinner from the rooftop terrace. Overnight in Jerusalem
Day 7. Jerusalem and Bethlehem
This morning we will visit Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Remembrance Museum. We will then visit a Hasidic family’s home as our small group, which will shed some light onto Jewish life and tradition in this holy city. And since the Jewish culture is so steeped in food we will add to the fun by making our very own loaves of braided challah bread.
To celebrate the uniqueness and culturral depth of the Holyland, we will then travel a short distance to the home of an Arab family, where they will treat us to a homemade lunch and converations about their customs. We’ll then continue to Bethlehem where we will see the Church of the Nativity, walk on the famous Manger Square and visit an authentic olivewood-carving workshop. Our day will end with a festive traditional oriental dinner along with Dabke dancing. We will return to hotel in Jerusalem for overnight.
Day 8. Jerusalem
One of the thrills of our visit to the Holy Land is the view of the Old City of Jerusalem from the top of the Mount of Olives, especially in the morning sun. We will then see the Western Wall and visit Haram al-Shareef. We will tour other ancient sites within the Old City of Jerusalem including Mount Zion, the Via Dolorosa, and enjoy a lite lunch at the most famous Hummous place in Jerusalem. After a special guided tour through the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher, we will join the expert chefs from the acclaimed group, Chefs for Peace, for yet another unique tour, now through the bustling souq, with its rows of spice shops and meat markets and everything in between. This will culminate in a wonderful festive workshop and dinner. Overnight in Jerusalem
Day 9. Departure
Transfer from Jerusalem to Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv for departure.
- Discover the alleyways of ancient Akko, Bethlehem, Safed and Nablus, and more
- Meet the Samaritans and delve into their mysterious life on top of Mt. Gerazim
- Wander thru the ancient market of Nablus tasting some of the cities unique delicacies
- Travel in the footsteps of Jesus through the Old City of Jerusalem
- Enjoy a behind the scenes tour and workshop with the Chefs for Peace
- Delve into Jewish traditions at the home of an ultra-Orthodox Hasidic family and try your hand at challah making
- Engage in hands on cooking workshops with Israeli’s, Palestinians, Druze and others