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Culinary Pilgrimage in Search of Israeli Cuisine, Culture & Heritage

(This Tour has a 2 Person Minimum and 16 Person Maximum)

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Priced From
$6,998 USD *
(For One Person, Double Occupancy)
* Plus taxes. Tours sold on an availability basis.
9 days | 8 nights

Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth…
Discovering Israel’s Unique Culinary Landscape

A common question often heard - Is there an Israeli Cuisine? It is said that over 70 cultures have influenced the cooking and cuisine of Israel. Influences from nearby countries such as Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Morocco provide a natural foundation. But you will also find German, Russian and other Old World characteristics in the recipes prepared in homes, restaurants and the ubiquitous street food. While Israeli cuisine is evolving with a desire to be defined, it is also a region that takes pride in its multi-cultural identity. Here you will find that imported flavors easily stand on their own, demanding to be embraced as defining elements of Israel’s culinary diversity. During your 9 day tour of Israel, you will experience the markets, learn to cook with local chefs, visit many religious sites, dine in the homes of Jerusalemites, float in the Dead Sea, hike in the Galilee, visit ancient spice routes, tour the wineries and olive presses. In short, you will taste Israel.

Culinary Pilgrimage in Search of Israeli Cuisine, Culture & Heritage

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Itinerary Accommodations Map FAQ
VACATION HIGHLIGHTS
Please note: Our tours are designed with flexible itineraries to accommodate seasonality and desired dates of travel.
8 Nights 4-Star plus Accommodations
Round-Trip Airport Transfers
Traditional Israeli Breakfast Each Morning
7 Lunches, 7 Dinners
Machane Yehuda Market Visit
Jerusalem Evening Food Tour/Dinner
Guided Historic & Religious Sites Tour
Guided Western Wall Visit
Jerusalemite In-Home Dinner
Exploration of Masada
Visit to the Dead Sea
Tahina and Halva Demonstration/Tasting
Winery Visit with Tastings
Galilee Olive Oil Orchard/Press Visit
Druze Hands-On Cooking Class
Visit to Akko and the Souk
Visit to Tzfat and Nazareth
Tel Aviv and Visit to Sarona
Visit to Jaffa Old City and Port
Guided Street Graffiti Tour
Visit to Shuk Levinsky Market
Goat Cheese Farm Tour & Tastings
Desert Farming Tour
Visit to Carmel Market
While our tours are designed as soft adventure experiences, walking, climbing stairs, and in rare cases mild hiking may be required. If you have mobility issues, you should speak with one of our culinary travel specialists to determine if this tour is appropriate for your situation.
AVAILABLE DATES
Please submit an inquiry for 2019 or 2020 dates.
SAMPLE ITINERARY
Please note: Actual itineraries are subject to change due to seasonality.
(click item for details)
Day 1
Airport Transfers | Arrival and Check-In | Walking Jerusalem On the day of your arrival, the tour is designed with a certain degree of flexibility. You will want to relax, get acquainted with the area, and adjust yourself to local time. If jet lag doesn’t have a grip on you, maybe you would like to visit the unique collections and expansive grounds of the Israel Museum. You can also visit the Shrine of the Book, home to the exceptional archaeological finds of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and other rare and ancient manuscripts.
Machane Yehuda Market Nachlaot, one of Jerusalem’s most interesting areas, is known for its narrow, winding lanes, old-style housing, hidden courtyards and many small synagogues. It is actually a cluster of over 20 courtyard neighborhoods bustling with spice stalls and markets. Your first stop is Machane Yehuda Market, where you will take in all the rich fragrances, bright colors and exotic sounds this iconic Jerusalem market has to offer. Let the tastings begin!
Old World Evening Tasting Tour This evening you will enjoy an Eastern European (Jewish) tasting tour where you will get a taste of the “Old World” with renowned Jerusalem Chef Shmil Holland. Your tour is a dialogue between the practice of real food preparation and tracing the history and folklore of the foods. You’ll also tour some traditional Jerusalem bakeries.
Day 2
Regional Breakfast Breakfast is served in the serene sun-filled lobby, where you will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Guided Historic & Religious Sites of the Old City After breakfast, and walking along the Ramparts of the Old City, you will tour the historical and religious sites of the Jewish and Christian Quarters. You’ll see some off-the-beaten track sites in the winding alleyways and enjoy some Jerusalem delicacies. Your tour provides a “taste of history” that interweaves stories and anecdotes and historical information, taking full advantage of your sense of sight, sound, smell and taste!
Western Wall | Authentic Jerusalemite Dinner After you have had a chance to relax in the afternoon, you will enjoy a Friday night visit to the Western Wall (the Kotel) which is the only remnant of the Temple compound built by Herod the Great. This is also the evening where you will enjoy an authentic and intimate dining experience in the home of a Jerusalemite where you will savor a traditional Friday night dinner.
Day 3
Regional Breakfast Breakfast is served in the serene sun-filled lobby, where you will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Explore Masada | Float on the Dead Sea | Dinner Ascend by cable car or walk up the mountain to explore Masada, scene of the epic stand by Jewish rebels at the end of the Great Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago. What really happened at Masada? Consider the possibilities with your guide. In the afternoon you will visit the Dead Sea where you will have the opportunity for a relaxing float, and enjoy lunch at a local hotel and spa. Dinner this evening is at an authentic “Jerusalem Kitchen” restaurant owned and managed by three Jerusalem chefs, all with impressive resumes.
Day 4
Regional Breakfast Breakfast is served in the serene sun-filled lobby, where you will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Tahina and Halva Tasting Al Yasmin Tahina and Havla – Tahini – an oily paste and havla, dense, sweet confection are both sesame-seed based. You will receive explanations on preparation and production, along with tastings of these typical Middle Eastern treats.
Winery Visit with Tastings Later in the morning you will visit Tulip Winery which integrates the production of quality wines with social responsibility. The winery is in Kfar Tikva (Village of Hope), a small pastoral settlement whose population consists of people with special needs. Tulip Winery enables members of the community to develop and realize their potential through an exciting model of a wine industry that employs the community members, offering them a business platform to integrate into the mainstream workforce. You will have the opportunity to taste a number of the wines they product. Lunch today will be on your own.
Galili Olive Oil Press Visit | Hike | Lebanese Dinner Set between the Jezreel Valley and the lower Galilee, the Galili family farm is located in Bethlehem of Galilee, a picturesque ancient village with beautiful Templar houses built in the early 20th century. The Galili family’s organic olive groves are set by an old oak forest with beautiful scenery. You will have a chance to view this breathtaking scenery on a leisurely hike of Galilee. This evening, you dine at Sharabic. Going to Sharabic is like going home – if your family is full of fantastic Lebanese cooks who hand pick wild ingredients from their backyard.
Day 5
Typical Israeli Kosher Breakfast The hotel’s restaurant is strictly Kosher, under the supervision of the Marom HaGalil Local Rabanuth. Breakfast is served in the restaurant with its country atmosphere and panoramic view of the Galilee, from the mountains of the lower Galilee in the west to the Sea of Galilee in the east. You will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Druze Cooking Workshop | Lunch During the late morning you will participate in a true-to-life cultural immersion. Together with your hosts, you will have a half-day, hands-on cooking class where you will learn traditional Galilean dishes. An incredible feast will follow your instruction, and lunch is your reward for a job well done.
Visit to Akko | Dinner This afternoon you will visit the ancient port city built and influenced by the Crusaders, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and the British. Akko’s souk (marketplace) is right in the center of the Old City, and is a fun and vibrant bazaar full of fresh produce, cheap eats, buckets of spice and souvenirs. This evening’s dinner is at Uri Buri. For the past 20 years, opposite the Crusader subterranean city in Akko, the Uri Buri restaurant has been offering different kinds of delicately prepared fresh fish and seafood dishes.
Day 6
Typical Israeli Kosher Breakfast The hotel’s restaurant is strictly Kosher, under the supervision of the Marom HaGalil Local Rabanuth. Breakfast is served in the restaurant with its country atmosphere and panoramic view of the Galilee, from the mountains of the lower Galilee in the west to the Sea of Galilee in the east. You will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Visit to Tzfat | Visit to Nazareth | Lunch This morning you will visit Tzfat, a city that sits a little higher in altitude than any other city in Israel, and has been known since the 16th century as a major center of Kabbala, Jewish mysticism. The old synagogues, narrow alleyways and artists’ studios add to the hilltop city’s unmistakable charm. You will also visit Nazareth, and a tour of the Basilica of the Annunciation where the angel Gabriel told Mary she would conceive and become the mother of Jesus. Visit the narrow streets of the Nazareth market while sampling and learning about coffee and spices. Take notice of the vast array of traditional Arab sweets as you leave the market. Can you resist? Lunch today will be at El Babur, a Palestinian restaurant. Abas Husam’s menu is taken strictly from what this land provides – known in Arabic as “baladi” and more universally as slow cooking.
Tel Aviv | Visit to Sarona | Dinner This afternoon you will travel to Tel Aviv, Israel’s second most populous city. You will visit Sarona, a former Templar colony, established by devout Christians who came from Germany. Not long ago, a masterpiece of renovation and preservation of the colony was completed. You will visit the renovated compound and the market, Israel’s largest indoor market. Dinner this evening is at HaAchim, a lively Tel Aviv spot where classic Israeli dishes are given a modern touch.
Day 7
Traditional Israeli Breakfast Breakfast is served in the serene sun-filled lobby, where you will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Visit to Jaffa Old City and Port | Street Art Graffiti Tour | Lunch Discover the ancient and modern sitting side-by-side. Stroll through the alleyways of the Old City filled with artist studios as well as archaeological discoveries. Head to the Jaffa Port which exists from Biblical times, and is a fantastic place to find a mix of Israelis from all walks of life. Wind your way through the Flea Market which features everything from antiques to hip new clothing, design stores, cafes, restaurants and bars. And what would a tour of Israeli cuisine be without a taste of the ubiquitous hummus? You will also have an opportunity to see an Israel that you might not know exists. Through this street art tour, you’ll explore Tel Aviv’s most bohemian and upbeat neighborhood – Florentine. This interactive tour with a talented artist and actress gives you the inside track on Israel’s culture. Lunch is at Guetta.
Levinsky Market Visit | Rothschild Boulevard | Dinner The finest spices, dried fruits, boutique cheeses, roasted nuts, coffee beans, olives, condiments, pickled vegetables, exotic meats and salted fish can be found in this famous market. Originally specializing in Balkan cuisine for Jews originating from Thessaloniki in Greece, the arrival of Iranian immigrants to downtown Tel Aviv post 1948 brought new tastes and herbs from Persian cooking. Later you will walk up one of Tel Aviv’s central boulevards where you’ll feel the modern vibe of the city while learning about the establishment of the State of Israel, and taking in the early modernist Bauhaus buildings that line the street. Experience the Tel Aviv coffee culture on this tree-lined, picturesque street that is very popular with locals. This evening dinner is at HaMiznon, where Chef Eyal Shani’s crazy dishes are served in pita bread.
Day 8
Traditional Israeli Breakfast Breakfast is served in the serene sun-filled lobby, where you will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Goat Cheese Farm | Making the Desert Bloom | Lunch Visit Kornmehl organic goat cheese farm situated among magical views of the desert hills, and faces remnants of terraces belonging to an ancient farm that is over 5,000 years old. Out in the arid desert, a miracle of agriculture takes place in Kadesh Barne’a. You’ll meet the local farmer, and marvel at the accomplishments that’s been achieved with state-of –the-art technology (witness the cherry tomatoes!). Lunch is in Ezuz, a unique community of artists bursting with creativity. The village is home to less than 15 families, each of whom runs a tourism or culture-related business. Finally you will visit Shivta where you will tour the archaeological site of a classic Nabatean town located along the ancient spice route. It was later a Byzantine agricultural colony and way station for pilgrims en route to the Saint Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai Peninsula. You will have a late return to Tel Aviv.
Day 9
Traditional Israeli Breakfast Breakfast is served in the serene sun-filled lobby, where you will find a tasty array of salads, fruit, cereals, cheeses, hot dishes, breads, pastries and endless juice and coffee.
Visit to Carmel Market The most famous of all Tel Aviv markets, Carmel Market is a must see. Enjoy tasting local delicacies on Friday at the market, the busiest place in Tel Aviv with all the rich colors and scents. Time to stock up on souvenirs!
Check-Out and Departure | Transfer to Airport Time flies when you’re having so much fun, but alas…it is time to check out and depart this delicious, “Edible Destination.” May your future travels come from sweet dreams, and create tasty memories! Shalom.
Harmony Hotel
Harmony - an Atlas Boutique Hotel is a stunning property nestled in Jerusalem’s bustling Nahalat Shiva district and is surrounded by plenty of shops, cafes and bars both for day and night-time entertainment. Yet it is also very near some of the most historic sights of the Old City. The spacious rooms are individually designed, beautifully appointed and include a telephone, TV, fridge, air-conditioning and Wi-Fi internet connection.
Amirey Hagalil Hotel
On a winding road leading up to the historic city of Safed, and near Amirim Village, amidst the natural peace and serenity of the Galilee, rests Amirey Hagalil Boutique Hotel. The hotel commands breathtaking views from the Sea of Galilee to the Golan Heights. The hotel has 17 guests rooms, all beautifully designed and spacious, hidden in a Turkish Khan shaped building, surrounded by an intimate lobby with an ancient olive tree in its center. The rooms are air-conditioned and offer a bedroom, bathroom, furnished balcony with a stunning view, coffee and tea set, mini-bar, flat screen satellite television and complimentary wireless internet.
The Diaghilev Hotel
The Diaghilev Live Art Suites Hotel is named after Sergei Diaghilev (1872 – 1929) - a Russian art critic, publisher, patron, and the founder of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev was a peculiar and colorful character. From this heritage, the hotel always changes and develops, taking on new layers of content and creating diverse, one-of-a-kind experiences. With its fresh concept-varied style, ever changing art exhibitions, and exclusive cultural events, every visit to The Diaghilev becomes a unique, unforgettable experience. The Hotel has 54 guest rooms, all suites which are uniquely furnished, large in size and feature separate living rooms. The whole hotel features free WiFi, and the rooms follow the concept of having ‘perfectly darkened bedrooms’ including black sheets to promote restorative sleep.
Tel Aviv, IsraelJerusalem, IsraelBethlehem, IsraelNazareth, IsraelJaffa, Israel
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What Currency is being quoted?
The Currency Code is listed directly after the published amount. If it states USD, then the quoted price is in United States Dollars. If it states CAD, then the quoted price is in Canadian Dollars. If it states EUR, then the quoted price is in European Union Dollars…etc. However, please note that all charges are processed in USD, and Epitourean’s Merchant Bank automatically calculates the currency conversion on the day of the charge.
What does Double Occupancy mean?
Two persons traveling together, and staying in the same room. Tour prices are normally quoted as “per person, double occupancy” in case two people are traveling together and staying in the same room, but paying separately. The cost of the lodging is also shared by two people, thereby reducing costs. This could be a married couple, two friends or relatives.
What is a Single Supplement?
Whenever a person travels alone, the cost of their lodging cannot be shared by another person. When tour products are priced, they are normally stated as “per person, double occupancy.” Whenever a guest occupies a room as a solo, the whole cost of the lodging must be incurred by that one individual. Tour companies accommodate this by charging a Single Supplement. Epitourean does its best to keep the single supplement as low as possible, but it is a real cost that tour companies must absorb, and must pass along to the single traveler.
If I am a Solo Traveler, will I be paired with another person?
Epitourean never pairs a solo traveler with another person without a special request. If you book Single Occupancy, you will have a room entirely to yourself. However, should you wish to be paired with another solo traveler to save on the single supplement, you may make this request. We cannot guarantee that we can accommodate such requests, since it would take another solo traveling on the same tour for the same dates. But if requested, we will certainly try.
Is a Deposit required to book a tour or getaway?
Yes. We require a 30% refundable deposit for all our domestic (USA and Canada) getaways and tours, and a 50% refundable deposit for international destinations outside of the USA and Canada. Reservations made for destinations within the USA and Canada must be paid in full 30 days prior to departure. Reservations made for destinations outside of the USA and Canada must be paid in full 60 days prior to departure.
Are flights included in the tour price?
No. Flights are never included in the price of our land-only tours. Epitourean does not provide air, rail or sea travel, unless expressly noted in the itinerary.
May I give a culinary tour as a gift?
Yes. Epitourean has a special program designed specifically for this purpose. Our Gift Packages come with features such as special messages to the recipient, gift box option, gift link (without pricing), and floating dates (should you not know when the gift recipient wants to travel). Contact a Culinary Travel Specialist at 800-390-3292 or customerservice@epitourean.com to receive additional information about this unique offering.
May we request separate beds if sharing a room?
Yes. In most cases, Epitourean can accommodate a request for two beds to be placed in one room. Just make sure to make this request in the comments section of the reservation process.
Does each guestroom have a private bathroom?
Yes. Epitourean partners with the best lodging options in each destination, and private (en suite) bathrooms are a requirement. However, you should inquire as to the configuration of bathrooms should you have a special need. For example, some tours include accommodations in medieval villages, where either a shower or bath(but maybe not both) are present.
Can your tours accommodate my dietary restrictions?
In almost all cases, Epitourean can accommodate dietary choices and restrictions. But we do request that you ask a Culinary Travel Specialist prior to making your reservation so that we can assess your individual situation.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
Generally, you may cancel any tour or getaway package within 30 days of making a reservation, and receive a full refund of any deposit or payments made, as long as the cancellation is made at least 31 days in advance of departure for domestic tours or 61 days in advance of departure for international tours. Cancellations made after 30 days incur a 10% cancellation fee (10% of the deposit amount paid, not the full price of the tour package). Cancellations made 30 days or less in advance of departure for domestic packages (60 days or less for international packages) cannot be refunded due to loss of inventory.
If I am unable to use a portion of the tour, can I get a partial refund?
Unfortunately, due to vendor and supplier contracts, we are unable to provide partial refunds for unused portions of any tour or tour component.
Are Transfers included in the Itinerary?
Round-trip transfers from the airport or train station are normally included in our international tours. Transfers to the destination (for both international and domestic tours) are not included in the tour price. Please see the Sample Itinerary. If it mentions that transfers are included, then yes, transfers are included at no additional cost.
What meals and excursions are included in the tour?
The Sample Itinerary should be your reference. If the meal or excursion is described in the Sample Itinerary, then it is included at no additional charge. For those days where it expressly notes Free time, then any optional activities you elect to participate in might have an additional cost. In addition, if the itinerary states "evening on your own," it would imply that you have the opportunity to visit a restaurant of your own choosing, and at your own expense. If you have any question about inclusions, please submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button under the price section.
Is it possible to book pre or post tours or stays through Edible Destinations?
Yes, we often do have optional 2 and 3 night excursions that are priced separately from the tour. We can also assist with pre and post night stays in a hotel if you choose to come in early before the tour starts, or stay on after a tour ends. The price of those hotel stays are not included in the price of the tour, but we would be happy to provide a quote. Simply ask your Culinary Travel Specialist, or submit an inquiry by clicking on the blue "Ask Us a Question" button.
Are Guide or Host Gratuities included in the price of the tour?
Since tipping guidelines and customs vary widely between countries, we do not include gratuities in the price of the tour. Your Culinary Travel Specialist can provide you with recommendations. But the general rule is to tip modestly when you are pleased with a guide’s services, either at the end of the tour, or at the conclusion of a specialty day excursion where you will only be with that guide (or chef) on that day.
Should we plan on any personal expenses during the tour?
All lodging, meals, transfers, classes and excursions mentioned in the Sample Itinerary and Vacation Highlights are included in the price of the tour. However, we highly recommend taking local currency for purchasing personal items, souvenirs, tipping, etc. You can either get the local currency at an airport exchange service, ATM or from your local bank prior to travel. However, you should note that many hosted destinations do not accept credit cards for personal purchases.
Do you recommend Travel Protection?
We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans can include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. For more information on the available plans or to enroll, click on the link below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792 and reference location number 06-0248. The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries and may be changed without notice. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company (formerly known as Stonewall Insurance Company), 1314 Douglas Street, Suite 1400, Omaha, NE 68102. 11.17 E7N
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