Day 1: Arrival at Ben Gurion Airport
Welcome to your Culinary Tour in Israel! Upon arrival, you will be met by one of our trusted travel representatives and, once through customs, transfer you to your Tel Aviv hotel in a private, comfortable, air-conditioned vehicle.
Day 2: Tel Aviv
We will begin the day in the trendy, southern part of Tel Aviv, where we’ll visit one of the city’s cultural treasures: Levinsky Market. Renowned as a spice haven bar none, Levinsky herald back to the ‘good old days’ when Balkan Jewish settlers first established a shuk here in the 1930s. Persian immigrants then infused the market with their unique offerings, culminating in one of the most aromatic, colorful, and enticing markets you will ever visit. From here, we’ll visit the Camel Market, undoubtedly the most popular bazaar in Tel Aviv, where you will be guided, one mouthful at a time, through the best delicacies on offer. Here, you have the option of taking an immersive Mediterranean cooking class which is something we strongly recommend. After all, taking home new recipes from Israel means your culinary tour will continue long after this week is over! Next on our itinerary will be a visit to Old Jaffa, one of the world’s oldest port towns and now the most enchanting neighborhood in all of Tel Aviv. This is the original settlement around which Tel Aviv has grown and although it is framed by modernity, the core remains incredibly enticing. Meander the cobbled laneways, the flea market that feels older than time itself, and all those incredible historic buildings that make you feel as if you have stepped centuries back in time. Finally, we'll arrive at Sarona Market just in time for a delicious dinner. Housed in the complex where the German Templar Colony used to be, Sarona boasts a bevy of exceptional restaurants, one more exquisite than the next. We will overnight in Tel Aviv and be ready (and ravenous) to do on Day 3!
Day 3: Caesarea and Zikron Yaacov
In the morning, we will take a drive north to the ancient Roman port city of Caesarea and take a guided tour through an extraordinary collection of prized archaeological ruins including an amphitheater and a hippodrome where chariot racing used to be held. We will then head to Zikron Yaacov, a city founded in the late 1800s by Baron Edmund Rothschild and now dubbed ‘Israel’s Nappa Valley’. This was one of many agricultural settlements Rothschild funded throughout Israel. The Carmel Winery is undoubtedly one of the many highlights in the area and this is precisely where we will go. Founded in 1885, the cellar offers amazing tasting and guided tours (as well as more immersive workshops) so you’ll visit cellars that have been continuously operational for over a century. The in-house cultural center and excellent cellar door mean enlightenment and unique shopping opportunities are always on the cards. Taking home a few bottles of prestigious Camel Winery bottles is an excellent way to extend your Culinary Tour in Israel! Once your senses are well and truly satisfied, we will drive east toward Galilee and spend the night in gorgeous accommodation in Tiberias.
Day 4: Golan Heights and Upper Galilee
We’ll take our leave from Tiberias after breakfast, headed towards the Golan Heights. For exceptionally stunning views, we’ll head up Mount Bental, one of the best destinations in the country for truly outstanding vistas, aside from having significant historical importance. The dormant volcanic peak sits at an altitude of just over 1,100m and offers sweeping views of the Golan Heights, across to Syria and Quneitra. The viewpoint is an abandoned military post from the Six Day War, so you’ll also see trenches and fortifications The Golan Heights is famous for its sensational wines so, for a lunch that you will thoroughly enjoy, we’ll visit a local winery that serves delectable local specialties. On the way back, we will stop at one of four remaining Druze villages, Majdal Shams, where we can learn more about the local culture and enigmatic religion. A leisurely afternoon drive back to Tiberias is a great chance to start making dinner plans! We will spend the night in Tiberias.
Day 5: Tiberias and Nazareth
Our day will start in one of Israel’s Four Holy Cities, which carries a 2,000-year-old heritage on its formidable shoulders. Tiberias town flanks the western shores of the Sea of Galilee and offers treasures of antiquities like few other cities in the world. We’ll then take a tour of a nearby kibbutz that specializes in vegetables and dairy products, where we’ll enjoy a sumptuous and authentic lunch prepared with home-grown produce. As a final highlight today, we will drive to Nazareth, the biblical childhood home of Jesus Christ, to tour the ancient market and visit the 120-year-old El Babour Spice Mill, one of the most incredible spice shops in the whole country. This is a primary reason to pack light for your Culinary Tour in Israel – the array of delectable souvenirs to bring back home are nearly endless!
Day 6: Haifa, Dar El Carmel, Acre
The northern port town of Haifa is Israel’s third-largest city and we’ll start our tour by exploring its bustling city center. We’ll begin with a tour of the old German colony, before ascending Mount Carmel for absolutely jaw-dropping views of the city, the Mediterranean, and even the Jezreel Valley. We will then head to the Druze Village Dar El Carmel for a perfectly brewed cup of coffee and a pita Druzit, a local specialty not found outside this part of the world. Tour the Old Market and Knight’s Hall of Acre (Akko), an ancient small town known for its well-preserved old city walls. Take a tunnel tour to retrace the steps of ancient residents and visit the amazing Treasures in the Walls Ethnographic Museum, which depicts life, as it was, from Ottoman times to the turn of the 20th century. Then, we will drive to Jerusalem, to drop you off at your overnight accommodations.
Day 7: Jerusalem Old City
In the morning, we will enter Jerusalem through one of the Old City Gates and enjoy a memorable historical tour. Visit the beautifully renovated Jewish Quarter, the revered Western Wall, and the Temple Mount. Stroll along Via Dolorosa, the processional route that’s in the Stations of the Cross. Conclude your tour with a meaningful visit to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre – the revered place of the crucifixion and final resting place of Jesus of Nazareth. This is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Christians visiting Israel on our Mazada Culinary Tours. To lighten things up, we will then visit the old market and enjoy an astonishing lunch in a traditional Middle Eastern restaurant. And to cap off an unforgettable day, we’ll take a sightseeing tour of Nachlaot, a bustling neighborhood just outside the city walls, revered for hosting the legendary Mahane Yehuda outdoor markets, a place brimming with fantastic food stands, spice stalls, high-end restaurants, bakeries and trendy bars that stay open till late. Overnight accommodation will be in Jerusalem.
Day 8: Jerusalem New City
This morning we travel from old to new and enjoy a tour of the New City of Jerusalem. We’ll first take a very moving tour of Israel’s official Holocaust homage: the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial. You may opt to visit the Israel Museum instead. This is an art and archaeology treasure that houses the Shrine of the Book, displaying the Dead Sea Scrolls. The museum is expansive and comprises a sculpture garden sprawled across six acres and displays that range from ancient gems to modern art creations. In the afternoon, we will head down to Mamilla and Rechavya, two up-scale neighborhoods where culinary delights and brilliant shopping awaits. Mamilla Mall is a 2000’-long outdoor shopping strip (the only one of its kind in West Jerusalem) replete with trendy café and awesome street art. We’ll take a comprehensive tour of Machane Yehuda, the largest market in the entire country, home to over 250 distinct vendors. The culinary and visual delights continue, as you see enormous displays of spices and drool over artistic displays of sweets that beg to be eaten! Guided tasting tours and authentic cooking classes can be easily arranged if you’d love a deeper experience here. You’ll spend another lovely night in Jerusalem.
Day 9: Jerusalem, Ramla, Tel Aviv
Day 9 starts with a free morning that you have welcome to enjoy as you wish: praying, shopping, or exploring the bustling hive that is the ancient city of Jerusalem. After meet once more, we will drive to the legendary historic market in Ramla, revered for its exquisite Iraqi spices and culinary delights. Founded in the 8th century, Ramla has spawned an intoxicating and unique Jewish-Iraqi cuisine and dedicated food tours here are out of this world. You also have the option of enjoying a sumptuous Jewish-Indian lunch instead, as you learn more about yet another unique community in Israel. As always, the choice is totally yours to be made! After a day of delicious discoveries, we will drive to Tel Aviv so you can enjoy your last evening of your Culinary Tour in Israel.
Day 10: Transfer Ben Gurion Airport
After a leisurely breakfast, it’s time to say goodbye as you pack your bags and make your way to the airport with our trusted representative, in your private, air-conditioned vehicle. We hope you enjoyed your Culinary Tour in Israel with Mazada Tours and we cannot wait to see you back here once more for more delicious discoveries.