Gourmet Israel

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Best time to go: April to May, September to November

8 Nights | from £3,795pp

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HIGHLIGHTS

  • Explore the Cradle of Christianity, taking in key Biblical sites, including Bethleham, Nazareth, Sea of Galilee and Jerusalem
  • Gain an insight into Israel’s more recent history when visiting Yad Vashem
  • Explore the foodie enclaves and local markets of Jaffa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to appreciate the flavours of Israel’s cuisine
  • Take a cooking class with a professional chef, who will escort you to a local market to purchase your ingredients

Day 1 UK / Tel Aviv
As you arrive in Tel Aviv meet with a member of the A&K team, who will take you to the David InterContinental Hotel, well-located near the newly rejuvenated Neve Zedek neighbourhood. Unwind from your flight with a stroll along the narrow lanes of this area and to discover the historic buildings that have been converted to restaurants.
David InterContinental

Day 2 Ancient Jaffa and modern Tel Aviv
The historic port town of Jaffa is well known for its fantastic flavours, and your day begins here, sampling the local delicacies such as homemade houmous. The modern metropolis of Tel Aviv is your next stop, a short drive away through the ancient part of the city designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After a visit to Independence Hall, where the modern state of Israel was declared, there’s the opportunity to explore the Yemenite Quarter, known for its small family restaurants where flavours from Arabia are married to those from North Africa, with sensational results! Then it’s on to the main food market of the city; the population of Israel comes from every corner of the planet and this diversity is reflected in the ingredients found in this colourful and bustling market.
David InterContinental | Meals: Breakfast

Day 3 Caesarea / Haifa / Acre / Tiberias
After breakfast, set off up the coast to Caesarea, where you’ll be able to appreciate the juxtaposition of the old with the new. This 2000 year old city - built to honour Augustus Caesar - was once the capital of the Roman province and was later occupied by the Crusaders. Next stop is Haifa, home to the magnificent Persian Gardens at the Bahai Shrine, then on to Acre, one of the world's oldest seaports and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Acre was the main base for the Crusades and you can see the stunning Halls and buildings of the Knights Hospitaller and Knights Templars. After spending some time exploring the market bazaar, you’ll set off across the Jezreel Valley, destined for Galilee.
The Scots Hotel | Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 Tiberias / Sea of Galilee / Golan Heights

You can’t come to Galilee without going out on a boat on the famous sea, and that’s exactly what you’ll do, stopping at Capernaum to see the ancient synagogue where Jesus taught and St. Peter's house which was later converted into a church. You’ll visit Mt. Beatitudes, where Jesus preached his Sermon on the Mount before driving up to the Golan Heights, a rocky plateau overlooking the Sea of Galilee. The Golan is rich in fascinating archaeological sites, such as Tel Dan and Gaml and also a vibrant food and wine producing region, with many artisan cheese-makers, wineries, orchards and other specialist food producers. You’ll be able to meet and chat to an artisan producer for an insider insight into their work and wares.
The Scots Hotel | Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 Nazareth / Bet Shean / Jordan Valley
The focus of the day is Nazareth, where Jesus spent much of his life and where you’ll see numerous churches and historical sites marking the miracles he reputedly performed here in the 'Cradle of Christianity’. As you drive through the Jordan valley to Beit Shean (biblical Scythopolis) to visit the Roman theatre and the extensive excavations, you’ll stop at an agricultural kibutz get an insight into modern farming, before arriving in Jerusalem where you’ll be staying at the famous King David hotel.
The King David | Meals: Breakfast

Day 6 The Old City of Jerusalem, cooking school at Mahne Yahuda market
Your guide will meet you after breakfast for a walking tour of the walled Old City, taking you through the Jewish, Christian, Armenian and Moslem Quarters. Some of the key sites you’ll visit include the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, site of the Tomb of Christ, and the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, the place most holy to Jews. As you walk through the Jewish Quarter you will see the Cardo, the ancient Roman road that was once at the heart of the city and the restored Sephardic synagogues nearby. Parts of the Old City are still food markets as they have been for thousands of years.
After a morning full of history and culture, the rest of the day is all about food, starting with a trip to Mahne Yahuda food market to buy the ingredients for your dinner. You will be accompanied by Chef who will later give you a cooking lesson; you’ll be able to enjoy those local flavours and the fruits of you’ll labours for dinner.
The King David | Meals: Breakfast

Day 7 New City of Jerusalem / Bethlehem / Jerusalem
The day begins with a visit to Yad Vashem - the Jewish people's memorial to the six million lives lost to the Holocaust. Containing the world's largest repository of information on the Holocaust, Yad Vashem is a leader in Shoah education, commemoration, research and documentation, and it also is worthwhile taking a walk along the Street of the Righteous, dedicated to the non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust. You’ll drive past the Knesset, Israel's Parliament en route to the Israel Museum where you will see the fascinating Model of Jerusalem as it was during the time of the Second Temple and the Shrine of the Book, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls. From here, it's on to Bethlehem, where you visit the Church of the Nativity, which rests over the cave where Jesus was born.
The King David | Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 Jerusalem / Masada / Qumran / Jerusalem

Set off alongside the Dead Sea to Masada, to take the cable-car up to the last stronghold of the Zealots. Some 2000 years ago, Roman legions stormed one of the two paths to the top of this sandstone mountain to reach the Jewish Zealots headquartered there. The brave Israelite soldiers held out for three years against the invading Roman army before taking their own lives to avoid capture and enslavement. Many of their fortifications, originally built by King Herod, still stand.
On the way back to Jerusalem, stop at Qumran Caves, located on the Dead Sea's northern shore, the place where the Dead Sea scrolls were found in 1947 by a young Bedouin shepherd.
The King David | Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 Tel Aviv / UK
It’s time to bid farewell to Israel as you depart for the airport for your flight home.
Meals: Breakfast

Pricing
At A&K all of our journeys are individually tailored to suit your needs and timescale. As a guide, this 9 day suggested holiday will cost from £3,795 per person, based on two sharing, including international flights.

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Useful info

israel map

Best time to be there

Israel can be visited throughout the year although the ideal time is in the spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November). The climate is cooler and temperatures are mild in these months making it the perfect time to explore the country.

Fly to

Tel Aviv (British Airways, Easyjet)

flying time

4 hours 50 minutes direct

time difference

GMT +2 hours

Visas

Not required

Health Requirements

No mandatory vaccinations

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