Category Archives: Wine Tours

The Food and Wine Tour

Experience Israel through the tastes and the smells: a gastronomic adventure to discover Israel’s multicultural population and unique culture while indulging yourself in a wide palate of flavors.

We’re not joking and this is not a marketing gimmick. It’s real, as you will find out. The food throughout this tour is superior, highest quality and exclusively representing the many different cultures in Israel, eating in their native environment and their restaurants. You not only eat their food, and drink their wine, but you experience their culture too! Not one kind of culture is the same, all of them with it’s own unique charm.

Here we have a breakdown for this tour, day for day.

Day 1 – Arrival
Day 2 – Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee
Day 3 – Golan Heights
Day 4 – Acre, Haifa
Day 5 – Caesarea, Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Day 6 – Jerusalem – Old city
Day 7 – Jerusalem – New City
Day 8 – Negev
Day 9 – Masada, Ein Gedi
Day 10 – Departure

What are you going to see?

  • Day 2 – Golan Heights, Talmudic village of Katsrin, Eden Water Mineral Water Plant, Katsrin’s winery, Druze villages of Buk’ata and Mas’ade, Hula Valley, Sea of Galilee, St. Peter’s (tilapia).
  • Day 3 – Hula Nature Reserve, Oforia, Rosh Pina, chocolate factory, Safed (Tzefat), Hameiri Dairy
  • Day 4 – Tsipori National Park (Zippori), Moshav Tsipori, Acre, Knights Halls, Al-Jazaar Mosque, Old City, Haifa, German Templer Colony, , Baha’i Gardens, Carmel National Park
  • Day 5 – Zikhron Ya’akov, Caesarea, Tel Aviv, Carmel Market, Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv Port, Jaffa, Yefet Street, fishermen’s port, Neve Tsedek
  • Day 6 – Jerusalem, Tower of David Museum, Jaffa Gate, Jewish Quarter, Broad Wall, Ariel, Herodian Mansions, Western Wall, Southern Wall Excavations, Multimedia Davidson Center, Old City markets
  • Day 7 – Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Children’s Memorial, Hall of Remembrance, Knesset, Supreme Court building, Israel Museum, Dead Sea Scrolls, Mahane Yehuda
  • Day 8 – Eshtaol Forest, Tel Zor’a, Elah Valley, Tel Maresha, Beit Govrin National Park, Arad, Nokdim Farm, Drejat
  • Day 9 – Masada, Ein Gedi National Park

 


Day 1 – Arrival

This is the day that you arrive in Israel. Well, it’s not the case for those who are already here or who are living in Israel.

For those who are arriving in Israel, will be picked up from the airport by the guide and driver from Shalom Israel.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel and for this tour it means Tel Aviv.

During the drive to your hotel, the bus will stop multiple times if the group requires so. One stop is for stretching your legs and to be fed real food and drink. That is included in the tour! So, please don’t spend your money on that.

Depending when you all arrive at your hotel, we will start this tour with a special dinner, probably a bit unexpected! We are going to enjoy Chinese food! Yes, they have Chinese food in Israel, and yes, there is a Chinese community in Israel too.


Day 2 – Golan Heights and Sea of Galilee

Places: Golan Heights, Talmudic village of Katsrin, Eden Water Mineral Water Plant, Katsrin’s winery, Druze villages of Buk’ata and Mas’ade, Hula Valley, Sea of Galilee, St. Peter’s (tilapia).

You begin the day with a healthy breakfast. The breakfast for today is a breakfast focused on fruit and yogurts in an exclusive restaurant, together with huge collections of fresh juices.


After our breakfast, we begin your gastronomic adventure in Israel in the Golan Heights, which few people know has become a magnet for wine, food and olive-oil connoisseurs. Wine, oil and livestock have been the traditional produce of the Golan for centuries.

Talmudic village of Katsrin

One of the finest illustrations of this fact is the Talmudic village of Katsrin, where wine- and oil-presses have been discovered, and an oil press is on display and even used.

Katsrin’s winery

After a short tour of the ancient village, you can proceed to the nearby industrial zone to visit the Eden Water Mineral Water Plant and Katsrin’s winery, one of many in the Golan Heights.

Drive north through the Druze villages of Buk’ata and Mas’ade, stopping for the special Druze pita bread, cheese and za’atar (The biblical hyssop).

Cheese and za’atar
Cheese and za’atar

Descend from the Golan to the Hula Valley via the headwaters of the Jordan. Due to the abundance of water, the area is dotted with fish ponds. Dinner at a fish restaurant is a great choice in this region, with trout one of the specialties.

Hula valley
Hula valley
Hula Trails

You can also head down to the Sea of Galilee to enjoy a fish dinner along the lakefront, the local favorite being St. Peter’s (tilapia).

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Tiberias.

Dinner today is special, because we are going to eat the food of the Druze!


Day 3 – Golan Heights

Places: Hula Nature Reserve, Oforia, Rosh Pina, chocolate factory, Safed (Tzefat), Hameiri Dairy


This morning we start with pancakes. Be aware, every day of this tour we eat something else; there is no hotel food here in this tour.


Start the day at the Hula Nature Reserve after an amazing, filling breakfast. The reserve has lovely walking trails, including a “floating bridge” over the wetland, and special lookout points where visitors can observe the wild birds.
In the spring of 1994, another stage in the campaign to restore the Hula Valley was completed: the flooding of 250 acres of uncultivated land, located approximately two kilometers north of the Hula Nature Reserve. Visitors can visit the re-flooded area to appreciate nature’s powers.
While at the Hula valley Nature reserve don’t forget to stop at “Oforia,” a spectacular multimedia display that tells the story of the migratory route that crosses the region and the millions of birds that use it.

Rosh Pina

Continue to Rosh Pina, one of the first communities established by the early Zionists settlers, for a taste of rural life in the Galilee. Enjoy a meal at in one of the many fine country-style eateries that dot this picturesque community.

Rosh Pina Chocolates

A special treat is the chocolate factory in the restored part of Rosh Pina, located in the 19th-century one-room school house.

Tzefat

Proceed to Safed (Tzefat), one of the four holy cities in Israel and the home of Lurianic Kabalah (a branch of Jewish mysticism conceived by the 16-century Rabbi Isaac Luria).Stroll along the lanes of Safed’s old city, visiting its many synagogues and its unique artist’s colony.
Visit Hameiri Dairy – The first dairy in the country.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Tiberias.

Our dinner tonight is in Safed.


Day 4 – Acre, Haifa

Places: Tsipori National Park (Zippori), Moshav Tsipori, Acre, Knights Halls, Al-Jazaar Mosque, Old City, Haifa, German Templer Colony, , Baha’i Gardens, Carmel National Park


Breakfast today is presented to you in Russian style! Look out, when you don’t say STOP, it keeps on coming …


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Tsipori National Park

Visit Tsipori National Park (Zippori), with its ruins of a Second-Temple era Jewish city, where Judah Hanasi redacted the Mishnah some 1800 years ago.
The beautiful villa, the triclinium dining room and the “Mona Lisa of the Galilee” mosaic floor with its banqueting motifs, suggest that food and wine were important then as now.

Stop at Moshav Tsipori for a taste of their honey and organic olive oil.

Acre food

Proceed to Acre. The remains of the Crusader town, dating from 1104 to 1291, lie almost intact both above and below today’s street level, providing an exceptional picture of the layout and structures of the capital of the medieval Crusader kingdom, along with touches of the Ottoman fortified market town Acre was during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Akko or Acre

Explore the Knights Halls, the Al-Jazaar Mosque, the bathho?use with its multi-media display, and the new ethnic museum, built right into the rooms of the old wall.
Stroll through the alleys of the Old City, stop in at its spice shops, and taste the local humus and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean delicacies.

Continue to the Port city of Haifa; visit its picturesque German Templer Colony, the Baha’i Gardens and the Carmel National Park on the outskirts of the city.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Haifa.

And guess what we are going to eat today for this evening? That’s right, we eat the same food as the Baha’i eat!


Day 5 – Caesarea, Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Places: Zikhron Ya’akov, Caesarea, Tel Aviv, Carmel Market, Rothschild Boulevard, Tel Aviv Port, Jaffa, Yefet Street, fishermen’s port, Neve Tsedek

Breakfast time again! This day we go for the sweet and healthy breakfasts!

Zikhron Ya’akov

Start the day with a visit to the pioneering town of Zikhron Ya’akov – an area abundant in vineyards and wine and visit a local winery.

Caesarea

Continue to Caesarea, Herod’s magnificent port city. Visit the theater, newly excavated hippodrome, palace, bathhouse and the port area showing the influence of the Crusader conquest in the 11th century CE.

Carmel Market
Carmel Market

Continue to Tel Aviv. In the heart of the city, you’ll enjoy the colors and aromas of the Carmel Market, Tel Aviv’s open air fresh produce market.

Carmel Market
Carmel Market

In July, 2003, UNESCO Organization proclaimed the unique urban and historical fabric of early Tel Aviv, known as the White City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the midst of the White City is Rothschild Boulevard, with many interesting architectural monuments, as well as a selection of the city’s good restaurants.

Tel Aviv Blues Festival Winter Acoustic Edition
Tel Aviv nightlife

Tel Aviv boasts restaurants for every palate, preference and pocket. Ask your concierge for the best recommendations. Some of the best fish restaurants in the city are located in the Tel Aviv Port, along with ice cream bars and cafes.

Sheinkin Street
Sheinkin Street Tel Aviv

Head for Jaffa, where you can buy the freshest bread for miles around at the bakery on Jaffa’s main drag, Yefet Street, a favorite with locals that does its best business on Saturday nights.

Stroll the alleyways of old Jaffa and enjoy the artists’ colony, the picturesque fishermen’s port, the archaeological remains and restaurants.

Neve Tsedek Neighborhood
Neve Tsedek

Neve Tsedek, the first Jewish neighborhood outside the walls of old Jaffa, is now a gentrified part of town that is one of the city’s cultural hubs as well.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Tel Aviv.

And what’s for dinner? This time we are eating with the Arab kitchen!


Day 6 – Jerusalem – Old city

Places: Jerusalem, Tower of David Museum, Jaffa Gate, Jewish Quarter, Broad Wall, Ariel, Herodian Mansions, Western Wall, Southern Wall Excavations, Multimedia Davidson Center, Old City markets

With this new day, we have again a new kind of breakfast!

We take the highway number one to Jerusalem via the Judean Mountains.

Tower of David Light Show

The Citadel/Tower of David

Start your visit in Israel’s capital at the Tower of David Museum dedicated to the history of Jerusalem from the founding of the city to modern times, in its unique location in the old Turkish citadel near the Old City’s Jaffa Gate.

Old City Jewish Quarter
Jewish Quarter

Continue to the Jewish Quarter, which was home to European and Sephardic Jews who prayed and studied during the centuries under Ottoman rule, to visit the Broad Wall, a 2,700 year old defensive fortification; the Ariel – First Temple period museum; and Herodian Mansions.

Old City Jewish Quarter
Jewish Quarter

Descend from the Jewish Quarter to the Western Wall, the last remnant of the Herodian Temple Mount. Visit the Southern Wall Excavations. Walk on the original street from two thousand years ago, climb the ancient steps, and visit the Multimedia Davidson Center, in the basement of an eighth-century CE building.

Mahane Yehuda Market
The oriental market in Old Jerusalem

Wander the Old City markets, steeping yourself in its sights, sounds and aromas, and try your hand at hunting and bargaining for treasures.

Dinner at one of the many fine restaurants in Jerusalem.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Jerusalem.

Dinner today is special again. We are eating Arab-dinner made by people from Morocco!


Day 7 – Jerusalem – New City

Places: Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Children’s Memorial, Hall of Remembrance, Knesset, Supreme Court building, Israel Museum, Dead Sea Scrolls, Mahane Yehuda

Breakfast time has arrived. After waking up, breakfast is waiting for you! Let us surprise you with this breakfast:

Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum

Yad Vashem

Start the day with a Visit to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial, Walk through the astounding new Museum with its new and moving focus on the individual in the Holocaust, the Children’s Memorial and Hall of Remembrance.
Drive through the New City viewing old and new neighborhoods and the Knesset (The Israeli Parliament) (open for visits on Sundays and Thursdays) and the beautifully designed Supreme Court building.

At the nearby Israel Museum, among many other fascinating exhibits discover the mysteries of the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Shrine of the Book and see the Model of ancient Jerusalem.

Mahane Yehuda Market

Mahane Yehuda

For a change of pace visit Mahane Yehuda, the produce market of the capital, where a number of good restaurants have opened there lately, in the old stone buildings.

Finish the day with optional evening tours that explore the development of Jerusalem from the 19th century on. (Must be pre-arranged, can be booked through the concierge at your hotel)

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Jerusalem.

And what do we have for dinner? Well, honestly, that’s up to you, because we hire a restaurant, kick everyone out – and that includes the cook too – and you (or some of you) will volunteer to kook for all of us.

Empty kitchen in restaurant
Empty kitchen in restaurant

Don’t worry, you can make a mess and don’t need to clean it up. That’s what the cook will do … or the guide.


Day 8 – Negev

Places: Eshtaol Forest, Tel Zor’a, Elah Valley, Tel Maresha, Beit Govrin National Park, Arad, Nokdim Farm, Drejat

It’s breakfast time again. But this time we go a bit more traditional with the breakfast, because we will go into the desert and you don’t know what kind of culinary surprises we will find right in the middle of nowhere.


Eshtaol Forest

Start the day with a scenic drive to the Eshtaol Forest, located about 30 minutes west of Jerusalem. This area is famous as the scene of Samson’s exploits, and includes Tel Zor’a, where Samson’s traditional tomb is located. As a Nazirite, this biblical strongman wasn’t allowed to drink wine.

Drive to the Elah Valley famous for the biblical story of David’s battle with Goliath, where wine and table grapes are being grown as they were in Bible times.

Continue to Tel Maresha located in Beit Govrin National Park. The area is known for its manmade caves dating back to the Hellenistic period. These subterranean complexes served as the industrial zone of the city producing oil that was mostly exported to Egypt, and you can see a restored olive press in one of them.

Drive through the desert town of Arad to enjoy Bedouin hospitality in the Nokdim Farm or in the picturesque village of Drejat.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Negev.

Day 9 – Masada, Ein Gedi

Places: Masada, Ein Gedi National Park

And we have breakfast! Because we are still with the Bedouins, we will start this day with the Bedouin breakfast!

Masada Mountain & Cable Car

Masada

Option 1: Wake up before dawn and drive 20 minutes to the western slopes of Masada. Ascend by foot as the sun rises to enjoy its full glory from the top of the Mountain.
Tour the fortress, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which was a fabulous palace of Herod the Great, and became world-famous as the last Jewish stronghold during the great Jewish Revolt against Rome nearly 2,000 years ago.

Option 2: We drive from the Arad area to the eastern side of Masada (about one hour) and ascend the mountain via the Snake Path or the cable-car.

Ein Gedi National Park

Ein Gedi near Dead Sea

After touring Masada, drive north to Ein Gedi National Park for a hike through its lush oasis to a beautiful waterfall.

Spend the rest of the day at leisure at one of the spa hotels or country-style accommodations in the Dead Sea area.

  • For those, who ordered the hotels, they will be driven by bus to their hotel in Dead Sea area.

The time has come for dinner. We are still in the desert, and what are we going to eat?

Enjoy amidst the desert with a lovely dinner in tranquility
Enjoy amidst the desert with a lovely dinner in tranquility
Dinner in the middle of the desert
Dinner in the middle of the desert

Day 12 – Departure

Before you leave, some breakfast first. And this is honestly not some breakfast, it’s a breakfast feast!

This is the day of the departure. We bring everyone back to the point where we picked them up.


Hamat Hanegev Wine Route

In recent years the number of vineyards in the valleys and hills between Mitzpe Ramon and Be’er Sheva has grown significantly. These vineyards mark the first attempts to nurture grapes in the desert since the ancient Nabataeans made wine at Shivta and Avdat. Using innovative computerized watering methods (eg drip irrigation), today’s winegrowers have converted arid areas of dust into fertile land.

Sde Boker Winery
Sde Boker Winery

Located on the kibbutz of the same name, the Sde Boker Winery was established in  1999 in association with the School of Agriculture Rehovot to test the possibility of growing wine grapes with brackish water. Map.

Winemaker Zvi Remak hails from San Francisco and concentrates on making handcrafted, barrel, red wines from cabernet sauvignon and merlot grapes. You can taste his wines at a stand in the visitor center next to the Ben-Gurion Desert Home.

Carmey Avdat Winery
Carmey Avdat Winery

Located close to the Avdat ruins, the Carmey Avdat Winery (08-653 5177; http://www.carmeyavdat.com;) is a family-run vineyard built on the ruins of an ancient agricultural settlement. It harvested its first yield in 2002, and now produces a rosé, merlot, cabernet sauvignon and cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend. Map.

This is a lovely spot to spend a few nights; it offers rustic cabins with kitchen and private dipping pool (per double on weekdays 560NIS to 890NIS, on the weekend 670NIS to 890NIS). Breakfast is delivered to guests, and there’s a produce shop where local cheeses and other products can be purchased.

Boker Valley Vineyards Farm
Boker Valley Vineyards Farm

As well as producing organic wine, olives and fruit, the Boker Valley Vineyards Farm (052-578 6863, 052-862 2930; http://www.bokerfarm.com;  weekday/weekend US$160/190, weekday/weekend $US270/300; ) offers comfortable accommodation. Map.

Operated by a friendly Israeli–Dutch family, it has five safari-style cabins sleeping between two and five; each comes with a small kitchenette and outdoor barbecue area. Guests  love the spa-bath hut and the lavish home-cooked breakfasts.

The farm is a 3.5km drive north of Kibbutz Sde Boker on Rte 40, between the Telalim and Halukim Junctions. Other local wines to sample include those produced by Nana (try its impressive chardonnay), Kadesh Barnea, Ashba, Rota, Sdema, Rujum and Derech Erez.

For more information about the Ramat Hanegev region and the wine route, go to http://www.rng.org.il.

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Tour itineraries already published

  1. Family and Children tour, 12 days
  2. Classical Israeli-Gems Tour, 10 Days
  3. Family and Children tour, 10 days
  4. Orthodox Christian Tour, 10 days
  5. Orthodox Christian Tour, 8 days
  6. Orthodox Christian Tour, 6 days
  7. Orthodox Christian Tour, 4 days
  8. Day tour Jerusalem
  9. Day tour Sea of Galilee
  10. Walking day tour Tel Aviv
  11. Catholic Tour Israel, 7 days
  12. Catholic Tour Israel, 5 days
  13. Catholic Tour Israel, 3 days
  14. Catholic Pilgrimage Tour, 8 days
  15. Day tour Old Tiberias Walking Tour
  16. Day tours Nine Farm Tours for Families
  17. Day tour Old-City Ramparts Walk tour, Jerusalem
  18. Day tour Luzit Caves – Do-it-your-self in caving
  19. Boat tours – Touring in the Red Sea, Sea of Galilee and cruises
  20. Wine Tasting & Israel Adventure Experience
  21. A Holy Land Pilgrimage in the Footsteps of the Virgin Mary
  22. Bus tours
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  24. Cave tours
  25. Children tours – Specific tours for your children and teenagers
  26. City tours – More city tours then we already have
  27. Day tours – More day tours in a specific theme
  28. Family tours – More family tours, but in a specific theme
  29. Jeep tours
  30. Catholic tours
  31. Christian tours
  32. Evangelic tours
  33. Orthodox tours
  34. Pilgrimage tours
  35. Wine tours

Tours in the make

  1. Follow the Footsteps of Jesus in Jerusalem
  2. Adventure tours
  3. Music tours
  4. Culture tours
  5. Food and Wine tours
  6. History tours
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I’m specialized in Private and Tailor-made Israel Tours for Groups, Families, Individuals, and Corporate Clients – All Tours May Be Booked As Day Tours From Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa or Anywhere in Israel! Call me +972-52-483-9865 or email me: wim.vincken@gmail.com Contact me

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It’s cheaper.
If you think that you can find the cheapest prices for hotels, transport, entry fees and also you know the right places you want to see, because you have an internet connection and find anything you want to see and experience online, then dream on. I know the best places for you, depending on your preferences and requirements. I live here in Israel already for more then 24 years and counting. And I’m doing the private guide tours already for more then 15 years. And I created tours for tourists already for longer then that. Creating tours means at least knowing all the prices and negotiate the best conditions. So, when you arrive here with a book in your hand, and try to figure out the best things to enjoy, this is always more expensive then hire me.
You earn my daily rate back immediately. Contact me

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Apart from visiting some of the same places, there is no resemblance between a private tour and do-it-your-self or an average group tour. While a group tour can be no more than just seeing a collection of sights, my tour is about telling and developing the amazing story of this country – past and present. When I unfold this complex and interesting story gradually and carefully, you can absorb it easily and enjoy it in such a way that when you depart, you have had the thrilling sensation of experiencing a great journey in time, cultures, religions, views and tastes. It is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Contact me

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On this website, you can see hundreds of interesting sights in many different categories; also you will see several itineraries (tours). None of them will be your tour exactly – they are presented here so that you can get a general idea of what I can do. After I get to know you and your expectations, I will be able to design your specific itinerary, discuss it with you and change it until you are satisfied.
As we travel on the tour, we will follow this itinerary but will also keep the option open to change it whenever you feel like doing so. Contact me

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On multiple day tours, where we will be sleeping outside the Tiberias area, the customer is also responsible to pay my lodging and meals.

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My fee is $150 per full day of touring. This means either a walking tour or a tour where you provide transportation. My fee for half day tours is $100. In some cases I need to charge transport money. Go to Top

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I arrange for you myself as the guide and transportation as you require. Call me +972-52-483-9865 or email me: wim.vincken@gmail.com

  1. Guiding, vehicle, driver and fuel for a full day
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  2. Guiding, vehicle, driver and fuel for a full day
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    – Up to 30 people for up to 10 hours and 200 km is $950.

Keep in mind that there are many guides who both drive and guide at the same time and charge a higher (or similar) rate. Here you are getting a dedicated driver besides me as a guide. This means that I can give you my full attention while the driver gives his full attention to the road! Also there are often sites where the driver will be able to drop us off in one area to walk around and tour and then pick us up in a different area rather than having to walk back to the vehicle. This is by far the best way to tour!
The rate may vary based on the size of vehicle you need as well as the distance to be traveled etc. Once I have the details I can give you an exact quote. On multiple day tours you will have to provide for food and lodging for the driver as well. Go to Top

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