Israel is full of incredible sights, thrilling adventures, and exotic flavors. Many travelers wish to communicate their experiences to folks back home in the form of Israel souvenirs. Unless you’re a local, it’s hard to know what to buy in Israel. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite cool things to buy in Israel so you can focus on having fun.
1. Unique Jewelry from Israeli Designers
While a Hebrew name necklace is a reliable standby, Israel is full of independent jewelry designers who draw from Jewish, middle-eastern and world traditions. You can find silver and goldsmiths in shops around Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and smaller cities, but here are two of our favorite designers for specialized take-home gifts.
Elina Gleizer is a Televivian goldsmith whose animal-inspired rings are perfect for those with impassioned connections to cats, birds, bulls, and more. For something more whimsical, check out Shelly Dahari, whose designs feature zodiac symbols. (Hint: all astrology signs like jewelry!)
2. Olive Oil From Boutique Pressers
The ancient craft of pressing olive oil has experienced something of a Renaissance in modern-day Israel. Sabras and new Olim (new immigrants to Israel) have started boutique companies all over the state. Many offer tastings, workshops, and tours in addition to their products. For foodstuffs that travel well, you can’t go wrong with olive oil.
Just 55 minutes from Tel Aviv, in Moshav Bethlehem HaGlilit, Galili offers free admission to their courtyard, tastings, and, of course, bottles of olive oil for purchase. They’re family-owned and organize a yearly olive oil competition. If you’re in the Negev, check out Ptora, founded by one of the first families to settle in Moshav Sdeh Moshe in the 1950s. Ptora sells olive oil, as well as gift boxes of oil and honey, and even wine. Via Sabra often sends tours to visit Ptora and sample their delicious offerings.
3. Exclusive Israeli Wine
As evidenced by many references to wine in the Torah and Old Testament, Israelis know (and like) wine. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate, modern Israel also boasts a thriving wine industry. Ranging from small operations to larger organizations, there are approximately 300 active wineries. Most Israeli wine (around 80%) is consumed within the country, so the gift of Israeli wine is likely to be prized by the right connoisseur.
We recommend Recanati, and not just because our CEO, Avihai Tsabari, won their national wine competition in 2008. Established in 2000, Recanati Winery was created with the express purpose of producing original Israeli wines. Incredibly, their vineyards have restored the ancient Marawi variety of grape, which barely survived the Ottoman period in Israel after local authorities forbade winemaking. Share wine like it was made thousands of years ago in the time of Romans, King David, and Jesus.
4. Mineral Rich Mud from the Dead Sea
This incredible mud is a popular Dead Sea souvenir for tourists, available at resorts around the Dead Sea. Dead Sea mud has been used to treat health conditions like psoriasis and back pain in addition to illuminating beautiful skin. Dead Sea mud is also easy to purchase online at home. (Ya know, in case you forget to purchase souvenirs in Israel.) The best of the best is certainly the Israeli-owned Ahava brand, whose product includes chamomile to soothe skin.
Via Sabra encourages all travelers to seize the moment, take in all the incredible sights of Israel…but it never hurts to think of folks back home.
Be sure to view our private day trips to ensure you don’t miss out on Israel’s best experiences.