Price range
From $12300 per person
Upcoming Date
04-13 May 2023
Tour Time
10 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

Join Lior Lev Sercarz – spice blender and owner of La Boîte, a biscuits and spice shop in New York City for this extraordinary culinary tour punctuated by his expertise in spicing things up! This one-of-a-kind May tour emphasizes seasonal specialties.

**COST DETAILS**
Minimum 12 participants: $12,300pp (double occupancy)

Up to 14 participants: $11,300pp (double occupancy)

Up to 16 participants $10,500pp (double occupancy)

Single Supplement: $1950

**Sign up by Dec 15, 2022 and take $500 off the price of trip! 

Highlights

Exclusive experience with spicemaster Lior Lev Sercarz as he leads this culinary tour of Israel
Hands-on cooking workshops throughout
Connect with some of Israel's leading culinary experts
Explore Israel's food culture through several lenses

Itinerary

1 - Thursday ( May 4 ) : Welcome to Israel

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Activities:

  • VIP Arrival - Arrival at Ben Gurion airport. Your VIP agent will be waiting to greet you at the sleeve of the plane. After assisting with arrival procedures and collecting your baggage, you will be taken to meet your driver.

  • Opening - As we all begin to gather from different places throughout the world, take this day to get your bearings, relax, and get ready for this journey as we join Chef Lior Lev Sercarz for an exciting and multi-sensory 10-day journey into Israeli food, wine, art, design, technology and culture. We are happy to offer options for things to do, make guides available, or assist with anything needed upon arrival.

  • The View from Here - Enjoy the night sky, overlooking the Old City, as we have our first wine on the Mamilla rooftop. High above the city, the Rooftop Outdoor Lounge & Restaurant embraces the fresh Jerusalem breeze, while offering a magnificent view of the Old City. There can hardly be a better milieu anywhere in the world for delectable food, pleasant music and casual al fresco dining.

  • Opening Dinner

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: dinner

2 - Friday ( May 5 ) : Prep for Shabbat

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Machane Yehuda Market & the Globalization of Food - The Machane Yehuda Market is one of the great markets of the world and shows the greatest abundance the land of Israel has ever seen. But, what is the significance of contemporary environmental issues related to the production and consumption of food? Tour Machane Yehuda Market through an ecological lens with a focus on the emergence of organic produce and health food stores in the market in recent years and a look into what Jewish sources have to say about sustainability.

  • Light lunch at Azura - A family-run institution in the Iraqi section of the market, famous for its Turkish-inspired delicacies that are slow-cooked to perfection atop kerosene burners.

  • 'Shtisel' Tours - A taste of the Ultra-Orthodox world-walk the streets of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods, get to know the people, the food, and feel the vibrations of this life. On a busy Thursday night, when people are preparing for Shabbat, gain a more complex appreciation for the people by listening to their music, visiting synagogues, various institutions, seeing unique leisure, fashion, and art this world encompasses, and, of course by eating freshly baked challah.

  • Rest at the hotel

  • Shabbat Dinner at a private home - Cooking together with Lior, including a Challah baking workshop

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

3 - Saturday ( May 6 ) : Back to the basics

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at hotel and check out

  • Old City Tasting Tour - Walk through the Muslim and Christian Quarters of the Old City seeing the historical and religious sites. See some off-the-beaten track sites in the winding alleyways and enjoy some Jerusalem delicacies. We will have a “taste of history” that interweaves stories and anecdotes, historical information, and, of course, combines the senses of smell, taste, and sound.

  • Latrun Monastery - Visit Latrun Monastery, built in the mid 1800's, and meet the priests who distill and ferment unique spirits and wines.

  • Seahorse Winery - The Seahorse winery is a small operation and is one of the better places to get to know the Judean Hills' terroir. Zeev Dunie, a filmmaker turned winemaker, has pioneered coaxing authentic Mediterranean flavors from unusual grapes.

  • Farm to Table - with Nura (our tour guide) - In the February lushness of Mate Yehuda, meet Nurit Hertz in her natural habitat- the outdoors. Nura will teach you identify edible plants then you'll cook a delicious dinner with these fresh greens.

  • Mamilla Hotel

Overnight: Mamilla Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner, Machane Yehuda Tasting Tour

4 - Sunday ( May 7 ) : Heading North

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at hotel and check out

  • Make our way North

  • Visit Zoara Distillery with Naama Szterenlicht - Meet Naama Szterenlicht, local tonic brewer and artisanal forager. Taste with Naama her spirits, vermouths, and hand made tonics.

  • Lunch at Rutenberg - Rutenberg restaurant is situated on the banks of the Jordan, next to the old Gesher conservation site. The three bridges over the river and 10,000 years of human history attest to the fertility of the flora and fauna of the Jordan Valley. "We believe in seasonal local cuisine and are constantly in the process of discovering the region."

  • Wine talk with Hila (the chef) and Naama

  • Agro tour of Yarok B'Kfar - Visit the greens farm, Yarok B'Kfar, in Hukok. Learn and taste the value of green organic shakes, in nature.

  • Drive to Hotel and check in

  • Terytorya Mekomit - Dinner Local food – Yanshuf Valley and meeting with the chefs

  • Bayit Bagalil

Overnight: Bayit Bagalil
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

5 - Monday ( May 8 ) : The Mosaic of the Galilee

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Traditional Bedouin Coffee Ceremony - In Kamana

  • Druze cooking workshop - Together with your hosts in their private home, prepare traditional Druze Galilean dishes and then enjoy the feast you create. Learn about Druze culture and history from your hosts and from the food you eat.

  • Tour Safed - Safed, pronounced Tzfat in Hebrew, sits at a higher altitude than any other city in Israel and has been known since the 16th century as a major center of Kabbala, Jewish mysticism. Safed’s mystical aura adds to its special status as one of Israel’s four holy cities, along with Jerusalem, Tiberias and Hebron. The old synagogues, narrow alleyways and artists’ studios add to the hilltop city’s unmistakable charm.

  • Lag BaOmer Bon Fire and dinner under the stars - With live klezmer music

  • Bayit Bagalil

Overnight: Bayit Bagalil
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

6 - Tuesday ( May 9 ) : Back to the Family

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Visit Kibbutz and taste local Caviar - Kibbutz Dan, where Lior grew up, now has a successful manufacturing facility for the world known - Beluga Caviar. Visit and taste the pools and workshop.

  • Quick visit to the GCI - While it's being built, visit the Galilee Culinary Institute

  • Tel Dan Nature Reserve - Tel Dan National Park combines a lush nature reserve with a biblical archaeological experience and includes a short wheelchair- accessible trail. At the heart of the park is “Tel Dan”- the capital of the ancient northern Israeli biblical kingdom.

  • Food tour with Ali Hatib - A Local chef at Rajar village, a Allawi town situated on the border with Lebanon, being partially in Israel and partially with our neighbors.

  • Geo Political Jeep tour near Merom Golan - Take a geo-political tour of the Golan with an expert. While traversing the rich landscape, learn about the history, flora, and fauna of the area. Stop for a lookout over the border with Syria from Mt. Bental to get a better understanding of the geography and strategical role this region has for the State of Israel. Your local guide touches on the nuances of living so close to the Syrian border and what that has meant for Israel as it relates to security and humanitarian issues.

  • Dinner at Bustan Haim with Moshe Lev (Lior's father) - Bustan Haim is where Chef Lior Lev Sercarz’s family produces olive oil and grows their own produce. Enjoy dinner that highlights the farm's and the area's products

  • Bayit BaGalil

Overnight: Bayit BaGalil
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

7 - Wednesday ( May 10 ) : Spicing with Lior

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel and check out

  • Nazareth market and old city tour - The Nazareth Market was established in the 17th century and originally its districts were divided according to themes- the Brides’ Market, the Vegetable Market, the Tinsmiths’ Market and the Carpenters’ Market were among the main ones. Today these sections remain only in memory but the market is still bustling with activity and authenticity.

    Continue to meet Maoz Yinon, a social entrepreneur in Nazareth

  • Spices with Lior - At El Babour Spice Store in the heart of the holy city of Nazareth, the 120-year old, family-run mill is renowned for its range of exceptional homemade spices. Here we will get an introduction to the world of spices with Lior Lev Sercarz.

  • Lunch at Rish Lakish - Visit to Rish Lakish, a family-owned olive oil press. Meet the family, see the process of making olive oil, and eat a delicious lunch using products of the press and garden.

  • Drive to Tel Aviv, check in and rest of day on own

  • Drisco Hotel

Overnight: Drisco Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

8 - Thursday ( May 11 ) : Welcome to Tel Aviv

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at Hotel

  • Levinsky Market - The Levinsky Market specializes in spices and Mediterranean delicacies. It is, in many ways, the best market in Tel Aviv, known for its variety, freshness, and special atmosphere. Whether you are looking for a rare Indian spice or some good quality saffron - this is the place. Shops offer a cornucopia of excellent cheeses, smoked fish, wines, and other delicacies. Tour the market and have "tastings" throughout.

  • Gazoz Workshop - Meet Benny Briga the legendary Gazoz master of the Levinsky Market and author of the Gazoz book with Adeena Sussman. Briga has reimagined the Turkish tradition and given it a creative twist that results in delicious and beautifully bubbly beverage. Join Benny to learn how you can make this yourself.

  • Graffiti Tour - Explore Florentine through an urban graffiti tour. Who are the people going out at night and changing the face of the neighborhood? What kind of story do these images and words tell us about the people living there? What is unique about graffiti in Israel and in Tel Aviv? We will walk through Florentine, the neighborhood of Tel Aviv best-known for graffiti art to answer these questions and many more in a dynamic and inquisitive tour.

  • Neve Tzedek - Neve Tzedek is the first Jewish neighborhood to be built outside of Jaffa and currently one of the most beautiful and desired locations in Tel Aviv. It was built by some of the dignitaries of the old Jewish community of Jaffa in 1887. They were looking to head out of the ever-growing and over-crowded Jaffa, to build what was considered back than modern and comfortable housing. In recent years, after a period of neglect, the neighborhood has been restored and is now a trendy, fun, and beautiful part of the city and, especially, a good place to try some Israeli gelato!

  • Dinner at Dok, meeting with the chef and visit HaAchim Deli

  • Bnei Brak Pre Shabbat night tour - Visit the Ultra Orthodox city of Bnei Brak and taste, experience and smell the pots and pans of pre Shabbat dinner preperations

  • Drisco Hotel

Overnight: Drisco Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner, Tasting Tour Levinsky Market, Druze cooking workshop and home hospitality

9 - Friday ( May 12 ) : Tel Aviv, Ya Habibi, Tel Aviv

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the Hotel

  • Old Jaffa - Jaffa is one of the most ancient port cities in Israel and the Mediterranean basin. Today Jaffa is a mixed city, where Jews and Arabs live alongside each other. Tel Aviv, Jaffa's younger sister, was established centuries later, in the year 1909, but the two were united into one municipality in 1949, yet each part kept its unique feel and atmosphere. Jaffa has been regenerated in recent years with the old narrow streets and courtyards becoming a highly popular part of Tel Aviv’s urban tapestry.

  • Hummus Abu Hassan - Make a stop at Abu Hassan which started out in 1959 with a small hummus stand with two pots on Hadolphin Street near the Jaffa port and is now legendary.

  • De Yafa - De Yafa (in Arabic: “hospitality”) is a unique guest house in the vibrant Jaffa’s flea market. It is located in a unique ancient stone structure with an arched ceiling, which was used in the late 19th century as a Khan compound – a place for Jaffa visitors. De Yafa`s vision is to leverage the tourism industry in the city to empower the local population, and in fact making tourism more inclusive and promoting of the local economy while employing local women, using their skills for their livelihood and in the same time exposes the magnificent Arab culture to people from Israel and from all over the world.

  • Jaffa Flea Market - Wind your way through the Flea Market which features everything from antiques to hip new clothing and design stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars.

  • HaBasta - Small but perfectly formed, HaBasta is located on a street leading off Tel Aviv’s Carmel Market, from where almost all its produce is sourced. An extensive daily changing menu is scribbled on a piece of paper on the wall. The dishes, while simple, are satisfyingly complex in execution. The international wine list is equally exceptional. You will be greeted by Maoz Alonim, chef and owner.

  • Tel Aviv Nightlife - Experience the "city that never sleeps" by a fun bar hopping tour. (optional)

  • Drisco Hotel

Overnight: Drisco Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

10 - Saturday ( May 13 ) : Shabbat and Shalom

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at your hotel and check out

  • Shabbat Brunch - In private setting indulge in a Jewish Shabbat Brunch. Enjoy the variety of classic ethnic foods that are part of the Shabbat day meal. These dishes are brought directly from the homes in which the food was cooked for families that share their heritage and flavors.

  • Final program and farewell - cocktail workshop - Drink down a story of Israel! Travel the different regions of the country through the drinks. Through local spirits, quality Israeli produce, cultural design, and Israeli innovation, meet the staff of an Israeli cocktail 'start-up' and see how they translate this into amazing cocktails. Cocktails are mixed with Israeli alcohol, fruit in season, and wrapped into the Israeli story. You’ll have a chance to learn to mix the drinks as well.

  • Farewell - Farewell

Overnight: Farewell
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

Terms of Payment

Deposit is due immediately to secure the booking.

Balance for the trip is due no later than 45 days prior to first day of trip.

Please refer to our full Terms and Conditions here.

Cancellation Policy

Bookings can be cancelled within 48 hours, with a full refund.

Should it be necessary to cancel or postpone the tour due to force majeure circumstances, or Israeli government-imposed/air flight restrictions related to COVID-19,  a full refund may be possible, minus a $200 per person service fee.

For cancellations made:

  • Up to 45 days prior to departure, any payments made above the deposit towards the tour will be refunded. The deposit is non-refundable
  • 45 to 30 days prior to departure, 50% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded
  • 29 to 8 days prior to departure, 25% of the total tour cost per person will be refunded
  • 7 to 0 days prior to departure, the client will incur 100% of the cost of the tour

Should members of a group booking cancel their participation, their deposits cannot be applied to the balance payment of other group members.

All cancellation requests must be made in writing.

What’s Included
A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide v
A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide text
Hotels throughout the trip v
Group transfers to & from the airport v
VIP services upon arrival & departure v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
Testimonials
“Not only was the experience reflective of top-notch quality and superb attention to detail, you were treated like family. ”
Elizabeth
2019
“Our trip with Via Sabra exploring the rich history, culture and food of the Jews from Arab countries was excellent in every respect. It is a side of Israel that most don't see, yet critical to understanding Israel today. Highly recommended!”
Marcia T
2019
“An Experience which was Perfection! Via Sabra is an incredible company which we both recommend highly. They created an extraordinary trip for my husband and me. They spent a great deal of time developing a good sense of who we are and our interests. They then planned a trip which was perfectly geared to us. They surpassed all expectations which we had and no request was too much for them. We explored history, culture, religion, politics and Israel’s splendid food and wine all highlighted by exceptional guiding. ”
Debbie
2020

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Early bird special - $200 off per person.

Available only between October 1-10, 2021!!

Registration for the trip will open on October 1. Fill out this form to be notified when registration for the trip opens, so you can take advantage of early bird special pricing!

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