Price range
From $11800 per person
Upcoming Date
29-07 June 2022
Tour Time
10 Days (Inc. Arv./Dpt.)

Join celebrated chef Michael Solomonov on a culinary journey that dives straight into the heart and soul of Israeli cuisine. Solomonov, winner of the 2017 James Beard Award for Outstanding American Chef, is the owner of Zahav Restaurant in Philadelphia, 2019 James Beard Award winner for Outstanding Restaurant. In 2015, along with his business partner Steve Cook, Michael released the popular cookbook Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking, followed by Israeli Soul in 2018.

The Israeli Soul Tour follows the creative process of the cookbook – easy, essential, delicious. Let us take you around the country to discover where Mike gets his inspiration.

Highlights

Trip led by Chef Michael Solomonov
5 Star Resorts and Hotels throughout the Trip
Special Guests like Lior Lev Serkarz and Adeena Sussman
Over Shavuot Eve with an All White Dinner Overlooking Ella Valley
Single Supplement - $1800

Itinerary

1 - Sunday (May 29) : Welcome to the Soul of Israel!

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Activities:

  • Welcome to Israel

  • 2:00 PM - Optional for early arrivals: 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.

  • 5:00 PM - The Jaffa hotel - Meet in the lobby of the hotel

  • Asif: Culinary Institute of Israel - led by Ronit Vered - Asif is a non-profit organization and culinary center in Tel Aviv dedicated to cultivating and nurturing Israel’s diverse and creative food culture, a joint venture of the New York City-based Jewish Food Society and Tel Aviv’s Start-Up Nation Central.
    Join Mike and Adeena Sussman for an opening dinner and talk about Israeli food.

  • The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv

Overnight: The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: lunch, dinner

2 - Monday (May 30) : Everything Tel Aviv

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel) with Adeena Sussman - The Carmel Market (Shuk HaCarmel), is the largest market in Tel Aviv. Touring the market reveals the taste of the ages of Tel Aviv in the youthful atmosphere of the city's central market. The Polish, the Persian, and the Yemeni...in this case, it is not the opening line of a joke, but the fascinating culinary traditions that mix in this place. The established market that was founded over 90 years ago, can now reveal its secrets, stories, and legends to you. Enjoy tastes throughout the tour.

  • Lunch at M25 - hosted by chef Jonathan Borowitz, joined by Osama Dalal - One of the top meat restaurants in the city just happens to be this unassuming, tavern-style eatery. Featuring one-of-a-kind Israeli dishes, with fresh meat taking the spotlight, carnivores can rejoice in the deliciously juicy flavors, and a menu that changes daily.”

  • 3:00 PM - Everything Art - Tel Aviv Museum of Art - Private, exclusive tour of the museum.

    What is Israeli Art? Tour the Tel Aviv Art Museum and art galleries with Shirel Horovitz. Shirel lectures, leads art tours, teaches art and is an art consultant to a variety of private groups and institutions, among them Bezalel Academy of Art and Design

  • Dinner at Dok Restaurant - with Chef Asaf Doktor

  • The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv

Overnight: The Jaffa, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Tel Aviv
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

3 - Tuesday (May 31) : Stories from the Mediterranean

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Check out of the hotel

  • OPTION 1: TLV Fashion Tour - The tour addresses the relationship Israeli fashion has with the various aspects of living in Israel including identity questions, sub-groups in Israel, immigration to Israel, wars and cultural life and social entrepreneurship. Meet old and new fashion brands, designers who use ancient crafts and other professionals who use the best technology. We will walk, talk and shop.

  • OPTION 2: Walking Tour - The White City - Tel Aviv has been named the “White City”, because of the unique Bauhaus architecture, UNESCO has declared it a world cultural heritage site as a result. Appreciate the beautiful buildings and extraordinary balconies which have been preserved and even enhanced in recent years.

  • Independence Trail - Inspired by the Freedom Trail in Boston, the new Independence Trail follows 10 of Tel Aviv’s heritage sites learning about the history of this great city along the way.

  • Quick stop for Sabich - Try Israel’s lesser known street food, sabich, at Sabich Frieshman

  • 1:00 PM - Refining Your Senses Workshop - led by Roni Saslove - In this mindful wine tasting workshop, learn what influences people when they drink wine to help us better
    notice the joy in our glasses.

  • The Bahai Gardens - Nicknamed the Balcony of the Country, a 400-meter long promenade at the top of the Baha'i Gardens offers a view of the entire Haifa Bay, all the way to the border with Lebanon. This impressive spot offers a truly spectacular view, so have a camera ready!

  • Check into The Efendi Hotel

  • Tour Akko (Old Acre) - Walk through 4,000 years of history in this ancient city and UNESCO World Heritage site. The Old City of Akko, or Acre, has been inhabited for 4,000 years. There’s almost too much to see, including one of the world’s oldest ports; the amazing Crusader city which earned Akko UNESCO World Heritage status; and the khans, mosques, baths, and citadels of the preserved Ottoman walled town.

  • 7:00 PM - Dinner at Uri Buri - For the past 40 years, the popular Uri Buri restaurant has offered a variety of prepared fresh fish and seafood dishes, and boasts a wine list with over 100 kinds of fine Israeli wines.

  • The Efendi Hotel

Overnight: The Efendi Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

4 - Wednesday (June 1) : Mosaic of the Galilee

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Hike Mount Meron - Mount Meron is the tallest peak west of the Jordan, offering superb views towards Lebanon, the Galilee, and the Hula valley. Take the Summit Path for an easy, circular hike around the entire mountain, pausing at the frequent viewing points to gaze at the panorama. The path is suitable for all ages, but not accessible to wheelchairs or strollers.

  • 10:30 AM - The Galilean Experience with Erez komarovsky - Erez Komarowski – cooking workshop at Mitzpe Matat, eat dinner that you’ll cook together.

  • Optional: Tour of 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.

  • Lookout at Nebi Sabalan - Hear about the Druze Culture in the Galilee and visit one of their sacred profits' grave

  • Rest and relax back at the hotel

  • 8:00 PM - The Arak Effect - local 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.

  • The Efendi Hotel

Overnight: The Efendi Hotel
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

5 - Thursday (June 2) : Ascending Jerusalem

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Check out of the hotel and drive to Nazareth

  • Visit Basilica of the Annunciation - Nazareth, the childhood home of Jesus, is closely associated with Christianity and attracted many pilgrims throughout the last two thousand years. Although it is not the birthplace of Jesus, it is the town where he grew up from the age of 3 (upon the return of the Holy Family from Egypt). In the time of Jesus, 1st century AD, this was a small Jewish village in the hills of the Lower Galilee.

  • Lunch at Luna Restaurant - Nazareth

  • Visit and wine tasting at Margalit Winery (winery might change)

  • Drive to Jerusalem

  • Taste of Machane Yehuda Market - In the heart of Jerusalem, a bustling multi-ethnic market bursting with life, art, and flavor, a tasting tour through Machane Yehuda market is an adventure for your taste buds. Enjoy the hustle and bustle with all the rich fragrances, colors, and sounds this iconic Jerusalem market offers.

  • Late lunch at Azura - 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.

  • Check into the Mamilla hotel - Time to relax

  • Night Tour Shtisel: A taste of the Ultra-Orthodox world - 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.

  • Mamilla Hotel

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

6 - Friday (June 3) : Shishi Yisraeli

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • 9:00 AM - Talk with Amit Aharonson: What is Israeli Cuisine? - Food blogger and journalist

  • Tour the Old City of Jerusalem - Tour Jerusalem’s Old City. Meet people and places of the Old City. In the Jewish Quarter uncover the layers of Jewish history from the time of the First Temple until the present day. In the Christian Quarter visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. Visit the Temple Mount. Throughout the tour explore the complexity of a city that is holy to these three major religions.

  • 11:50 AM - Explore the Western Wall Tunnels - Explore what’s under the Kotel through the Kotel Tunnels Tour. The Western Wall is impressive, but its greatness is truly discovered when you descend underground to the Western Wall Tunnels. The tunnels run along approximately 488 meters (1601ft) of the Western Wall, giving visitors a taste for the challenge that stood before Herod the Great during this biggest of all his immense building projects - the expansion of the Temple Mount.

  • Visit the Western Wall before Shabbat - Proceed to the Kotel (The Western Wall), sacred because it is the last remnant of the Second Temple that was destroyed by the Romans. Feel the stones that have witnessed so much in the history of the Jews. Place your special and personal prayer in the cracks of the stones.

  • Unique Shabbat Dinner at Arcadia Ein Karem cooked by Mike Solomonov and Chef Ezra Kedem - Ezra Kedem is deeply 'Yerushalmi' - a Jerusalemite - in his roots and has taken this destiny along with the Iraqi- Jewish kitchens of his mother and grandmother and the experiences he shared with him to create Arcadia Restaurant. Arcadia has been at the forefront of New Israeli Cuisine with Kedem as an innovator and frontrunner in the industry.

  • Mamilla Hotel

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

7 - Saturday (June 4) : Back to our Roots

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Security Briefing with Grisha Yakubovich - Grisha Yakubovich served in the Israel Defense Forces for 30 years, ending his career as Head of the Civil Coordination Department of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). He now consults and guides educational tour of the Gaza Border and the West Bank.

  • Shabbat Brunch at the home of Avihai's parents - Bring in Shabbat the traditional Israeli way.

  • Spend the afternoon in Michael Solomonov's hometown

  • Return to the hotel

  • Festive - All White Dinner - for Erev Chag Shavuot (Hosted by Nura) - Followed by Tikun Leil Shavuot

  • Mamilla Hotel

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

8 - Sunday (June 5) : In the Desert - You don't remember your name

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Check out and depart hotel for the south

  • Float in the Dead Sea - At 1,300 feet below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth. Known in Hebrew as "The Sea of Salt", it is also one of the saltiest lakes in the world - with about 34.2% salinity.
    This is a stunning, other-worldly landscape of shimmering blue water ringed by bare, orange and yellow hills. The waters of the Dead Sea hold a potent solution of minerals and salts that have strong healing properties. Together with its ethereal beauty, these health-giving minerals make the Dead Sea’s beaches and spas popular vacation spots for Israelis and tourists alike. At one of the local hotels, have lunch and 'float' in the Dead Sea.

  • Vidor Center - The Vidor Center aims to present the Arava region, along with its unique vistas and inhabitants - and to tell the story of its advanced agriculture, which employs scientific and technological innovation to deal with the area's desert climate and sparse natural resources.

  • Drive to the hotel, check in and dinner at the hotel

  • Six Senses Shaharut

Overnight: Six Senses Shaharut
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch, dinner

9 - Monday (June 6) : The Modern Desert Caravan

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at the hotel

  • Morning Yoga

  • Deep Desert hike - Hike Shlomo Mountain, in Eilat Mountains

  • Time to rest at the hotel

  • "Desert Karavan" - Surprise Dinner in the desert

  • Six Senses Shaharut

Overnight: Six Senses Shaharut
Meal Plan: breakfast, dinner

10 - Tuesday (June 7) : Good Food, Good Friends, Good Times .... Lehitraot

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Activities:

  • Breakfast at hotel

  • Morning at leisure - 1. Jordan departure - 9:30
    2. Flights departure - 12:00

  • Check out hotel and farewell tea

  • Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center - National park - Visit the Mitzpe Ramon Visitors Center and learn the geological story behind this unique and amazing work of nature through interactive exhibits. At the center, pay tribute to Ilan Ramon, Israel’s first and only astronaut, who tragically died on a space mission in 2003.

    View the crater from a stunning vantage point, at the heart of the promenade which stretches along the Ramon Crater mouth. There is a hanging terrace providing a marvelous observation point over the depths of the crater.

  • Home hospitality lunch at Mitzpe Ramon

  • Visit Ben Gurion's Desert Home - Paula and David moved to their Desert home in 1953, following their acceptance as Sde Boker Kibbutz members, which manifested Ben-Gurion’s pioneering vision of settling the Negev. Their home has remained as it was left in 1973, according to Ben-Gurion’s instructions in his will, that his home will be open for the public to come visit. Since 1974, visitors can enjoy a tour of his home – as they would if they we’re his own personal guests.

  • Transfer to the airport for departure - Or continue on to your Jordan Extension

  • Flight from Eilat to BGA

  • VIP Departure and Farewell

Overnight: VIP Departure and Farewell
Meal Plan: breakfast, lunch

FAQ

What is the situation with regard to COVID-19 in Israel?

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The rules for entering Israel change often, and sometimes very quickly. Beginning March 1, 2022, everyone, no matter their vaccination status, is allowed to enter Israel. Non-Israeli citizens are required to take a PCR test within 72 hours of their flight to Israel, purchase insurance, including COVID-19 coverage, and complete this form within 48 hours of their flight. When landing in Israel, all travelers must take another PCR test at Ben Gurion airport, and isolate until they receive their negative result, or 24 hours have passed, whichever comes first.

**Please note that if one tests positive for COVID-19 on the PCR test administered at the airport, or any time during their stay in Israel, you will be required to isolate for a minimum of 5 days.**

We know that these rules and regulations can be confusing. Have questions? Click here to set up a time to talk with us. We can answer any questions you might have and then help you plan your trip! Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates on travel policies.

What's the weather like in Israel?

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It is always best to check the weather forecast beforehand as the weather during Spring and Fall seasons can be unexpectedly warm or cold.

Spring (late March – May): Daytime temperatures are generally very pleasant - around 65-70°F, though it can still be hot in some areas (such as the Dead Sea and Eilat). There is a slight chance of rain, but it doesn't happen often. It can be cooler in the evenings in the North and Jerusalem - approximately 45°F.

Summer (late May - late September): Temperatures are usually in the high 80s-90s. At this time of year, humidity will be highest in Tel Aviv and Tiberias. Other areas such as Jerusalem are drier and cooler, particularly at night. The desert, Masada and Eilat are extremely hot, but dry. It will almost never rain in the summer in Israel!

Fall (late September – November): Same as Spring, but the rain can begin towards the end of the season.

Winter (December - early March): Winter can be mild and sunny, or severe and overcast. There's often heavy rain and, in January and February, even snow at times! Temperatures will be in the 50s-60s most places, but in the 40s in Jerusalem and the Galilee hills, and cold at night. Pack layers and be prepared for anything!

Weekly weather forecast

Will our tour include free time?

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Tour guides try to balance the tour schedule and free time for shopping in certain areas. Many nights are free so you will have the opportunity then to explore on your own as you please.  Check out what you can do on your free time in your current location (link).

Is Chef Michel Solomonov with us the entire trip?

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Yes! this is a very intimate trip with Michael, and the days' programs go through his lenses and experiences of Israel and Israeli cuisine.

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
VIP services upon arrival & departure v
A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide (title) v
A private, licensed, English speaking, culinary tour guide (text)
Bottles of water, as needed, and snacks v
Fees for sites and activities listed v
Hotels throughout the trip v
Meals as listed in the itinerary v
Transportation throughout the trip to all programmed activities v
Transfers to and from the airport v
Airfare v
Travel Insurance (recommended) v
COVID-19 health insurance coverage (required) v
COVID-19 testing (when required) v
Tips for tour guides and drivers v
Testimonials
“Best Vacation Ever! My wife and I just returned from our first trip to Israel. We've traveled domestically and overseas many times. This was absolutely the best trip we've ever taken. I know many people who have gone to Israel and made lots of recommendations to go here, go there, etc... Ros and the crew at Via Sabra were absolutely fantastic. From shaping the trip to meet our schedule, finances, desires, etc... Via Sabra hit the mark on the nose. They made the trip easy from the gitgo with VIP service to and from Israel; no long lines to wait in and an expert on both ends of the trip to help us navigate the airport, customs, passport control, VAT refunds, baggage and our transport to and from the airport. We had a magnificent guide, Mark Kedem, who was made the trip even more enjoyable; beyond our expectations. Mark has an uncanny knowledge of all aspects of Israel including the geography, history, architecture, food, how all the religions interact, etc. It was like a great history class in-country with great food. Mark also steered us to off the beaten path places and restaurants that were truly memorable and unique. We plan to go back to Israel soon (hopefully next year) and will definitely use Via Sabra and Mark again. They're worth every penny!!!!”
Joe M
2019
“Not only was the experience reflective of top-notch quality and superb attention to detail, you were treated like family. ”
Elizabeth
2019

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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