Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure

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4.6 . Excellent
94%
Travel Style: Array Mixed
Physical Level: Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment. 2- Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value (3*)
14 days
From: $ 5,525 $ 395 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights (Bullets)

  • Let three sisters share their grandmother’s traditional recipes with you during a hands-on cooking class in Amman. Learn how to make a tasty maqluba, one of Jordan’s most beloved dishes.
  • Feast on classic dishes in Israel’s legendary local eateries, from falafel, knafeh, and maqluba and fresh sabich to an institution in Nazareth acclaimed for its silky hummus.
  • Uncover ancient traditions and flavours with a Jordanian shepherd over a typical mezze breakfast, a chance to learn about life in the countryside.
  • Marvel at the majesty of Petra on a guided tour, speed through the desert on a jeep safari in Wadi Rum and float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth.
  • Share authentic home cooked meals with Druze villagers and a local family in Bethany, and learn about life in Petra when you sit down with a local family for a hearty serving of mansaf.

Short Description

Discover the rich history and richer flavours of Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Territories on this 14-day Real Food Adventure. Here, the sweeping deserts of Wadi Rum offer themselves to roast Bedouin feasts underground, the Dead Sea grants its salt as a world-class garnish and the region's climate has allowed olives to thrive for over 6000 years. Savour sabiach in Tel Aviv, learn the tricks of tahini from the Samaritans of Nablus, break bread with Druze folk and sample mouth-watering knafeh in Amman. In between these delicious diversions, float on the Dead Sea, see the holy sites of Jerusalem and explore rock-hewn Petra. Brimming with charismatic culture and lively dishes, this is an epicurean odyssey to remember.

Style Small group tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value (3*)
Flight & Transport Inclusions All internal ground transport
Start City Tel Aviv
End City Amman

Itinerary

Day 1 Tel Aviv

Welcome to Israel and the Palestinian Territories – a region steeped in spirituality, and a rich tapestry of the many cultures, religions and nationalities that call it home, be that Palestinian Muslims and Christians, Sephardic Jews, Ashkenazi Jews, Armenian Christians, Ethiopian Copts or Greek Orthodox monks. Your Real Food Adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6pm. After this briefing, take a short walk to the market area and get to know your fellow travellers over dinner, sampling sabich – a delicious vegetable and pita dish boasting fresh Mediterranean flavours with Middle Eastern roots.

Day 2 Haifa

Your first stop this morning is the Jaffa Old Port of Tel Aviv where you’ll have time to look around and take photos. Continue to Nablus, one of the West Bank’s largest cities, most famous for the Arabic sweet knafeh. Meet the local Samaritans - a Jewish minority group living in Nablus - who are the only group to hold Israeli, Palestinian and Jordanian passports. After learning about their culture, visit a tahini factory to see how the sesame seeds are crushed and turned into the finished product. Next up, put that tahini to use in a Palestinian cooking class. Enjoy your creations over lunch and discover what life is like for women in this small Palestinian town. Afterwards, visit a knafeh producer for an insight into the production of this much-loved sweet and, of course, to enjoy a taste. By late afternoon, you’ll have reached Haifa. Make a stop to take in the view of the ornately landscaped Baha’i Gardens before heading to your hotel for a well-earned rest. Dinner is free this evening and your leader can make the best local restaurant recommendations.

Day 3 Nazareth

This morning, drive to Akko, visit the Old Town and explore the Templar Tunnels built during the Crusades. Your next stop is a Druze village to meet a lovely host family, who will invite you in for a cooking demonstration, where you’ll share local culinary secrets and a delicious Druze lunch. Historically, the Druze have been an agricultural people, tending olive groves and fruit orchards, and growing mostly apples and cherries. Many families also grow their own vegetables, bake their own bread and live on a largely vegetarian diet. After lunch, travel to Nazareth where you’ll stop in at a local winery for some sniffing, swirling and sipping of Israel’s finest wines, before settling into your hotel for the evening.

Day 4 Jericho

After breakfast, your leader will show you around Nazareth, including a visit to the Church of the Annunciation and Mary’s Well. Before leaving town, visit a restaurant that has been owned by the same family for over 40 years. Those years have been well spent perfecting their hummus. Enjoy a lunch of hummus, falafel, pita, pickles and cabbage salad and see if you love it as much as the locals. Let your appetite rest this afternoon, as you visit the UNESCO World Heritage archaeological site of Tel Jericho and the banks of the Jordan River where Jesus is said to have been baptised. Head to your accommodation for the night – a former refugee camp turned eco guesthouse. Meet the manager of the guesthouse to learn about their local environmental projects, protecting the Jordan River and Dead Sea. Your evening is free to spend as you wish, your leader may be able to arrange an optional home-cooked dinner with a local family.

Day 5 Jerusalem / Dead Sea

This morning, visit the Dead Sea – the lowest-altitude place on earth! You will have the chance to experience what it's like to float in the world's saltiest body of water. Travel onwards to Bethany, known biblically as the site of the resurrection of Lazarus, to visit a local family for a home-cooked meal. Today you’ll feast on maqluba – an 'upside-down' style dish consisting of chicken and vegetables. Afterwards, drive to Jerusalem via the famous Mount of Olives – an important pilgrimage site and home of the Garden of Gethsemane and Church of All Nations.

Day 6 Jerusalem

Enjoy a full day tour of Jerusalem, starting with a walking tour of Via Dolorosa (the Way of the Cross) in the Old City. Stop at one of the city's favourite eateries and watch a master prepare mutabbaq – a stuffed pancake of Yemeni origin - and taste it for yourself. Continue to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre to visit the Golgotha – where Jesus was crucified – and then down to the tomb where he was buried. Walk through the spice market to the Jewish Quarter and witness the pilgrims at the Western Wall. Having worked up an appetite, head to the renowned Machane Yehuda food market for lunch. Your leader will likely select a variety of dishes for the group, allowing you to sample more of the vendors wonderful specialties. Get moving again with an afternoon tour of Nachlaot, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in West Jerusalem. The area is full of winding lanes, hidden courtyards and tiny synagogues, and has a fascinating history of different residents that has created a relaxed, creative and religious neighbourhood today. With a free evening, you may like to return to Machane Yehuda or ask your leader for their best restaurant recommendations.

Day 7 Jerusalem / Ramallah

After breakfast, head north to Ramallah, the capital city of the State of Palestine. Learn more about the city and Palestinian food from a local chef, tasting as you go. You might try the city’s best falafel or kebabs, but be sure not to miss manakish – flatbread topped with fragrant za’atar and melted cheese. Travel a little further north to the town of Taybeh, home to the Taybeh Brewing Company. Established in 1994, this family-run brewery hasn’t just been crafting refreshing lagers and ales, they’ve been developing and evolving to become a sustainability champion in the region. Enjoy a tasting while hearing more of their fascinating story. Return to Jerusalem for a free evening.

Day 8 Jerusalem / Bethlehem

Take a short drive to World Heritage-listed Battir, where villagers continue to practice ancient agricultural methods. The village is surrounded by an impressive Roman-era system of stone-walled terraces and a unique irrigation system fed by seven springs. Continue to the holy city of Bethlehem, and along the way, pass through a gap in the controversial separation wall that separates Israel from the West Bank. Take a leader-led walking tour of this acclaimed city, passing Manger Square and the Church of the Nativity. For lunch, enjoy traditional barbecue, dining on grilled chicken, kebabs and vegetables. Head back to Jerusalem, where you might like to share one last delicious meal or drink with your newfound friends.

Day 9 Amman

This morning bid farewell to Jerusalem and make the journey to the Allenby Bridge Crossing for your onwards journey to Jordan. Your leader will explain the process, and you will be met on the Jordanian side of the border crossing by an Intrepid representative who will transfer you to the hotel in Amman. Enjoy free time before a meeting at 6pm to welcome you on the next stage of your adventure. After your meeting, get your first taste of Jordanian cuisine at the Hashem Restaurant – a favourite of royals, diplomats and celebrities travelling through Amman. Your plant-based dinner will consist of their famous Jordanian stuffed falafel, which is fresh and crunchy on the outside while fluffy on the inside. There’s also the chance to dip bread through smooth creamy hummus and moutabel – a smoky eggplant dip served with Arabic salad.

Day 10 Petra / Dead Sea

Start your day with a visit to a breakfast joint that’s a favourite among locals. Walk in, choose a hot, fresh loaf and fill it with baked eggs, cheese, spices or anything else you want from the counter. After a filling breakfast, board a bus and head to Madaba, home of the acclaimed sixth-century mosaic map of Jerusalem and the Holy Land at St George's Church. Check out the mosaics then head to the Dead Sea. This body of water is famously salty – 9.6 times saltier than the ocean. As a result, it’s believed to have healing properties that can be tested during a swim (or float!). After drying off, prepare for a traditional picnic lunch, a mezze style spread of kibbeh (fried meat with wheat), manakish (flatbread with za’atar and olive oil), spinach bread and cheeses, followed by a cup of shaneeneh (an aged goat milk yoghurt drink) and a serving of hareeseh (a sweet, syrupy pudding). Continue to Petra for dinner, where you’ll learn from a local family how to prepare mansaf, delicious lamb with fermented, dried yoghurt sauce. After a hearty meal and a few shared stories with the family, arrive at your hotel near the ancient ruins of Petra. 

Day 11 Petra

Spend the morning exploring ancient Petra during a guided tour. Known as one of the new ‘seven wonders of the world’, this archaeological city sits within 80-metre-high cliff walls. The iconic treasury, carved into the face of one of these cliffs, is the highlight of this visit. The site is expansive and to explore it all requires quite a bit of walking, and a basic level of fitness will enhance your experience. With a free afternoon to proceed at your own pace, there’s ample time to see the museum, the Roman amphitheatre, the palace and other places – just chat to your leader for suggestions on the best spots to go. Once the day is done, head back to your hotel to put your feet up.

Day 12 Wadi Rum

Rise early – today’s breakfast will be shared with a local shepherd in the beautiful countryside. Tuck into a mezze spread and take the chance to chat to the shepherd about their everyday life and customs. Afterwards, head on to Wadi Rum, a place often referred to as The Valley of the Moon. Explore the sparse red sand dunes, steep craggy mountains and the legendary Seven Pillars of Wisdom rock formation on a 4-hour jeep ride through the region. Later, head back to a Wadi Rum campsite for a traditional Bedouin barbecue known as zarb, one of the staples of Bedouin culture, capturing a long running tradition of cooking food underground in earth ovens. Bedouin locals will prepare dinner by digging a large hole in the ground and stoking a coal fire underneath it. Then, meat is prepared with water, lemon juice, pepper and salt before adding a variety of vegetables. Dig into this hearty meal before settling in for an evening under the stars.

Day 13 Amman

Fuel up for the day with a delicious Bedouin breakfast, typically consisting of labneh (strained yoghurt), olives, za’atar, jebneh (cheese pastry) and tomatoes. You may get the chance to wash it all down with a cup of non-alcoholic Bedouin whiskey. Drive back to Amman through stunning desert scenery and stop for a yummy falafel sandwich along the way. The final meal of your adventure is an extra special one. Take part in a class at the Beit Sitti cooking school, run by three sisters in the home of their grandmother, dedicated to preserving her traditional recipes and sharing her legacy. Maqluba is on the menu tonight. Literally translating to ‘upside down’, maqluba is a casserole with rice, vegetables and chicken which is cooked, flipped, then served with either yoghurt or an Arab salad with tahina sauce. Dessert this evening is a slice of warm knafeh – delicious buttery cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar syrup. Savour this last meal with newfound friends before the trip comes to an end tomorrow morning. 

Day 14 Amman

There are no activities planned for today and you’re free to depart at any time today. If you would like to spend some more time in Amman, we’re happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability). Ask your leader for more tasty local recommendations if you plan to spend more time in Jordan. 

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 5,525
Price Per Day: $ 395 per day
Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceAvailability 
Apr-19-2023May-02-2023$ 5,525Sold Out Reserve
Jun-14-2023Jun-27-2023$ 5,5258 spots left Reserve
Sep-06-2023Sep-19-2023$ 5,52510 spots left Reserve
Sep-20-2023Oct-03-2023$ 5,5258 spots left Reserve
Nov-08-2023Nov-21-2023$ 5,9552 spots left Reserve
Dec-13-2023Dec-26-2023$ 5,52512 spots left Reserve

4,186 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

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Value
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Meals
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Jordan, Israel & the Palestinian Territories Real Food Adventure

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I had a really fun time travelling to…

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Great trip made better by the guide.

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Details

Flight & Transport Inclusions

All internal ground transport Private Vehicle,4WD Vehicle

Group Size

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Accommodations

Hotel (12 nights),1 Night (Desert Camp)

Guides

All group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious, and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you are interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Age Notes :

Min. Age: 15

Max Age: 99

Additional Information

Finish point

  • The Art Hotel
  • 32 King Faisal street, Down town, Amman, Jordan 11118
  • Amman
  • JORDAN
  • Phone: 962 64638900

Trip ID#:

intrepid-EUZJC

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