Why you should goWander amongst the ancient streets of Jerusalem’s Old City, get a taste of the local fare at the fragrant food markets and go camel riding in the Negev desert with a Bedouin tribe, before bedding-down for a night under the stars.
A meeting point of civilizations, continents, and religions, Israel is a unique mix of cultures and raw natural beauty. We’ve put together an amazing one-of-a-kind eight day trip to discover why there’s nowhere else quite like Israel.
After arriving in Jerusalem, we’ll whisk you away to your exclusive accommodation, The Mamilla Hotel. Settle in and absorb the incredible location, looking onto the walls of the historic Old City, with the markets of the Old City, the temple mount and the glittering gold-domed Al-Aqsa Mosque just moments away. Mamilla’s Jerusalem stone architecture, gorgeous rooftop lounge, and liquid-crystal bathroom walls make for an opulently luxurious stay.
Rise refreshed the next morning to explore the Old City. For a unique insight, we’ve arranged for a local Christian resident to walk you through the labyrinthine of cobbled streets, taking in all the snippets of flourishing history and culture. Peer over the skyline of ancient church spires and sparkling domed mosques, and discover the underworld treasures in the tunnels underneath the old Jewish temple.
Feeling peckish? Explore the fragrant Mahanei Yehuda market with an Israeli chef and choose the freshest local ingredients before heading indoors to learn the secrets of delicious Israeli cooking. Want to learn how to make Israeli favourites like shakshouka or falafel? Your chef can teach you how to make any of the classics, before indulging in all your tasty creations. That night, take a local in arm and bar-hop through Jerusalem’s budding night scene. Sit outside in the balmy night air and have a puff or two on the sweet-tobacco Nargillah pipes.
It’s time to travel down from the Jerusalem hills and into the desert surrounding Mitzpe Ramon. Meaning ‘Ramon’s lookout’, this small town is the perfect spot to launch your desert adventures. Settle down for a serenely peaceful night in the wilderness before tackling the surprising sights in the sand on your own desert camel (or on foot, if you’d prefer), led by our expert desert guide. Explore the astonishing Ramon Crater where you can rappel down its steep sides, before taking in the Negev Desert’s black volcanoes, ancient Nabatean cities carved into the rocks, and the historic Spices Route, all with the Negev Mountains towering in the distance.
Add some classic desert culture to your stay by spending the night in a traditional Bedouin camp. The nomadic desert tribe are experts in hospitality and will make you feel like family from the moment they welcome you into their community, offering their traditional sweet tea, serving ancient-recipe delicious food, and preparing a comfy bed for you in your own tent. Watch as they churn their own houmous (it is out-of-this-world delicious), sing and dance to live traditional music, and boil up round after round of sweet tea.
The next evening, return to Mitzpe Ramon and take a tour of the stars. A night spent under the clear, star-filled shimmering sky is a serene and chastening experience as you gaze at the beauty above. We’ve even found a local Israeli astronomer to guide you through the many twinkling patterns of the night sky and let you in on some of the secrets of the stars.
Traditional Shabbat dinner
Bed down for the night at your exclusive boutique bolthole, Chez Eugene, a luxury desert oasis with sleek rooms and astounding desert views, and enjoy a traditional Shabbat meal with a local family. They’ll introduce you to all the mouth-watering traditional delicacies, serving up mountains of home-cooked food, and always making sure your plate and wine glass are topped-up. Learn the strong family and community ties that are the cornerstone of their religion and faith, and see how the modern Israeli family live.
The next morning, it’s time to head home, having experienced the desert delights and natural beauty of southern Israel and Jerusalem’s vibrant mix of cultures, religions and history. There’s nowhere else quite like it.