Experience

Jerusalem & Tel Aviv: A Cultural Week in Israel

Israel is a feast for the mind and senses. Fulfilling all curiosities, this destination is teeming with rich culture, natural beauty and complex history. Bringing together Jerusalem’s ancient walls and luring markets with the golden beaches and pulsating entrepreneurial rhythm of Tel Aviv, delve into the stories that have shaped the Holy land on a compelling six-night journey through Israel’s past and present. Gain local insight with a visit to local communities, expert insight as you tour the Israel Museum with a Docent and historical insight with visits to old munitions factories and Holocaust memorials. Accompanied by some of the best guides in the business, you’ll leave no stone unturned in this culture-packed week in the Middle East.

WELCOME TO THE OLD CITY

Your Israeli narrative begins in Jerusalem. Landing at Ben Gurion Airport, you’ll be whisked off by private transfer to the luxury Mamilla Hotel where for three nights you’ll be perfectly based in the heart of the historic center. Relax and soak up the atmosphere from the comfort of Mamilla’s sun-trap rooftop lounge and witness the sweeping vistas over the Old City with a glass of wine in hand. Over the next two days, you’ll be diving deep into the hidden realms of ancient Israel. Start off uncovering the city’s sacred Jewish, Christian and Muslim sites with the expertise of your private guide, from the Kotel (Western Wall) and Church of the Holy Sepulchre to the heartbeat of ancient Jerusalem – the City of David. Lose yourself within its old passageways, hidden springs and subway tunnels that date back three-thousand years, where kings and prophets once wandered and where the original books of the Bible were written.

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After working up an appetite, you’ll then taste your way through tantalizing street food with a culinary guide at hand, showing you the ropes on where to source the best falafel and shashlik. Mahane Yehuda Market often referred to as ‘The Shuk’, is a popular marketplace for locals and tourists alike, serving up Middle Eastern flavors alongside the arrays of textiles, spices and fresh produce. Our top tip? Pick up a box of baklava to munch on as you go.

CULTURE THROUGH THE YEARS

Moving onto the next chapter of the tale, you’ll venture onwards to the charming Arab village of Ein Rafa where you’ll gain insider access to the local community. Hear the personal stories of locals who have lived through the 1948 Israel War of Independence and the 1967 Six-Day War, gaining insight on the changes up to present day. From there, you’ll be whisked over to the vineyards of Galilee to savor the varieties of Cabernet and Merlot, learning the art of winemaking from one of the world’s oldest wine-producing nations. Wine has been flowing through the veins of Israel for centuries, developed from the ancient wine presses to the boutique wineries we see today.

Before the day is done, your guide has one more fascinating history lesson to share with you at Mahon Ayalon, previously a top-secret subway ammunition factory in the late 1940s during the fight for Israel’s independence. Finally, we reach the vibrant city of Tel Aviv for a final three nights spent at The Norman, a luxury boutique oasis in the heart of the White City, boasting an outstanding rooftop infinity pool with a spellbinding city skyline backdrop.

GOLDEN BEACHES AND MODERN DAY ISRAEL

Modern Tel Aviv and ancient Jaffa make for two beautifully contrasting locations. Over the next two days, you’ll be experiencing the best of both, as your private guide shares the city’s centuries-old beginnings and its modern development and how it got to where it is through vision, innovation and determination. Starting in the old port town of Jaffa, where Egyptian, Roman and Biblical influences still flood the streets, you’ll then continue into Neve Tzedek, the oldest and most picturesque neighborhood in Tel Aviv. Sample the delights of the bustling Carmel Market and immerse yourself within the Tel Aviv Museum of Art during a private experience led by a passionate art curator. And don’t worry, there’s even time to unwind on the golden sands of the Mediterranean coastline.

To fully experience Tel Aviv in all its reigning glory, your final tour will be set amidst the vivid nightlife that the city is famed for. From dining to dancing, your enigmatic private guide will unmask hidden gems, from cocktails at speakeasy bars to exclusive rooftop parties. Rest assured, you’ll be dancing the night away and into your last morning in Israel.

As morning comes, alas we say goodbye and ‘Aleichem Shalom’, meaning ‘upon you be peace’, to Israel. But after an enchanting week, we’re sure you’ll be leaving with lasting memories and spellbinding stories to tell.