In the land of The Seven Species, the Holy Land, many new vegan options for dining have popped up, during the past couple of years. A growing awareness to the vegan lifestyle is creating demand for a fresh, delicious and exciting new vegan food places.
During the tour we will have the chance to meet members of Israeli animal rights organization
Arrival – Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Our guide will welcome you at the Ben Gurion International Airport and introduce you to the Israel Vegan Tour program. If time permits; we will stroll through Old Jaffa’s alley-ways, which gave inspiration to many artists who have their Art Galleries there, and hear about Perseus, King Solomon, the Prophet Jonas, St. Peter, Napoleon Bonaparte, David Ben Gurion and many others who used Jaffa as the Gateway to the Holy Land. Transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv. For Dinner we will first introduce you to the Falafel, the Israeli national dish par excellence. Falafel is a deep-fried ball or patty made from ground chickpeas, fava beans, or both. Falafel is a traditional Middle Eastern food, commonly served in a pita, which acts as a pocket, or wrapped in a flat bread known as lafa; “falafel” also frequently refers to a wrapped sandwich that is prepared in this way. The falafel balls are topped with salads, pickled vegetables, hot sauce, and drizzled with tahini-based sauces. Falafel balls may also be eaten alone as a snack or served as part of a meze tray (assortment of appetizers).
Over-night in Tel Aviv Jaffa, or nearby.
(Old Jaffa) – Tel Aviv City Tour – Habesor Stream – Salad Trail – Bedouin Hospitality
If not done after arrival, visit Old Jaffa before our city-tour of Tel Aviv, which will include the colorful (and noisy!!) Carmel Market, the chic Nachalat Binyamin Pedestrian Zone, the typical Tel Aviv “Bauhaus” Architecture and more… We leave Tel Aviv, drive south and make a stop at Habesor Stream, the largest in the northern Negev. We will cross the suspension Rope Bridge over the stream and reach the opposite bank, from where magnificent panoramas of the area, with its flowing streams, can be viewed. Then we drive a few miles to the Salad Trail, an unforgettable experience in the greenhouses of the Habsor region in the northern Negev. You will observe the most up to date agricultural technologies. At every stop of the tour you will receive an explanation followed by you actually picking and eating your fruit right away! Driving further we enter the Judean Desert, where we will stay at “Kfar Hanokdim” – an ecological Bedouin-style village where we will have a chance to enjoy the famous Bedouin Hospitality with the special coffee-brewing-ceremony and listen to their stories and legends told for generations around the fire.
Camel Ride – Masada – Dead Sea – Arava
start the day, but it can get even better by climbing the famous Cliff-Fortress Masada through the authentic Roman Ramp! At Masada National Park, Herod the Great built a magnificent palace in the middle of the desert. Masada was then used as a fortress by the Jewish “Zealots” who fought, few against many, against the pagan Roman Empire. Their heroic struggle became a symbol for the modern State of Israel. After descending the mountain by Cable-Car, we will not miss, of course, some floating (not swimming!) on the Dead Sea, known for its healing qualities… Now we drive along the Dead Sea to the Central-and Northern-Arava Research and Development Center where they maximize yield potential of agriculture in the desert environment through applied research. The Arava region produces about 60% of the total Israeli export of fresh vegetables and about 10% of the cut flowers export.
Overnight in Kibbutz Ketura.
Ketura – Neot Smadar- Makhtesh Ramon – Jerusalem
After breakfast we stay at the kibbutz for a tour at Algatechnologies, a global leader in the development and production of microalgae, with high-value, health-focused ingredients produced from natural sources.
We will also have the chance to see the only surviving example of the Judean Date Palm, artificially germinated from 2,000-year-old seeds discovered in archaeological excavations.
We leave Ketura towards Neot Smadar, a kibbutz established in 1989 by a group of friends interested in a dynamic community, they explore what it means to live together as co-learners, observing themselves in everyday activities and relationships. Their interest extends to the environment through organic farming, desert architecture, water recycling, The Art Center and more. We will have the opportunity to listen to some “hot stories” from its beginning.
We will end the day traveling to the Holy City of Jerusalem.
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem: Mt. Olives – Gethsemane – Wailing (Western) Wall – (Temple Mount) – Via Dolorosa – Suq –Church of the Holy Sepulcher
We start with a panoramic view of the Old City from the top of The Mount of Olives, and then walk down to the Garden of Gethsemane. We also visit the “Wailing Wall”, the last remnants of the Temple in Jerusalem. If it’s open to visitors, we will try to visit the Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock and Al Aqsa Mosque (no entrance into mosques!) We continue in the footsteps of Jesus along the Stations of the Via Dolorosa, Jesus’ “Way of Suffering”, and unto the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, where Jesus was crucified and buried. The Via Dolorosa also passes through the Old City’s oriental “Suq” (Bazaar).
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Jerusalem: Israel Museum – Yad Vashem – Knesset Menorah –Bethlehem
At the Israel Museum we visit the scaled model of Jerusalem, as it was during the Second Temple Period (the time of Jesus) as well as the “Shrine of the Book” where the “Dead Sea Scrolls” are exhibited. Visit Yad Vashem, Holocaust Memorial and Musseum. Then we drive by the famous “Menorah” (Candelabra) situated in front of the Knesset Building, housing Israel’s parliament. If conditions allow it, we will drive to Bethlehem, to visit the Church of Nativity – the traditional place where Jesus was born. This is the oldest church in the world that is still active! We will also visit the Grotto of the milk. Note: As Bethlehem is under the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority, responsibility there lies solely on our Palestinian partners!
Overnight in Jerusalem.
Beit She’an – Yardenit Baptismal at the Jordan River – Sail on “Jesus Boat
After breakfast we will leave Jerusalem and head to Beit-She’an, the city which the body of King Saul was hung on its wall and a flourishing capital of the north in Roman times. Beit-She’an is the perfect place to see the glory and mightiness of the Roman culture that was the spiritual atmosphere in which Christianity was shaped. Later on we will travel to the Galilee area where we will stop at the Yardenit Baptismal Site. Vegan lunch at Ugata restaurant in Kinnereth. In the afternoon we will also sail on the sea in a boat similar to the boat used by Jesus and his disciples. Overnight in Tiberias or nearby
Capernaum – Tabgha – Mt. Beatitudes – Safed
After breakfast we visit the places where Jesus acted around the Sea of Galilee: Capernaum, with St. Peters House and the famous Synagogue, the reconstructed church at Tabgha, where tradition puts the miracle of the Bread and the Fish, and also enjoy the view from Mt. of the Beatitudes, where the “Sermon on the Mount” was given. Driving through the wood-covered mountains of Upper Galilee we reach Zefat (Safed) – Capital of the Kabbalah. Towards sunset we tour the different synagogues and look at some art-galleries, Overnight in Amirim, a Moshav located 650 meters above sea level on a hill overlooking the Sea of Galilee, established by vegetarians. We will meet one of the inhabitants.
Kibbutz Parod – Cana – Nazareth
After breakfast we travel to Saba Habib’s Olive Oil Factory, in Kibbutz Parod, to visit an oil press to get more of the agriculture of the area. Then we head to Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle by turning water to wine at a wedding. Its modest church is a suitable place to reconfirm wedding-ties. Back on the bus we continue to Nazareth, where we visit the Grand Basilica of the Annunciation and the St. Joseph’s Church. We will also stroll through Nazareth’s colorful market and visit the Saint Gabriel Greek-Orthodox church near Mary’s Well.
Overnight in Nazareth/Tel Aviv.