WITHIN ISRAEL & JORDAN

REVIEWS

“You really opened our eyes to a part of the world that is different than any place we have been in the past.”

Lyle Benson

Idea Lab – Israel & Jordan

At the heart of our office is an Idea Lab: a space in which we are constantly innovating, dreaming, and designing new ways to enhance your travels. It may be our network of contacts that allow us to bring all these ideas to life, but it is you – our clients – who keep us challenged and having fun. Whether your trip is straightforward, over-the-top, or anywhere in the middle, we are always in our lab and ready.

Food and Wine

  • Walk through the vineyard grounds of boutique winery Bat Shlomo, and share a toast to “L’Chayim” (health, life, and well being) with owner Elie Wurtman.
  • Join a wine expert for a private blind-tasting workshop where you’ll learn to identify the complex scents and flavors of Israeli wine.
  • Learn to cook with the seven spices of Israel as renowned Chef Bason teaches you how to make signature Israeli dishes including hyssop pesto and Maglubeh.
  • Get a taste–literally and figuratively–of one of Israel’s most vibrant shouks on a chef-guided food tour.
  • Meet acclaimed baker Uri Scheft from ‘Breads Bakery’ who will share the secrets behind his baking magic with you and and teach you how to make Mediterranean dips and spreads.
  • Explore an agricultural farm and see firsthand how to grow and harvest medicinal plants and herbs.
  • Sample traditional northern Syrian Druze dishes at this Druze eatery in Daliat el-Carmel, while discussing with Nura the challenges of being a Druze woman running her own business.
  • Be invited into a local home to share a traditional meal and exchange stories with the family who lives there.

Bring The Kids

  • Learn about the agricultural innovations of the Northern Negev and pick your own vegetables when you tour the “Salad Trail” with famous Agronomist Uri Alon.
  • Be a student for the day and see firsthand the crucial role STEM, Robotics and Cyber Security play in Israeli high schools. Then, enjoy a performance by the school’s award-winning drama club and learn about the contemporary issues facing Israeli teens.
  • Hit the court with former professional basketball player Tamir Goodman for a private hoops lesson.
  • Get a delicious history lesson when famous journalist Hagit Evron & Chef Yossi Elad teach you about the “seven generations of Israel” through food!
  • Meet chocolatier, Karina Chaplinski, and participate in a yummy chocolate making workshop in her boutique chocolate shop.
  • Get an adrenaline rush white water rafting and zip lining down the Jordan River.
  • Discover the healing plants of Israel’s mountains and make your own aromatic sachet in a nature workshop.
  • Follow actor Ariel Keren, a born and raised Jerusalemite, on a theatrical tour of the Machaneh Yehuda Market. You’ll be entertained along the way with fantastical stories and delicious treats.
  • Get your hands dirty sheep-herding and planting trees in the Biblical landscape of Neot Kedumim Reserve.

Adventure + Adrenaline

  • Tour Israel’s rapidly changing scenery and vistas from the saddle of an adventure touring bike.
  • Experience breathtaking landscapes of the Ramon Crater and Negev Desert on a one-of-a-kind private desert horseback ride.
  • Enjoy unique access to the scenic wonder of the Dead Sea and its crystalline salt crystal structures on a special boat cruise.
  • Witness the rare birding treats of the Hula Valley while learning about this fascinating migration from a leading ornithologist.
  • Explore celestial marvels, observe planets, and enjoy nature’s planetarium, the night sky of Mitzpe Ramon, on a guided tour of heaven as you have never seen it before.

The Arts

  • Meet the director and performers on an insider’s tour of the Israel Ballet and be awed by the grace and beauty of dance.
  • Explore one of the newest hotspots in Jerusalem with Solomon Souza, artist and visionary, whose band of artists canvass the shuk after hours to create some of the most dynamic portraits depicting a host of Israel’s iconic figures.
  • Get insider access to Israel’s leading fashion designers on an exclusive studio hop, where you’ll meet the designers and their teams, learn about the Israeli fashion and design industry, and see works in progress firsthand.
  • Unmask the hidden art of Tel Aviv inspired by the vision of the artist, “Banksy” while our guide unravels the stories told through art to give us a glimpse into contemporary Israeli culture.
  • Hear firsthand about the Lakiya Negev Bedouin Weaving Renaissance, through a network of six women’s centers providing approximately 150 Bedouin women with the opportunity to develop the traditional skills of spinning wool, dyeing, production and business management, and to earn incomes through the work.
  • Get a backstage tour of Tel Aviv’s Habima Theater with famed Israeli actor, Ofer Regirer. Visit dressing rooms, the costume design center, multiple theaters and you may even catch a rehearsal in progress.
  • Learn the basics of slow shutter photography in a private light writing workshop on a secluded Tel Aviv rooftop, where you’ll enjoy the unique backdrop of the city that never sleeps and leave with images you’ll cherish forever.
  • Visit the Megemeria School of Jewelry and Art where Ethiopian immigrants learn the art of jewelry making while using their own artisan traditions and enjoy a private workshop and make your own jewelry.

Jewish Heritage

  • Follow your nose from bakery to bakery to taste and learn about the different neighborhoods in these legendary Ultra-Orthodox communities. Learn what unites and defines them, the critical challenges they face, and what separates each sect.
  • Hear the personal accounts and testimony of a Holocaust survivor as you walk together through Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center, with an option for a personalized memorial ceremony (with cantor).
  • Board a segway and zip through the enchanted, picturesque neighborhoods southwest of the Old City, where you’ll see and feel history while learning about the first established Jewish settlements outside the Old City of Jerusalem.
  • Celebrate a special, spiritual Shabbat that starts with candle-lighting in the home of a local family in the Jewish Quarter overlooking the Temple Mount, followed by a visit to the Western Wall and Friday night dinner in the old city’s Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue with local Rabbi Yossi Swerdlov and Old City residents.

Live Like a Local

  • Head off the beaten path to visit the Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, meet local residents, and gain a first-hand view of the complexities of the divided city between 1948 and 1967.
  • Visit the home of Mariam Abu Rakaek, one of the first Bedouin women to study abroad who has become a symbol of empowerment to local girls. Hear Mariam’s fascinating personal story, watch her demonstrate the process of preparing her cosmetics, and to taste authentic Bedouin fare.
  • Hear the story of how a secular American student at Berkeley became an Orthodox Jewish Israeli businessman in Jerusalem and was named as “the American citizen who has the greatest influence on the Israeli economy”
  • Delve into sites, places and dishes that only a real local would know of – including goat and sheep cheese dairies and a coffee roaster – and enjoy an authentic, home-cooked Druze meal and home hospitality.
  • Hear the friendship story of two mothers, Ruth Ebenstein and Ibtisam Erekat, an American-Israeli Orthodox Jew and a devout Palestinian Muslim woman, who met at an Israeli-Palestinian breast cancer support group and develop a remarkable sisterhood, supporting each other through cancer survivorship and life.
  • Meet Amna Knaana, who overcome the challenges of being a religious Muslim woman, a Palestinian and an Israeli citizen and is now a social leader and business entrepreneur, as she opens her house, tells her story and offers a taste of customary Arab coffee and sweets.

History

  • Relish in the archaeological mysteries buried in the City of David on a unique VIP tour, including a look at some excavations which are not even open to the general public.
  • Visit the hidden Monastery of St. George and learn about Monastic life in the Judean Desert from the local Monk.
  • See history come to life at the latest and greatest exhibits at the famed Israel Museum, one of the world’s leading art and archeology museums. Join Dr. Adolofo Roitman, curator of the Shrine of the Book, for a behind the scenes view of life between 250 B.C.E. to 100 C.E.
  • Discover why Tel Aviv is known as the “White City” on an intimate, architect-led tour of the remarkable Bauhaus (International Style) architecture that makes Tel Aviv a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Meet Abed El Rahim Kabha, a skillful storyteller and the founder of the Fatima Museum, to learn about the history and traditions of Arab culture in the region.
  • Visit the Detention Camp of Atlit where Jews were held after being caught by the British while trying to be smuggled into the Land of Israel. Meet with author Murray Greenfield to hear his first hand story the illegal vessels that brought more than half of the Holocaust survivors to the land of Israel.

Celebrations

  • Our desert feast allows you to relish in the magical atmosphere of the Judean desert, while indulging your taste buds in a wide variety of aromatic flavors, seated at beautifully laid tables in traditional desert style.
  • Celebrate together at an exclusive chef’s table experience, privately catered by one of Israel’s top chefs.
  • Fly over magical desert landscapes in a hot air balloon during a sunrise flight when you can follow the trails of the amazing desert rivers, glide over the breathtaking mountain rigs, valleys, and water holes and spot desert wildlife from above.
  • Treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime experience getting pampered in the middle of nowhere with a romantic desert dinner only for you and your loved one blending local tastes and scents, followed by a mind-blowing stargazing experience.
  • Shout Mazel Tov at a Bar or Bat Mitzvah celebration at the Kotel (Western Wall) or at the remains of an ancient synagogue atop Masada.
  • For those seeking true desert tranquility, enjoy luxury camping in a romantic desert suite that is fully-equipped and elegantly furnished. We’ll even leave behind a telescope so you can count the stars together before going to bed!

Bragging Rights: Signature Experiences

  • Journey behind the Western Wall tunnels alongside one of Israel’s leading archaeologists, Professor Dan Bahat, for an exclusive behind the scenes tour.
  • Enter the “Rose City” of Petra on horseback through a narrow gorge carved in the sandstone and opening onto the stunning view of the Treasury.
  • Brush up on wine basics in a one-on-one session with a professional sommelier who will introduce you to the latest bouquets of Israel, while you enjoy a beautiful vineyard setting.
  • Follow the stories and legends associated with the international secret society, which was active in Jerusalem and left its mark on the city on a very special tour, concluding at the Masonic Hall where the secret ceremonies of the Freemasonry community continue to take place to this day.
  • Take flight on a private helicopter ride, stopping at important sites throughout Northern Israel, while also taking in the rolling hills and lush landscape from above before catching the sunset over the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Hear the inspirational personal story of Roie Ben Tulila – a former commander in an elite unit, who was injured in an offensive attack and is now confined to a wheel chair. Try your luck against Roei in a 1-on-1 wheelchair basketball game against him (he is now the captain of Jerusalem’s wheelchair basketball team).
  • Sample the local fare at the Golan Heights Distillery together with David Zibell, a former real estate agent in Canada, who followed his dream of distilling a new style of whiskey in the Golan Heights, where he is now producing Israel’s first single malt, corn mash and single malted rye whiskey.
  • Journey by Segway through the Middle East’s largest animal collection right in the heart of Tel Aviv! The safari occupies more than 250 acres of nature and this exclusive Segway tour will enable you to visit the most distant corners of the park not accessible to many visitors.

And, in case you were wondering, some of our favorites

  • Understand the inner workings of Israel’s Parliament with Gil Hoffman, noted journalist for the Jerusalem Post, on a one-of-a-kind tour through Israel’s seat of power.
  • Tour the controversial Security Wall with architect of the barrier, Dr. Danny Tirza.
  • Discover the connection between famous 19th century Americans, like Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Herman Melville, and Mark Twain, and their connection to Jerusalem on a very special tour.
  • Walk through Shuk HaCarmel and the Yemenite quarter for a scrumptious food tour as we explore one of Tel Aviv’s oldest areas and savor some of her most authentic flavor as we eat our way through local Israeli street food.
  • Rappel 85 meters into the great “salt cellar” of the Colonel Salt Cave where the light of your headlamp reveals extraordinary views of thread-like layers of salt, stalactites and crystals adorning the cave walls.
  • Tour the newly renovated Templar town of Sarona, now a hip and vibrant fashion and culinary center, including a visit to the Historic Olive Mill and Press House for olive oil tasting and time to stroll through the indoor food and spice market.