CULTURE SHOCK

8 Day Tour

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Overview

From the beginning of history, Israel has always been a crossroad where cultures met and coexisted.


Everywhere you turn, you will come across people whose origins and cultures are diverse in every sense. There is an abundance of holy sites of the three monotheistic faiths - Judaism, Christianity and Islam - and their offshoots, Samaritans, Druze and Bahai. Typical cuisines from many countries exist side by side and also mix together in fascinating fusions.


During this fascinating 8-day tour, you will peek into the cultural texture of the various peoples living in Israel, as you learn, experience and taste these exciting, colorful cultures:

  • Ethiopian Jews
  • Baha'i faith
  • Druze of the Galilee
  • Bedouin tribes of the desert
  • Communal life of the Kibbutz
  • German Templar Society
  • Hasidic Jews of Safed
  • Hedonistic life in Tel Aviv
  • Multiculturalism in Jerusalem


Welcome to Israel

  • You will be greeted at Ben Gurion Airport by a Simply, Israel representative, who will drive you to your hotel in Tel Aviv.
  • Use the free time on your first day to rest and acclimatize. We are happy to give you suggestions on what to see or do in this fantastic city. Let us know what your interests are, and we'll point you in the right direction.
  • Tel Aviv is Israel's largest city and business hub. The city is spread over more than 10 miles of the Mediterranean coastline, and is known as the "City That Never Sleeps".
  • Tel Aviv is notorious for it's beaches, culture, vibrant night life and excellent cuisine, from authentic street food to upscale, gourmet restaurants.
  • Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv: Israel's Culture Capital

  • In the morning, meet your private, professional tour guide, who will travel with you for the rest of the tour.
  • Tel Aviv was founded in 1909. UNESCO has selected an area known as the White City as a World Heritage Site.
  • This section of the city was constructed from the early 1930s till 1948, reflecting modern organic planning principles.
  • TThe White City is lined with one of the world's best concentration of historical buildings representing the Bauhaus architectural style.
  • Walk through Rothchild Boulevard, a beautiful boulevard lined with one of the world's best concentration of historical buildings representing the Bauhaus architectural style.
  • Continue through the narrow alleys of the bohemian Neve Tsedek neighborhood and the Susan Dellal Theatre.
  • The newly renovated Old Port of Jaffa is another great treat when visiting the city.
  • Enjoy the Port's exquisite Mediterranean views and myriad of cafes and restaurants in the boardwalk.
  • Continue to the lively, modern Jaffa flea market. Weave your way through a mixed array of treasures and junk. Bargaining is the order of the day; feel free to indulge in lengthy haggling!
  • Tel Aviv is Israel's cultural center. The city offers a rich variety of cultural attractions, such as museums, galleries, performing arts, restaurants, bars and clubs, festivals and other cultural events.
  • Let us know what you're into, and we'll inform you what is available during your stay.
  • Overnight in Tel Aviv.

Culture along the Mediterranean

  • Drive north along the Mediterranean coastline, and visit Ein Hod - a picturesque artists' village located on the slopes of the Carmel Mountain.
  • Ein Hod is the only artists' village in Israel, and one of only a few in the world, exhibiting mostly contemporary artwork - painting and sculpture, prints, ceramics, jewelry, textile, craft, glasswork and Judaic.
  • Tour the village with one of the locals who will introduce you to the history, galleries and artists of Ein Hod.
  • Continue to the Port City of Haifa. Visit the charming German Colony in Haifa.
  • The colony was founded in 1868 by a group of German Christians known as the German Templar Society, set out to build the first planned agricultural community in the Holy Land.
  • Many of the original Templar stone houses have been preserved, and many now house charming restaurants, galleries and gift shops.
  • Stroll along the Louis Promenade, and enjoy the breathtaking panoramic views of Haifa and the port.
  • Visit the spectacular Baha'i Gardens*, selected by UNESCO for their profound spiritual meaning and the testimony they bear to the strong tradition of pilgrimage in the Baha'i faith.
  • With its golden-domed Shrine of the Bab and terraced gardens, this is the holiest site of pilgrimage for the members of the Baha'i faith, and one of the more beautiful sites in Israel.
  • In the evening, visit the nearby Arab village of Ein Hawd in the heart of Mount Carmel.
  • Enjoy a delicious all-you-can-eat feast of many mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes.
  • Overnight in Haifa.
Note: The Baha'i Gardens may be closed and tours canceled without prior notice.

Cultures of the Galilee

  • Tour Acre, the ancient port city built and influenced by the Crusaders, Arabs, Ottoman Turks and the British. This magnificent, medieval city was selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage site and is characteristic of a fortified town from the Ottoman 18th-19th centuries, with typical citadel, mosques, khans and baths.
  • Stroll through the Arab Market (shuk) and taste local sweets such as knafe and baklawa.
  • Experience the Ethiopian Jewish culture in Kibbutz Evron.
  • Ethiopian Jews started to arrive in Israel in small airlifts since 1977. The final and most dramatic large-scale Aliya was Operation Solomon in 1991, which brought to Israel over 14,000 Ethiopians overnight amid political turmoil.
  • Learn about this unique culture which values dignity, simplicity and power based on the connection to nature, spirit and mother earth.
  • Drive through the beautiful scenery of the Galilee, and visit one of the Druze villages in the region. The Druze is a religious minority that lives in harmony in Israel, an ethnic group known for their warm welcome of visitors. Learn about their fascinating history, unique religion, and ancient tradition, and engage in a fun and tasty culinary workshop and feast.
  • Overnight in a B&B in the Galilee.

More cultures of the Galilee

  • Drive through Jish, the Maronite village. The Maronite Catholic Church has historically been tied with Lebanon. The Maronites in Israel encompass the long existing community in Jish area and the families of former South Lebanon Army militia members, who fled South Lebanon in 2000.
  • Continue through Rekhaniya, one of the two Circassian villages in Israel. A religious group originated in the northern Caucasus Mountains on the border between Europe and Asia, who arrived in Israel in the 19th century.
  • Visit Kibbutz Malkiya in the Upper Galilee, close to the Lebanese border. Tour the kibbutz with a local, and learn about the communal ideology of the Kibbutz movement and the special history of Kibbutz Malkiya, as well as their current challenges. Take a jeep ride through the Kibbutz's orchards, enjoy the beautiful views of the region. End the tour with a memorable rendevouz with young I.D.F combat soldiers serving and protecting the border.
  • Visit Safed, one of the holy cities in the Jewish faith, and the birthplace of the Kabbalah. The picturesque old town of Safed consists of narrow cobblestone alleys with artists' galleries, medieval synagogues, private homes and small guest houses. Stroll through the narrow streets and admire the local artwork.
  • Continue to Jerusalem and enjoy a free evening in this fascinating city. As Israel's capital and as a tourism center, there's plenty here to keep a traveler happy. Theaters, dance companies and entertainment venues are more than plentiful, and dining options run the gamut. Like any contemporary city, there's also a host of lively bars, pubs and clubs that cater to diverse tastes. Let us know what you're into, and we would be happy to provide you with suggestions and recommendations of what to do.
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Multiculturalim in Jerusalem

  • Jerusalem is the holiest city in the world, with history felt with each step in its winding roads and where every stone tells a wondrous story... The Old City is home to several sites of key religious importance: the Temple Mount and its Western Wall for Jews, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, and the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque for Muslims. You will visit all of these sites, as well as many other important and intriguing historical and cultural sites.
  • Stroll through the 16th century Sepharadi synagogues located in the Jewish Quarter, and walk along the alleys and small shops of the Byzantine Cardo.
  • Proceed to the Western Wall, the holiest of Jewish sites, sacred because it is what's left of the Second Temple destroyed by the Romans. The adjoining Western Wall Plaza functions as an open-air synagogue for thousands of worshipers, with prayers going on continuously.
  • Tour the Western Wall Tunnels - a fascinating tour underground, revealing hidden layers of the Wall.
  • Visit Template Mount, the revered by all three religions. To the Jews, Temple Mount the site of the First and Second Temples, as well as the site of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac. For Muslims, the Temple Mount is the site from which Muhammad embarked on his Night Journey to Heaven. The Dome of the Rock shelters the very rock on which Muhammad stood. The Temple Mount also contains an ancient and important mosque, the Al-Aqsa Mosque.
  • Follow the path of Jesus as he walked, carrying his cross on the way to his crucifixion, along the Via Dolorosa, meaning "way of sorrows". For as long as Christians have been coming to the Holy City, they have walked the last path of Jesus. At least for the last 1,000 years, it is the same path visitors walk today.
  • Bargain with local merchants in the Arab Souk (market) of the Muslim Quarter, where You will find a large variety of souvenirs for cheap prices, and local delicatessen such as Kenafeh, Falafel and Hummus.
  • The vibrant Mahne Yehuda market is one of Jerusalem's real gems. Walk through and experience the vendors shouting at the top of their throats, a wide selection of fresh produce, and an overall lively ambiance.
  • In the evening observe or join the prayers in the Western Wall as the city welcome the Shabbat. Learn about this holy day and understand the significance of the Friday night prayers.
  • Join a local Jewish family at their home for a home-cooked, traditional Shabbat dinner. The Kabbalat Shabbat includes explanations of Jewish customs and a five-course home-cooked meal featuring cuisine from nine different communities of the Jewish Diaspora. Where else can you enjoy Moroccan fish and chicken soup with kneidels at the same meal?
  • Overnight in Jerusalem.

Cultures of the desert

  • In the morning, drive south towards the Negev Desert, a vast and sparsely populated piece of land which accounts for over half of Israel's land area. Visit one of the unique desert farms in the Negev. For decades the Negev was regarded as nothing but a desolate desert, but today this region is a giant greenhouse of development - eco-villages, spa resorts and even wineries.
  • Visit an authentic Bedouin tent, where you will and enjoy an exciting camel ride through the dunes, and a traditional Bedouin feast. The Bedouins, considered by some as the most hospitable people on Earth, are a group of nomadic tribes who have lived in Israel's Negev Desert for hundreds of years, tracing their heritage back to the traders on the ancient Spice Route.
  • Return to Tel Aviv for a final night.
  • On day 8, make use of the free time on your last day to rest or explore at your will. We shall be delighted to offer you suggestions and tips on how to spend your final day in Israel in the best possible way; just tell us what you are interested in and we shall help you design a plan for the day.
  • A driver will take you to the airport 4 hours prior to your departure.

Price Information

  • All tours are private and personalized.
  • Price is dependent on the number of people participating.
  • It is possible to extend the tour and add more attractions in Israel, per your preference, at additional cost.
  • All itineraries are subject to change due to weather or other constrains.
  • Price may change per currency fluctuations.

Price Includes

  • Private, licensed tour guide (6 days)
  • Accommodation (7 nights)
  • Private transportation & airport transfers
  • Entry fees to all sites
  • Prices do not include meals, tips, airfare or travel insurance.

    Itineraries
  • All itineraries are subject to change. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements based on comments from past travelers and our own research or there are changes in the offerings from operators we use. If we are unable to utilize a product, service or activity detailed in our itinerary, a suitable alternative will be offered where possible. Itineraries may vary and/or attractions be substituted for any cause including seasonal conditions, weather conditions, natural disasters, security concerns, or site/national park requirements. All activities in individual itineraries are included in the price unless otherwise stated as additional cost.
  • Prices
  • Prices are quoted in US Dollars and are inclusive of VAT. Prices may change per currency fluctuations and periodic changes in the VAT in Israel, and are subject to change at the discretion of Simply, Israel. No responsibility is accepted by Simply, Israel for unforeseen omissions or misrepresentation of touring partners and external service providers.
  • Payment Policy
  • A 30% deposit is required at the time of booking. The remaining amount is due no later than 14 days prior to the tour's start date. Failure to adhere to the payment policy may result in the cancellation of your booking. A non-refundable credit card surcharge of 4.06% applies on all credit card transactions. Please note: external service provider's payment policies may vary from the above and are subject to change at any time. These are available upon request.
  • Cancellation Policy
  • In accordance with Israeli Consumer Law, a package or service bundle may be canceled in writing and fully refunded within 14 days of the purchase date, excluding a 5% cancellation fee. If the transaction is canceled after 14 days days, a 30% cancellation fee will be deducted from the payment. There will be no refund if the service/tour is canceled less than 2 business days before the start date. There will be no refund for non-show or unused services. Refunds will be processed within 14 days of the cancellation.
  • Please note: external service provider's cancellation policies and fees may vary from the above and are subject to change at any time. These are available upon request.
  • Changes to bookings
  • In the event of a booking alteration (such as a date change), Simply, Israel reserves the right to charge a fee where applicable.
  • Conditions of travel
  • Simply, Israel reserves the right to alter the route or itinerary of any of its tours and arrange alternative carriers to those advertised if necessary. No refunds will be given in these circumstances or in the event of any delay, curtailment or alteration of a trip resulting from any cause including severe weather conditions or mechanical failure. Components of trips are weather dependent and Simply, Israel cannot be held liable if trip components are not available on the day of travel. Simply, Israel cannot guarantee pick up or drop off times and is not liable for traveler failure to connect with other services or any associated costs resulting from such delays.
  • Liability
  • Whilst we make every effort to safeguard our passengers, Simply, Israel cannot be held liable for any damage, injury, or loss of any kind caused by or resulting from any act or omission by its employees, agents or contractors. Simply, Israel also assumes no responsibility for any act of negligence, act or omission whatsoever by any company whose services are used as part of packages provided, including but not limited to activity and accommodation providers. Simply, Israel accepts no responsibility for loss or damage to personal belongings or baggage.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance in NOT included in the package/itinerary or service bundle prices. Simply, Israel requires all passengers to hold travel insurance. Your Insurance protection must include cover for cancellation, medical and repatriation expenses, personal injury and accident, death and loss of personal baggage and money and personal liability insurance.
  • Fitness Levels
  • Some of Simply, Israel's tours are active and require a reasonable or high level of fitness. If you have any doubts about your suitability please check with us.