Fruit of the Vine

Trip Highlights

  • Jerusalem and Environs
  • Dead Sea & Masada
  • Galilee and Golan Heights
  • Lake Hula and Safed
  • Western Galilee, Acre, Haifa
  • Atlit, Caesarea & Environs
  • Tel Aviv-Jaffa

Trip Highlights

Discover the wineries and the collection of wines produced in Israel while visiting for a 12-day tour around the country that covers the major historical sites.

Wineries included on this delectable tour:

Castle Winery, Asif Winery, Bazelet Hagolan Winery, Dalton Winery, Stern Winvery, Carmel Winery, Salove Winery

* The above rate is per person per day based on a group of 10 people sharing 5 double rooms at one of our recommended 4* hotels.  Transport for the group is included along with private guiding.

David Citadel Hotel | Jerusalem

Days: 1 2 3 4

The David Citadel Hotel, with a majestic view of the Old City, is within walking distance from the city center and is situated directly across from Alrov Mamilla Avenue and other major attractions. The hotel boasts impeccably designed suites and guestrooms, fine cuisine, a luxury gym and a holistic innovative spa, year-round heated pool, and private Executive Lounge. The hotel’s exquisite modular banquet halls and reception rooms host a variety of social and business gatherings.

Bedouin Hospitality | Kfar Hanokdim

Days: 5

In the Kana`im valley which is in the Judean desert, between the city of Arad and ancient Masada, lies Kfar Hanokdim. It is a green oasis shaded by palm trees and crowned with biblically inspired gardens.  Merely walking into Kfar Hanokdim reveals a picturesque scene. Bedouin tents comfortably fitted with colorful rugs and mattresses.

Pastoral Hotel | Kfar Blum

Days: 6

In the heart of the Galilee landscape, continuing the pioneers’ tradition of hospitality, to the sound of classical music, there flows a spring of silence and tranquility. In a relaxing pastoral atmosphere, we invite you to enjoy a range of 147 especially designed rooms surrounded by lawns and flowers, a prestigious pampering spa, an Olympic-sized swimming pool,  a restaurant offering a culinary experience of delicious gourmet meals.

Hagoshrim Hotel | Kibbutz Hagoshrim

Days: 7

The hotel lies in the center of a valley, facing the Golan Heights and the snows of Mount Hermon. Its unique combination of ancient and modern architecture blend together in pleasant harmony and the pastoral landscape, splendid views and crystal-clear air promise an ideal holiday-site – both for those seeking tranquility and relaxation, and for those wishing to enjoy a wider range of activities.

Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel | Tiberius

Days: 8

Take a pampering holiday in a boutique hotel on the shores of the Sea of Galilee.  Nestled among lush, green lawns, with breathtaking views of the Golan Heights, Rimonim Galei Kinnereth has made a name for itself as Tiberias’ leading boutique hotel.

Akkotel Hotel | Acre

Days: 9

Akkotel is a boutique hotel built into the walls of the UNESCO World Heritage site of the old city of Acre. The building is a beautifully renovated historical building that was constructed by the Ottomans and served as an accommodation for the army officers.  Akkotel is the winner of the 2012 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Hotel Awards for the Middle East region in the categories of service and bargain.

Carlton Hotel | Tel Aviv

Days: 10 11

Perfectly situated on the beachfront, The Carlton Tel Aviv Hotel is all about details and comfort; from our award winning breakfast to our exclusive Carlton bath amenities.  Our personal service and ‘We’ve got you covered’ attitude will guarantee an unforgettable experience; whether you’re in town for business or leisure.

Day 1: Airport and whisked to Jerusalem

Accomodation: David Citadel Hotel | Jerusalem

Day 1:  Upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport you will be greeted by the Lifetime Discovery representative to expedite arrival formalities before setting out to Jerusalem.  Spend your first few moments in the city of gold at the Haas Promenade before checking in to your hotel for the first of 4 nights in Jerusalem and acclimating to the magic of being in Israel.

Day 2: Jerusalem (Act I)

Accomodation: David Citadel Hotel | Jerusalem

After your Mediterranean breakfast, begin the day at the one-of-a-kind “Ir David” (City of David) taking you back 3000 years in the blink of an eye .  Continue with a guided walking tour to the Jewish Quarter, including the Cardo Davidson Center archaeological park and of course to the “Kotel” (Western Wall). This meaningful moment is followed by an exciting visit to the Western Wall Tunnels. Late afternoon introduction to the wines of Israel at a special tasting room. We’ll learn about the different wine growing regions, historical background and important dates and players in the Israeli wine revolution. Our introduction will be accompanied by significant wines from wineries that are not part of our tour. Return to the hotel for another overnight in the golden city.

Day 3: Muslim and Christian Quarters & Castel Winery

Accomodation: David Citadel Hotel | Jerusalem

We will start our day with a walk along the ramparts of the 16th Century Ottoman Walls from Jaffa to Damacus Gate. After touring the archaeological excavations under Damascus Gate, exit the walls to visit is Zedakiah’s Cave. Enter the Old City by Herod’s Gate and then browse the stalls of old city’s the “shuk” (market)  to your heart’s content.  Continue through the Muslim Quarter to the Christian Quarter and the Holy Sepulcher Church.  Next we’ll depart Jerusalem to visit Castel Winery. Castel is one of the top wineries in Israel, started as a hobby by Eli Ben Zaken with no commercial intentions. Some bottles reached Serena Sutcliff, MW and head of the Wine Department at Southerbys in London. After Sutcliff wrote to Eli that his wine was the best wine that she had tasted coming out of Israel, Eli decided to develop the winery. Today Eli and all of his children work in the winery. His Grand Vin has receive a rating of 93 from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, sharing the highest score achieved by an Israeli wine.  The suggested evening program is the spectacular Sound and Light at the Citadel.

Day 4: New City Embraces the Old

Accomodation: David Citadel Hotel | Jerusalem

The day begins with the vital stop at ”Yad Vashem” Holocaust Memorial Museum and is followed by a lightening of the spirit at the colorful and vibrant “Machane Yehuda” open-air market. The miniature model of Jerusalem at the Israel Museum is the next stop, followed by the uniquely-domed Shrine of the Book, which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls. In the archaeological wing of the Israel Museum we will have a special tour to learn about wine in antiquity through the different artifacts associated with wine.

Day 5: Desert Magic at Masada and Dead Sea

Accomodation: Bedouin Hospitality | Kfar Hanokdim

We get up early to climb Masada, the last stronghold against the Romans and deemed a World Heritage site by UNESCO.  A cable car assists in the expedition, but if someone wants to brave the steep climb, it’s doable.  Next is the fascinating walk through the Ein Gedi nature reserve before stepping into the famous Dead Sea, at the lowest spot on earth. Visit the Asif Winery in Arad where in addition to tasting this winery’s wines, we’ll have an in-depth lesson on Kosher issues and wine.

Day 6: Through Jordan Valley to Galilee & Golan Winery

Accomodation: Pastoral Hotel | Kfar Blum

Picking up the trail of the Syrian-Africa Rift, we will head north through the Jordan Valley for Beit Shean to see its fascinating archaeological site.  The next stop the Sea of Galilee in Tiberius, sacred to the Jews followed by the visits to the sacred destinations of Capernaum, Tabgha, and Mt. of Beatitudes before climbing to the Golan Heights for an unparalleled view of the sea from the unique Peace Vista before hotel check-in .  Visit the Bazelet Hagolan winery in Kidmat Zvi, a boutique winery started by Yoav Levy who after raising grapes for the Golan Heights Winery decided to try his hand at making wine.

Day 7: Golan Heights, Gamla and Wines

Accomodation: Hagoshrim Hotel | Kibbutz Hagoshrim

Wake up and set out to one of the most spectacular walks of the trip, the ancient fortress of  Gamla.  Stop in Katzrin for a special VIP Tour and Tasting at the Golan Heights Winery that began the Israeli wine revolution upon opening in 1983. Next we will see the wind turbines at Mt. Hazeka before climbing to see the now in-active volcano at Mt. Bental on the Syrian border, getting an insight to the complexity of quest for peace.  After dining for a late lunch at the on Druse village Massade, you will discover the miracle of nature at the Banias waterfall.

Day 8: Tel Dan, Lake Hula and Safed, origins of Kaballah

Accomodation: Rimonim Galei Kinnereth Hotel | Tiberius

At Tel Dan, trek through one of Israel’s most beautiful nature reserves including a visit to Lake Hula. Continue to Dalton winery and meet the winemaker Naama Sorkin. Dalton Winery is the largest winery in Israel with a woman as the chief winemaker. Continue to  the sacred city of “Zefat” (Safed) we will discover the mysticism of Kabbalah and Jewish mysticism was born in the 16th century. Jewish philosophy will be chronicled by stops at the Ari, Caro and Abuhav synagogues.  A leisurely stroll through the artists’ colony will conclude Day 8.

Day 9: Grottoes and Ports

Accomodation: Akkotel Hotel | Acre

Drive through the Beit Hakerem Valley and ascend the Upper Galilee to Kibbutz Tuval where we’ll visit the Stern Winery and meek the wine maker Jonny Stern. Continue to the Rosh Hanikra grottoes  A cable car transports guests to the sea-level caverns and grottoes, at Israel’s border crossing with Lebanon.  The next and final stop of the day is in ”Akko” (Acre), the ancient port city with its great bizarre in the old city and its fabulous fish restaurants by seaside.

Day 10: Wineries on the Coast

Accomodation: Carlton Hotel | Tel Aviv

Leave Akko by the coastal road heading for Haifa on the Carmel mountain, specifically to see the gorgeous Bahai Temple and gardens, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Continue south with the Mediterranean on your right to the Atlit historical landmark commemorating the plight of the Jewish refugees after WWII in their efforts to reach the homeland.  Enjoy a special VIP tour of the Carmel Winery, founded in 1882 by Baron Edmond de Rothschild. Rothschild invested more money in the Carmel Wineries that he spent in acquiring the Premier Crux Chateau Lafite!  While known for many years primarily for its sweet sacramental wine, Carmel Winery has become one of Israel’s producers of world acclaimed wines. The winery cut production by over 40% to promote quality over quantity. The winery in Zichron Yaakov is the oldest industrial facility in Israel in continual use since its opening. We’ll have a light lunch at the Pavo Brewery, one of Israel’s growing number of microbreweries.  Next we head for Caesarea on the sea, with its mix of ancient and modern wonders.  Continue south for overnight in Tel Aviv, the modern metropolis.

Day 11: Jaffa, Independence Hall and Wine

Accomodation: Carlton Hotel | Tel Aviv

Awake and enter the bustle of Old Jaffa and the popular “Shuk HaPishpashim” (flea market) before a walk through the gentrified neighborhood of Neve Tzedek.  Continue a stroll on Rothschild Boulevard, site of the 2011 “tent-city” with a stop at Independence Hall to see where the declaration of independence from the British was announced in 1948.  Depart Tel for Saslove Winery at nearby Kibbutz Ayal. Saslove is one of the more established boutique wineries, started over twenty years ago by Barry Saslove. Canadian-born Barry Saslove came to Israel as a volunteer to help in the 1967 Six Day War and stayed. Today Barry and his daughter Ronnie are producing wines from Upper Galilee vineyards right outside of Tel Aviv. At your leisure, enjoy an evening, “stop and shop” at “HaTachana” (The Station), the newly renovated Jaffa-Jerusalem Railway museum with fabulous restaurants for your choice.

Day 12: Last taste and homeward bound

Depending on your flight, there may be time for a glass of wine at lunch.  Otherwise, the Lifetime Discovery staff will sign off after your check-in at the airport and wish you well.

Come back soon for more Mediterranean discoveries.