Discovering the Cuisine and Wine of the Bible: A Spiritual Epicurean Adventure
Join us on an all-inclusive tour to explore the historical and cultural sites of biblical Israel. Follow in the footsteps of biblical figures and discover the natural beauty of the region, from the desert landscapes to the lush greenery of the Galilee.
This unique and exceptional tour offers the opportunity to engage with locals, learn about their customs and traditions, and indulge in authentic food and wine. From private cooking classes with Israeli chefs to tasting the variety of wines the country has to offer, you'll be fully immersed in the culture and traditions of the land you read about in the bible.
Don't miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore a treasured destination in a truly distinctive way, one rich in biblical history and with some of the world's best food and wine. Book your adventure today!
Journey through the Judean Shephelah to learn about ancient shepherding practices, collect herbs and plants for a specially prepared meal, and visit some of the finest wineries in the Galilee.
Enjoy a unique community meal with the Druze, experience an Israeli farm-to-table restaurant and visit Dan, Nazareth, and the Mount of Beatitudes while in the north.
Spend your final touring days in Jerusalem witnessing the majesty of the Temple Mount with its famous Western Wall and the ancient Southern Wall where Jesus actually walked, and partake in a culinary tour through the Old City of Jerusalem with one of Israel's top chefs.
Enjoy a chef-style restaurant farewell dinner prior to departure.
TUESDAY JANUARY 9, 2023 Depart USA. WEDNESDAY JANUARY 10, 2023: “No Lord, I have never eaten anything common or unclean”—Food in the Bible Arrive in Tel Aviv. Welcome dinner at Kalamata (Greek food). Overnight Tel Aviv. THURSDAY JANUARY 11, 2023 : “For the land the Lord is leading you into is a good land” Our journey today takes us into the Judean Shephelah (Deut. 1:7), an area of rolling hills between Israel’s hill country and the Mediterranean coast. We begin our morning at the biblical nature park, Ne’ot Kedumim. Here participants learn about ancient shepherds by shepherding sheep and goats. While at Ne’ot Kedumim, participants encounter the flora and fauna of biblical Israel and see how the land of the Bible played a dynamic role in communicating the message of the Scriptures and how food played a dynamic role in that encounter. For lunch, we meet local guide Nurit Hertz who will take us through the area of the Judean Shephelah to gather local herbs and plants which she prepares into an exquisite meal. We then journey to the Elah Valley, the site of the famous confrontation between David and Goliath (1 Sam. 17). We travel through this biblical landscape via ATVs. Dinner this evening is at Zwebner Winery in Sde Boaz. Chef Yossi Zwebner has worked with the best chefs in Israel. He knows the local cuisine. His estate winery produces wonderful wines representing the high Judean Hills. Overnight Tel Aviv. FRIDAY JANUARY 12, 2023: Our morning begins at the port-city of Joppa. Peter, Jesus’ disciple, dwelled here when he received his vision of the common and unclean animals (Acts 10), and from Joppa, he went to Caesarea to meet Cornelius. We travel to Caesarea built by Herod the Great (Matt. 2). This was the second largest harbor in the Roman Empire during the first century. At Caesarea, Peter visited the gentile centurion Cornelius (Acts 10), and he and his household became the first gentile followers of Jesus. The Apostle Paul remained under house arrest in Caesarea for two and a half years. Here he stood before Felix, Festus, and Agrippa II (Acts 23-25). From the harbor of Caesarea, Paul sailed to Rome leaving Israel for the last time. While at the site, we will visit the ancient theater with its magnificent view overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. We will see Herod the Great’s palace that served as the residence of the Roman officials in the land, like Pontius Pilate. We will remember Pilate’s governorship of Judaea by looking at a replica of a stone inscription mentioning Pilate dedicating a temple to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Our visit takes us through the ancient stadium and harbor and ends looking at the ancient aqueduct of Caesarea that supplied the city with its water. From Caesarea, we visit the Somek Winery, a boutique estate winery at Zichron Yaacov where the Dahan family makes superb wines from their family vineyards near Mount Carmel. After our visit to the Somek Winery, our lunch for today is Druze home hospitality. The Druze are a unique community throughout the Middle East. Experience Middle Eastern family style meals. Break bread together from a shared table. The jug of oil shall not be empty. Tonight, we will have a light dinner at St. Urban’s Wine Bar and Restaurant at the historic Scots Hotel. Overnight Sea of Galilee. SATURDAY JANUARY 13, 2023: “A Land Flowing with Milk and Honey” Today we travel into the Golan Heights and the upper Jordan Valley. Our day begins at the nature reserve of Dan. The ancient city of Dan, which formed the northern boundary of biblical Israel, sits on the Dan Spring, one of the three tributaries of the Jordan River. In addition to walking through the beautiful nature reserve, we will visit the ancient site of Dan seeing its high place (1 Kings 12:29), Israelite gate, and the Middle Bronze Age gate from the time of Abraham (Gen. 14:14). From Dan, we travel to the Fatali goat farm at Rajar, and discover the “milk” of the land flowing with milk and honey. Ahmad and Mona Fatali milk their lambs and goats and make amazing food products from it. The village, located on the Lebanese border, has kept their traditions intact. From the farm, we drive up into the foothills of Mount Hermon (Ps. 133) and into the Golan Heights. At a high overlook on the Israel-Syrian border, we look into Syria towards Damascus. A visit to the Golan Heights would be incomplete without a wine tasting. We will visit the family owned Pelter Winery to taste their wines from the upper Golan Heights. Tonight, our dinner enjoys meat from the Golan Heights (biblical Bashan) at Gillis; Israel’s true farm-to-table restaurant. Overnight Sea of Galilee. SUNDAY JANUARY 14, 2023: “A Land of Wheat…of Vines and Fig Trees…a Land of Olive Trees and Honey” Our morning begins at the boyhood home of Jesus, Nazareth. We visit the Church of the Annunciation, built over the traditional place where the angel Gabriel announced to Mary that she would be the mother of Jesus (Luke 1:26-37). The church is built on top of the ancient village of Nazareth, and we will visit a small museum that shows some of the finds and homes from the village. We will end our visit in Nazareth with an overlook of the Jezreel Valley from Mount Precipice. From this vantage point, we will see the settings for a number of biblical stories. From Nazareth, we travel to Kfar Kedem, a unique experience where we will learn about growing wheat and milking goats in the ancient Jewish world of the Galilee, and their connection with the Bible. For lunch today, we will participate in an Arab cooking workshop in the lower Galilee. Inside an Arab home, we will learn from master women cooks how to make traditional dishes from local ingredients. After lunch, we will visit Sepphoris. The capital of the Galilee when Jesus was a boy, this city offers beautiful mosaics, paved streets, a fascinating synagogue, and theater. Nearby we will visit the Resh Lakish olive press. We will experience the oil of Israel, olive oil, and learn about its production in this family-owned organic olive oil press. This evening we will have a light dinner with a wine tasting with Israeli sommelier Omri Yizhak. Overnight Sea of Galilee. MONDAY JANUARY 15, 2024: The Faith of Jesus Our journey today focuses upon the ministry of Jesus around the Sea of Galilee. Our morning begins at the archaeological excavation of el-Araj/Beitsaida, situated in the Beitsaida Valley where the Jordan River flows into the Sea of Galilee, and where Jesus fed the 5,000 (Luke 9:10-17). Our journey takes us to the Mount of Beatitudes. Our journey continues with an opportunity for people to be baptized in the Jordan River. From the baptismal, we visit the ancient town of Capernaum where Jesus made his home around the lake (Matt. 4:13). Here he healed the centurion’s servant (Matt. 8:5). The magnificent limestone synagogue of the fourth century AD has been party reconstructed and looms over the site. From Capernaum, we travel to the small museum at Kibbutz Ginnosar that houses an ancient boat discovered in the 1980s in the Sea of Galilee. This boat dates to the first century and was a boat used by fisherman on the lake. Our touring day concludes with a visit to one of the most exciting and important ongoing archaeological excavations in Israel, Magdala. Here we will visit one of the few, excavated, first century synagogues in the land of Israel. Its date coincides with the time of Jesus ministry in the area. We will also see wealthy homes from the village, as well as the first century harbor. Our day concludes with an evening boat-ride on the Sea of Galilee. The ancient fishermen fished the lake at night. Riding on the waters of the lake in the evening offers a unique opportunity to connect with Jesus and his disciples on the lake. Dinner tonight enjoys the food and wine of the region at Marinado. Overnight Sea of Galilee. TUESDAY JANUARY 16, 2024: “And He Ate Locusts and Wild Honey” Today we drive from the Sea of Galilee, the lowest fresh-water lake in the world, through the Jordan River Valley, to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on earth. Our first stop discovers the biblical “honey” of the “land flowing with milk and honey”—date honey. We visit a date farm in the Jordan River Valley to learn about date agriculture and to taste the dates. We then drive to the site of Qumran. In caves around the site, the world-famous Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. Qumran was the settlement of the community that produced many of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Participants will have an opportunity to float in the Dead Sea and eat lunch. Our day ends with an overlook of the Wadi Qilt, the ancient road between Jerusalem and Jericho. This was the setting for Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). On Jesus’ final journey to Jerusalem, he used this road as he came from Jericho to Jerusalem (Luke 19:1-11). Dinner tonight at Adom in Jerusalem where Noam, the owner of the restaurant, will share their wine selection with us. Overnight Jerusalem. WEDNESDAY JANUARY 17, 2024: Jerusalem We begin at the Israel Museum. Here we will see a scale-model of Jerusalem on the eve of its destruction in AD 70. We will have a private tour of the Shrine of the Book, which houses some of the Dead Sea Scrolls, including some of the oldest copies of the Old Testament. Our tour of the museum concludes with a walk through the archeological wing to visit the two galleries dedicated to Israel in the Old and New Testament periods. We will see original artifacts found in sites we visited, as well as other artifacts that make the Bible come alive. We travel outside of Jerusalem on the outskirts of Bethlehem to the palace-fortress of Herod the Great, Herodium. We will meet with world-renowned archaeologist, Guy Stiebel, who will share with us about wine and food in the world of the Herodian family and the Roman Empire. For lunch today, we experience a cooking class at Machaneh Yehudah in the Jerusalem market. Discover the flavors and dishes of Jerusalem. Our dinner this evening is an experience of Arab hospitality, a Maklubeh dinner. Overnight Jerusalem. THURSDAY JANUARY 18, 2024: “The Mountain of the House of the Lord” We begin our morning visiting the Temple Mount. Today the Muslim mosques of the Dome of the Rock and the ‘Al-Aqsa stand on top, but in the first century, the Temple of Herod stood upon the mount. After visiting the Temple Mount, we stop at the Western Wall, the most sacred site for Jews. Our journey takes us to the Davidson Center along the southern wall of the Temple Mount. On the first century street, we see the shops and markets around the Temple, a possible location for the money changers (Luke 19:45-48). We then proceed to the southern entrances of the Temple where we walk the steps ancient pilgrims took to ascend to the Temple. We then journey through the Old City of Jerusalem on a culinary tour with one of Israel’s top chefs, Ilan Garousi. We journey to the foot of the Mount of Olives to the traditional location of the Garden of Gethsemane. Our journey continues at Jaffa Gate where in the first century Herod’s palace stood. Here the story of Jesus begins (Matt. 2) with the visit of the wisemen to Herod, and here his story ended because at Herod’s palace Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate (Mark 15:16). From Jaffa Gate, we walk into the Jewish Quarter and visit the Herodian Quarter, a series of priestly homes from the first century. We then walk along the Byzantine Cardo and see the walls of Jerusalem from the eighth century BC and the first century BC. Passing the Gennath Gate, we follow the historic route Jesus traveled from Pilate to his place of execution at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. After a farewell dinner, at Satya, the restaurant of chef Ilan Garousi, we depart Jerusalem for Ben Gurion Airport where you will return to your home country refreshed, challenged, and renewed in your faith. FRIDAY JANUARY 19, 2024 Return USA
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Expedition Host and Instructor
Marc holds an MA in Ancient Judaism and the Origins of Christianity from Jerusalem University College. He is currently finishing his PhD in the Land of Israel Studies Department at Bar Ilan University located in Ramat Gan, Israel, under the supervision of Professor Esther Eshel. Marc has taught graduate and undergraduate students at several universities in the United States and abroad.
Marc moved to Israel to study because he felt that the issues of spatial, historical, cultural, and spiritual settings played a vital role in how we read the Bible. While studying in Israel, he fell in love with the lands of the Bible. He has been guiding groups through Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Greece, and Italy for over twenty years. Marc is a highly sought-after guide and teacher and routinely trains and lectures local tour guides about guiding Christian groups. He is passionate about leading biblical tours that deliver the very finest experience and helping people understand how to read the Bible.
Marc has published widely for both academic and popular audiences. His most recent book, Windows Into the Bible, was named by Outreach Magazine one of its top 100 Christian living resources. Marc is a widely sought-after speaker, and a gifted teacher. He resides in Springfield, MO with his family.
Service is at the core of who we are. Our expeditions offer the finest travel experiences to the lands of the Bible. We provide the peace of mind that everything down to the smallest detail has been taken care of for you, so that you can experience the journey, encounter God, learn how to understand the words of the Bible through its world, and rest when it’s time. Our experienced team of travel concierges accompany every group in Israel. They meticulously attend to logistical details and personal service to ensure your experience is truly exceptional.