Our 15 Days Itinerary in the Holy Land: The Israel You Didn’t Know Exists with Puzzle Israel @puzzleisrael

By Kach Umandap - Howe July 3rd, 2016 Posted in Asia, Organized Tours, Travel Blog, Travel Guides One Comment

For two weeks last February, Puzzle Israel invited us and some fellow bloggers and reporters on a special tour to get to know the REAL ISRAEL!

Two Monkeys Tours

It’s a discovery of Israel on a different level, interacting with the terrain in a way most people never get to. It’s a great experience of meeting locals and a real feel of the true Israel– not just seeing it. All of us were immersed in the food, culture and views that have inspired people throughout history. We also experienced the best Israeli guided tour, accompanied by a vibrant, young, passionate and professional staff who is in love with Israel.

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Monkey Dividers

Day 1­ Sunday, February 28, 2016

We arrived in Israel!!

  • 3 PM ­, met Tamar for lunch at Piazza in Tel Aviv (address: Dizengoff 99)
  • 5 PM­ ,drove together to the airport and met the rest of the group
  • We arrived in the afternoon at the airport, Guy waited for us at the Arrival Hall at the airport with our name
  • Started the journey and drove south
  • Arrived in the accommodation
  • Checked in and relaxed from the long journey
  • Welcome dinner and raised a toast for Lechaim (cheers)

Accommodations for the night: Carmei Avdat (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com)

Monkey DividersDay 2­ Monday, February 29, 2016

Mizpe Ramon nature adventure

“It is in the Negev That the Creativity and Pioneer Vigor of Israel Shall Be Tested”, David Ben Gurion ­ Israel’s First Prime Minister

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Visited Sde Boker and jumped on our bikes! Enjoyed a fun game on a bike, navigating from one station to the next

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

  • Finished the biking adventure at Ben Gurion’s grave and  memorial site and got a better understanding of David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, a great leader, who dedicated his life to the State of Israel and asked to be buried in the Negev next to his wife, Pola. The spectacular view of the Tzin riverbed from that location was breathtaking!
  • Enjoyed an amazing Bedouin hospitality experience and a personal encounter with a Bedouin family. Had a taste of the delicious local food, fresh coffee and herbal tea and learned about all about their family traditions (lunch was included)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

  • Went exploring Makhtesh Ramon (Ramon Crater) by Jeep, courtesy of Deep Desert! Amazed by this gorgeous geological phenomenon and got a personal visit by local Ibexs

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

  • Went on an adventure! Deep Desert took us to a repelling, down the highest cliffs of the Ramon Crater!

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Watch my LIVE Facebook video below:

  • Joined the Puzzle Israel Catering team and together, we cooked a great meal out in the desert around a campfire. As the sun sets, we were kept warm by the fire and had this great opportunity to talk about life

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Accommodations: Carmei Avdat (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com)

Monkey Dividers

Day 3­ Tuesday, March 1, 2016

One last taste of the wilderness before we head to Jerusalem!

  • 7:30, we started the day with a yoga session at the edge of the crater! Took a deep breath of fresh desert air and relaxed our body!

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

  • Breakfast at the desert lodging
  • Headed northwest towards the Gaza border and drove along it. (If lucky enough, we’d see the Kalaniot ‘Anemone flower’  blossom. January/February is the season when the south turns red with flower blossom!)
  • Took part in an activity called Nativ Lashalom (Path to Peace). ­Made our own mosaic out of colorful stones and placed it on the wall border with the Gaza strip. Stopped for a viewpoint of Gaza and got a better understanding of the area and issues surrounding it.

Watch my LIVE Facebook video below:

  • Lunch at a lovely restaurant in the area
  • Tour around the city of Sderot, met the local residents and learned about their daily lives and the importance of continuing to live in this area despite the constant threat of missile attacks
  • Enjoyed a delightful dinner on the way to Jerusalem
  • Stopped for a viewpoint of Jerusalem before entering the holy city for the first time!
  • 17:00 ­ 20:00­­ checked in at the hotel, unwind from a great day
  • 20:00 ­ dinner at a local restaurant, a chance for an interesting encounter with a special guest joining us in the dinner (an opportunity for an interview)

Accommodations: Harmony Hotel (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/Expedia)

Monkey Dividers

Day 4­ Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Discover the power of Jerusalem!

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Started our day with a wonderful rooftop observation over the Old City and got to see Jerusalem from a different perspective

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Watch my LIVE Facebook video below:

  • Had a tour in the Jewish Quarter and learned about the fascinating history that lies in each and every stone, nook and cranny
  • Tour of Ir David (City of David), ­explored the most ancient known part of Jerusalem, saw the newly excavated parts, walked through the ancient Hezekiah tunnel, where the water is waist high – prepared to get wet! (the whole tour was about 2 hours)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

  • For Lunch, ­had a taste of the best Hummus in Jerusalem in the Old City
  • Visited Yad Beyad (Hand in Hand) school. Hand in Hand brings together thousands of Jews and Arabs in six schools and communities throughout Israel. The organisation proves on a daily basis the viability of inclusion and equality for all citizens of Israel
  • Surprised by a Puzzle culinary game “Shaking the Shuke”, taking us to the exploration of Machne Yehuda open market in a fun and exciting way. Had a tour in the market and grab refreshments as we go along
  • Dinner at Yudale ­ a local tapas restaurant considered one of the best in Israel!
  • Enjoyed some relaxation and free time with an optional night out to experience the nightlife of Jerusalem

Accommodation: Harmony Hotel (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ Expedia)

Monkey Dividers

Day 5­ Thursday, March 3, 2016

Heading to the North – more greenery!!

  • Early breakfast at the hotel
  • Started the journey up north
  • Drove up the scenic route to the top of the Carmel mt. and stopped at the Muchraka monastery and lookout. Learned about the Carmelite church which commemorates the biblical story of the victory of the Prophet Elijah over the Ba’al Prophets. In the front yard of the church was a remarkable statue of the Prophet Elijah and on the roof of the church was a beautiful panoramic view of the vast Jezreel Valley at your feet. Had some tea/coffee and local sweets.
  • Special activity, Lone Soldiers who are serving in the IDF joined us. These ambitious young soldiers made Aliya (immigrated) on their own from different countries around the world for the sole purpose of volunteering in the Israeli army. Took part in an open discussion with the soldiers, asked them questions and got to know their story from up close. This encounter is part of the Puzzle Israel Lone Soldiers Maslool that supports Lone Soldiers after they finish their army service and helps them integrate in the civilian Israeli society
  • Drove to Koranit and enjoyed a visit at this community village in the heart of Lower Galilee. Koranit is located on a mountain top overlooking the breathtaking views of Haifa Bay and the mountains of the Galilee. Visited a beautiful community garden for some fresh coffee. Sat, relaxed and took in the mesmerizing view and listened to the story of Ben Sela, the person this garden is named after, Guy’s friend who was killed while fighting in the Second Lebanon War.
  • Drove to Dir El Asad for a unique encounter and dinner with an Arab female chef. Learned about her unique story and learned about the Arab & Israeli cuisine.
  • Drove to Rosh Pina and settled in our accommodations and relaxed after a long day.

Accommodation: Shulamit Yard (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ agoda.com)

Monkey Dividers

Day 6­ Friday, March 4, 2016

Enjoyed and explored Galilee!

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • It’s a special treat to explore the spiritual city of Tzfat, the birthplace of the Jewish Kabbalah and Mysticism. Friday and we had a close and special look at how the people are preparing for Shabbat. Tzfat is one of the four holy cities in Israel, located 3,200 feet above sea level in the mountains of the Upper Galilee and commands magnificent views.
  • Visited Sheva Chaya Gallery in the middle of Tzfat’s Old City and Artist Quarter! Sheva Chaya brings the art of glassblowing alive with a mystical twist, so unique to her and the city of Tzfat. Met Sheva Chaya and listened to her story and her insights about glass and art firsthand and enjoyed a glass blowing demonstration
    *Demonstrations are approximately 30 minutes long
  • Lunch in town
  • Visited Kibbutz Harduf­, learned a bit about the kibbutz life, witnessed how they grow their own vegetables and keep a sustainable way of life. This Kibbutz is known not only for its high quality organic products line but also for the rehabilitative hostel operating on its grounds, run by the kibbutz members. They help reintegrate young adults who have suffered emotional and mental trauma and illness by incorporating them in the kibbutz day to day activities. Participated in activities such as veggie picking, egg gathering and feeding the calves

Watch my LIVE Facebook video below:

  • Hopped on a horse and saw the scenery from a new perspective. The Galilee at this time of the year Israel is as green as it gets!

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

  • Shabbat dinner at Januni in Rosh Pina

Accommodations: Vered Hagalil (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ expedia)

Monkey Dividers

Day 7 ­ Saturday March 5, 2016

Discover the magnificent Golan Heights!

The Golan / Amos Kenan

“The Golan is different. It is bleaker, wilder, and more heroic than any other region in our country. The black basalt rock marks it as unique, a synagogue and white wall. The intense green and spectacular colors of the blooming and the black are also different, frightening…
Took a rucksack and went down to the tributary, reclined comfortably in the shade, near the water, and near their purling sound –there is nothing like it to inspire peacefulness. Lied on our back, looked at the sky, and then closed our eyes and listened.
Just listened…”

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • A relaxed morning to enjoy our selves
  • Enjoyed an unforgettable 4X4 jeep tour courtesy of No Other Land. It’s an interesting encounter with a local guide, Ilan, providing us with a broad understanding of the borders of the region, the history and the different ways of life in the Golan Heights. Drove along the northern borders, a perfect way to experience the Golan to its fullest
  • Exciting lunch in the middle of nowhere, prepared by the Puzzle Israel Catering staff!
  • Checked out the lovely local Assaf winery and went on a tasting tour of their fine wines. The area is known for its rich soil and air, which are both ideal conditions for cultivating prime grape vines. This is one of the best areas in Israel for local wine tasting.
  • Drove to Tel Aviv
  • Arrived at our hotel and relaxed from an active day
  • Dinner out in town

Accommodation: Melody Hotel (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ expedia)

Monkey Dividers

Day 8­ Sunday, March 6, 2016

The heartbeat of Tel Aviv­ 24/7!

  • Breakfast at the hotel
  • Tour Neve Tzedek ­TelAviv’s first neighbourhood outside of Jaffa City and visited Mitcham Hatachana, Tel Aviv’s first old train station converted now into a hip leisure center with restaurants, coffee shops and designer boutiques for clothes and jewels.
  • Lunchtime!Enjoyed a great meal in a nearby restaurant
  • Visited Noga Neighbourhood in Jaffa. Due to gentrification process, this neighbourhood presents a lovely mixture of old and new, traditional and modern, local artisans and shopkeepers living side by side with young artists and musicians and young Israeli families living side by side with old Arab Hamulas (extended families).
  • Took a walking tour in the Old City of Jaffa located in an ancient harbor ,­walked through the winding streets, visited the art galleries and strolled along the romantic ancient port.
  • Farewell dinner at a great restaurant in Jaffa.

Accommodation: Brown TLV Hotel, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com)

After our fixed itinerary with Puzzle Israel, we then decided to stay for few more days.

Monkey Dividers

DAY 9, March 7, 2016

Rented a car and drove to the Dead Sea and Jericho in the West Bank, Palestine.

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Had dinner with friends – Extra Pack of Peanuts and Inspiring Travelers with our tour guide in Jerusalem.

Accommodation: Brown TLV Hotel, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com)

Monkey Dividers

DAY 10, March 8, 2016

Just chilled out by the beach in Tel Aviv!

Accommodation: Brown Beach House, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ Expedia)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Monkey Dividers

DAY 11, March 9, 2016

Just chilled out by the beach in Tel Aviv!

Accommodation: Brown Beach House, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/Expedia)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Monkey Dividers

Day 12: March 10, 2016

Explored the Old town of Tel Aviv and met some new backpackers!

Accommodation: Abraham Hostel, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ Expedia)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Monkey Dividers

Day 13, March 11, 2016

Explore Tel Aviv and here are some recommended Things To Do in Tel Aviv

Old Tel Aviv Port Area

Talk a lovely walk at the busy tourist area of great shops and restaurant. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of this magnificent area.

The Yarkon Park

Visit the largest park of Tel Aviv and enjoy the great outdoors, the beautiful scenery in the garden and the variety of natural attractions.

Palmach Museum

Talk a relaxing walk and discover the rich history of the Palmach. Walk through the displays or take a time travel through a multimedia experience at the museum. Definitely a must-see when in Tel Aviv.

Accommodation: Abraham Hostel, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ Expedia)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Monkey Dividers

Day 14, March 12, 2016

Recommended Things To Do in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv Museum of Art

This is Israel’s largest art museum displaying large collection of permanent exhibits as well as temporary exhibits. Be amazed by the impressive art works of Israeli and international artists including impressionism and post-impressionism plus visual and architectural masterpiece.

Beit Hatfutsot

Beit Hatfutsot is a Jewish history and culture museum. This unique global institution tells the ongoing and extraordinary story of the Jewish people. It displays the various communities of the Jews in the diaspora.

Yitzhak Rabin Center

Experience a virtual history lesson showing the great timeline of Yitzhak Rabin’s life, Israel’s late Prime Minister. Be impressed and learn from the great history of the state of Israel.

Accommodation: Abraham Hostel, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ Expedia)

15 Days Itinerary The Israel you didn’t know exists with Puzzle Israel

Monkey Dividers

 Day 15, March 13, 2016

Jonathan came back from a short trip in Berlin, Germany so we ended up just chilling at the hostel, run our errands and met a friend before flying out the next day morning!

Recommended Things To Do in Tel Aviv

Eretz Israel Museum

Be amused by the diverse and fascinating range of exhibits and archaeological excavation too. It also has displays, working reconstructions and a planetarium. A beautifully designed museum with so much to offer.

Bet Bialik Museum

Home to Israel’s national poet Hayyim Nahman Bialik, this museum is a must-see specially to literature fans. See the wonderful designed exhibition of the great poet, know his life story and literature works. See the amazing interiors and great architecture as well.

Tel Aviv-Jaffa Promenade

Visit the bustling promenade which extends along the beach between Jaffa in the south to Tel Baruch in the north. The place offers great people-watching and photo-ops with a backdrop of sea, sand and gorgeous Mediterranean sunsets.

Accommodation: Abraham Hostel, Tel Aviv (You can also check the discounted rate on booking.com/ Expedia)

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PUZZLE ISRAEL Upcoming Tours:

New dates for 2017:
March 27-April 4 or 7, 2017
September 4-12 or 15, 2017

We have also added a 3* hotel option for these tours- check out the Pricing table:

Prices with Jordan Extension:

Group size/ Hospitality level            12-15 people                      16-25 people

  • 3* Hotel level                         $4,625 per person           $4,255 per person
  • 4* Hotel level                         $4,761 per person           $4,400 per person
  • 5* Hotel level                         $5,365 per person           $5,029 per person

Prices for the 9 first days (without Jordan extension):

Group size/ Hospitality level            12-15 people                      16-25 people

  • 3* Hotel level                         $3,725 per person           $3,355 per person
  • 4* Hotel level                         $3,861 per person           $3,500 per person
  • 5* Hotel level                         $4,465 per person           $4,129 per person

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Some Tours That You Can Do in Israel

1. Masada and the Dead Sea Day Trip from Jerusalem.  You can book it, here.

2. 7-Night Israel Highlights and Biblical Tour: Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Galilee and Optional Dead Sea Day Trip. You can book it, here.

3. Jerusalem Three Religions Holy City Walking Tour. You can book it, here.
4. Little Town of Bethlehem Half Day Trip from Jerusalem. You can book it, here.

Monkey Dividers

Related Articles: Best Hostels in IsraelBackpacking Tips in Israel for Filipinos and Learn and Visit these 20 Kibbutzim in Israel

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One thought on “Our 15 Days Itinerary in the Holy Land: The Israel You Didn’t Know Exists with Puzzle Israel @puzzleisrael

  1. Hi, our family is interested to do a Holy Land pilgrimage. What advise can you give? Would it be possible to do it without availing of tours from the Philippines? And contact Puzzle Israel directly? Thanks.

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Written by Kach Umandap - Howe

Co-Founder of Two Monkeys Travel Group. Since 2013, Kach has visited all the 7 continents (including Antarctica) and 136 countries using her Philippines Passport. In 2016, she got married then a year later bought a sailboat and went on sailing adventures with her two cats - Captain Ahab & Little Zissou in the Caribbean for 2 years. She now lives in Herceg Novi, Montenegro. She writes about her experiences traveling as a Filipina traveler with a PHL Passport. Also tips on backpacking trips, luxury hotel experiences, product reviews, sailing & adventure travel.

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