Creative Columbia Tour

February 4th - February 12th, 2018

day 1 of tour

Sunday, February 4th Cartagena

Walled City carriage tour

Upon arrival at the airport in Cartagena, we’ll transfer to our hotel. In the evening, we’ll head out for a special tour of the walled city of Cartagena’s Old Town. Six miles of ancient walls surround the area.  They were built centuries ago to protect against pirate attacks.  In our horse-drawn carriage, we’ll view the wonders of old Cartagena by night.  As we travel through the historic district, we’ll see the remarkable Spanish colonial architecture, smell the fresh bougainvillea, and enjoy the night breezes.  After our tour, we’ll stop for dinner at a local restaurant, then return by private car to the hotel.

day 2 of tour

Monday, February 5th Cartagena

Cartagena city tour

After breakfast, we’ll visit a nearby church and monastery.  The Monasterio and Iglesia de la Popa were once known as the Popa del Galeon because of the complex’s resemblance to a galleon ship.  The church and monastery were built in 1606 and overlook the city and busy port, providing the most panoramic views of the city and surrounding area.

Next we’ll visit the San Felipe Fortress.  One of the oldest buildings in all of Colombia, it was built in honor of Cartagena’s most famous poet, Don Luis Carlos López. Atop San Lázaro hill, the fortress was constructed to withstand pirate attacks in earlier centuries.  The fortress castle contains many underground passageways and galleries.

We’ll spend some time in the old city, Ciudad Vieja, where we’ll tour the Convent and Church of San Pedro Claver, built in the middle of the 17th century. The skeletal remains of the saint for whom it was named are interred at the main altar. The church features a lovely courtyard, an impressive organ, and beautiful stained glass windows.

From there we’ll travel to the Bovedas handicrafts zone.  Used centuries ago to house armaments and serve as a prison, the area is a series of archways that were built into the city’s walls.  Today it is an artisan center that displays colorful local handicrafts.

We’ll have lunch, then head to Cartagena’s colonial district.  At the heart of it lies Bolivar Park, which features a statue of the country’s Liberator, Simon Bolivar.  Fountains and trees fill the lovely park.  Natives ride through the park on llamas, and it’s a nice place to people-watch. Nearby is the city’s Gold Museum, which contains archeological treasures from the pre-Hispanic period.  We’ll also stop at the Inquisition Palace, the long-ago site of torture chambers for alleged Catholic Church heretics.  Its beautiful façade and baroque door belie the horrors that once lay within.

While in the area, we’ll also stop by the Santo Domingo Church, where we’ll learn about the activist priests who protected slaves and Indians; the Cathedral, the Terraplenes or embankments, and the Museum of the City’s Fortifications.

Then we’ll return to the hotel for our overnight accommodations.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, February 6th Cartagena

Individual activities/day tour

After breakfast, everyone will have a full free day to pursue individual activities.  Individuals may wish to look into available day tours, such as a visit to the Archipiélago del Rosario. Also known as the Coral Islands of Rosario, this group of thirty islets is a national park that serves to guard the area’s diverse wildlife, marine life, and coral reefs.

We’ll stay overnight again in Cartagena.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, February 7th Cartagena-Pereira

After breakfast this morning, we’ll make our transfer to the local airport to depart for Pereira, by way of Bogotá. After our arrival, we’ll transfer to our hotel for overnight accommodations.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, February 8th Pereira-Valle del Cocora-Salento-Filandia-Pereira  

 

Parque Nacional de los Nevados, Valle del Cocora trout farm, Salento city tour, Filandia city tour

After breakfast, we’ll depart Pereira for a full day of sightseeing.  First we’ll travel to the Valle de Cocora.  Located in the central mountains of Quindio, this valley lies in the Parque Nacional de los Nevados.  In this lush park setting are a wide variety of native flora and funa, from the tall Quindian wax palm to the endangered palm parrot. To explore the valley’s immense biodiversity, we’ll head into the “cloud forest,” named for the ever-present mist that clings to the cool, mountainous area.  It can be reached either by horseback or hiking trails.  When we head out of the forest, we’ll cross the Quindio River, shaded by tall wax palms.

After lunch, we’ll travel the short distance to Salento and take a tour around the town.  It has retained more of its Spanish colonial architecture than almost any other municipality in Colombia. Stops will include a visit to the Plaza de Bolivar, where buildings with colorful balconies line the streets and shops display local handicrafts.

From Salento, we’ll transfer to the village of Filandia.  Our tour of the village will include its many colonial homes, its own Plaza de Bolivar, and coffee shops that feature the country’s most famous export.  The views of the surrounding countryside are charming, particularly from the mirador, or viewing tower, overlooking the Cauca Valley.

Finally, we’ll head back to Pereira and return to our hotel for an overnight stay.

day 6 of tour

Friday, February 9th Pereira-Coffee Region-Bogota

Coffee plantation tour

This morning, we’ll leave after breakfast for a visit to Colombia’s prime coffee region.  In the steep hills of this area, numerous coffee plantations can be found.  Our drive takes us through verdant fields of coffee plants, surrounded by heliconia flowers and fincas.  When we arrive at the Alto de La Paz, we’ll take a break to enjoy the beautiful views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Next we’ll travel to one of the coffee haciendas to tour the plantation and see the coffee production system, from the harvest to the sun drying and treatment.  The rich volcanic land in this central Andes Mountain region makes the area perfect for coffee growing.  First we’ll visit the hacienda’s homestead, where we’ll receive an introductory chat about coffee preparation and toasting, as well as learn about the characteristics and properties of the best coffees.  Then we’ll tour the grounds and see the coffee pickers at work.  A lot of work goes into making Colombian coffee the best in the world, and we’ll see the whole cycle in action.

In the afternoon, we’ll transfer to the airport and catch our flight to Bogotá. Once we arrive, we’ll transfer to our hotel for check-in and our overnight accommodations and prepare for Shabbat with the community.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, February 10th

Shabbat enjoyed at leisure with Jewish community in Bogota .

day-8

Sunday, February 11th Bogotá-Zipaquirá-La Candelaria-Bogotá  

 

Salt Cathedral, La Candelaria tour

In the morning we’ll depart Bogotá and head north to Zipaquirá.  We’ll travel through the Bogatá savannah, where we’ll see acres and acres of flowers.  Flower production is one of the area’s most important industries.

When we reach Zipaquirá, we’ll visit the amazing Salt Cathedral, a major feat of engineering.  It gets its name from the fact that the building and surrounding tunnels were carved out of saline rock. In the midst of the salt mines, the cathedral emerges in a tunnel that features the Stations of the Cross and travels to a lighted dome, under which are intricate naves and a main altar, atop which is an enormous cross carved from salt – the largest such object in the world.  In the mine itself, an auditorium hosts everything from fashion shows to film screenings.

During our excursion, we’ll have lunch, then begin the next leg of our trip. We’ll head to Bogotá’s historic center, known as La Candelaria.  Its rich cultural heritage and Spanish colonial architecture make it a treat for any history buff.  We’ll tour the main square, the Plaza de Bolivar, where a statute of Simon Bolivar is found – one of many in city squares throughout the country.  This square is a former bullring, execution site, and marketplace.  Along the plaza are many sites worth visiting, including a cathedral that houses a significant collection of religious artifacts. Colonial religious art is also found at the nearby Capilla del Sagrario. The Capitol building is worth a tour, as its architecture displays both Renaissance and neoclassical influences. Other buildings around the plaza include the Palace of Justice, the mayor’s offices, San Bartolome School, and the Casa de los Comuneros. We’ll make a stop at the Botero Museum, featuring Fernando Botero’s own art and estimable pieces from his private collection, including works by Monet, Picasso, Dali, and others.  A stop at the Gold Museum will allow us to see the museum’s permanent exhibition of over 32,000 gold pieces, and over 20,000 precious stones.

After a busy day visiting many of Bogotá’s most representative sites, we’ll transfer to the airport for our overnight flight home

day-9

Monday, February 12th

 

Arrive back in the USA after an enjoyable and educational week in Colombia’s coffee region and some of its most lovely cities.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Includes air fare from: New York, Chicago or Los Angeles. Airfares available from other cities upon request.
  • 3 Kosher Meals Daily
  • All airport transfers
  • Private Sightseeing as described with all admission fees with an English speaking tour guide
  • Services of an English speaking tour escort throughout the trip

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees
  • Snacks or items of a personal nature

$5,595

LAND ONLY - Deduct $400 (includes air within Columbia)

$1,495 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Cartagena

Hotel Sofitel Santa Clara

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Pereira

Hotel Movich Pereira

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Bogota

Sofitel Bogota Victoria Regia

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sofitel-victoria

World Of The Maya Tour

Mexico, Guatemala, Belize

January 21st - February 1st, 2018

This comprehensive journey introduces you to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities in the lands of the ancient Mayan civilisation: Mexico, Guatemala and Belize.

The Maya were an ancient Mesoamerican group that reside across Central America, and played an enormous role in the history, art and culture of these lands. Embark on an enthralling journey that explores the past and present ways of life in the rainforests of Villahermosa and Palenque, historic Flores, cosmopolitan Guatemala City, and the picturesque Lake Atitlán as we explore some of the most famous ruined Mayan cities in the world. This an epic voyage through three remarkable countries explores their ancient roots and experiencing their modern character, and whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

We invite you to a tour that raises the bar of the educational experience, taking you far beyond anything that you have imagined of the Mayan civilisation. Our innovative excursions and exclusive cultural events help you get a hands-on experience of each country’s history, art, gastronomy and religion. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently alongside our expertly chosen local tour guide available at all times to provide information or suggestions.

The world of the Maya is waiting – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, January 21st Villahermosa

Meet and greet, Orientation, Comalcalco, Cacao farm tour, Parque Museo La Venta

We depart on our flight to the capital city of the Mexican province of Tabasco, Villahermosa. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Mexico, Guatemala and Belize (see below).

Upon arrival at Carlos Rovirosa Pérez International Airport we are welcomed to Mexico by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our luxury hotel, the Hilton Hotel, and offer an introduction to Mexico and Villahermosa. In the afternoon we go on an exploratory tour of the must-see sights around Villahermosa. We begin with the Pre-Columbian Maya archaeological site of Comalcalco. The 6th century city is the only major Maya complex built with bricks rather than limestone masonry, and was the westernmost city of the Mayan civilisation. Receive a guided tour of the hundreds of structures scattered around the site, from pyramidal temples to elite dwellings, Mayan bathhouses to palaces, admiring the stunning architectural and decorative achievements of the Chontal Maya people. Then visit one of the many cacao farms that are settled deep in the forests of Tabasco, where we can see, smell and taste cacao in its various stages of production. Finally, return to Villahermosa to visit the Parque Museo La Venta, a fascinating tropical garden, zoo and museum where you can view Mayan and Olmec statues from Tabasco province.

day 2 of tour

Monday, January 22nd Villahermosa-Palenque

Palenque National Park

After breakfast we set off on our journey to the archaeological site of Palenque. Drive through enormous wetlands and mountainous scenery, rich with ancient archaeology and natural beauty. We will stop on the way to admire breathtaking views of jungle-covered mountains, misty river valleys, and cascading waterfalls. Upon arrival at Palenque National Park our expert tour guide brings you on an educational exploration of the site. The Palenque ruins emerge from the jungle, which appears to grow from the buildings themselves. The site has a fascinating history, gleaned by archaeologists from studying the hieroglyphs that decorate many of the monuments. Visit the palace with it’s amazing observation tower, before continuing to the Temple of the Inscriptions which contains the second longest Mayan hieroglyphic text in the world. After our tour is complete we transfer to modern Palenque, where we check in at the Hotel Chablis.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, January 23rd Palenque-Frontera Corozal

Bonampak Mayan Ruins, Ancestral Mayan Ritual demonstration

We leave Palenque early to drive through Chiapas province to the Mayan ruins of Bonampak. This city is well-hidden in the Lacandon Jungle, and features exceptionally well-preserved Mayan frescoes, depicting traditional clothing, rituals, games, food and other aspects of life from that time. We then meet members of the indigenous groups of Chiapas, the Lacandon people, to learn about their language, history and traditional culture. We take part in an Ancestral Mayan cleansing and healing ritual led by the elders of the Lacandon people – a unique opportunity to experience traditional Mayan practices. In the evening we transfer to Frontera Corozal, a riverside town on the banks of the Usumacinta River, which flows along the Mexico-Guatemala border. We check in to the Corozal Bolontiku Hotel Boutique, and relax for the rest of the evening.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, January 24th Frontera Corozal-Flores

Yaxchilan Mayan Ruins, Ixpanpajul Nature Park

After breakfast we set off on a traditional lanchas (small, narrow boat) downriver to the hidden Mayan city of Yaxchilan. Yaxchilan was one of the most powerful Maya states founded on the banks of the Usumacinta, though has a fascinating history of rivalry with its neighbours. Receive a guided tour of the Acropolis, Main Plaza, Labyrinth, temples, terraces and more, as you see some of the finest examples of carved lintels and steles. Then return to the lanchas to cross the border to Bethel in Guatemala. Here we transfer to the town of Flores on the shore of Lake Peten Itza. This town was the last independent Mayan enclave against the Spanish conquerors, who were unable to defeat the Mayans in Nojpetén, the city they built on the island, until 1697. We check in to the Hotel Isla de Flores and relax over refreshments before going out to explore Ixpanpajul Nature Park, where we can hike through the rainforest along suspended bridges and enjoy stunning views of the tropical landscape.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, January 25th Flores-Guatemala City

Uaxactun Mayan Ruins, Tikal Mayan Ruins

After a restful evening in Flores we embark to explore the isolated ruins of Uaxactun. Discovered by American archaeologist Sylvanus Morley in 1916, this site is famous for its large amount of hieroglyphs. Receive a guided tour of the ruins here, including a ballcourt used to play the Mayan sport, Pitz. Then explore the ceremonial centre of Tikal, where you can witness superb palaces, temples, an acropolis of dwellings, and Mundo Perdido – the largest ceremonial complex from the Preclassical period. After lunch transfer to Mundo Maya International Airport for our flight to Guatemala City – the capital of Guatemala. Here we check in to the Westin Camino Real Hotel before relaxing for the rest of the evening.

day 6 of tour

Friday, January 26th Guatemala City

Relief Map, La Mercad, Union Church, Teatro Nacional, Palacio Nacional, Paseo Cayala, Museo Popol Vuh, Museo Miraflores

In the morning we begin with a sightseeing tour of the city. We visit the Relief Map in Zone 2 where we can see a 1:10,000 scale model of the country, and track the route of our adventures so far. Then pass La Mercad, a beautiful colonial church with stunning statuary, and the Union Church on our way to the Teatro Nacional. Admire the unique architecture of this theatre, where plays, ballet and concerts are performed. Before lunch we receive a guided tour of the Palacio Nacional, the governmental centre of the country.

In the afternoon we visit the Paseo Cayala – a splendid shopping centre inspired by Spanish colonial architecture. Continue to the Museo Popol Vuh in the grounds of the Francisco Marroquín University, which has numerous exhibitions showcasing Guatemalan and Mayan culture. Our tour concludes at the Museo Miraflores, located in the Miraflores Shopping Mall. Explore their collection of Mayan arts and crafts before browsing the shops at your leisure. In the evening we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat

day 7 of tour

Saturday, January 27th Guatemala City

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat,  Jardin Botanico

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day as you wish.   We also suggest having a relaxed stroll through the sumptuous Jardin Botanico.

day-8

Sunday, January 28th Guatemala City-Antigua

ChocoMuseo, Parque Central, Arco de Santa Catalina, La Merced, Church of San Francisco, Cathedral de Santiago, Convento de las Caphuchinas, Lake Atitlán

In the morning we transfer by bus to the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala. Despite major destruction following an earthquake in 1773 the city has preserved its 18th century charm, with well-preserved Spanish Baroque influenced architecture and spectacular ruins of colonial churches. Enjoy a guided tour of the city, incorporating all of the must-see sites. We visit the ChocoMuseo, where you can learn about chocolate-making. The Mayans were the first people to cultivate chocolate, and consumed it as a thick, bitter, frothy drink served cold. Continue our tour at the Parque Central, the vibrant heart of Antigua. Here you can view the magnificent Arco de Santa Catalina. Continue to La Merced, a baroque church founded by Mercedarian monks in the 18th century. Then receive a guided visit of the Church of San Francisco and Cathedral de Santiago, before concluding the tour at the Convento de las Capuchina.

In the afternoon we transfer to Lake Atitlán, west of Antigua. The journey itself is a lovely trip through the Guatemalan highlands, and descending towards Lake Atitlan provides views that are truly magnificent. Upon arrival we check in to the Villa Maya hotel before relaxing for the rest of the day.

day-9

Monday, January 29th Lake Atitlan

Atitlan Nature Reserve, Iximche Mayan Ruins, Santiago Atitlán, Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum

Enjoy a fun-filled day exploring the shores of Lake Atitlán. We begin at Atitlan Nature Reserve where we hike to a waterfall, cross suspension bridges, see spider monkeys, and visit their butterfly sanctuary. We then make our way to the Mayan ruins of Iximche, where you can wander amongst the ballcourts, pyramids and dwellings containing murals that depict human sacrifice. Then come aboard for a boat ride across the lake to the town of Santiago Atitlán. Nestled between two volcanos, this town is populated by indigenous Mayans. Visit the Cojolya Weaving Center and Museum, where you can learn about the history and process of traditional Mayan weaving and costume. View the town’s Maximón (folk saint venerated by Mayan people), and enjoy browsing through the town’s artisanal shops selling locally-made handicrafts, colourful textiles, woodcarvings and naif paintings.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, January 30th Lake Atitlan

Chichicastenango, Chichi Cemetery, Pascual Abaj, Santo Tomás Church, ChiChi Market

We begin our final full day in Guatemala at Chichicastenango, a town north of Lake Atitlán, which is famous for its Mayan traditions and market. Visit the brightly coloured Chichi Cemetery for breathtaking views of the landscape, before making our way to Pascual Abaj – a sacrificial stone and shrine to the Mayan deity Huyup Tak'ah. The god is still worshiped today, with local Mayans offering incense, flowers, and even sacrificial animals. Then stop to look at the Santo Tomás Church on our way to the ChiChi Market, where you are free to browse the stalls. In the evening we return to the hotel, and you are free to spend the rest of the day as you like.

day-11

Wednesday, January 31st Antigua-Belize City

Caracol Mayan Ruins, Belize City Tour, Belize Museum

We set off very early for the airport, for our flights to Belize City Municipal Airport in the capital of Belize. The British and Spanish fought over the region in the 17th and 18th centuries, before finally becoming the colony of British Honduras in 1854. Tucked between tropical jungles and the Caribbean, Belize offers the perfect place to wind down after our adventures. Upon arrival we check in to the Radisson Fort George Hotel and receive an introduction to the city. The Mayan civilisation flourished in the region for hundreds of years, and left behind ruins of their grandeur at Caracol, which we visit in the afternoon. Receive a guided tour of the tall sculpted stelae, plazas, acropolis, altars and ballcourts of this ancient city. Then return to Belize City for a tour of its cultural and historical center. We visit the Belize Museum, which houses displays on the Mayan civilizations, insects, the battle of St Georges Caye and the development of Belizean independence. You have the rest of the day free to explore the city, though we recommend enjoying a relaxed stroll along the Caribbean marina, or view the attractive St. John's Cathedral. In the evening we reunite for our final meal together.

day-12

Thursday, February 1st Belize City

After breakfast we transfer to Belize City Municipal Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York
  • All domestic airfares within Mexico, Guatemala and Belize
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$6,995

$1,995 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Villahermosa

Hilton Hotel

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hilton-hotel

Palenque

Hotel Chablis

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hotel-chablis

Frontera Corozal

Corozal Bolontiku Hotel Boutique

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Flores

Hotel Isla De Flores

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hotel-isla-de-flores

Guatemala City

Westin Camino Real

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Antigua

Villa Maya

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villa-maya

Belize City

Radisson Fort George Hotel And Marina

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radisson-fort

  • Incidents of Travel in Yucatan - John Lloyd Stephens
  • Breaking the Maya Code - Michael D. Coe
  • Time among the Maya - Ronald Wright
  • The Heart of the Sky - Peter Canby
  • Beyond the Mexique Bay - Aldous Huxley
  • The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw - Bruce Barcott

Unseen Japan Tour

Kyoto, Kobe, Kyusu, Beppu, Hiroshima, Tokyo

July 29th - August 12th, 2018

This eye-opening journey introduces you to the astonishing natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of Japan.

Japan is one of the world’s most enigmatic and diverse countries, a land filled with buzzing cosmopolitan centres, extraordinary ancient ruins, magnificent art and boundless fun. Join us on an astonishing adventure through Japan’s historic, artistic and cultural centres, from Kyoto to Kobe, Kyusu to Beppu, and from Hiroshima to the coolest city in the world – Tokyo. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will stay with you forever.

Our voyage Japan will be rich in information and humour, whilst our excursions provide an unforgettable, unique portrait of a country that continues to influence the world as a cultural superpower. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of distinguished hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our expert personal tour guide will be available at all times for any questions or requests..

Japan welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, July 29th

We depart on our overnight flight to the ancient city of Kyoto, in the central part of the island of Honshu. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Japan (see above).

day 2 of tour

Monday, July 30th Kyoto

Meet and greet, Orientation,

Upon arrival in Kansai International Airportwe are welcomed to Japan by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Hyatt Regency, and offer an introduction to Japan and Kyoto. The former imperial capital of Japan until the 19th century, this city miraculously survived the horrors of the Second World War, spared for its cultural and historical value. Known as the ‘City of Ten Thousand Shrines’, the numerous heritage sites provide ample material with which to learn about Japanese architectural traditions. Few cities in Japan contain so many beautiful gardens, temples and shrines, making it one of the most popular cities to live in the country. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.

 

Kyoto

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day 3 of tour

Tuesday, July 31st Kyoto

Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji Temple, Kyoto Imperial Palace, Nara Tour, Todaiji Temple, Nara Park, Kasuga Taisha Shrine, Nara Nagomikan

In the morning we set off on our tour of Kyoto. Our first stop is the formidable Nijo Castle, an incredible fortified citadel with highly manicured gardens and unique singing floorboards – designed to warn ancient shoguns if there were assassins prowling during the night.

 

Nijo Castle

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We then visit the Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) Zen Buddhist Temple. Here we provide an informative lesson on the various religions practiced in Japan, including Buddhism and shamanistic Shinto. We can admire Muromachi-period gardens, and the building’s setting overlooking an enormous pond that reflects the gold leaf of the top floors. The ancient Imperial Palace is our next destination, where we invite you for a tour that brings you back to the time when Kyoto was the capital of Japan. Here we can learn about the fascinating history of Japan’s warring shoguns, each vying for control over the country.

 

Kinkakuji

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After lunch we transfer to Nara, Japan’s first permanent capital established in 710. The city contains eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and is the perfect place to be introduced to the country’s history, art and cultural heritage. We visit Todaiji Temple, which soars over the skyline. This lofty building contains Nara’s Daibutsu (Great Buddha), which is almost 15m (50ft) high! We stroll through Nara Park, where we can visit the Kasuga Taisha Shinto shrine and the incredible Kofukuji complex – the family temple of the most powerful family in Nara during the 9th century: the Fujiwara clan. In the evening we return to Kyoto for our delicious dinner.

 

Kofukuji Complex

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day 4 of tour

Wednesday, August 1st Kyoto

Ginkakuji Temple, Philosopher's Path, Nanzenji Temple, Keage Incline, Heian Shrine, Yasaka Shrine, Higashiyama Streets

Our first target today is Ginkakuji, an elegant Zen Buddhist temple situated in the Higashiyama District. Here we explore the picturesque gardens, where we can see a sand mound sculpted into the shape of Mt. Fuji. We follow the ‘Philosophers Path’ along a canal lined with cherry trees resplendent in their spring foliage. We end up in Nanzenji Temple, a Buddhist complex containing beautiful ponds and harmonising sand gardens. Continuing along the cherry-tree lined paths we visit the Heian and Yasaka Shrines, two of the most famous shrines in Kyoto.

 

Ginkakuji

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In the afternoon we provide a guided tour of the Southern Higashiyama District. The narrow lanes reminiscent of Venice, small artisanal shops displaying locally produced arts and crafts, and traditional architecture make this Kyoto’s favourite district to have a leisurely stroll. We wander through the landscape gardens and bamboo groves of Kodaiji Temple, before making our way to the Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple that is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto UNESCO World Heritage site. From the famous balcony jutting thirteen meters above the maple and cherry trees below one can admire the charming landscape stretching in to the distance. After dinner you have the rest of the evening free to do as you wish, though we recommend wandering through the neighbourhood to get a taste of the city’s nightlife.

 

Kiyomizu-dera

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day 5 of tour

Thursday, August 2nd Kyoto-Kobe

Himeji Castle

In the morning we board the Shinkansen bullet train to Himeji, a small city dwarfed by the enormous 16th century Himeji-jō Castle, easily the most magnificent castle in all of Japan. The castle is considered to be a national treasure of Japan, and has been designated a UNESCO world heritage site for being the finest surviving example of ancient Japanese castle architecture. We receive a guided tour of the castle before continuing to Kobe, a bustling and cosmopolitan port city filled with pleasant neighbourhoods to wander through. After checking in to the Crowne Plaza Hotel you have the rest of the evening free to explore the streets of Kobe.

 

Himeji Castle

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day 6 of tour

Friday, August 3rd Kobe

Nada town, Sake Brewery, Kitano area, Nankinmachi

After breakfast we transfer to the city of Kobe, the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture on the southern side of the main island of Honshū. Kobe opened its port to Western trade in 1868, and today many foreign residences from the period remain in the city’s Kitano area. In 2008, Kobe was chosen as "UNESCO City of Design" for its buildings influenced by the city’s unique creative and open-minded culture. After checking in to the Crowne Plaza hotel we bring you on a guided exploration of the city, visiting a traditional sake brewery in Nada town, where you can learn all about the sake-making process. We explore the Kitano area of the city centre, where you can view buildings that show a combination of Eastern and Western architectural styles dating from the 1800s.  We then wander through Nankinmachi – Kobe’s own Chinatown developed by Chinese merchants who settled near Kobe Port after the port was opened to foreign trade. We visit the Hanshin Awaji Great Earthquake Memorial Park where we can learn about the enormours earthquake that shook the region in 1995. You have the evening free to explore the city, and can take the opportunity to buy gifts for home at the Sannomiya Shopping Arcade. In the evening we reunite for our Shabbat services with the Ohel Shlomo congregation.

 

Kobe city

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day 7 of tour

Saturday, August 4th Kobe

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

Kobe has a strong Jewish diaspora, with a long history of Jewish immigration before the Second World War, attracted by the city’s wealth and trading opportunities. Today Kobe continues to have a small but vibrant community, with whom we get to experience our Shabbat Shacharit services. After the Shabbat services at the Ohel Shlomo Synagogue and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. Those who wish are invited on a leisurely walking tour of the town, visiting some of the area’s loveliest parks and gardens, such as the Fruit and Flower Garden in northern Kobe.

day-8

Sunday, August 5th Kobe-Kumamoto

Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum, Suizenji Park

After breakfast we fly to Japan’s third-largest island, Kyushu, where we arrive at Kumamoto. after checking in to the Hotel Nikko we visit the famous 15th-century castle that was largely damaged during the 19th-century Satsuma Rebellion. With large grounds and a staggering variety if buildings, we can happily explore the citadel and reconstructed Honmaru Goten Palace. We then visit the Kumamoto Prefectural Art Museum, which contains a fine collection devoted to the arts and crafts of local Kyushu artists, as well as an exhibition of decorated Kofun (Japanese megalithic tombstones). After lunch you have plenty of free time to explore the city at your leisure, or join us for a relaxing walk through the beautiful Suizenji Park before dinner.

 

Suizenji Park

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day-9

Monday, August 6th Kumamoto-Beppu

Beppu Hot Springs, The Hells of Beppu

We set off early for our bus ride to Beppu , one of Japan’s most famous hot spring resorts. The steam rising from vents in the earth has enabled numerous traditional onsen (hot springs) and ryokan (inns) to operate a thriving therapeutic business. We invite you on a tour of the “Hells of Beppu”, a chain of eight spectacular hot springs each with their own individual theme, such as the blood-red Chinoike Jigok pool. You may spend the rest of the day visiting the onsen for some rest and recuperation. In the evening we stay at the Hotel Umine.

 

Hells of Beppu

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day 10 of tour

Tuesday, August 7th Beppu-Hiroshima

Hiroshima, Atomic Bomb Dome, Peace Memorial Museum

Today we depart early to transfer to Hiroshima, a city infamous for its tragic wartime history. Hiroshima has recovered enormously from its terrible past, when in 1945 it became the world’s first target of an atomic bomb. Today the city is lively and attractive, its citizens are welcoming and friendly, and one can view reconstructed monuments of Hiroshima's historical heritage, such as Hiroshima Castle and Shukkeien Garden. We bring you on a guided tour of the city, where we learn about its strategic military importance in the early-20th century, and what exactly took place on the 6th August 1945. We visit the Peace Memorial Museum, containing moving and sobering exhibitions set within a stunning building that survived the atomic blast – testament to the strength of Hirsohima. In the evening we can relax in the Sheraton Hotel

 

Peace Memorial Museum

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day-11

Wednesday, August 8th Hiroshima

Miyajima Island, Itsukushima Shrine, Mt. Misen Gondola

We transfer by ferry southeast of Hiroshima to the island of Miyajima (“Island of the Gods”), passing floating oyster farms as our guide explains the astonishing oyster culture that dates back to the 16th century. Miyajima Island is a famously harmonious area, where mountainous slopes and the shores of Hiroshima Bay meet at the astounding Itsukushima tori shrine emerging from the waters. The entire island is considered to be of outstanding cultural significance, and is one of the three most beautiful locations in all of Japan. Here our expert guide explains the romantic history of the island as we wander through some of its most famous shrines, and then take a ropeway up to the summit of Mount Misen, the tallest peak on Miyajima. Here we can delight in the gorgeous views of Hiroshima Bay, and you might even see some mischievous wild monkeys playing on the slopes as we walk back down the mountain through ancient forests. We then return to Hiroshima for our evening meal.

 

Miyajima Island

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day-12

Thursday, August 9th Hiroshima-Tokyo

Shinkansen, Tokyo City Tour, World Trade Center Building, Tokyo Bay, Sumida River Cruise, Senso-ji Temple, Ginza, Imperial Palace Plaza

In the morning we depart from Hiroshima and take the Shinkansen bullet train ride – capable of reaching top speeds of 240–320 km/h (150–200 m/h) – to Tokyo. The world’s most populous metropolis, this cosmopolitan city is as steeped in its cultural heritage as it is anticipating its future as host of the 2020 Olympic Games. Today, Tokyo offers a seemingly unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment, culture and green spaces to enjoy.

After checking in to the Sheraton Miyako Hotel we invite you for an afternoon tour of the city, beginning with a stunnig panoramic view of the capital from the World Trade Center Building’s observation deck. We then go to the harbour at Tokyo Bay, where we embark on a boat cruise up the Sumida River to Asakusa. We can browse through the artisanal stores along the Nakamise walkway, and visit the Senso-ji Temple, an ancient Buddhist temple where you can still see people worshiping today amongst the tourists. We also stop in at the nearby Asakusa Kannon Temple complex, an active Buddhist temple containing the largest paper lantern in Japan.

Later we proceed to the Imperial Palace, which is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan (currently His Imperial Majesty Akihito). This was the former site of Edo Castle, the seat of the Tokugawa shogun who ruled Japan from 1603 until 1867. After admiring the towering stone walls and deep moats we enjoy a delicious meal. In the evening we recommend you explore the local neighbourhood, to get a taste of Tokyo’s vibrant nightlife.

 

Tokyo at night

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from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

day-13

Friday, August 10th Tokyo

Tokyo Tower, Meiji Shrine, Ginza shopping district

After breakfast we make our way to the world’s tallest self-supporting steel tower, Tokyo Tower, which is 13 meters taller than its model, the Eiffel Tower of Paris. The observation deck at the top offers astounding panoramic views of the city and the iconic Rainbow Bridge.

 

Tokyo Tower

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We then visit the Meiji Shrine, a shrine built in the early 20th century in memory of Emperor Meiji and Empress Shōken. This is the largest Shinto shrine in Tokyo, and contains some of the largest tori gates in the country.

 

Meiji Shrine

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You may spend the afternoon freely, relaxing in one of the many peaceful gardens of the city or exploring more temples and shrines. We invite those who wish can join us at Ginza district, Tokyo’s most famous shopping, dining, and entertainment neighbourhood. In the evening we reunite to prepare for Shabbat.

 

Ginza District

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day-14

Saturday, August 11th Tokyo

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are free to spend the rest of the day freely. We recommend visiting the artificial islands of Odaiba. This popular shopping and entertainment district displays some of the most revolutionary architecture in the city, including the Fuji TV Building.

 

Odaiba

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day-15

Sunday, August 12th

After breakfast we transfer to Narita International Airport for our flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York - call for airfare from other cities
  • All airfares within Japan
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$8,595

LAND ONLY - $7,495 (no airfares included)

$2,595 (Single Supplement)

Currency Calculator

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Kyoto

Hyatt Regency

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hyatt-regency

Kobe

Crowne Plaza

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crowne-plaza

Kumamoto

Hotel Nikko

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hotel-nikko

Beppu

Hotel Umine

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hotel-umine

Hiroshima

Sheraton Hotel

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sheraton-hotel

Tokyo

Sheraton Miyako

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sheraton-miyako

  • After Dark – Haruki Murakami
  • 50 Years of Writing on Japan – Donald Richie
  • Geisha in Rivalry – Kafu Nagai
  • Some Prefer Nettles – Junichiro Tanizaki
  • The Roads to Sata – Alan Booth
  • Four Pairs of Boots – Craig McLachlan
  • Grave of the Fireflies (Film)
  • Stray Dog (Film)
  • Lost in Translation (Film)

Umbria & Tuscany Tour

Florence, Siena, Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto, Pisa

October 23rd - November 1st, 2017

This amazing holiday introduces you to the magnificent natural phenomena, cities, and exciting culture of Umbria and Tuscany.

Umbria and Tuscany are provinces with many contrasts. Cities full of antiquity, culture and sophistication are found in a magical countryside and coastline, bathed in a gentle, sunny climate. Umbria and Tuscany are intrinsically linked with the Middle Ages and Renaissance, so join our adventure as we travel through Italy to Florence, Siena, Assisi, Spoleto, Orvieto and Pisa. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

By taking part in our voyage you will be included in a captivating experience, taking you far beyond standard tours of the country. Our innovative itinerary incorporates a mix of excursions to interesting and romantic locations, where you can witness landscapes of unparalleled beauty, breath-taking architectural marvels, and iconic Italian works of art. The 100% kosher tour and careful selection of the very best hotels permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and your personal tour guide is available at all times to make your trip unforgettable.

Italy welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, October 23rd

We depart on our overnight flight to the city of Florence. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Umbria and Tuscany (see above).

day 2 of tour

Monday, October 24th Florence

Meet and greet, Orientation

Upon arrival in Florence Airport we are welcomed to Italy by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our luxury hotel, the Westin Excelsior, and offer an introduction to Italy and Florence. Florence makes the perfect base from which to discover the glories of Umbria and Tuscany. The splendours of this Renaissance city are numerous, from churches and castles to picturesque streets filled with artisanal shops. Florence is particularly famous for its history as a centre of medieval trade, science, art and theology, which our expert tour guide will explain during our time there.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, October 25th Florence-Siena

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Duomo Museum, Baptistery of San Giovanni, Giotto's Bell Tower, Siena Cathedral, Piazza del Campo, Biblioteca Piccolomini, Abbey of St Galgano, San Gimignano 1300 Museum, Castello di Monterinaldi

We set off early for our tour of Florence, beginning at the vibrant heart of the city, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. This 15th century UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Italy's largest churches, and proudly displays the largest brick dome ever built. After the exquisite decorations and architecture of the building we make our way to the nearby Duomo Museum to learn about the history of Florence and how its medieval buildings were made. Finally, admire the excellent medieval decorations of the Baptistery of San Giovanni before climbing Giotto's Bell Tower for breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

After lunch we drive to Siena for a walking tour, starting at the ornate Siena Cathedral, where you can appreciate the sumptuous mosaic decorations on the floor and stunning frescoes at the Biblioteca Piccolomini. Then circle around the beautiful Piazza del Campo, one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. After admiring the immense Torre del Mangia we return to the bus for an excursion to the spectacular Abbey of St Galgano. We continue to the town of San Gimignano, where we can visit the San Gimignano 1300 Museum, an excellent museum with a reconstructed medieval town. If there is time we will drive through Castello di Monterinaldi, where you can learn and experience how they make chianti wine – a speciality of the area. We overnight in the Grand Hotel Continental in Siena.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, October 26th Siena-Assisi

Lago Trasimeno, Basilica di San Francesco, Basilica di Santa Chiara, Rocca Maggiore, Porziuncola, San Damiano, Eremo delle Carceri

After breakfast we set off from Siena to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in 1208. We stop for some lovely views of the Lago Trasimeno on the way, and upon arrival check in to the Nun Assisi Relais & Spa hotel. We then enjoy a tour of Assisi, beginning at the Basilica di San Francesco, the main church of the Franciscan order. The friary boasts a commanding view of the entire town, and after admiring the fantastic frescoes that decorate the complex we continue to the Basilica di Santa Chiara, a church dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, the founder of the Order of Poor Ladies. Then ascend to the Rocca Maggiore, a grand 12th century castle perched atop a walled hilltop overlooking the city and surrounding countryside.

After lunch we go to the Porziuncola, a small church within the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, where the Franciscan movement started in a hut built by Francis himself. Then transfer to San Damiano, a 12th century monastic complex with excellent frescoes, and Eremo delle Carceri, a fortified hermitage where Francis spent a period of his life. The rest of the day may be spent as you like, enjoying the sights and sounds of Assisi.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, October 27th Assisi-Spoleto-Orvieto

Villa Fidelia, Giro dei Condotti, La Rocca, Basilica di San Salvatore, Cathedral, Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Spoleto

Early in the morning we set off from Assisi and transfer to Spoleto, stopping to see bright and beautiful Villa Fidelia just past Foligno on the way. Upon arrival at Spoleto we enjoy a tour of this ancient city. Spoleto has a fascinating history, from its mythological origins to Roman splendour, and the independent Lombard principality. We start with a walk along the Giro dei Condotti, and are rewarded with beautiful views of the town and the Ponte delle Torri (Tower’s Bridge). Visit La Rocca, a castle that has amazing views of Spoleto and incredible fortified defences. Then descend to Spoleto’s centre, where we enjoy lunch before ambling towards the Basilica di San Salvatore and the Cathedral, two architectural and historical gems found at the Piazza del Duomo. Following this we explore the interesting Roman theatre at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale Di Spoleto, and then return to the bus for our transfer to Orvieto, arriving in the evening to check in to the La Badia di Orvieto hotel.

day 6 of tour

Friday, October 28th Orvieto-Florence

Duomo di Orvieto, Cappella Di San Brizio, Pozzo di S. Patrizio, Cappella del Corporale, Orvieto Caves, Pozzo della Cava, Torre del Moro, Museo Archeologico Nazionale

We devote the day to exploring Orvieto, one of the most dramatically situated cities in Europe. Built on vertical tuffs of volcanic rock, the landscape has been occupied and worked on for at least 2,800 years, leaving a startling collection of heritage sites and a fascinating history. We begin at the Duomo di Orvieto, which is considered one of the must-see churches in Italy for its stunning gold-and-mosaic Gothic façade and the breathtaking decorations of the Cappella Di San Brizio. Then move to the Pozzo di S. Patrizio, a cave built for the Popes where we can learn about the Etruscan and Roman periods, Middle Ages and Renaissance in Orvieto. We make our way to the Cappella del Corporale, a Gothic church built to celebrate the so-called Miracle of Bolsena in 1263.

After lunch we explore the Orvieto Caves. Over 1200 caves have been dug in the tuff under the city that collectively form a complete underground city with galleries, wells, stairs, quarries, and cellars. We see the Pozzo della Cava (Well of the Cave), before ascending again to Torre del Moro for excellent views of the city. We finish our tour at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale to learn about Etruscan prehistory, before returning to the bus for our transfer to Florence. Upon arrival we check back in to the Westin Excelsior hotel before preparing for the Shabbat.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, October 29th Florence

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services the you have a free day to explore Florence. We recommend relaxing in Boboli Gardens, or take a leisurely walk through the Giardino Bardini gardens beside the Villa Bardini or the Botanical Gardens.

day-8

Sunday, October 30th Florence

Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Church of Santa Maria Novella, Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, Ponte Vecchio, Piazzale Michelangelo, Stibbert Museum

Today we enjoy a full day exploring some of the countless splendours of Florence. We begin at the Uffizi Gallery, one of the oldest and most famous art museums of Europe and the world. After exploring the 16th century building, designed by Giorgio Vasari we make our way to the Accademia Gallery to see the original statue of David by Michelangelo. After lunch we admire the vivid colours and harmonious architecture of the Church of Santa Maria Novella and the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte before continuing to the Ponte Vecchio, an iconic bridge that offers great photo opportunities. Circle around the Piazzale Michelangelo to view charming villas on our way to the Stibbert Museum. This unique Egyptian-style temple is nestled in a beautiful English garden, and contains a museum filled with medieval armour and art.

day-9

Monday, October 31st Pisa

Piazza dei Miracoli, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery, Camposanto Monumentale, Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina, Basilica Romanica di San Piero a Grado, Mercato Centrale

We embark early for our excursion to Pisa on the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. This ancient centre of culture and science is unashamedly proud of its iconic leaning tower, but contains many other wondrous sites which we visit during the day. We start at the Piazza dei Miracoli, one of the finest architectural complexes in Italy (or even the world!). Here we can visit the famous Leaning Tower of Pisa, spectacular Cathedral, with beautiful decoration inside and outside, and nearby Baptistery. We take a walk along the hallway of the Camposanto Monumentale, large indoor cemetery, before lunch. In the afternoon we visit the elegant Chiesa di Santa Maria della Spina and the Basilica Romanica di San Piero a Grado before returning to Florence. The rest of the day can be spent as you wish, though if you wish to do some more shopping we recommend visiting the Mercato Centrale. In the evening we reunite for our last meal together.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, November 1st Florence

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv - call for airfare from other cities
  • All transport within Italy
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$7,995

LAND ONLY - $6,995 (no airfares included, domestic or international)

$2,895 (Single Supplement)

Currency Calculator

Amount
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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Florence

Westin Excelsior

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westin-excelsior

Siena

Grand Hotel Continental

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grand-hotel-continental

Assisi

Nun Assisi Relais & Spa Museum

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nun-assisi-relais

Orvieto

La Badia Di Orvieto

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la-badia

  • Brunelleschi’s Dome - Ross King
  • The House of Medici - Christopher Hibbert
  • The Hills of Tuscany - Ferenc Máté
  • Under the Tuscan Sun - Frances Mayes
  • The City of Florence - R. W. B. Lewis
  • Saint Francis - Robert West
  • Living in a Foreign Language: Memoir of Food, Wine, and Love in Italy - Michael Tucker
  • A Room with a View (1986 Film)
  • Under the Tuscan Sun (2003 Film)

Splendors Of Spain Tour

Madrid, Toledo, Seville, Cordoba, Gibraltar, Barcelona

June 17th - June 27th, 2018

day 1 of tour

Sunday, June 17th

Today, you will take an overnight flight to Madrid.

 

Madrid

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day 2 of tour

Monday, June 18th Madrid

Arrive in the exciting and vibrant city of Madrid. Commence your adventures with an afternoon tour of the most beautiful of Madrid's sights, including the Royal Palace, which overlooks the scenic Manzanares River. Then, take a walk through the central Plaza Mayor, celebrated for its beauty and charm. Conclude your tour with a visit to the Bais Yaakov Synagogue - the first synagogue in Madrid, founded in  1492. Queen Sophia famously studied Judaism and attended services here as part of her university course in 1976. This is also the site of the rescinding of the Spanish Expulsion Edict by King Juan Carlos in 1992. Spend the evening exploring the enchanting side-streets and spacious plazas of Madrid, and perhaps enjoy a performance of live music. Accommodation will be at the Villa Real or similar.

 

The Royal Palace

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day 3 of tour

Tuesday, June 19th Toledo-Madrid

In the morning, Deluxe Kosher Tours will escort you to the Medieval city of Toledo, beautifully perched atop a hill of granite. Once the capital of Spain, Toledo is now a gorgeous historical treasure offering us insight into the Medieval period's art and architecture. Especially noteworthy is Toledo's longstanding tradition of Jewish scholarship and intellectualism; once home to celebrated scholars Abraham ibn Ezra, a biblical scholar and grammarian, Yehudah ha-Levi, a poet, doctor, and philosopher, Rabbi Asher bar Rav Yechiel, Toledo was known as the "Second Jerusalem."

 

Toledo City

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Spend time in Toledo's two remaining synagogues: the eleventh-century Santa Maria la Blanca and the twelfth-century El Transito. The latter is home to the Sephardic Museum and Library: housing a collection of ancient treasures. Finish your adventure with a trip to the Museum of El Greco, located in his old house, where you can see the works of this great master up close. Return to Madrid in the early evening for another moonlit night in Spain's gorgeous capital.

 

El Greco Museum

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day 4 of tour

Wednesday, June 20th Madrid-Seville

Today, Deluxe Kosher Tours will bring you to one of the pre-eminent world-class museums of the world - El Prado - where you can see the works of Goya, Velazquez, and more. Transfer to Seville in the afternoon for an exploration of this romantic treasure of history - which spans the Roman times to Moorish conquest to the present. Marvel at the beautiful gardens at Maria Luisa Park, the Plaza de Espana, the Giralda Tower, and the university, whose baroque facade was once famous for a different reason: the building was the cigar factory in which the seductive gypsy "Carmen" of Bizet's tragic opera once worked.

 

El Prado

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Then visit the Alcazar Palace, a stunning example of Moorish architecture, and wander the picturesque former Jewish quarter: Barrio de Santa Cruz. Spend the evening at an optional flamenco show. Spend the night at the Hotel Seville Center or a similarly beautiful hotel.

 

Alcazar Palace

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day 5 of tour

Thursday, June 21st Cordoba

The birthplace of Maimonides (Rambam), one of the greatest Jewish scholars of all time, Cordoba was once home to one and a half million Jews. The beauty of the old Juderia, or Jewish Quarter, is still preserved, with charming narrow streets winding towards the city walls at the Almodovar Gate.

 

Almodovar Gate

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Take a look at the Statue of Maimonides before visiting the fourteenth-century synagogue on Calle de los Judios, built by Isaac ben Efraim. Afterwards, visit Plazuela de Maimonides, according to legend the home of Maimonides, and the nearby Calle Rambam Maimonides for another tribute to this great scholar. See Maimonides's birthplace at 5 Calle de los Judios, and visit Juda Levi Street to commemorate the poet who lived in Cordoba for many years. Return to Seville in the early evening.

day 6 of tour

Friday, June 22nd Gibraltar

In the morning, leave for Gibraltar, a British colony only four miles long and a half-mile wide, beautifully located between Spain and Morocco. Visit all the lovely sights of the city, including the Upper Galleries, Moorish Castle, and Caves of St. Michael. You will also visit the celebrated colony of Barbary Apes. The afternoon is at your leisure. Spend the night at the Hotel Elliot or similar.

 

Barbary Apes

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day 7 of tour

Saturday, June 23rd Gibraltar

Spend this unforgettable Shabbat in the Jewish quarter of Gibraltar, celebrating with the Gibraltar community of 600 Jews and dining at a local kosher restaurant.

day-8

Sunday, June 24th Granada-Barcelona

In the morning, Deluxe Kosher Tours will take you on a picturesque drive from Gibraltar to Grenada, a 1200-year-old city that is a fantasy of Moorish architecture. Visit the Alhambra, a sumptuous summer palace built for Moorish princes, beautiful not only for its ornate design and surrounding gardens, but also for its stunning views of the city's historic center. The site of many historic events, this palace is where King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed the decree exiling Jews from Spain, but also the site where Don Isaac Arbanel attempted to have it revoked, and where Columbus first received permission to embark upon the fateful journey that led to his discovery of the New World.

 

Alhambra

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Later, visit the beautiful Generalife Gardens and savor the floral fragrances of the lush scenery before flying to Barcelona in the evening. Spend the night at the Condes de Barcelona or similar.

 

Generalife Gardens

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day-9

Monday, June 25th Barcelona

Experience the vitality and vibrancy of Barcelona, one of the most cosmopolitan and exciting cities in the world. Begin your trip in this historic Gothic Quarter, where you will see some buildings that have survived from the Middle Ages. After a tour of the city, Deluxe Kosher Tours will take you to the Picasso Museum for a chance to explore some of this artist's most significant works. Conclude the day at Montjuich for panoramic vistas of the city.

day 10 of tour

Tuesday, June 26th Barcelona

Today, visit more of Barcelona's storied sights, including the Town Hall, statue of Columbia, Spanish Village, and the plaza where - according to tradition - the Spanish king welcomed Columbus home from his adventures in the New World. Later in the day, explore the Jewish quarter of Barcelona, once a great center of rabbinical learning, and the place where the famous dispute between Pablo Christiani and Rabbi Moses ben Nachman (Ramban) occurred. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.

 

Barcelona

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day-11

Wednesday, June 27th Barcelona

Today, depart Barcelona Airport for your return flight home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Insurance
  • Snacks or items of a personal nature
  • Excess/overweight Baggage fees (only 20KG per flight is permitted on flights within Spain)

$6,995

$1,995 (Single Supplement)

Currency Calculator

Amount
From :
To :

Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Madrid

Villa Real

click picture to enlarge it

villa-real

Sevilla

Hotel Seville Center

click picture to enlarge it

hotel-sevilla

Gibraltar

Hotel Elliot

click picture to enlarge it

hotel-elliot

Barcelona

Condes De Barcelona

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condes-de-barcelona

South India Tour

Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, Ooty, Cooner, Cochin, Kumarakum, Kerala, Periyar

March 3rd - March 15th, 2018

Our guests on this exclusive South India trip will have a rare opportunity to experience directly the rich Jewish cultural heritage of the region.  Southern India, home to the oldest continuously living Jewish community in the world, will be an unforgettable experience to the discerning traveler.  The personalized service that Deluxe Kosher Tours provides our guests ensures your trip will be one of the most memorable ever.  The beautiful rivers and valleys of South India, and the colorful, vibrant city atmosphere found that are part of the itinerary, including Mumbai, Mysore and Cochin, make this tour particularly popular with our cliental.  During your private tour of Cochin, you will visit historical sites that are part of the legacy left by the ancestors of the indigenous Jewish communities:  Some say that they trace their origins as far back as the time of Solomon.  See the ancient Mysore Palaces and the Somnathpur Temple Complex.  Enjoy a leisurely Kerala River Cruise on a deluxe houseboat.  Your stop at the wildlife resort in Periyar offers you the opportunity to see some of the exotic Indian wildlife in its natural state.  Our carefully selected and vetted guides are well versed in the history, culture and traditions of South India.  Touring with Deluxe Kosher Tours offers you an unforgettable experience, with individualized service and comfort.  The hotels chosen are the best available in the region.  You can be assured that all your needs will be met, and that all arrangements made, with your comfort and enjoyment in mind.

day 1 of tour

Saturday, March 3rd

Following our departure from the U.S., our flight will take us directly to Mumbai. 

day 2 of tour

Sunday, March 4th

Upon arrival our Deluxe Kosher Tours representative will meet us and transport us by private limousine to your luxury hotel.  There are no scheduled activities and we are free to relax or explore at our leisure.  Diner will be at the hotel.

 

Mumbai

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day 3 of tour

Monday, March 5th

Our superlative Deluxe Kosher Tour guide will host our customized tour by private car of the ancient city of Mumbai.  Formerly known as Bombay, in addition to being the commercial and financial capital of India today, the city has a very rich cultural tradition dating back over 2500 years.  Sophisticated colonial architecture can be seen throughout the city, along with ancient temples and buildings devoted to the religious traditions associated with Hinduism, Christianity and even Judaism.  The three historic synagogues in Mumbai include the Shaar Harahamim, or Gate of Mercy, built over 200 years ago.  The street where it is located is named Samuel Street, after the builder.  Two other synagogues, used by the Bene Israel Jews that still stand in Mumbai are the Magen David Synagogue and the Tippereth.

 

Magen David Synagogue

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The Sassoon Docks, a lively fish market still in use today, was constructed, and named after a wealthy Jewish family in old Bombay.

 

Sassoon Docks

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The Jewish roots in Mumbai stretch back almost as far as the city itself. The Bene Israel Jews arrived in the area 2100 years ago when a shipwrecked group of families made their home in the region.  Later, the city expanded and the local citizens called it Bombay.  Genetic testing confirms their claims of Jewish descent.  Many of their genetic markers correspond to that of the tribe of Kohanim.

Architecturally, Mumbai houses some of the most well preserved examples of ancient Hindu rock sculpture in India.  The focus of the day’s activities includes a visit to the Elephanta Caves.  These caves, located on a small island in the harbor, are extremely well preserved.  Designated a World Heritage Site by the UN, they date back to the 7th century and house some of the most magnificent examples in the world of Hindu rock carvings.

 

Elephanta Caves

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day 4 of tour

Tuesday, March 6th

After breakfast, we will be transferred to the airport for a short flight to Bangalore, the mecca for technological firms in India.  A private car will be waiting at the airport to carry you in comfort directly to the fabulous city of Mysore.  Mysore, known for its silk, wood and incense markets, will be our staging point for a trip to the foothills and mountains of Ghat.  The Ghat mountain range, gently rolling hills rather than what is traditionally thought of as mountains, provide a haven for the dwindling populations of the famous Bengal tigers and Asian Elephants.  Covered until recently with lush forests, the remaining jungles and waterways provide you with some of the most unforgettable scenery on earth today.  The unspoiled beauty of the terrain is breathtaking. 

 

Ghat Mountain Range

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In the evening, we have an excursion planned to attend the famous Aarti, or Lights, ceremony.  Often performed several times a day, for Hindus this ceremony celebrates dispelling the darkness and welcoming the light thorough the illumination of candles.

 

Aarti Ceremony

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day 5 of tour

Wednesday, March 7th

Today will find us touring the magnificent royal palaces and gardens of the Mysore region.  For almost 600 years, Mysore was the capital city of the Mysore principality, which ended with independence in 1947.  Our private guide and transport will explain the rich royal heritage of the region that dates back many centuries.  It would take weeks to tour the over 140 parks and gardens, museums, and the historical palaces in Mysore.  However, Deluxe Kosher Tours chose some of the most interesting and historical sites to see.  Our special guide will accompany you on your private sightseeing tour, permitting you to sample some of the best of these sites, while answering all your questions concerning the city and its history.  Our commitment to highlight for you the very best that Mysore has to offer includes an excursion to the Somnathpur temple complex.  This well maintained complex features some of the best-preserved temples in India.  Made of stone, the detailed carvings that cover the entire temple walls and columns depict various scenes of Hindu mythology and religion. It is a must-see for all visitors to India.

 

Somnathpur Temple

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day 6 of tour

Thursday, March 8th

Today we will travel by private car south to Hill Station by Lake Ooty.  Along the way, we will visit some of the spectacular tea plantations.  The sight of the lush greenery, indicative of tea-growing locales, can lull you back to the days of the British Raj.  The route takes us through the scenic parkland of the Bandipur and Mudumalai National Parks too.  Elephant, mongoose, and other Indian mammals inhabit these parks.  Flora and fauna like ancient conifers, eucalyptus trees and wattle encourage the visitor to recall the image that books and movies have planted in our minds regarding exotic India.

day 7 of tour

Friday, March 9th

The memorable Heritage Train departs from nearby Coonor.  The old-fashioned steam engine pulls just a few cars, and takes you back in time to another era.  This famous mountain train ride takes approximately two hours, winding through picturesque terrain -including jungle, hills, and streams- that are part of the landscape in this historic region.  We eventually arrive in Coonor, where awaiting transport takes us on a short private car ride to our first class hotel in Cochin.   Here we will spend Shabbat with the Jewish community.

NOTE:  If train schedule changes and doesn’t allow for travel to arrive before Shabbat transfer will be done via private motor coach.

day-8

Saturday, March 10th

Shabbat is enjoyed with the Jewish community of Cochin.  After Shabbat lunch our  private tour guide, schooled in the Jewish history of Cochin, will take us on a walking tour of the community. Many claim this historical community directly relates to the Jews that dispersed to India mentioned in the Book of Esther.  The Jews of Cochin traditionally date their linage to the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans.  Included in this tour is (of course!) a visit to the Pardesi Synagogue.  This synagogue, protected by the Indian Government as a historical site, is still in use today.  Also called the Mattancherry or Cochin Synagogue, it houses the 10th century copper plates given to one Joseph Rabban or Rabbani, the oldest named ancestor of the Cochin Jewish community.  The plates memorialize the rights and privileges granted to him by the local ruler.  One of only three Jewish synagogues remaining in India, its construction dates from the mid-1500s.  The quaint shops and ancient streets of the Jewish section of the city will leave you with a real sense of the ancient roots of Judaism.  This evening ends with tickets to see a classic Indian Kathakali drama.

 

Pardesi Synagogue

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day-9

Sunday, March 11th

We leave Cochin and head West by private car towards the coast to our next stop, Kumarakom.  We plan a relaxing evening cruise that will allow you to get a sense of what it must have been like centuries ago when these same-style houseboats would ply the waterways transporting goods to the isolated cities and villages along the lakeshore.  One of the most popular tourist destinations in India, our private arrangements will allow you to experience all the area has to offer, while being catering to the discerning Jewish traveler’s specific needs.

 

Kumarakom

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day 10 of tour

Monday, March 12th

We spend a relaxing day at our first-class resort by the lake where you will have time to lounge and immerse yourself in the exotic atmosphere, sights and sounds of this South Indian paradise.  The lush landscape and vast varieties of colorful birds make this region particularly appealing to visit.  An intricate network of lakes, streams and waterways connects the islands, and the small towns and villages along the shores.   

day-11

Tuesday, March 13th

Today we embark on an overnight tour by houseboat of the scenic waterways of Kerla.  You will travel in style with luxurious accommodations aboard a traditional houseboat used for centuries on the lake.  Construction of these boats does not require a single nail: The planks of jack wood held together by local resin from coir or coconut fiber ensure the boat is watertight.  The luxurious interiors will surprise you with their opulence and comfort.

 

Kerla

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day-12

Wednesday, March 14th

Our houseboat experience ends in the wildlife resort of Periyar.  The day here is spent relaxing, surrounded by the colorful and fascinating wildlife and fauna indigenous to this region.  Later in the afternoon, we will embark on another boat trip devoted to viewing the plethora of wildlife species that only come out in the late evenings and at night.  The Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary, over 100 years old, is most famous for its elusive community of protected tigers and elephants.

 

Periyar

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day-13

Thursday, March 15th

Private conveyance will return you to Chochin, where we will take an afternoon flight back to Mumbai, with an evening departure from there to the United States.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv
  • All domestic transportation within India
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$7,595

$2,595 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Mumbai

Sofitel

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http://www.accorhotels.com/6451

Mysore

Lalitha Mahal Palace Hotel

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Hill Station

Hill Country Holiday Resort Lovedale

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Cochin

Old Harbour Hotel

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Kumarakom

Vivanta by Taj Kumarakom

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Periyar

Periyar River Lodge

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Slavic States Tour

Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia

May 7th - May 18th, 2017

This compelling tour introduces you to the diverse traditions and lifestyles of four Slavic European lands – Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia.

The Slavs are an ancient Indo-European group that reside across Europe and Asia, and have played an enormous role in the history, art and culture of these continents. Join us on an enthralling journey that explores the past and present ways of life in picturesque Belgrade, bustling Zagreb, cosmopolitan Budapest, historic Bratislava, and many more places in between. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

Our exclusive tour will provide a genuine and unusual adventure, filled with excursions to awe-inspiring natural wonders, monuments and communities. This journey brings to life the history and great variety of people, languages, religions and behaviours of these remarkable countries, thanks to our carefully selected personal tour guide – available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our bespoke itinerary includes many sites that explore the history of the Jewish diaspora in Eastern Europe.

The Slavic States are waiting – discover them with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Monday, May 7th

We depart on our flight to the capital city of Serbia, Belgrade. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about the Slavic states (see above).

day 2 of tour

Tuesday, May 8th Belgrade

Meet and greet, Orientation, Belgrade Fortress, Kalemegdan Park, Victor Monument, Millenary Monument, House of Flowers

Upon arrival in Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport we are welcomed to Serbia by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Crowne Plaza and offer an introduction to Serbia and Belgrade. Belgrade is the beating heart of Serbian culture, a city filled with welcoming and fun people, with many outstanding heritage sites. We introduce you to Serbian history, arts and culture with a walking tour through Belgrade. Our first destination is Belgrade Fortress, a huge and beautiful citadel that creates an enchanting backdrop to the city’s daily activities. We can stretch our legs in the adjacent Kalemegdan Park, where we can take in the impressive views of the Danube and Sava Rivers.

 

Belgrade Fortress

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After lunch we visit some of the most iconic monuments of the city – the Victor Monument (commemorating Serbia's victory over Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empire during the Balkan Wars and the First World War) and the Millenary Monument (erected in 1896 to mark the 1000th anniversary of the founding of the Hungarian state). The House of Flowers is our final destination. This is the mausoleum of the famous leader of the Republic of Yugoslavia, Josip Tito, and our expert guide will provide a full explanation of the significance of Tito in the Slavic States. The remainder of the day can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.

 

The House Of Flowers

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day 3 of tour

Wednesday, May 9th Belgrade

Royal Palace, Old Palace

Our day begins with a visit to the Royal Palace, home of their Royal Highnesses Crown Prince Alexander II and Crown Princess Katherine. As the only son of the last king, Peter II, who never officially abdicated, and the last official heir of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia Alexander claims to be the rightful heir to the Serbian throne in the event of restoration. We are invited to a tour of the royal compound, where we can admire frescos and intricate carvings on the royal chapel’s walls and ceiling, their resplendent decoration showing off the royal family’s devotion to their patron saint: St. Andrew the First Called. You might even happen to meet the modest and unassuming Crown Prince himself, who often walks around his compound even during tour times!

After our enjoyable lunch we receive a guided tour through the City Assembly of Belgrade, where many of the important decisions affecting the city are made. This magnificent building used to be the royal residence of the 19th century Obrenović dynasty. Here we learn more about the Serbian uprising against the Ottoman Empire in 1815-1817, which led to the formation of the semi-independent Principality of Serbia. We return to the hotel later on for dinner, before retiring for the evening.

 

City Assembly

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day 4 of tour

Thursday, May 10th Belgrade-Zagreb

National Museum of Serbia, Republic Square, Knez Mihailova Street, Jewish Historical Museum

After breakfast we go to the National Museum of Serbia. This spectacular house of culture contains over 400,000 archaeological relics and works of art, including rare works by Picasso, Monet and Hirosige. We then circle around the city’s busiest squares, the Republic Square,

 

Republic Square

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before continuing down the iconic Knez Mihailova Street, a pedestrian promenade that has something for everyone: shops, kiosks selling homemade ware, arts and crafts, toys and sweets, street musicians, open air cafes and restaurants. After lunch we immerse ourselves in the fascinating history of the Jews in Belgrade at the Jewish Historical Museum. Here we can learn more about the centuries of Jewish activity in the region, and admire their fascinating collection of Judaica.

 

National Museum of Serbia

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Later we transfer over the border to Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Here we check in to the Hotel Zagreb before a late evening meal.

day 5 of tour

Friday, May 11th Zagreb

Zagreb City Tour, Dolac Market, City Museum

Welcome to Croatia – the hidden jewel of the Mediterranean. This fantastic land has everything you could ever wish for, from incredible cultural sites, islands brimming with unique flora and fauna, and some of the most exciting cities in the Slavic states. Our expert guide welcomes you to Croatia with a tour of Zagreb. This charming medieval city is filled with unusual fusion Austro-Hungarian and socialist architecture, sumptuous parks to relax in, and excellent museums and galleries. Our tour begins at Gornji Grad, a network of narrow cobbled streets. We visit  Zagreb’s central square, Trg Jelacica and the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and walk down the colourful and bohemian Tkalciceva street.

After lunch we visit the buzzing Dolac Market, a traditional outdoor market where vendors sell a range of locally produced food, clothes, arts, and crafts. We receive a guided tour through the City Museum, where we can study Zagreb‘s history from prehistoric times to the modern day with reconstructions of 19th-century Ilica shops and a room-sized map of Zagreb‘s 19th-century Lower Town, complete with scale models of its main buildings. In the evening we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat.

 

Dolac Market

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day 6 of tour

Saturday, May 12th Zagreb

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you are welcome to spend the rest of the day freely. Those who wish are invited to have a peaceful afternoon walking through the Maksimir Park, a gorgeous green space perfect to relax in, that also houses the city zoo.

day 7 of tour

Sunday, May 13th Zagreb

Varazdin, Patacic Place, Patacic-Tuttar Palace, Gallery of Old and Modern Masters, Strossmayer Gallery, Mimara, Archaelogical Museum

In the morning we set off to experience the baroque architecture and well-tended gardens and parks of Varaždin, Coratia’s previous state capital. We begin with the 18th century Patačić Palace, which boasts beautiful period paintings and gorgeous bay windows overlooking the Gundulić Street and the King Tomislav and Franciscan Squares. In the Stari Grad (Old Town) we visit Varazdin Castle, which also contains the town museum, where we can view its collection of furniture, paintings, watches, ceramics, decorative objects, and weapons. We visit the Gallery of Old and Modern Masters, which houses over 5,300 works of art divided into ten collections.

 

Varazdin Castle

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After lunch we return to Zagreb, where we spend a leisurely evening exploring the Lower Town. We are introduced to three of the city’s most celebrated museums. First we go to the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, which contains around 250 works of fine art by European painters from the 14th-19th centuries. Next we visit the Mimara Museum, which contains an unmissable collection of artistic works by Lorenzetti, Raffaello, Caravaggio, Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, Manet, Renoir, Degas and many more. Finally, we learn about the ancient origins of this land at the Archaeological Museum, which contains over 450,000 artifacts and monuments. In the evening we relax in the hotel, in preparation for our busy day tomorrow.

day-8

Monday, May 14th Zagreb-Budapest

Castle Hill, Royal Palace and History Museum, Matthias Church

After breakfast we depart from Zagreb Airport to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Upon arrival in Ferenc Liszt International Airport are welcomed to Hungary by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour guide. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Intercontinental DoubleTree by Hilton, and offer an introduction to Hungary and Budapest. Built on the banks of the Danube River, this was the beating heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city is split in to two parts – the hills of Buda to the west, and the great plain of Pest on the east bank. After our orientation we ascend the funicular to Castle Hill, the location of the royal Hungarian court.

 

Castle Hill

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We visit the Budapest History Museum in the Royal Palace (though it has never actually been occupied by the Hungarian Royal family), where we can learn about the interesting history of the country. We then wander through the charming streets of Buda on our way to Matthias Church, where ancient kings were crowned. Delight in the multi-colored ceramic tile roof, astonishing Gothic architecture, and the Hungarian crown jewels. After dinner you are welcome to explore the local neighbourhood – Budapest truly comes alive at night, and the Danube Promenade is beautiful when illuminated.

 

Budapest At Night

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day-9

Tuesday, May 15th Budapest

Heroes’ Square, Museum of Fine Arts, Szechenyi Baths, Andrassy Ut., Basilica of St. Stephen

Today we explore more of this grand city. We start with Heroes' Square, distinguished by its iconic statue complex featuring the Seven Chieftains of the Magyars and other important national leaders. We enter the nearby Museum of Fine Arts, which houses a variety of works from international European art, as well as some Egyptian art.

 

Heroes Square

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After lunch you can relax in the famous baths of Budapest. We visit the Széchenyi thermal baths, where you can relax in the warm therapeutic pools. Later we return to the town centre, making our way down the spectacular Andrassy Ut boulevard – lined with fine Neo-renaissance mansions and immaculate gardens. We finish the day with a tour of the historic Basilica of St. Stephen. The interior of the basilica is overwhelming, with ornately decorated walls and ceiling. Marvellous paintings between gold-leafed columns emerge from the shadowy depths of the church, and the live music events that regularly happen here make use of its fantastic acoustics.

 

Basilica of St. Stephen

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day 10 of tour

Wednesday, May 16th Budapest-Bratislava

Great Market Hall, Central Synagogue, Danube River Cruise, Bratislava City Tour, Town Hall, City Museum

In the morning we go to the Great Market Hall, the largest and oldest indoor market in Budapest. This is a beautiful building to admire, but also one of the best places in the city to shop for souvenirs, or choose one of their hundreds of types of paprika. We continue on to visit the magnificent Central Synagogue, the largest synagogue in Europe and one of the largest in the world. Here we learn about the history of the building and the Jewish community. Afterwards we walk down to the Danube River promenade, which offers astonishing views of Castle Hill on the opposite shore.

 

Central Synagogue

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HUN

After lunch we transfer to the train station, where we embark on a journey through some of Europe’s loveliest countryside on our way to Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. Another capital built on the Danube, Bratislava lies nestled in the slopes of the Carpathian Mountains, and acted as the capital of the Kingdom of Hungary, a part of the larger Habsburg Empire, from 1536 to 1783. Our expert local guide will meet you at the train station, and bring you on an introductory tour of the fairy tale Old Town, teaching us about the country’s history, arts and traditions. We view the Gothic Old Town Hall, a centrally located building which played large role in the town's history. We visit the City Museum housed within, and climb the clock tower for wonderful views of the cityscape. Later we check in to the Crowne Plaza Hotel and unwind after our long day.

 

Bratislava Old Town

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day-11

Thursday, May 17th Bratislava

Primate’s Palace, Opera House, Mirbach’s Palace

After breakfast we visit the neoclassical Primate’s Palace, which today serves as the seat of the mayor of Bratislava. We invite you for a guided tour of the palace interior, where we can admire their impressive collection of classical European paintings and visit the famous Hall of Mirrors. We then visit the Opera House, a Neo-Renaissance-style building decorated with busts of famous musical composers. After circling around the lively Hviezdoslavovo square we have free time to explore the local neighbourhood before lunch.

 

Hviezdoslavovo Square

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We then set off for Mirbach Palace, a Rococo-style building in Bratislava’s old town, and currently houses the Bratislava City Gallery’s stunning collection of Central European baroque art. You have the rest of the evening free to view any extra sites that caught your attention, or go shopping for gifts. We reunite for our final meal together where we can reminisce about our adventure through the Slavic States.

day-12

Friday, May 18th Bratislava-Vienna

After breakfast we transfer to Vienna Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, Chicago, or Miami - call for airfare from other cities
  • All airfares between Serbia, Croatia, Hungary and Slovakia (if required)
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$6,795

LAND ONLY - $5,995 (without airfares)

$1,995 (Single Supplement)

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Belgrade

Crowne Plaza

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crowne-plaza

Zagreb

Hotel Zagreb

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hotel-zagreb

Budapest

Intercontinental Double Tree by Hilton

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intercontinental

Bratislava

Crowne Plaza

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crowne-plaza-brastislava

  • Between the Woods and the Water – Patrick Leigh Fermor
  • The Year that Changed the World – Michael Meyer
  • A Traveller’s History of Croatia – Benjamin Curtis
  • Yugoslavia: Death of a Nation – Laura Silber and Allan Little
  • The Death of Yugoslavia (BBC documentary)
  • Tito and Me (Film)
  • Good Bye Lenin! (Film)
  • Sunshine (Film directed by István Szabó)

Sensational Guatemala Tour

Guatemala City, Flores, Antigua Guatemala

June 25th - July 2nd, 2017

This comprehensive journey introduces you to the awe-inspiring natural wonders, arts, monuments and vibrant cities of Guatemala, as well as introducing you to the diverse traditions and lifestyles of local minority peoples.

Guatemala came to prominence in the 16th century, when it became a Spanish colony in the “New World”. However, the land’s history stretches many thousands of years in the past as the location of the Mayan civilization. For centuries Guatemala has been subject to influences from Europe and its neighbouring countries, resulting in a glorious melange of traditions and styles as well as rich cultural treasures. Whether you are a seasoned explorer or a first-time visitor, the memories and experiences gathered from this trip will be life changing.

We invite you on an exclusive tour that offers a chance for adventurous souls to explore a faraway land filled with wonders. Our innovative excursions delight the most seasoned traveller, as we explore the mysteries of Guatemalan culture, history, art, gastronomy and religion with our personal tour guide – available at all times to make your trip absolutely enjoyable. The 100% kosher tour permits you to travel comfortably and confidently, and our bespoke itinerary includes many sites that explore the history of the Jewish diaspora in Guatemala.

Guatemala welcomes you – discover it with Deluxe Kosher Tours.

day 1 of tour

Sunday, June 25th

We depart on our flight to the capital city of the Republic of Guatemala, Guatemala City. Enjoy kosher meals and in-flight entertainment during your journey, or read some of our suggested books about Guatemala (see below). Upon arrival in La Aurora International Airport we are welcomed to Guatemala by our carefully-selected personal Deluxe Kosher Tours tour director. They will bring us to our deluxe hotel, the Camino Real, and offer an introduction to Guatemala and Guatemala City. The remainder of the evening can be leisurely spent resting and relaxing in the hotel, or take a walk around the local neighbourhood to immerse in some of the sights and sounds.

day 2 of tour

Monday, June 26th Guatemala City-Flores

Tikal National Park

We set off very early, returning to La Aurora International Airport for our transfer to Flores, Petén. Upon arrival to Mundo Maya International Airport we are brought to check in at the Villa Maya Hotel. Here we receive an introduction to Flores, a splendidly attractive town built on the shores of the Lago de Petén Itzá. With a buzzing nightlife and daytime tranquillity this is one of the most popular destinations of holidaying Guatemalans. We bring you to the Tikal National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site protected for its Mayan ceremonial complex. Our expert guide provides an educating talk on the history of the Maya as we wander through temples, palaces, and public squares of this 6th-10th century civilisation. The ruins lie hidden in the tropical rainforests of northern Guatemala, where one can view some of the most unique flora and fauna in the world, including spider monkeys, harpy eagles, toucans and even reclusive jaguar! In the evening you are free to explore Flores at your leisure, or simply relax in the hotel until our delicious dinner.

day 3 of tour

Tuesday, June 27th Flores-Antigua Guatemala

La Antigua City Tour, Lago de Atitlán

We check out of the hotel early to return to the airport, for our flight back to Guatemala City. Upon arrival our bus brings us to the colonial city of Antigua Guatemala (commonly referred to as Antigua). This 16th century city was a former capital of the state, though it had to be moved due to a chain of natural disasters in the 1700s – three enormous volcanoes loom over the city. Nevertheless, Antigua today is a lively and fascinating city, containing a large collection of colonial architecture, beautiful streetscapes, churches plazas and towns that have been collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Our expert guide brings you on an informative tour of the city’s charming tumbledown streets, with gorgeous colourful buildings and sumptuous gardens. We visit the crumbling ruins of the old El Carmen church and Santo Domingo Monastery, the stunning Cathedral of San José, and the sprawling Nim Po't shopping arcade where artisans present a huge selection of locally-produced Maya clothing, masks and wood carvings

After we check in to our hotel, the Casa Santo Domingo, you are free to continue wandering through the city. You will find that Antigua is one of the tidiest, cleanest cities, with modern features such as buried power lines and revolutionary traffic management enhancing the ancient landscape. We recommend a walk along the shores of the nearby Lake Atitlán after dinner, its pristine waters reflecting the sunset over ring of volcanoes surrounding the area.

day 4 of tour

Wednesday, June 28th Antigua Guatemala

Santiago Tour, Maximón Idol

We make an excursion to the town of Santiago, built on the shores of Lake Atitlán. After a leisurely boat cruise to Santiago’s harbour we ascend to the town centre where we begin our guided tour. Santiago is popular for tourists and Guatemalans alike, due to its pleasant semi-tropical climate and gorgeous setting overlooking the lake and the volcanic highlands. Our guide brings you to the famous Maximón idol, a folk saint venerated by indigenous Tzutuhil Maya people in western Guatemala. You can examine one of Santiago’s 4 ft (1.2m) tall effigies, swathed in layers of clothing, a very fine hat over its masked face, and usually a cigar in its mouth! You can then enjoy freely exploring the many shops selling locally-produced arts and crafts, before we return to Antigua by boat for the rest of the evening.

day 5 of tour

Thursday, June 29th Antigua Guatemala-Guatemala City

Chichicastenango Market, Santo Tomás Church

After breakfast we set off for the town of Chichicastenango. Hidden deep between undulating mountains and valleys, this city seems frozen in time and contains a large community of indigenous K'iche' Maya people, as well as groups of Mam, Ixil, and Kaqchikel Mayans. This town is most famous for its huge Thursday markets, where you can find a staggering range of crafts, flowers, food and animals offered by hundreds of vendors – many trying to vie for attention with homemade fireworks! Chichicastenango is a perfect place to spend a day exploring the many areas of the market, and when you have had enough to enjoy a leisurely lunch before visiting the Santo Tomás Church, an unusual 1540 church which combines Catholic and Mayan spiritual practices. Later we travel back to Guatemala City, where we check in to our hotel before dinner.

day 6 of tour

Friday, June 30th Guatemala City

Guatemala City Tour, Cathedral, Main Square, Civic Centre, Palacio Nacional de la Cultura, Relief Map

In the morning we invite you on our comprehensive guided tour of Guatemala City, the country’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, with an energetic and sophisticated cultural scene. The city is divided into ten zones, each one crammed with attractions for us to visit.  Our guide brings us to the baroque Cathedral of Guatemala City, and we learn about the city’s action-packed past at the nearby Main Square. Admire the stunning architecture of the Centro Cultural Miguel Ángel Asturias inspired by the country’s volcanoes. This is a popular venue for opera, theatre and ballet, and even contains a small museum of the Old Fort of San José.

We then visit the National Palace, the formidable presidential palace with a unique architectural fusion of Spanish Renaissance and neoclassical styles. We receive a guided tour through the palace, learning about Guatemala’s history and admiring the tremendous gold and crystal chandelier in the reception hall. We get a bird’s eye view of Guatemala at the relief map, a scaled map and monument depicting the geography of the country. Our guide can point out the places we have visited on our adventures through Guatemala, before we return to the hotel to prepare for the Shabbat.

day 7 of tour

Saturday, July 1st Guatemala City

Shabbat services, Seudat Shabbat

After the Shabbat services and lunch with the local community, you can spend the rest of the day freely exploring the city, or relaxing in one of its many beautiful parks. In the evening we reunite for our final meal together, where we can celebrate our voyage through this magnificent country, the sites we’ve seen, and the lively people we have met.

day-8

Sunday, July 2nd

After breakfast we transfer to La Aurora International Airport for our return flights home.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, Los Angeles or Miami - call for airfare from other cities
  • All domestic airfares in Guatemala
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodation in deluxe hotels for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • International airport fees
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$5,195

LAND ONLY - $4,695 (without airfares)

$1,095 (Single Supplement)

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ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Guatemala City

Guatemala City

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camino-real

Flores

Villa Maya

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Antigua

Casa Santo Domingo

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Lake Atitlan

Hotel Atitlan

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  • Time among the Maya – Ronald Wright
  • Guatemalan Journey – Stephen Connely Benz
  • Beyond the Mexique Bay – Aldous Huxley
  • The Guatemala Reader: History, Culture, Politics – Greg Grandin
  • Living on One Dollar (Film)
  • The Golden Dream (Film)

Scottish Whiskey Tour

Oban Distillery, Glengoyne Distillery, Dalwhinnie Distillery, Blair Atholland Distillery, Glenturret Distillery, Glenkinchie Distillery

May 7th - May 11th, 2018

The Scottish Islands offer a unique opportunity to experience Europe’s remaining great wilderness. Enjoy Scotland’s scenic splendor as you tour the countryside and visit local distilleries.

day 1 of tour

Monday, May 7th

Depart the US on your overnight flight to Glasgow.

day 2 of tour

Tuesday, May 8th

Arrive at Glasgow Airport, where you will meet your guide and driver. A boxed kosher brunch will be provided on arrival. Travel through a landscape of natural beauty to the Oban Distillery. Nestled beneath the steep cliff that overlooks the sea, this distillery is home to one of Scotland’s oldest sources of single malt whisky.

 

Oban Distillery

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After the tour, free time for lunch and a chance to explore the coastal town of Oban. After lunch, travel through the wooded valley along the small river that flows into Loch Lomond. Located beneath the rolling Campsie Hills, Glengoyne Distillery is often described as Scotland’s most beautiful distillery. Here you will have the option to participate in the Master Blender experience. You will learn the secret to blending different malts and receive a small bottle of your own personalized whisky. Continue to your hotel for check in. After a chance to refresh at the deluxe Hilton Hotel in downtown Glasgow, you will be transported to Glasgow’s only kosher restaurant to enjoy a candle light gourmet meal.   At dinner’s end, you will return to the city center hotel, to unwind and enjoy a good night’s rest.

 

Glengoyne Distillery

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day 3 of tour

Wednesday, May 9th

A journey through the Celtic heartlands in the central Highlands brings you to Dalwhinnie Distillery. Located at over 1,073 feet, this distillery is one of the highest in the land and produces a full-bodied, warm malt whisky.

 

Dalwhinnie Distillery

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Next you will take in the waterfalls of Birnam Forest and travel through the picturesque town of Pitlochry to Blair Atholland Distillery. Established in 1798, this distillery produces a 12-year-old single malt whisky. Continue on through the scenic glens to the small market town of Crieff, where you will find a fascinating tour of The Famous Grouse Experience at the Glenturret Distillery. At the end of a full day, return to the hotel and enjoy another special gourmet dinner before retiring for the evening.

 

Glenturret Distillery

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day 4 of tour

Thursday, May 10th

In the morning you will travel to one of Edinburgh’s top rated golf courses (Gullane Course 1 or North Berwick) and enjoy a round of golf. This afternoon, a short and pleasant drive through the rolling farmland will bring you to Glenkinchie Distillery, the oldest distillery in Edinburgh. Here you can see a working distillery, and watch the making of a Capital Malt.

 

Glenkinchie Distillery

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Enjoy a farewell dinner in true Scottish highlands tradition this evening, along with entertainment and a sampling of some of Scotland’s best scotches.

day 5 of tour

Friday, May 11th

 

Early morning breakfast and transfer to the airport for your return flight to the USA.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Gourmet Meals as listed above including Gourmet Chef at Breakfasts and Dinners
  • Tour Guide/Assistant at all times (who will serve as escort)
  • Private Tastings at the following distilleries:
    • Oban Distillery
    • Glengoyne Distillery
    • Dalwhinnie Distillery
    • Blair Atholl Distillery
    • Glenturret Distillery
    • Glenkinchie Distillery
  • A round of Golf at one of Scotland’s top rated golf courses (Gullane Course 1 OR North Berwick)
  • 3 nights’ Double Room Accommodations at the Deluxe Glasgow Hilton (5-star Hotel) – City Center

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$3,995

LAND ONLY - $3,395

$595 (Single Supplement)

 

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ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Russian Literary Tour

Moscow, Peredelkino, Yasnaya Polyana, St. Petersburg

July 10th - July 23rd, 2017

Join Deluxe Kosher Tours for an inspiring literary tour throughout Russia. Breathtakingly beautiful, the country is known for its rich cultural heritage, impressive collection of art and fantastic pieces of literature. Embark on a panoramic tour of the majestic city of Moscow, spend time in the Russian capital villa zone – the countryside village of Peredelkino, have an authentic Russian tea-party at Yasnaya Polyana, then grant yourself romantic time in the glorious city of St. Petersburg.

The Russian Literary Tour begins in Moscow, the capital of Russia, where we will visit marvelous sites in this majestic city, including the famous Bolshoi Theatre, the Kremlin and the Red Square, the Cathedral of St. Basil. We will also spend time at the House-Museum of Maxim Gorky and the Chekhov House. The Literary tour further includes two day trips - one to the Museum of Boris Pasternak, the author of Dr. Zhivago, located in the countryside village of Peredelkino; and the second one at Yasnaya Polyana, where lived the world known writer Leo Tolstoy. Memorable Shabbat will be presented at the Central Synagogue in Moscow with the local Jewish population on the sixth day of the tour. The last destination of the Russian Literary Tour is St. Petersburg, a city of breathtaking beauty, where we will see Peter and Paul Fortress and St. Basil’s Island, the statue of Peter the Great, Nevsky Prospekt and the superb Hermitage Museum. We will also spend time at the 18th century Baroque-style Catherine’s Palace Tsarskoye Selo, and pay a visit at the Dostoyevsky Museum. The Russian Literary Tour is not just a trip; it is a festivity for the eyes, mind and soul.

day 1 of tour

Monday, July 10th

Departure from the USA on our flight to the Russian capital of Moscow. 

day 2 of tour

Tuesday, July 11th

Welcome to the glorious city of Moscow! Upon arrival, we will be met by our local guide and transferred to our hotel in the very heart of the Russian capital, where we will have time to accommodate. En route, we will enjoy a brief orientation to this majestic and overwhelming Russian city and later we will embark on an interesting panoramic tour of the grand Moscow, including some of the world-renowned sites Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow State University plus magnificent vista over the Vorobiev Hills.

day 3 of tour

Wednesday, July 12th

This morning we will enjoy a visit at the Kremlin, founded in the 12th century, which heralded the birth of the great city of Moscow. We will also stand in the classic Red Square and be able to take photos of the spectacular Cathedral of St. Basil and its colorful domes, after which we will drop in for a visit at the Russia’s biggest shopping center – the bustling GUM Mall. Lunch will be served during the tour.

Later, the tour will go on and we will visit the Novodevichy Monastery, which housed many ladies from the Russian royal families and the prominent boyar families, who were forced to take the veil, and in whose cemetery were buried the writers Gogol and Chekhov. We will also visit the House-Museum of Maxim Gorky, one of Russia’s pre-eminent social critics, as well as the Chekhov House/Museum, where the sensitive author lived during his most fruitful artistic period. It is in this house where over 100 of his exquisite short-stories were written. The day will end with a dinner and rest at the hotel.

day 4 of tour

Thursday, July 13th

Today we will have a pleasant and unforgettable one day trip to the Estate/Museum of Boris Pasternak, the world-renowned author of Dr. Zhivago. The museum is located in the countryside village of Peredelkino, where many writers (including Isaac Babel) had their dachas, or country estates. We will be served a tasty lunch at a local restaurant.

On return to Moscow, we will pay a visit to the Tretyakov Art Gallery. This interesting museum houses the world’s largest collection of Russian art, presenting the impressive 50,000 priceless items. The day will end with a dinner and rest at the hotel.

day 5 of tour

Friday, July 14th 

 

On that day will be organized a second and very exciting one-day trip to Yasnaya Polyana. In this settlement lived Russia’s premiere novelist Leo Tolstoy and his wife Sonya, who kept a lovely villa called dacha. We will arrive by train and will be able to tour the historic and now reconstructed Railway Station, where we will enjoy the “Tolstoy Railway” presentation. This will be followed by lunch, served at a local café.

The tour will then proceed with a visit to the estate-museum, where we can see samovars used for the authentic Russian tea-party ceremonies in the past (“samovars” are glorious urns with spouts, traditionally used for heating and serving; tea is drunk from glasses, often with golden handles). In addition, we will also experience a charming horse-and-carriage ride along the estate (where we will have the chance to imagine what life felt like in Old Russia during the time of Anna Karenina, perhaps). The return to Moscow will be followed by a pleasant Shabbat Dinner with the local community.

day 6 of tour

Saturday, July 15th

Following breakfast in the hotel, we will visit the Central Synagogue in Moscow for Shabbat services.  We will go on a delicious Shabbat lunch and in the afternoon we will be able to enjoy a pleasant walking tour led by our personal guide.

day 7 of tour

Sunday, July 16th

On Sunday morning we will be able to enjoy a cultural walking tour with a guide, during which we will make a stop at the houses of many prominent Russian writers, artists and composers. We will also have free time to do some shopping at the famous Arbat, the chicest pedestrian street placed right in the heart of historical center of Moscow. Lunch will be served during the tour. In the afternoon we will board on a train bound for the incredibly beautiful city of St. Petersburg. Upon arrival in this elegant, French-inspired city, we will be transferred to our hotel to accommodate, to have a rest and refresh ourselves.  

day-8

Monday, July 17th

 

The first full day of the tour in St. Petersburg will be left for sightseeing in the romantic city. We will be able to see St. Basil’s Island and the Peter and Paul Fortress, a resting place of the Czars. We will enjoy a walk along the Summer Gardens, originally the summer residence of Peter the Great. We will also have time to stop by the famous statue of Peter the Great, St. Isaac’s Cathedral, Nevsky Prospekt and also at the awe-inspiring Church of the Spilled Blood. We will also have time for lunch.

Later in the afternoon we will visit the world-renowned Hermitage Museum. The collection presented in this museum has been started by Catherine the Great, and today includes over two and a half million pieces of art work, including those of such famous artists such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Titian, Raphael, and Rembrandt, as well as many of the French Impressionists.

In the evening we will be pleased to enjoy a dreamy canal cruise on the Moika River. During the ride we will pass under many scenic bridges and sail past grand, pastel-colored French architectural facades. The day will end with rest at the hotel.

day-9

Tuesday, July 18th

 

Today depart to Tomar, one of the oldest and most charming towns in Portugal, founded by the Order of Knights Templar. Visit the 15th Century Synagogue, now the Museum Luso-Hebraico Abraão Zacuto located on what was once Rua da Judiaria, Here is a significant reminder of one of the greatest Sephardic Jewish communities, now classified as a national monument. With Gothic vaults upheld by four central columns, this structure houses Jewish gravestones, the cornerstones of the 13th Century Synagogue of Belmonte and the 14th Century Lisbon Synagogue, and other remains of Tomar’s medieval Jewish community. Later, we visit the Convent of Christ (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), which once served as the headquarters of the Order which promoted the Portuguese Age of Discoveries, assisted always by the contribution of Jewish scientists.

On our return to Lisbon we might have time to visit the C. Gulbenkian’s Musuem na interesting collection from french and italian art… Visit the Fine Art C Gulbenkian Museum - a very interesting collection of Egyptian, Greco-Roman, Mesopotamian; Easter Islamic, Armenian and Far Eastern Art. Also European Art: Sculpture, Painting and Decorative Arts particularly 18th century French art and the work of René Lalique. Return to the hotel for a farewell dinner.

day 10 of tour

Wednesday, July 19th

 

The Russian Literary Tour would never be complete without the dark and complex soul of Dostoyevsky. Today we will embark on a tour which follows this author’s most famous novels and their heroes. We will be able to visit the well-preserved and very fascinating Dostoyevsky Apartment Museum and Literary Exposition. After that we will stroll along the Moika embankment to Yusupov Palace, which was once privately owned by one of Russia’s richest aristocrats. There we will be welcome to see the grand reception and private halls of the palace. Later, we will also have the chance to descend to the ground floor dining room, and stand on the very site where the charismatic Gregor Rasputin, the intimate confidant (and some say lover) of the Czarina Alexandra, was assassinated in 1916 by the aristocratic plotters, with young Prince Yusupov at the head.

Delicious farewell dinner will be organized for us in a local Kosher restaurant. The day will end with rest at the hotel.

day-11

Thursday, July 20th

 

On the last day of our Russian Literary Tour will be organized a transfer to the airport for our return flight to the USA or for those of us joining the English Literary Tour.

Cost Per Person:

Based On Double Occupancy (two to a room)

  • Round-trip airfare from New York, London or Tel Aviv
  • All domestic transportation within Russia
  • An English-speaking, experienced tour guide/chauffeur
  • Full board accommodations for entire trip
  • 3 Kosher meals daily
  • All admissions as per itinerary

Additional Costs

  • Visa fees as required
  • Health and Travel Insurance
  • Budget for extra snacks, gifts, or other expenses of a personal nature
  • Any other services not specified

$7,995

$2,695 (Single Supplement)

 

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Disclaimer

ITINERARY AND HOTELS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IF THERE’S A FLUCTUATION IN CURRENCY OF MORE THAN 4% FROM SEPTEMBER 1, 2015

RATES MAY BE ADJUSTED IN THE EVENT OF AN INCREASE IN AIRLINE FUEL CHARGES

Moscow

Hotel Baltschug Kempinski Moscow

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hotel-baltschug

St. Petersburg

Renaissance St. Petersburg Baltic Hotel

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renaissance-st-petersburg