The Druze, a religious minority that lives in harmony in Israel, is an ethnic group known for their hospitality and warm welcome of visitors. The fascinating history of this group, its unique religion, ancient tradition and delightful hospitality customs arouse natural curiosity and a desire to learn more, to visit Druze villages for a closer look at their special lifestyle and customs.
The Druze live in a few villages in Israel, most of them in the Golan Heights (Majdal Shams, Buq'ata and Ein Qinya, among others) and in the Carmel region (Isfiya and Daliat El Carmel).
The Druze have become known far and wide thanks to the warm welcome offered to guests visiting the villages.
The foundation of this hospitality is a tradition of great respect for guests and the desire to give. The doors to Druze homes will always be open to your, and if you ask politely to visit in one of the home, you will not be refused. On the contrary, you will be warmly welcomed. Members of the extended family will appear from all the rooms and join the fun, offering coffee, beverages and fruit from their own orchard, and the table will soon be groaning with delicacies.
Only Druze priests know all the details of their religion, but all Druze are familiar with their culture, including their handicrafts and ethnic foods, which are a source of pride. Their openness toward tourists has developed in recent years, and many villages have special hospitality tents where visitors can taste the traditions and glimpse the authentic Druze life style.
Some of the villages, such as Usfiya and Daliat El-Carmel have developed local ethnic tourism, which combines a Druze dining experience with overnight stays in guest houses and a visit to the colourful open markets that are so characteristic of this ethnic group and are another special aspect of Druze hospitality.
The Druze villages now offer visitors a host of activities: lectures on the Druze religion and its prophets, customs and beliefs, and the transmigration of souls and discussions of the status of Druze women, education toward equality between the sexes and their roles. There are also workshops that teach the colourful embroidery and handicrafts at which the women are so expert and cooking workshops that offer a taste of authentic Druze dishes and an opportunity to try your hand at making the paper thin Druze bread, the perfect accompaniment to olive oil, labane and ground hyssop. This is one experience you will never forget.