3 Best Places to Shop in Bethlehem, Around Jerusalem and the Dead Sea

Cremisan Wine Estate

Fodor's choice

The Cremisan Monastery was founded by Italian missionaries in a stunning valley on the West Bank–Jerusalem border. Today, it produces wine using indigenous Palestinian grapes. The Hamdani Jandali white blend is crisp and refreshing, and you can taste several whites and reds, along with a distilled arak, at the cellar. Bottles are an excellent value; you can pay with credit cards; and staffers speak English, Arabic, and Italian. If you're visiting in summer, ask about wine festivals hosted on-site.

Christmas House

The Giacaman family has been whittling olive wood into elaborate Nativity scenes and souvenirs for more than 100 years. At this shop and factory, you can get a glimpse at Palestinian craftsmen working away the local wood. Ask to go up to the roof, which has a great view of Manger Square. The shop ships worldwide. Don't forget to bargain.

Muaddi Craft Distillery

Arak means sweat in Arabic, and it is also the word for an alcoholic beverage with an anise flavor that turns milky white if you add water. Nader Muaddi makes his with exceptional care—from harvesting local grapes and crushing them into wine to using a copper still and clay aging casks. Arrange visits in advance, and bring cash for his bottles, which retail at NIS 150. Bring your curiosity, too: Nader is well-versed in the history of alcohol in the Muslim world and loves sharing his knowledge.

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