Daliyat el Carmel and Isfiya

Daliyat el Carmel (Vine of the Carmel) is Israel's largest Druze village, and its weekend market, oil press, and hilweh (house of worship) are worth exploring. Though most of the younger generation wears jeans and T-shirts, older people tend to wear traditional garb. Head coverings indicate the degree of religious belief, from the high white turban resembling a fez to the white kerchief covering the head and shoulders. Many men sport a bushy moustache, a hallmark of the Druze, and some older ones wear dark robes and black pantaloons.

Very similar to neighboring Daliyat el Carmel, Isfiya is a village of flat-roof homes built closely together into the hillside, many of them raised on pillars and cut with arched windows. It stands on the remains of a Jewish village dating back to Roman times. Hospitality is second nature to the Druze here; you may be able to visit a village home and eat pita bread with yogurt cheese and spices while hearing about Druze life. The village is about 1 km (½ mile) from Daliyat el Carmel.

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