Visiting Budapest is essential for travelers interested in understanding Hungary’s Jewish history and culture. But a visit to the many small villages that make up the Tokaj wine region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is also a must for the traveler interested in exploring Hungary’s rich—and heartbreaking—Jewish history.
The Tokaj region is legendary in the world of wine for its sweet wines, intricate cellars, and volcanic vineyards. And the Tokaj terroir also includes the history of its once-substantial Jewish community. Until the Holocaust, Jews made up a significant amount of the region’s population. They played a vital role in the production, sale, and transport of wine from Tokaj. Tokaj’s Jewish story began in the mid-1700s when Polish Jews began to settle in the region. In the early-19th century, Jews from Galicia (an area along today’s Polish/Ukranian border) arrived. Many of them were followers of the Hasidic movement and by the beginning of the 20th century, Tokaj had arguably become the most important center of Hasidism in Europe west of the Ukraine. The Jews of the region contributed enormously to the fact that Tokaj wine remained widely recognized internationally for centuries. Jews or non-Jews, everyone living in the region loved the wine. During the Holocaust the Jews of northeastern Hungary fared worse than those in Budapest and they never returned to the area to live. There are many Jewish historic sites—such as synagogues, cemeteries where wonder rabbis are buried, rabbi’s houses, and old stately Jewish homes—and the region is a Hasidic pilgrimage destination. Two synagogues have been gorgeously restored, and several wineries are located inside of the old homes of Jewish wine merchants. We have extensively researched the fascinating Jewish history of this region, and continue to do so. At the end of this tour you will have gained new insights into Hungary’s complex Jewish history, as well as into Tokaj’s legendary wine.
Learn—Find out about the history and traditions of Tokaj’s once flourishing Jewish community (which contributed greatly to the international success of Tokaj wine), their miraculous rabbis and beliefs in mysticism, and their tragic demise.
Experience— Be immersed in the beauty and the mystery of the region, including its stunning vineyards and charming villages.
See— Visit several Jewish historic sites, such as cemeteries, synagogues, and stately homes.
Taste— Tour a winery which has a Jewish significance, and taste the range of Tokaj wines, from dry to super-sweet.
This tour is available year-round. The autumn and spring in Tokaj are especially beautiful.
$295 USD per person for a small-group tour
$375 USD per person for a private tour (for a group size of 2-6 people)
For larger groups, please contact us for a customized price proposal.
• Includes pick-up (approximately 8:30am) and drop-off (approximately 8pm) from your accommodation in Budapest
• This is a small group tour (which means minimum of two guests and maximum of six guests), but it can also be booked as a private tour
• Visits to several sites of Jewish significance
• Includes one winery visit with a generous tasting of 6-8 wines
• Includes a generous three-course lunch
• Bottles of mineral water and light snacks for the car rides are included
• Tour is led by a guide who is specialized in both the Jewish history of the region and its wine
• You will receive a list of book recommendations on the subject
What is not included?
• If you are taking an overnight tour, accommodation is not included (but we will help you make the arrangements)