The Northern Coast: Akko, Haifa and Rosh HaNiqra

During this tour, we will explore some of the wonders and natural beauty along the Northern Coast of Israel.

We start the day with a brief tour of Haifa (cover photo) from atop Mount Carmel. The Baha’i terraces which adorn the slope of Mount Carmel were recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. The Upper two gardens are open to visitors and it is from here we can get a sprawling view of the city and Bay. We will discuss the history of Haifa and the Baha’i Faith.

Rosh HaNiqra

Known in antiquity as the Ladder of Tyre, Rosh HaNiqra is our next stop.  There are caves which were naturally carved from the Chalk by incoming waves over eons. They offer spectacular views. There is also a film in the grotto explaining the history of this site and a set of railway tracks which seem to disappear into the mountain.

1-9The Greeks called the ancient port city of Akko Ptolemais. The Crusaders called it St. Jean D’Acre. Napoleon tried to capture the city but failed. Today it is a hidden gem worthy of exploration.

First we will investigate the modern history of the city. In the 1940s the British used the jail to imprison Jews who were involved with the Underground groups fighting for Independence.  If you saw the movie Exodus there is a scene where Akko prison is liberated by the Irgun and Lehi Underground soldiers.

Massive pillars in the dining Room

We proceed to the Crusader Citadel to begin our tour. We can visit different parts of  the complex including the Refectory where the Knights came together to eat, the Crypt and the Hall of Knights.

At this point, we can take a lunch break. There are many restaurants serving freshly caught fish and Middle Eastern fare.

We have options of where to visit next such as the Turkish Bathhouse or one of the most beautiful Islamic buildings in the country. The Jazzar al Pasha Mosque was built in the late 18th century using Roman columns pillaged from Caesarea.

Afterwards, we can go to the Inn of the Pillars, one of the Ottoman contributions to the city.

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Sampling the sweets in Akko

A recently excavated Templar Tunnel goes under the city and ends up in a secret location. We can also stroll around the different quarters such as the Venetian one with its winged Lion.

There are other surprises here just waiting to be seen!