Israel Guide: EXPLORE Caesarea, Haifa, and Akko

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure to the vibrant and historically rich cities of Caesarea, Haifa, and Akko in Israel? This guide will provide you with essential information to make the most out of your trip. From transportation options and suggested itineraries to must-see attractions and delectable dining spots. Let’s dive in!

Akko

How to Get There

Option 1: Hire a car from Tel Aviv Airport
Renting a car can be an excellent way to explore these three fascinating cities. Upon arriving at Tel Aviv Airport, you’ll find several car rental companies conveniently located within the terminal. The approximate cost of car hire ranges from $30 to $100 per day, depending on the vehicle type and rental company. Don’t forget to factor in fuel expenses, which are around $1.50 per liter.

Option 2: Public Transport
For budget-conscious travelers or those who prefer public transportation, there are efficient options available. Buses and trains connect these cities and offer a more environmentally friendly way to travel. The cost of public transport is approximately $10 to $20 for intercity travel.

You can purchase tickets for buses and trains at the respective stations, or in advance online. The Israeli Railways website provides up-to-date timetable information and allows you to book tickets ahead of time, ensuring a smooth travel experience.

How Long to Spend in Each Place

Akko Israel lighthouse

The amount of time you spend exploring Caesarea, Haifa, and Akko largely depends on your interests and pace. A well-rounded visit to all three cities can take anywhere from 1 to 3 days in total. Sharing from my own experience as a travel blogger, I chose to hire a car and dedicated a day to Caesarea and Haifa on my way to Akko, where I stayed overnight and explored the following day. I highly recommend doing at least 2 days across these 3 towns and spending at least one night in Akko to fully immerse yourself in its charm.

What to see in Caesarea

Haifa

This coastal town in Israel is an absolute feast for the senses, offering a glimpse into the past while providing modern comforts that make your trip a breeze. As a travel enthusiast, I’ve explored my fair share of destinations, but Caesarea truly stands out as a captivating blend of history and beauty.

Picture yourself strolling along the sun-soaked shores of the Mediterranean Sea, with a backdrop that includes the mesmerizing ruins of an ancient Roman amphitheater. Yep, that’s the kind of sight you’ll behold in Caesarea. This well-preserved amphitheater is a testament to the architectural genius of the Roman Empire and has witnessed countless events over the centuries. I practically felt the energy of gladiators and crowds as I explored the grandstands and marveled at the sprawling sea beyond.

But that’s not all – history buffs, prepare to have your minds blown at the Caesarea National Park. Walking through the ancient Roman port city’s ruins was like stepping back in time. From the stunning remnants of Herod the Great’s palace to the intricate mosaic floors that seemed to tell tales of a bygone era, every corner held a new discovery. And can we talk about the awe-inspiring aqueduct? The engineering marvel that brought water to this city back in the day is still a sight to behold, standing tall against the stunning Israeli sky.

For those who crave a spiritual connection, the Caesarea Harbor National Park is home to the mesmerizing Caesarea Maritima, an ancient city that boasts archaeological treasures and the renowned Caesarea Harbor. Being in the same spot where so much history unfolded was a truly humbling experience, and I made sure to take a leisurely stroll along the vibrant promenade that now graces the harbor. The blend of history and contemporary vibes was simply invigorating.

  1. Cafe Café Caesarea: Indulge in a leisurely meal with a view of the harbor. Their menu features a mix of Mediterranean and international cuisine.
  2. Port Café: Located near the Roman theater, this restaurant offers fresh seafood dishes that reflect Caesarea’s coastal location.

What to See in Haifa

Haifa Israel

Haifa, a picturesque coastal city known for its stunning landscapes and cultural diversity, boasts numerous attractions that will captivate your senses. Begin your exploration at the Baha’i Gardens, the iconic postcard perfect view alone is worth the trip! This oasis of tranquility is an absolute masterpiece – terraced gardens cascading down the slopes of Mount Carmel, adorned with vibrant flowers and meticulously maintained greenery. The views of Haifa’s coastline from here are simply breathtaking, and the spiritual aura of the Baha’i Shrine at the heart of the gardens is palpable. Don’t forget your camera – this spot is pure Instagram gold!

History buffs, rejoice! The UNESCO-listed Acre (Akko) is a short drive away, and it’s a living testament to centuries of cultures blending together. Wander through narrow alleys, ancient walls, and Ottoman-era structures that seem frozen in time. The Crusader underground city, Khan al-Umdan, is a mind-blowing maze of tunnels and chambers, taking you on a journey through the ages. Trust me, you’ll feel like Indiana Jones on a historical treasure hunt!

Bahai gardens

Now, for a taste of modern Haifa, the German Colony is where it’s at. Quaint cafes, boutique shops, and colorful houses create an ambiance that’s both charming and cosmopolitan. Grab a cup of locally brewed coffee, mingle with the locals, and let the energy of this district wash over you. And oh, don’t forget to sample some mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine – the shawarma joints here are legendary!

For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, head to the Carmel National Park. Hiking trails wind through lush forests, leading to panoramic viewpoints that make you feel on top of the world. The lush greenery and wildflowers are a welcome escape from the city buzz, and you might even spot some native wildlife if you’re lucky.

Best places to try the local cuisine in Haifa

  1. Fattoush: Savor authentic Middle Eastern flavors at this cozy eatery, known for its mezze and kebabs.
  2. Habeeb Sweets: Treat yourself to traditional Middle Eastern sweets and pastries that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
  3. Eggplant Express: A vegetarian gem offering delicious eggplant-based dishes and other healthy options that cater to diverse tastes.

What to See in Akko

Akko, also known as Acre, is a historic port city that exudes an enchanting old-world charm. The Old City is a labyrinth of narrow alleyways and centuries-old architecture that transports you back in time. Explore the Crusader Fortress and the Knights’ Halls, which offer a glimpse into Akko’s medieval past. Discover art boutiques and bustling markets that showcase local craftsmanship. The city’s mosques, including the Al-Jazzar Mosque, are architectural gems that highlight its diverse cultural heritage.

As you step into the narrow, winding streets of the Old City, it’s like stepping into a time machine. The history here is palpable, with ancient walls, bustling markets, and intricate architecture that whispers stories of centuries gone by. Make sure to explore the mesmerizing underground city, a network of secret tunnels and chambers that once served as the headquarters for the Knights Templar.

Akko old town
Akko rooftop

The heart of Akko’s charm lies in its rich cultural tapestry. The bustling market, or “souk,” is a feast for the senses – vibrant spices, handcrafted trinkets, and the inviting aroma of freshly baked goods. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the local cuisine; the seafood is to die for! And speaking of food, a visit to the famous Hummus Said is a must. Their creamy, mouthwatering hummus is a true slice of culinary heaven.

For history buffs, the Akko Citadel is a treasure trove. Wander through the centuries-old halls, admiring artifacts that tell tales of conquerors and empires. The mesmerizing Ottoman architecture here is a sight to behold. And don’t forget to take a leisurely stroll along the ancient walls that offer breathtaking views of the azure Mediterranean waters – the perfect backdrop for an Instagram-worthy snapshot.

Best places to try the local cuisine in Akko

Akko Restaurant Doniana
  1. Restaurant Doniana: Enjoy a sumptuous meal with a view of the Mediterranean at this elegant restaurant, known for its seafood and local specialties.
  2. Falafel Shops near the Old City: Embrace the local culinary scene by trying the renowned falafel wraps. Look for places with queues, a sign of authenticity and quality.
  3. Hummus Heaven: Delight in an array of freshly made hummus varieties at this cozy spot, where the flavors of the Levant shine through each bite.

As you embark on your journey through these captivating cities, take the time to savor the culinary delights they have to offer. Whether you’re indulging in seafood with a view of the harbor in Caesarea, relishing traditional Middle Eastern flavors in Haifa, or exploring the diverse tastes of Akko’s Old City, each meal is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture and cuisine of Israel.