Tourists coming to Israel for the first time often organize their trip just around Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Dead Sea. They rarely take the time to explore North Israel and all its beautiful spots. It is a shame because the North has just as much to offer as the South in breathtaking landscapes and holy places. Here are my key destinations I would recommend you to explore.
1. Akko (Acre)
This medieval Crusader city definitely worth a visit! Acre (or Akko as its Hebrew name) is located on the coast, 25km north from Haifa. The city has a rich history as it played a big part in Greek, Roman and Israelite culture. People usually love walking around the city from the port to the market. Places to visit include Bahje Bahai’ Centre, Crusader City and tunnel. The shuk (market place) is full of spices, vibrant colors, souvenirs, cheap places to eat. One I can recommend you is the Said Hummus located in the center of the market; it’s always a bit packed (sign of success!) but it’s so tasty you don’t want to miss it. Don’t be afraid to try their specialty: Meshausha – a humus mixed with tehini, garlic and lemon. It was hands down the best humus I’ve ever had!
View from the port with the Ahmed El-Jazzar Mosque
2. Gilboa Mountain
During my first year in Israel, we traveled to the North and more precisely, to Gilboa Mountain. I knew nothing about the North part of Israel and I couldn’t be more amazed by the landscapes and nature. Mount Gilboa is located in the lower Galilee region and it is, for me, one of the most beautiful spots in Israel. The place is great for hiking, or like we did, swimming in the rivers. You can also have lunch at Kimmel Bagilboa, a quite renowned restaurant. We personally had an amazing time there !
View form the Gilboa Mount
3. Galilee region
Galilee Sea is surrounded by beautiful places and kibutzim: Ein Gev, Ramot, Tiberias. In July 2016, we decided to spend a family week-end in Ramot. We slept in a beautiful wooden tzimmer, surrounded by gardens and farms. It was truly a magical experience. If you would like to focus your trip a bit more on historical and religious sides, then I will recommend you to go to Tiberias where you can find the tombs of great Jewish sages. Of course, and no matter where you spend your time in Galilee, you’ll have to go for a swim into the “kineret“- Israel’s largest lake. I swear that the whole surroundings look like a postcard.
View on the Galilee lake from Ramot
4. Rosh Hanikra
Rosh Hanikra is located on the northwest coast part of Israel , at the border with Lebanon. The place is famous for its grottoes that you can visit by taking the cable car. We really enjoyed the visit as the grottoes are amazing inside and out. It is rich in information- before or after the visit, you will learn a bit more about the geological and historical facts of these grottoes with a unique short film in a cave that was once used for a train connecting Israel and Turkey.
Inside the grottoes