Caesarea Haifa and Akko North Coastline Day Tour

Revised and Updated - January 2024

Caesarea Haifa and Akko Tour

  • This exciting day tour will take you to some of the most magnificent spots along Israel’s northern Mediterranean coastline. You will explore historic ancient cities, walk on Israel’s most beautiful beaches, take photos of breathtaking views, visit a bustling market and eat the best local food typical to the region. Check my suggested customizable itinerary further down this page with optional sites and attractions to help you plan the best Caesarea, Haifa, and Akko tour.
aerial view of haifa

Travel With Maximum Freedom

  • A private day tour is a great way to see as much as possible of this area, check all the boxes on your bucket list and get the most out of your day before heading back to your hotel with unforgettable memories for a lifetime. Traveling with a private driver for a whole day allows you to travel at your own pace, soak up the atmosphere, stay at each destination for as long as you wish and reach spots that no organized tour will get you to. You can even alter the route during the day to include additional stops as long as time allows. This gives you the best accessibility, the most flexibility and the indispensable knowledge of a driver who knows the area as if it was the palm of his hand.
akko old city walls

Smart Itinerary Planning

  • In order to cover as many points of interest as possible it is strongly recommended to be time-efficient along this busy day. Keep in mind that the route requires a fair share of driving and traffic in busy cities plays a major role. Opening hours at some sites as well as long waiting lines may also have an impact as some of these popular sites are packed with visitors year round. My best recommendation is to hit the road early, try to be ahead of other tourists, follow my tips and you will have the most enjoyable day tour to Caesarea Haifa and Akko. 
  • The point of departure for this day trip can be wherever you request to get picked up from. Departing from Tel Aviv the way to Caesarea takes about 45 minutes and then getting from Caesarea to Haifa usually takes another 45 minutes. Starting the day by getting picked up from Jerusalem is possible but in that case you should add another 50-60 minutes to the route.
  • The following suggested itinerary includes Caesarea Haifa and Akko as they are the most popular highlights that the vast majority of travelers usually wish to visit. However, the suggested route is fully customizable, meaning you can choose which sites to skip or add in order to create an itinerary that best suits your personal interests and preferences. You can find several optional sites and attractions for each location.

Caesarea National Park

  • Caesarea was a major port city on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Built by King Herod of Judea in honor of Caesar Augustus around 25-13 BC, it functioned as the capital of Roman Judaea and a major intellectual hub of the region. Caesarea thrived as a strategically located port city from the times of King Herod until the Muslim conquest of the region. In later periods Caesarea was taken over by the crusaders to the holy land who reestablished it as a Byzantine city surrounded by massive walls. 
aerial view of caesarea national park israel
  • Nowadays Caesarea National Park is a fascinating archaeological site allowing visitors to explore remains of the impressive ancient city that have been excavated and restored. Those include the reef palace with its decorations and private swimming pool, the hippodrome where races, combats and sport competitions took place, and the well-preserved Roman Theater which is still in use today for live concerts and shows. Walk along restored streets with fancy homes, stores, warehouses and bathhouses or go for a stroll along the seafront promenade where the ancient Roman harbor is visible under the water. The iconic aqueduct that ensured constant flow of fresh spring water to Caesarea is located nearby on one of the most beautiful beaches in Israel.
aqueduct on beach near caesarea in israel
  • The park is open 7 days a week from 8:00 in the morning. It closes at 17:00 during summer, at 16:00 during winter and at 13:00 on holiday eves. Advance reservation is not necessary yet possible through the official website, free of charge. As Caesarea National Park attracts large amounts of visitors year round it is strongly recommended to arrive early, especially on weekends and holidays.
amphitheater in caesarea national park israel

Haifa

  • Haifa is not only Israel’s third largest city but it is also one of the most beautiful cities in Israel. It has a lower part situated on the Mediterranean coastline and upper neighborhoods located on the slopes of the evergreen Mount Carmel. The blue Haifa bay is visible from almost every street in the city. Although many tourists choose to skip Haifa and only visit its rivals Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Haifa offers its visitors quite a few unique attractions that are definitely worth the drive north. 
bahai gardens and haifa bay israel
  • The Baha’i Gardens surrounding the Baha’i Shrine are by all means Haifa’s most iconic landmark and one of Israel’s must-see sites. They are part of the spiritual and administrative center of the Baha’i faith, located on the northern slopes of Mount Carmel facing Haifa bay. The shrine with its easily recognizable golden dome on top marks the resting place of the prophet of the Baha’i religion. The whole complex is beautifully decorated with flowers, fountains, and statues that stand out for their impressive geometric precision. It is maintained by Baha’i pilgrims who come to Haifa from all over the world. The lookout from Louis Promenade at the uppermost entrance to the terraced gardens is the best spot for taking spectacular panoramic photos of Haifa with the blue bay at the background. The Baha’i Gardens are open for visitors from 09:00 to 17:00 daily, and the Baha’i Shrine is open from 09:00 to 12:00 daily except on Baha’i holidays.
bahai gardens haifa israel

Other Sites and Attractions in Haifa

  • Stella Maris Monastery (“star of the sea”) – A Catholic monastery located on the slopes of Mount Carmel in Haifa with spectacular views of the city and the bay. The church inside the Monastery is believed to contain the Cave of the Biblical prophet Elijah. Wall and ceiling paintings portray Elijah and the chariot of fire in which he is said to have ascended to heaven. The monastery is free to enter and is open daily from 08:30 to 12:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00.
inside stella maris church haifa israel
  • Madatech – Israel’s National Museum of Science, Technology, and Space. This museum features interactive exhibitions of everything from magic to astronomy and covers various fields of science and technology. It aims to educate and engage by using exhibits that require the visitor’s active participation. Both adults and children can enjoy a couple of hours of fun in the Madatech. The museum is open 5 days a week (closed on Sundays and Fridays) from 10:00 in the morning. Closing times vary so make sure to check the Madatech official website
  • Bat Galim Cable Car – This ball-shaped cable car system is an iconic attraction of Haifa particularly popular among tourists. The route is 355 meters long from the lower station at Bat Galim promenade in the western part of the city to the top of the Carmel near Stella Maris Monastery. On a clear day passengers enjoy spectacular views of Haifa and the bay. It operates daily from 09:00 to 19:00.

cablecar in haifa israel
  • Haifa Beach Promenade – If you like the beach then this is the perfect place for you. This 5 kilometers long promenade along the Mediterranean coastline is lined with restaurants, bars and cafes offering great local atmosphere. Grab a drink and go for a stroll on the beach, watch surfers catch waves in the water or just sit back and relax on one of the benches while counting cruise ships sail into Haifa port.

Akko (Acre)

  • Akko is a beautiful city located at a strategic point on the Mediterranean coast at the northern tip of Haifa bay. An important waypoint of coastal trading, Akko has been continuously inhabited since the Bronze Age surviving several episodes of conquest and destruction. During the Crusades Akko played an important role as a foothold on the Mediterranean coast for crusaders and witnessed several famous major battles. It was also the last stronghold of the Crusaders in the Holy Land, which marked the beginning of the Islamic period, and later on the Ottoman period of Akko. In 1799 Napoleon laid siege on Akko for two months but eventually was forced to retreat with his troops, leaving their cannons behind. These cannons are now positioned on top of Akko walls for display.
old cannons on old akko walls
  • Akko’s beautiful old city, surrounded by impressive thick stone walls, has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Narrow cobbled streets and alleys lead visitors to the picturesque harbor where many open-air restaurants and seafront cafes can be found.
  • Over the years extensive archaeological excavations have revealed many ancient sites and structures throughout the city. These days efforts are being made to restore and preserve these sites, most of which are open for the public.
inside the knights halls in akko israel
  • The Knights’ Halls (also known as the Crusader Fortress or the Hospitaller Fortress) is one of the most magnificent ancient structures in Akko. The Fortress was built in the 12th century by the knights of Saint John, a group of monks who protected and helped pilgrims to the Holy Land during the Crusades. Now visitors can go back in time and wander through the impressive restored halls made of heavy stone walls and massive stone pillars supporting the arched ceilings.
  • The Templars’ Tunnel is an amazing 150 meter-long underground passageway that was built in the 12th century by the Templar Knights. Its main purpose was to connect the Templar Fortress with the port. Since its accidental discovery this impressive site has become a must-visit attraction for visitors to Akko.
templars tunnel in akko israel
  • The Turkish Bath House was built in the 18th century by Akko’s Ottoman governor Jazzar Pasha. Its construction was part of the transformation of Akko into a lively port city and a major trade center. The now fully restored site is open for visitors and offers an exciting exhibition that brings back to life the once social center of the city. 

All these sites can be accessed with a single all-inclusive ticket. The complex is open 7 days a week from 9:00 in the morning. It closes at 18:00 in the summer, 17:00 in the winter, and 16:00 on Fridays and holiday eves.

 

Other Sites and Attractions in Akko

  • Al-Jazzar Mosque – the largest mosque in Israel outside of Jerusalem. Built in 1781 it stands out with its green domes and pointed minaret.
Al Jazzar Mosque in akko israel
  • The Arab Market – this vibrant marketplace runs through the old city and offers authentic stores and stalls selling fresh fish, spices, sweets, pastries, household goods, clothing, and whatnot. It is the perfect location for a late lunch or an early dinner.
  • Khan al-Umdan – a large inn built in the 18th century close to the port for international trade and accommodation of merchants.
Khan al Umdan in akko israel

Optional Locations to Consider

  • Rosh Hanikra – At the northernmost point of Israel’s coastline, Rosh HaNikra is a natural labyrinth of tunnels and chambers that have been formed in the white limestone rock by sea waves that crash against the cliffs. Visitors can go down to explore the caves by a cable car system overseeing the turquoise water. Rosh HaNikra is located right next to the border crossing between Israel and Lebanon, controlled by the UN.
rosh hanikra israel
  • Nazareth is a 45 minutes drive from Haifa and can be added to this route upon request at the expense of skipping one of the aforementioned locations. You can find more on tours to Nazareth and other Christian sites in the Galilee region in the related posts below.
  • Daliyat al-Carmel is a lively town populated by Druze in southeastern Carmel that attracts visitors year round. Explore the culture, visit a bustling market with traditional shops and excellent local restaurants.
  • The Muhraka 2 kilometers southeast of Daliyat al-Carmel is a peak where it is believed that the contest between Biblical prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Ba’al took place. Now it is home to a Catholic Monastery of the Carmelite Order overlooking the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee hills with breathtaking views. 
moshe barak

About The Author

Moshe Barak is a highly knowledgeable and reputable private taxi service operator in Israel, renowned for his professional approach, friendly attitude, and attention to details.
With over 20 years of experience and a long list of satisfied customers he is the trusted choice by many international travelers seeking reliable transportation with a personal touch during their trip to Israel.

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