The tour begins with a drive along Israel’s coastal road heading north past Caesarea and Haifa to the Old City of Akko (Acre). The city stands on a spur of land that juts out into the Mediterranean and is surrounded by thick stone walls. Narrow cobbled streets twist and turn between the stone houses leading to Acre harbor where there is a lively atmosphere, open-air restaurants, and cafes facing the water.
On a private tour of Acre, you’ll visit the top attractions in the city and learn about the battles fought and rulers that came and went. The Crusader Fortress (Hospitaller Fortress or the Knights Kingdom) was built at the turn of the 12th century by the Knights of Saint John who provided protection and help to pilgrims visiting the Holy Land. Since its rediscovery, it has been restored so you can walk through the cavernous halls and see hewn stone walls, and thick stone columns supporting the high barrel-vaulted ceilings.
The Acre Citadel is an Ottoman-era structure that was used in the 20th century as a British prison. Take a walk along the underground Templar tunnel that connected the Templar Fortress to the port. The 18th-century al-Basha Turkish Bath has been fully restored and the Ottoman-era hammam atmosphere has been recreated with a soundtrack narrative and sculptured figures.
The al-Jazzar Mosque stands out with its green domes and pointed minaret. The mosque was built in 1781 and is Israel’s largest mosque outside of Jerusalem. Stop to see the synagogues of Acre including the Or Torah (Jariva) Tunisian synagogue that is covered in mosaics and the Ramchal Synagogue, which dates back to the 16th-18th century.
The market street runs through the Old City flanked by open-front stores selling fresh produce, fish, pastries, spices, household goods, clothing, and everything else you could imagine. Just outside the Old City are the Acre Baha’i Gardens, not to be confused with the gardens in Haifa. The Acre gardens have two historical structures – the manor where the Baha’i prophet, Bahaullah lived for 12 years and the shrine where he was laid to rest after his death.
Additional Options in the Area:
1. Rosh HaNikra
2.The Holocaust Museum at Kibbutz Lochama HaGetaot
3. Acre aqueduct
4. Keshet Cave, natural stone arch
5. Wall and Tower Museum, Kibbutz Hanita
6. Monfort Fortress Observation Point, Park Goren
7. A walk along the Kziv River
8. Ein Hardalit Spring