Take a drive north along Israel’s Mediterranean coast to the ancient city of Caesarea. Over 2,000 years ago King Herod had a city and harbor built here. It remained populated through the 1st to 6th centuries and was a thriving port and entrance point to the Holy Land. The remains of this ancient Roman city are preserved within the Caesarea National Park.
Take an in-depth tour of the archaeological site that encompasses the ancient Roman amphitheater that is still used today for performances by Israeli and international stars. Tour the hippodrome, where Grecian chariot races, gladiator combats, and athletic competitions were held. See the excavated Reef Palace, (Promontory Palace or Coral Palace) built on two levels, with a swimming pool, and rich decorations. You can see the ancient ritual bath (mikvah), Roman bathhouse, restored frescoes, and mosaic floors.
Walk along the seafront promenade and look down into the water at the sunken ancient Roman harbor. Enter the Crusader Gate that led into the Crusader city of Caesarea. See the fortified city walls built by the 13th century Crusaders of Louis IX, including a moat, and elegant arches above the streets. The tour includes a screening of the “Caesarea Stars,” an interactive presentation that brings to life the historic leaders of Caesarea.
See the impressive aqueduct that was part of a water system built in 22BC under Herod and expanded in 150AD by Hadrian. The system brought fresh water from the Shuni Springs, 16km away to the Roman city of Caesarea Maritima. Part of the aqueduct runs beneath Mount Carmel and emerges in Park Alona, which is the next stop on this tour. Here it is possible to walk along the underground aqueduct.
This “Mei Kedem” or ancient water system used canals, clay pipes, tunnels, and aqueducts to channel the spring water. Before concluding the tour, it is possible to visit other places along the aqueduct route which extends for about 23 km.
Additional Sites in the Area:
1. Mizgaga Museum of Archaeology and Glass, Dor Beach
2. Binyamina and local winery
3. Taninim Stream Nature Reserve
4. Park Jabotinsky
5. Zichron Yaakov
6. Ein Hod Artists’ Village
7. Atlit Detainee Camp Museum
8. Sites on the Carmel Coast