The city of...
Nahariya, the northernmost coastal city in Israel, is home to some of Israel's leading industrialist families: Strauss, Soglowek and Wertheimer. The city was founded by German Jewish immigrants, with the vision of developing agriculture in the Holy Land, but Nahariya's natural landscapes and beaches, quickly made it a tourist attraction. The crown jewel is Sderot Ga'aton, shaded by the towering eucalyptus trees and lined with shops, boutiques, cafés, restaurants and ice cream parlors.
Nahariya is located just 10 km (6 mi) from the Lebanese border, and 35 km (22 mi) north of Haifa. As a coastal city, it enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summers and cool and not-too-rainy winters.
Five Great Reasons to Visit Nahariya:
• Nahariya boasts a long stretch of sandy beaches, backed by a promenade, and a park with walking trails (good for rollerblading), basketball, football and tennis courts, and ample space to run around; and lined with restaurants, cafés and ice cream parlors. What a perfect way to spend the day.
• A unique sight to be seen are the white carriages, manufactured in the Amish Country in the USA, and all driven by women. Your carriage awaits on the northern side of Sderot Ga'aton, and the lovely ladies will be happy to give you a tour of the beautiful shoreline.
• Rosh Hanikra is an incredible geological phenomenon, at the farthest point on the Mediterranean coastline of Israel and just meters away from the Lebanese border (20 km or 12 mi from Acre). The caves at Rosh Hanikra were created over thousands of years by the waves pounding the beach, and after a short cable-car ride down the cliff, you can follow well-marked trails to explore these incredible formations.
• The Monfort is a ruined Crusader castle, now part of the Nahal Kziv nature reserve. The fortress is built on a narrow cliff, soaring above the southern bank of the brook, in the Upper Galilee, about 13 km (8 mi) northeast of the city of Nahariya. A visit to the area is the perfect combination of Crusader history, breathtaking scenery and the waters of Nahal Kziv, one of the most beautiful brooks in the area. The castle was originally a Crusader farm (12th century), and only later was it heavily fortified. Its mighty walls successfully held against the initial Mamluk attacks, but in 1271 they finally gave in, and the castle lies in ruins ever since.
• The beautiful Keshet Cave is a genuine natural wonder. Extreme sports enthusiasts flock to this large arch and rappel down to the shallow cave beneath (21 km or 13 mi from Nahariya). But what is now the arch (hence the Hebrew name), hanging precariously over the forest floor, was previously the roof of the cave, which now lies gaping and sun-baked.
Just 6 km (4 mi) outside Nahariya, the ancient port city of Acre packs many punches.
The Old City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the walls surrounding it are up there with Jerusalem's.
The city boasts multiple attractions from Crusader and Ottoman times, and enjoys a lovely seaside location.
Once inside the walls, the labyrinthine alleys and stone streets reveal the workings of a living Middle Eastern city - from the architecture to many of the restaurants, and of course, the bustling market.
While you're in the area, in Kibbutz Lochamei Hagetaot is the Ghetto Fighters' House – the world's first Holocaust museum and, more importantly, the first of its kind to be founded by Holocaust survivors.
The museum was established in 1949, and tells the story of World War II and the Holocaust in vivid detail, emphasizing the bravery and the mental strength of Holocaust survivors, as well as their ability to rebuild their lives in a new country – the State of Israel.
In the remote hills of the Western Galilee (20 km or 12 mi from Nahariya) lies the Tefen Open Museum, an extraordinary cluster of exhibits in a very unique setting: an industrial park, though not a typical one. The park was the vision Stef Wertheimer, an Israeli industrialist, and was designed to promote art and prosperity in backwater regions of the country, by providing a green and beautiful setting for artists. The displays are multi-faceted: a gallery of Israeli art; a beautiful sculpture garden, with works of art by Israel’s leading sculptors; a museum of German-speaking Jews; a collection of classic cars, including some 40 cars from the 1930, and a museum of industrial art, where you can learn about the evolution of cutting and chiseling techniques.
Bereshit is a kosher grill restaurant on Sderot Ga'aton in Nahariya. The ambience is romantic, the menu varied and the wine list includes many excellent Israeli wines.
Ida is a charming Israeli bistro, just a few steps away. The restaurant is located in a 50-year-old building, the former home of Nahariya's first mayor. The Mediterranean fare includes meat, fish and seafood, all made to perfection and wonderfully presented.Banachala is an out of the way little restaurant in old Nahariaya. The menu boasts fresh seasonal ingredients, excellent breakfasts and a children's menu.
Adalina, in Kibbutz Cabri (just 7 km or 4 mi from Nahariya) is a lovely European-style tapas bar, with a warm interior design and a wonderful Mar y Montaña menu. Fish, shrimp and meats are grilled to perfection in the big oven at the center of the restaurant.
The Nahariya shopping mall has all the usual suspects, as well as movie theaters, a bowling alley, go-karts, and a few cafes and restaurants. For a more authentic experience, there's nothing like rummaging through some of the best Galilee markets. Whether it is in the streets of the Old City in Acre (11 km or 7 mi from Nahariya), at the Tarshicha Saturday market (18 km or 11 mi from Nahariya), the Kfar Yasif Thursday market (13 km or 8 mi from Nahariya) or the Arabe Tuesday and Saturday market (48 km or 30 mi from Nahariya), you'll find this an authentic and captivating experience.
You can buy fresh produce, bread and local cheeses for a picnic, or maybe a bottle of extra virgin olive oil, special herbs or a box of baklava and knaffeh to take home with you.
At Tarshicha, also look for the Blacksmith's Workshop, producing all kinds of tools and household items. And who can resist browsing for clothes, shoes, jewelry and even CDs at such colorful and ethnic locations.
Tips and trips
Yam LeYam is cross-country hike from Nahariya to the Sea of Galilee.
It takes about three to five days, along well-marked scenic trails. On the way, you will pass the Monfort Fortress and the Kabbalah city of Safed, before reaching the Sea of Galilee, just north of Kibbutz Ginosar.