Haifa, Acre & View of the Bahai Gardens
5 HoursModerate-StrenuousCulture | UNESCO | Walking | Sightseeing | Essentials Collection
Stop to view the Baha'i Gardens -- a UNESCO World Heritage Site -- from the upper terrace. These are the largest hanging gardens in the world. The shrine here is the second-holiest place for the world's Baha'i community. Continue your drive down Mt. Carmel, leaving Haifa and crossing the bay to Akko (Acre), the oldest city in the northern region. More than 4,000 years of recorded history will unfold before your eyes as you walk through Acre's narrow cobblestone passageways and colorful bazaar. The present-day town was built in the 18th century on the ruins of the 12th century Crusader city. Acre has changed hands and names many times over the millennia, but since 1948 it has returned to its biblical name of Akko. Visit the Crusaders' Halls, built by the Knights Hospitaller (the Knights of St. John) and the subterranean Crusader city. Walk past Al Jazzar's Mosque, built in the 18th century, through the bazaar to the port and Khan el-Umdan (Inn of the Pillars), a handsome 18th century caravanserai. Then, descend to the 12th century level again, this time to visit the unforgettable Templars' Tunnel. This amazing engineering feat is a tunnel more than 1,000 feet long, carved through solid stone, connecting the fortress (no longer standing) to the port (still intact). As its name implies, the tunnel was constructed by the Knights Templar -- the Crusaders charged with guarding the temple in Jerusalem. The Mamelluks forced the Templars to retreat to Acre, which was their last bastion in Israel until the Fall of Acre in 1291. The tunnel will lead you to the lighthouse and the sea wall. After a morning of adventure, you will have some time to shop in the bazaar; then, return to Haifa and the ship.
Please note: The tour requires passing through tunnels, of which some are only four feet tall. Not suitable for those who suffer from claustrophobia, nor for those unable to bend and walk at the same time. Wear comfortable walking shoes.