FD Caesarea, Haifa, Acre & Nazareth
The ruins of the coastal city of Caesarea are approximately 45km from Tel Aviv. Caesarea was originally called Straton's Tower after its founder, who is believed to have been a ruler of Sidon in the fourth century BC. Once the site of a Phoenician port, over the course of 12 years Herod built Caesarea into a large, grand city which was renamed in honour of Augustus Caesar. Herod built a large harbour, several temples and an ornate palace. The ruins today include an impressive theatre, the oldest in Israel, and the remains of an aqueduct system that supplied the city with water. There is also a large hippodrome and several buildings, including the defensive walls that can be attributed to the city's time under the Crusaders.
Follow the Mediterranean coast for about 50km and you will reach the city of Haifa, located in the Carmel mountain range. See the golden domed Baha’i Shrine and Persian Gardens, and drive to a scenic viewpoint on Mount Carmel. Drive from Haifa to Acre, a distance of 30km. Here you will visit the Ottoman and Crusader city of Acre, also known as Akko. Highlights are the fortified harbour area and ramparts as well as the impressive Knights Halls and refectory.
Continue to the town of Nazareth, a journey time of approximately 1 hour 15 minutes. Nazareth is the town where Mary learnt from the Angel Gabriel that she was to have a child and was also the boyhood home of Jesus. The Church of the Annunciation was built in the 1960s on the site of numerous other churches to celebrate Mary's news. Also visit the Church of Joseph, the Church and Mary's Well and the Church of the Annunciation.