About AkkoAkko, Israel
For thousands of years, Akko (Acre) has thrived on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The city was first mentioned in the Bible as part of the tribe of Asher’s inheritance, and then reappeared as Ptolemais in the book of Acts. Akko’s impressive harbor was known for centuries as the Gateway to the Holy Land, and here thousands of ships brought international dignitaries, lumber, spices, and other exotic goods to Israel.
Caesar Augustus brought his army to Akko while pursuing Mark Antony, and feasted here with Herod the Great. King Richard the Lionheart made Akko the capital of his Crusader Kingdom after the fall of Jerusalem in the 12th century.
Napoleon tried to capture the city from the Ottomans, but failed to penetrate the massive sea walls. In Akko, thousands of years of history are preserved to tell the ancient city’s story in the modern world.
A short drive up the coast from Tel Aviv, Akko is the perfect place to begin your exploration of Israel. Explore the impressive crusader fortress, walk on the stone walls overlooking the Mediterranean, and meander through the colorful markets as you uncover a living piece of history. Visit Akko, and join the legacy of thousands of travelers over the centuries as you enter the Gateway to the Holy Land.
The Enchanted Garden is a private garden that belonged to the palace of the rulers of Akko during the Ottoman Period. The garden has a long history but currently serves as the approach to the fortress.
Hospitallers were a military, monastic order devoted to caring for the sick in the Holy Land and to maintaining the personal safety of the pilgrims who flocked to the holy sites. During the second Crusader Kingdom, the Hospitallers transferred to this current location (1192-1291). The fortress consisted of two to three floors, underground sections and water reservoirs and a sewage system. To date, the entire site has not been excavated, but the remains of the first floor are primarily exposed for visitors to view.
The Knights Hall is part of the underground city built by the Hospitallers, used by the crusaders for dining, resting, and events. Crusaders would stay in the halls prior to making the journey to Jerusalem. The Knights Hall was discovered and uncovered in the last 50 years.
The Turkish baths signified a transformation in Akko. During the Ottoman Period, Akko was transformed from a sleepy fishing town into a busy port city and center of trade due in part due to the construction of the baths.
The Walls of Akko were first fortified in the days of the Muslim regime and today Akko remains one of the few cities in the world with standing walls despite being attacked several times throughout history. Taking a walk along the walls demonstrates the enormity and strength of this protected city throughout history.
This unique museum is filled with hundreds of items from Akko’s historical past. Located inside the northeastern walls of the city, the Treasures in the Walls museum features everything from spectacular furniture to the evolution of designs and techniques of fashion throughout the times.
The Jewish Resistance Fighters Museum demonstrates the circumstances of the resistance fighters’ imprisonment, how they lived in the prison from day-to-day and the stories of the Akko prison break and how 12 members of the pre-state Jewish underground were tried and sentenced to death.
The Market in Akko is a shop-filled street full of culture and wonderment. On your journey, you will find spices, butcher shops, bakeries, restaurants, souvenir shops, and more.
Akko’s port was first documented in 527-525 BC, located along the lower section of the Na’aman River. The long-standing port’s status grew, however, after Akko’s conquest by the Crusaders in 1104. At this time, the port became the main Gateway to the Holy Land.
The Kan El-Omdan was built in 1782 by al-Jazzar as a merchant’s inn and storeroom. The first floor of the inn was used to sell goods, while the second floor housed the merchants while they were in town.
Possibly Akko’s most well-known and prestigious restaurant, Uri Buri is located in a simple Ottoman building, residing near ancient Akko’s beach line. Uri Buri, rated the top seafood restaurant in the Middle East, offers fresh fish and seafood dishes daily and is available for private events.
Visitors will be taken back by the 20-something year-old prodigy Chef Osama Dalal and his Arab-fusion restaurant, Dalal. A native of Akko, Dalal gives a true taste of the city as he greets guests and sources most of his ingredients from the old Turkish market in the Old City.
Savida offers a rare treat to those visiting the restaurant – a meal caught in the waters off of Akko just hours prior to eating it. The menu is dictated daily based on what is caught by local fisherman earlier in the day.
Kukushka is a tapas bar and premium snack bar located in the Turkish Bazaar. A quaint spot tucked away, Kukushka offers a comfortable and welcoming place to rest and eat during a day in the city.
El Marsa is situated on the port in Akko with striking views of the water. Located in an ancient building from the 13th century, visitors will enjoy a variety of meat, fish, and seafood.
As the name would suggest, Falafel Arafe is known for its falafel. The reasonably-priced restaurant located in the Old City has been tabbed by many as the best falafel in all of Israel.
Mercato is located within the Turkish Bazaar and is owned by chef Omri Shahar. An Italian-influenced menu from a Mediterranean chef brings a unique flair including fresh ingredients from the local market.
Doniana is located up the stairs from the eastern end of the Pisan Port and offers possibly the most scenic view of the Mediterranean. Additionally, hefty portions, a large selection of salads, and fresh fish make this a local and tourist destination.
Not only is Humus Said known as the top place for hummus in Akko, but in the Middle East as well. Visitors should expect a line wrapping around the outside of the restaurant in the Old City market, but the wait will be worth it.
Places To Stay
The Efendi Hotel is a modern hotel with a historic past. The unique structure of this hotel combines two ancient palaces that have hundreds of years of history stored within their walls. These houses were meticulously reconstructed and merged into one building before being converted into a boutique hotel.
The Akkotel is referred to as The Old City Experience Hotel due to the fact that it was built into the walls of the world heritage site of the old city of Acre. This fully renovated boutique hotel maintains its stone archways and handmade furniture.
Situated on the Mediterranean, but just minutes from the Old City, the Rimonim Palm Beach Hotel brings visitors fine amenities such as an on-site country club, in-house spa, fine dining, and banquet areas.
The Acco Beach Hotel offers direct access to a nearly private beach on Haifa Bay in addition to its newly-renovated accommodations. Close to the Old City, the hotel has sweeping views of the Ancient Town and is a quick walk to the attractions.
The Knights Hostel and Guest Rooms, also known as HI Acre Hostel, offers a high standard accommodation with 76 rooms overlooking the walls of the Old City. Incorporated into the unique design is an ancient aqueduct, used to transport water during the Ottoman Period.
Bed and Breakfasts are an economical way to experience life in Akko today. There are various sizes, prices, and locations in Akko and around the region.
Covenant of Blessing
The relationship between Christians and Jews has not always been peaceful. Today, millions of Christians from around the world visit Israel every year and millions more long to one day see the Holy Land from which the Christian faith sprung. Most modern-day Christians have no knowledge of the history the Church’s treatment of the Jews, nor can they understand why their declarations of friendship and love for Israel are sometimes met with suspicion. The missing piece of the story lies in Akko.
Only here can a Christian fully grasp the tragedy of the crusades carried out by European knights under the banner of the cross. Only here, where the medieval castle halls echo with memories of men planning attacks against Jewish communities, can Christians feel the full weight of responsibility to make amends for the terrible things done in the name of Jesus.
Coming to Akko is a pilgrimage of reconciliation for Christians who wish to connect with the covenant of blessing promised in Genesis 12:3,
“I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”
The Old City of Akko has many fascinating historical sites and cultural activities to enjoy. A visit to Akko gives tourists a chance to learn an important part of Israel’s history that is seldom told.
Start your tour of Akko at the crusader fortress, recently excavated and restored to provide an authentic 12th century experience. Walk through the great hall where knights feasted and explore the secret tunnels beneath the city leading from the castle to the harbor. Walk on the stone sea walls built by the Ottomans to defend against invaders. See the infamous cannons Napoleon used in his failed siege of the city. Spend an hour sailing the same harbor that brought the Apostle Paul back to the Holy Land. Breathe in 3,500 years of history as you have an unforgettable adventure in Akko.
Choose from one of the sample itineraries below or create your own.
MediaDiscover the amazing history and attractions of Akko with these additional resources.
An exciting excursion for adults and children.
Israeli Knight Show
Introduction to Akko – Part 1
Rev. Mark Dreistadt, President of Infinity Concepts, tells the story of how the Lord led him to Israel and the city of Akko.
Introduction to Akko – Part 2
Rev. Mark Dreistadt continues the story of Akko’s history and why it is important to Christians.
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Old Acre Development Company
1 Weizmann St.