My sister and I are going to be in Israel in late October. I've been there before but it was years ago. I'm looking for a hotel in or around Haifa where we can stay as a jumping off point to visit Akko, Caesarea and across to Tiberius, the Kinneret, etc. The nicest hotel advertised is the Dan, but is there something less Marriott-esque? Something boutique-y or charming that anyone can recommend? We are staying at the American Colony hotel while in Jerusalem.
A friend of mine who visits Israel frequently loves the Crowne Plaza. He writes " . . . atop Mount Carmel with a stunning view of the city and Haifa Bay below. It is not an inexpensive place, but it is very much worth it—big, beautiful rooms, many with a bay view, and absolutely outstanding service!"
Akko is best visited by train. Driving and parking are difficult and the train between Haifa and Akko is frequent and easy. It's a short taxi ride (maybe 15-20 minute walk) from the Akko station to the walled city. Caesarea, by car. If you want to spend more than one day in the area of Tiberias and Kinneret, you should stay there. It's too far to drive back and forth every day, especially with all the traffic congestion in and around Haifa. There are lots of good options. How long do you want to spend there? There are good options for any budget.
Hi, thanks for answering. I am looking into the Crowne hotel as you recommended. We are arriving, by car, from Jerusalem on Monday 10/26. We fly out early on Fri 10/30. I was a volunteer on a kibbutz Bet Zera just south of Tiberias in the mid-80s, so I am still somewhat familiar with the general area. I still remember the bus ride from Haifa to Tiberias as the the elevation started to drop the closer you got to the Sea of Galilee, which would suddenly appear around a bend like a blue mirage. I am looking forward to seeing that sight again after all these years.
When I was there before I never saw any of the Christian sights around the Kinneret that my sister would like to see, and I never made it to Safed either. I'm thinking we could do that in one long day. Also, a quick visit to my old kibbutz -- if they would even allow two late middle-aged women to just drive in these days. Any thoughts on that?
I will take your advice on Akko and Caesarea. Thank you!
Hi, March (?)
You could drive from Jerusalem to Tiberias. Get the car in the evening, before they close. Then get an early start in the morning, avoiding the Jerusalem rush hour. Drive toward the Dead Sea, then left (north) on Route 90 through the Jordan Valley. You can stop on the way to visit Bet She'an and walk through a Byzantine town, and/or a short drive up to Belvoir, the ruins of a Crusader fortress with a lovely view (if the air is clear). Spend a night in or near Tiberias, use the next day to see the sights around the lake, and then drive to Haifa in the evening. Or spend a second night and explore the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. There is so much to do there. I can suggest economy lodgings for 1-2 nights or charming rustic for 2 nights. Then on to Haifa and the coast. Use the car for a day trip to Caesarea then drop it in Haifa. Public transportation to Akko and Ben-Gurion. You can take a taxi to the Haifa train station and then a direct train right to the airport. Trains run every hour all night long (except Shabbat, of course).
Skip Safed. It's declined and not worth your time. Also it isn't easy to find your way in by car.