Visiting Israel North of Tel Aviv
Explore the natural beauty, history and picturesque cities in northern Israel

view of the Sea of Galilee in the north of israel

Wondering where to visit in Israel, north of Tel Aviv? Some of the loveliest spots and most fascinating places in Israel are in its northern half.   

Choose one of our private tours in northern Israel

Or join a group tour in the north of Israel


What to See in Israel North of Tel Aviv

For your convenience, we've divided Israel, north of Tel Aviv into five groups.

Each group can be visited in a full day trip, or liesurely in 2+ days. Or you can easily mix and match places. Use the map of Israel North of Israel just below to plan your trip.

the port of Caesarea in the Caesarea National Park along the coastline of Israel north of Tel Aviv

Port Cities. As you head to Israel north of Tel Aviv, visit three port cities: Caesarea with its ancient Roman past, Haifa - Israel's third largest city and Akko, the former capital of the Crusaders called Acre. Read more.

Mount Tabor in the Galilee in the north of Israel

Natural beauty of the Far North. Enjoy the  nature and history of Israel north of Tel Aviv: the unique Hula Valley and the main rivers and stream that feed the Sea of Galilee in the Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights. Read more.

Rosh Pina, one of the lovely cities in the Galilee near Tsfat (Safed)

Cities of the Galilee. The north is home to charming cities and ancient towns. Places like: Nazareth where Jesus lived, Safed (Tsfat) the home of Jewish Kabbalists, the secrets of Beit Shearim, Zipori, Capernaum and Migdal. Read more.

Carmel Mountain Range. Amid the beauty of the hills and valleys of the Carmel mountains are unique cities and towns to visit. Places like Daliyat el Carmel, Zichron Yaacov, Ein Hod, and more. Read more.

Ancient Roman pillars in Beit Shean National Park in northern Israel.

Archaeological Sites in the Jezreel Valley. The archaeological parks around the Jezreel valley are testimony to the incredible Biblical history of this area. Places such as Megiddo - known also as ancient Armageddon, Beit Shean and Beit Alfa. Read more.

Beaches of the North.  Israel north of Tel Aviv has two beautiful coastlines: 150 kilometers along the Mediterranean Sea, and the beaches along the Sea of Galilee. Discover the 10 best beaches, eight of which are in Israel, north of Tel Aviv. Read more.


Map of Israel North of Tel Aviv

Use this Galilee Map covering all of the north of Israel to find each place of interest.



What to See in Israel North of Tel Aviv 
The Acient-New Northern Port Cities 

The 3 port cities of Israel north of Tel Aviv are Caesarea, Haifa and Akko.

Caesarea and Akko are Unesco World Heritage sites, as are the Bahai Gardens in Haifa.

Caesarea 

Caesarea National Park is a 45 minute drive from Tel Aviv.

The city was built 2,000 years ago by King Herod and had the most advanced harbor of its time, worldwide. After the destruction of Jerusalem it became the Roman capital of the country and is full of remarkable, well-preserved remnants from Roman, Crusader and Byzantine periods.

At Caesarea National Park, you can see Roman statues and other remains of the ancient Herodian city

You'll see remanants of scultpures and large structures - the ancient port, villas, bath houses, the huge Herodian palace remains, the ancient aqueduct and the stunning Roman amphitheater which still hosts Israel top pop performances every summer. 

Read more about what to see in Caesarea here.


Haifa

Haifa ithe capital of the north and the third largest city in Israel. It is also one of its prettiest cities, sprawled along the hills of the Carmel Mountain range, descending down to the sandy beaches and port below. 

Haifa Vista and Bahai Gardens

You can see the stunning, world famous Bahai Gardens in the photo above. Haifa is the main capital of the intriguing Bahai religion originally founded in Iran. 

Haifa is also one best examples in Israel that co-existence between Jews and Arabs is possible in a single city. Jews, Christians and Muslims live and work together. There are joint art, theater and food festivals. 

Throughout December, Israelis of all religions visit Haifa's neighborhood Wadi Nisnas, near the German Colony to see the Christmas lights and eat the delicious local Arab treats.

Get a glimpse of the promise and challenges of Arab-Jewish coexistence in Haifa in this article

Also worth visiting in Haifa is the beautiful Carmelite Monastery on the mountaintop called Stella Maris - Our Lady Star of the Sea.

stained glass windows at the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa in the north of Israel

Besides the spectacular views of the sea from atop the mountain peak, the interior of the Baroque-style church is lovely. The monastery commemorates the place where the Prophet Elijah hid from the wrath of idol worshipers after the competition in which he proved the power of God.


Akko - Acre

The ancient port city of Akko is mentioned in the Bible.

Akko is another city where Jews and Arabs coexist, in relative harmony.

Near the port area, stroll around  Akko's lively streets and alleyways in the Arab market. And make sure to stop for a bite along the way. The city is famous for its well-made Arabic cuisine.

But Akko is most famous for being the Crusader capital in the Holy Land for one hundred years. You'll see an amazing mix of Crusader remnants such as the the Crusader fortress -

Akko View of the Acre Crusader fortress from the sea

You can visit the uderground Hospitalier Knights Halls, and the underground Templar escape tunnel.

Read more about what to see in Akko here.


What to See in Israel North of Tel Aviv 
Natural Beauty of North Israel

Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights in the far north of Israel

When people think of Israeli nature, they usually imagine desert landscape. Israel's far north region is utterly different. 

Its a place of great natural beauty with the sparking blue, freshwater Sea of Galilee, the rivers that feed the Sea from the surrounding mountains of the upper Galilee and Golan Heights, and the unique Hula Valley wetlands with its amazing birdlife.


Hula Valley Nature Reserve

The Hula Valley in the north of Israel

If you love nature, don't miss the Hula Valley! Its in the upper Galilee in between the Sea of Galilee to the south and Israel's highest peak, Mount Hermon to the north.

This unique biosphere is home to one of the grandest bird migrations worldwide!

Every year, more than half a billion birds fly through Israel in the spring on their way to northern Europe and Asia, and in the autumn on their way to Africa. Over 400 species rest in the wetlands here on their long trek.

Besides birds, you can see lots of wetland wildlife such as otters, water moose, wild boar, turtles and amphibians and lizards.

The Hula Valley Nature Reserve offers guided bird tours in a Safari Wagon which are highly recommended during bird season.

Or you can explore on your own by renting bikes or carts, and watch the birds and wildlife in one of the natural platforms spread out in the park.


Tel Dan National Park

the Tel Dan National Park in the Upper Galilee in the north of Israel

Tel Dan National Park ‎in the far north of Israel is one of the most beautiful green places in the country. Like elsewhere in Israel, amid the natural wonderland are fascinating ancient ruins.

The Dan River is the largest water source of the Sea of Galilee. 

Dan River in north Israel, Tel Dan Nature Reserve

You can take a swim during the summer in the Dan river's tributaries. Not far from the rushing Dan River is an interesting archeological site.

ancient wall from days of the Kingdom of Israel at Tel Dan Nature Reserve in far north Israel

You can see city walls, the pagan temple and other ruins of the ancient Israel ‎Kingdom capital of Laish. The city competed with ‎the Jerusalem temple of Judea for the hearts of the ancient Israelites.


Banias Nature Reserve

Alexander the Great named this beautiful green paradise 'Panias' after the Greek God Pan.

He built a temple to Pan whose remains can be seen today in the Banias Nature Reserve in the Golan Heights. The nature reserve is home to the most impressive ‎waterfall in Israel. ‎

Beautiful willows and other trees stand along the side of the Banias stream.

The Banias Spring emerges from the  foothills of Mount Hermon. It flows for several kilometers downhill, getting stronger  until it culminates in the waterfall.


What to See in Israel North of Tel Aviv   
Cities in the Galilee

The beautiful Galilee is an integral part of biblical history and is full of Jewish and Christian holy sites.

Safed - Tsfat

view from the artist's village in Safed (Tsfat) in the Galilee in northern Israel

Safed, or Tsfat in Hebrew is one of the most picturesque cities in the Galilee.

The city is considered the birthplace of the Jewish Kabbalah and it continues to be a center of Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah studies.

Streets and old synagogues in Safed (Tsfad), the mystical city in the Galilee in northern Israel

It is an interesting mix of winding lanes lined by old houses, ancient synagogues, a vibrant Artist's Colony and ancient cemeteries where leading kabbalistic rabbis are buried, such as the ARI, Rabbi Isaac Luria, Rav Yosef Caro, and many more.


Nazareth

The city of Nazareth is often called the cradle of Christianity. It was the childhood home of Jesus.

No matter what is your religion, you should visit the impressive Church of the Annunciation. it is the largest church in the Middle East and by tradition, it is built over the site of Mary's home. 

There are other churches in Nazareth such as the Greek Orthodox Church of the Archangel Gabriel, the Greek Catholic “Synagogue Church” and the Church of St. Joseph.

If you interested in visiting more Christian places in the Holy Land, you can read about the ten essential Christian sites in Israel.

There is much more to see in Nazareth than Christian sites! Stroll around the the winding streets of the old city, shop for spices or sweets in the market 'shuk' and enjoy a meal at one of the  excellent Middle Eastern 'Galilee' restaurants.


Beit Shearim

If you have the time, don't miss visiting Beit Shearim National Park. Its off the beaten path just 30 minutes west of Nazareth.

Beit Shearim is an amazing little place with the oldest Jewish catacombs in the world!

Ancient Jewish catacomb in Beit Shearim in northern Israel between the Carmel Mountains and Nazareth

Discover the mysterious, ancient sarcophogi, many with beautiful engravings such as the Lions of Judah above.

The city became a center of Jewish political and economic life in Israel in the 2nd century. Although most Jews had been expelled from the Holy Land by the Romans, some stayed on in the Galilee.

Here in Beit Shearim, Judah the Prince (Yehuda HaNasi) and the Jewish Sages first wrote  the Jewish oral tradition called 'the Mishna' which evolved into the Talmud.

Read more about ancient catacombs of Beit Shearim here.


Zipori

One of the most fascinating places in the Galilee  is the National Park of Zipori, the 'capital' of the Galilee 2,000 years ago.

Zipori was the Roman capital of northern Israel. You can walk down the streets and visit the Roman villas and see some of the best preserve mosaics in the world from 1800 years ago.

One of the beautiful mosaics from Zipori in the Galilee in North Israel

Zipori was also home to  the Sanhedrin, the equivilant of the Knesset in those days. You can visit an ancient synagogue with lifelike mosaics picturing Biblical tales.

And don't miss the ancient, underground water supply channel.


Capernaum and Migdal

Two other small places with amazing, ancient Jewish and Christian roots are Migdal which was once called Magdala, and Capernaum.

ancient steps to a Jewish ritual bath - 'mikveh' at Migdalaka Magdala near the Sea of Galilee in northern Israel

Located 10 kilometers apart, both are along the Sea of Galilee.

You can visit the remains of these ancient communities - uncovered Jewish synagogues, Christian churches, houses and warehouses along streets and ancient mosaics.

Read more about the archaeological discoveries of Ancient Magdala here.


What to See in Israel North of Tel Aviv  
Mount Carmel 

Driving 45 minutes north of Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean Sea, you'll see from the road the southern slopes of the Carmel mountain range and the city of Zichron Yaacov along the peak.

Zichron Yaacov

Zichron Yaakov is a charming city built in 1882.

Drive up and walk around in the area of the pedestrian mall. You'll see the cobbled streets, some of the original and restored tiled roof homes and courtyards and the statue of the farmer commemorating Zichron Yaacov's roots.

Statue commemorating the original farming pioneers of Zichron Yaakov in the pedenstrian mall

The city was settled by idealistic Zionist immigrants from Romania and was one of the first  Jewish farming towns in Israel.

The pioneers endured poverty and malaria, but refused to succumb. Finally, the Baron Edmond de Rothschild came to the rescue. He helped build the settlement and planted vineyards. The wine grapes grown in Zichron Yaacov became a huge success. Zichron is the home of Carmel Winery, the first winery of Israel and still Israel's largest.

There are other excellent wineries in the Zichron area. Taking a tour of the winery is great fun. Read more about Israel's top wine regions.


Carmel Mount and the "Muchraka"

Atop Carmel Mount is the Horn of Carmel, also called Muchraka.

View from the Carmelite Monastery at Muchaka Mount Carmel

There's a spectacular view of Jezereel Valley from the roof the Carmelite Monastery which according to tradition, is located where the Prophet Elijah competed with the priests of Baal. 

The area of Beit Oren in the Carmel Mountains is one of the most scenic in all of Israel. Its also known as  'Little Switzerland.'


Carmel Mount Villages

Besides the scenic nature of the Carmel Mountain range, you can also find there several towns and villages. Perhaps the most famous is the Druse village of Daliyat el Carmel.

Daliyat el-Carmel, Israel's largest Druze village in Mount Carmel

Stroll around the main shopping streets and shuks. Its a great place to find antiques and knick-knacks.

The best day to visit is on Saturday when there is an open-air bazaar.


One of the loveliest places in the Carmel is Ein Hod, the artist colony. 

You can enjoy the unique atomosphere of outdoor scultpures and artwork that line the streets amid the green hills.

Its a good place torowse around the art galleries and you may want to visit the interesting the Ein Hod Art Museum and the Museum dedicated to world famous Dadaist Marcel Yanko.

Read more about what to see in Mount Carmel


What to See in Israel North of Tel Aviv    
Jezreel Valley Biblical History & Natural Wonders

Besides being one of the loveliest places in Israel, north of Tel Aviv, the Jezreel Valley is home to places of incredible ancient history.

Megiddo - known also as 'Armageddon'

Megiddo is the jewel in the crown in the world of biblical archaeology.

Megiddo is the 2nd oldest city in Israel, having witnessed endless epic battles in its 11 thousand years of existence. Megiddo was located stragegically on the ancient trade route between Egypt and the northern empires of Assyria, Babylon and Aram.

It was one of the first walled cities on Earth. Only the city of Jericho is older in the Middle East.

Megiddo biblical archaeology - gates and citadel of Solomon

Discover the intriguing ruins - King Solomon's Citadel and Gates, the altars, the Egyptian ruins, the underground ancient water supply system, and much more.


Beit She'an National Park

In Beit Shean National Park you can explore the amazing archaeological ruins. There are remains of an Egyptian city and the outstanding Roman-Byzantine city including an ancient amphitheater.


Beit Alfa

While in the Jezreel Valley, don't forget to visit Beit Alfa National Park.

Ancient synagogue mosaic in Beit Alfa in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel

You'll get to see one of the most beautiful synagogue mosaic floors in Israel, dating from the early sixth century CE.

It depicts an amazing, ancient Zodiac circle. Here is a clearer replication.

replica of the zodiac mosaic in Beit Alfa in northern Israel


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