Along the way:
After a morning pick up from the port you’ll drive north, crossing Israel’s Low land (Hashfela) to Caesarea. After visiting Caesarea you’ll head south, along Israel’s Central Coast Plane, via the Sharon Coast Plain reaching Tel Aviv Jaffa.
What you see:
♦ Caesarea Maritima: Originally built by Herods the Great about 25–13 BCE as the port city Caesarea Maritima. It served as an administrative center of Judaea Province of the Roman Empire, and later the capital of the Byzantine Palaestina Prima province during the classic period and named after Augustus Caesar, the city is also known as being the location of the Roman victory celebration after the fall of Jerusalem, as well as the place where Rabbi Akiva and his disciples were executed following the suppression of the Bar Kochba revolt.
A center for Christian learning during the 3rd century, Caesarea is considered an important site in Christian history. It is here that Pontius Pilate governed during the time of Jesus, where Simon Peter converted Cornelius and where Paul was imprisoned for 2 years. Destroyed at the end of the 13th century, this marvelous ancient city boasts an impressive Roman amphitheater where performances are still held today, an impressive Byzantine street, aqueduct and restored Crusader fortifications along with other artifacts. The once grand city, whose remnants are still regally poised on the edge of the brilliant blue waters of the Mediterranean, will no doubt leave you with many lasting memories.
Now a day this is a National Park and you’ll will visit the ruins and have the chance to be impress of the massive remains of this city’s past:
- The Theater: Herod the Great constructed this theater with a seating capacity of 3,500. According to Josephus, this is where the death of Herod Agrippa occurred, as recounted in Acts 12. The theater was covered with a skin covering (vellum), and visitors probably brought cushions with them to soften the stone seats.
- Herods’ Palace: Josephus called this a “most magnificent palace” that Herod the Great built on a promontory jutting out into the waters of Caesarea. The pool in the center was nearly Olympic in size, and was filled with fresh water.
- The Bath House: This bath house, located in the center of Byzantine Caesarea, is a small but impressive one, built in the traditional Roman way, including the tree main parts of this facility: the Frigidarium (cold rooms), the Tipidarium (warm rooms) and the Caldarium (hot rooms).
- The Crusaders City: In the year 1,101 started the Crusaders era of Caesarea. This was a small city compering to its glory during the Roman-Byzantine period. A small port was built over the ruins of the old one and in year 1251 it was Louis IX of France that fortified the city, ordering the construction of high walls (parts of which are still standing) and a deep moat. However, strong walls could not keep out the sultan Baybars, who ordered his troops to scale the walls in several places simultaneously, enabling them to penetrate the city.
- The Water Aqueduct: This amazing water supplying system, first built by Herods, brought the water, using the High Aqueduct, more than 20km away from the city from the other side of Mt Carmel. Later on in the late Roman period a second High Aqueduct was built by the Roman Legions, as the city grew, and a third one was built during the Byzantine Period known as the Low Aqueduct.
♦ Tel Aviv-Jaffa: Often refer as “The City that Never Stops or Sleep,” Tel Aviv was the first modern Jewish city built in Israel, and is the country’s economic and cultural center. It is a lively, active city with entertainment, culture and art, festivals, and a rich night life.
Situated on a 14-kilometer-long strip on the Mediterranean seacoast, Tel Aviv extends beyond the Yarkon River to the north and the Ayalon River to the east. Hundreds of thousands of workers, visitors, tourists, and partygoers move about the city each day until the early hours of the morning, seeking out the city’s nightclubs, restaurants, and centers of entertainment.
Your visit to the city will take you on a ride through the city’s main landmarks: Even Gavirol Av, Rabin Square (if possible and time permit you’ll stop at the memorial place where Rabin was assassin), Habima National Theater, Rothschild Av with the famous buildings of the Bauhaus style that are unique to this city and made Tel Aviv a World Heritage Site – The White City, the Beach promenade and all the way south to the hill of Jaffa.
Jaffa is a place for beginnings, both of many tours of Israel, and in the Bible. Jonah’s journey, Tabitha’s restoration to life, and Peter’s conversion of Gentiles all began here. Thus, Jaffa, Tel Aviv’s “older sister” boasts bountiful biblical history, along with charming lanes, antiquities, quiet churches, galleries and a picturesque fishing port.
In Jaffa, Peter was divinely led to “think out of the box.” The story in Acts 10:5-23, finds Peter on the rooftop of the House of Simon the Tanner, where he had his famous vision (Acts 10:12-13), that led him to preach the Gospel to the gentiles at Caesarea. Peter’s resurrection of the righteous Tabitha (Acts 9:36-42) is marked at the Russian Orthodox Church of Tabitha.
Jaffa’s landmark Church of St. Peter is off Kedumim Square, where a visitor’s center shows off the city’s long and fascinating history. At the end of a lane leading through the artists’ colony to Summit Park, an archaeological dig reveals a fortress built by the “Pharaoh of the Exodus,” Ramses II.
The view of the sea reminds visitors that King Hiram of Tyre sent cedar logs for the Temple to Jaffa, where they were hauled ashore and trundled up to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 2:16).
- To fully participate may require periods of walking over even and uneven surfaces. There are steps, inclines, cobblestone surfaces, and periods of standing.
- The price include guiding and transportation only.
- The price does not include admissions and meals.
- Extra cost expected for admissions – 40/24₪ per Adl/Chl