ne of the oldest places in the world, Acre (Akko) is like a giant artifact. Somehow, almost mystically, Akko’s stone walls have haloed layers of fortresses, castles, churches, mosques, synagogues and Turkish baths for 4,000 years. Walking around feels like uncovering a century’s old archaeological dig.
Written by Maggie Barr
Efendi Hotel, Photo by Assaf Pinchuk
The Efendi Hotel
The treasure map of the city certainly begins and ends at The Efendi Hotel. The once dilapidated Ottoman building was painstakingly restored into the boutique hospitality property it is today; boasting 10+ years of complex preservation that no private body had ever undertaken before. To give context — a team of Venetian artists were flown in just to restore the wall and ceiling drawings.
The colossal restoration was the perfect match for proprietor and unofficial mayor of Akko, Uri Jeremias. You could call it his life’s work.
Hummus Said has the best hummus in Akko, and some say arguably, all of Israel. It’s a locals-only kind of spot where no one speaks English.
Uri Jeremias is also the acclaimed chef and owner of Uri Buri Restaurant, an international culinary destination and the prized jewel of Akko’s tourism circuit. The food is inventive meets traditional Israeli and the homemade ice cream is divine.
Browse Market Street
Market Street is the Old City’s main route, which during Crusader Period, led all the way to the port. The arched walkway is lined with colorful stalls selling fish, sweet oriental pastries, perfume and original spices.
Rosh Hanikra Grottoes
A ride up, up and away in the world’s steepest cable car is the route to Israel’s natural blue water caves. Just 30 minutes north of Akko, the Rosh Hanikra grottoes lend remarkable beauty off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, not to be missed.