If These Walls Could Talk
Israel’s Ancient Akko City
St. John’s Church and the Old City Walls by Nathan Winder

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.

Chef Uri Jeremias by Eyal Yassky

Hummus Said

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 Buri

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.


Flanking the cliffs is Doniana, a slightly upscale seafood restaurant with ocean views and crashing waves below to remind you where the fish on your plate came from.


Ghattas Turkish Baths

Hot marble beds a steam room, dry sauna and jacuzzi make the Ghattas Turkish Baths a honeymooner’s delight. Upon reservation, meet with a massage therapist to assist on your chosen treatment (go with the skin scrubbing) and enjoy the entire place to yourself.




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.

Photo by Vitaliy Paykov

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.




Ancient Window Ruins by Nathan Winder

By Published on Jun 04 2018