I still remember the cloudy afternoon when I first got to the old city of Acre. The weather was unusual for the beginning of April because the temperature was below normal, the wind was blowing hard and it was about to rain.
My visit was short and quick, as I tried to visit as much as possible before the rain started. A few hours later, I left Acre feeling disappointed but at that moment I couldn’t realize why. Fortunately, the following days the weather was lovely and I could enjoy the rest of my trip. Even so, the regret of seeing Acre on such bad weather was still there. Everything happens for a reason and things fell into place at the right time and I was able to visit the city of Acre for the second time on my last day in Israel. This time the weather was perfect and I could enjoy the beauty of Acre, also known as Akko in Arabic.
Considered a famous Crusader city and blessed with one of the oldest ports in the world, Acre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This fortified city is blessed with well-preserved citadels, mosques and a lot of Turkish baths and bazaars. Akko has a lot to offer and therefore there are a lot of things you could do there.
To better understand the glorious past of Akko, you could visit the Hospitaller Fortress which belonged to the Hospitallers, who were knights of the Order of Saint John. There are a lot of things that can be admired inside the fortress, but the Knights’ Halls and the Templars’ Tunnel stand out from the rest.
The Turkish Bath (Hammam Al-Basha) is another place that perfectly displays the history of Acre. This old hammam has been fully restored and nowadays it is home to an interesting museum that exhibits a lot of objects related to the history and culture of the Turkish Bath ritual.
The massive stone walls which border the Old Town, are Akko’s most distinctive tourist attraction. Besides admiring the panoramic views over the Old Town of Akko, walking along these ancient defensive walls gives you the chance to live moments of pure relaxation. If you follow the path which goes around the walls of the city, you will notice the massive tower known as the Burj el-Kummander which dominates the northern part of the Old Town. In the east, you can admire the Burg Kurajim or the Tower of Vine, a bastion that was built to defend the town against attacks coming from the sea. During your walk along the walls, you will also discover St. John’s Church, a small church which was built in 1737. This is one of the most colorful buildings in Akko which for sure won’t go unnoticed.
As I have already said, Akko’s Marina used to be a famous port which nowadays is home to colorful fishing boats and yachts. Not far from the harbor, you can find Akko’s main bazaar which offers a variety of goods from fresh spices and food to interesting souvenirs.
The Ahmed Al-Jazzar Mosque is one of the most famous tourist attractions in Akko and for good reason. The well-preserved mosque seems to dominate the skyline with its imposing white and green tower. In case you have enough time to spend in Akko, you can take a boat tour to see the walls from the sea.
I must confess that I chose not to take the boat tour because I wanted to spend a couple of hours on the beach. It was a great opportunity to recharge my batteries after the beautiful but exhausting walk around the town.
To sum up, Akko is a beautiful city which is worth visiting if you ever get to this area. I’m sure that the following pictures will convince you to add Akko to your trip list in case you ever plan a trip to Israel.