Caesarea and Acre with Druze home hospitality lunch
Explore ancient history, Roman ruins, Crusader fortresses and local traditions on this full-day guided tour which covers all your transport needs and allows you to sit back, relax, and soak up the sights. With the help of a private guide, you’ll learn about local history, invasions, resistance fighters and biblical connections, with your guide offering an insight into the purpose and significance of each site you visit. You’ll also be introduced to a Druze family and visit their home for a traditional meal, providing you with an opportunity to learn about this minority group, their culture and their food.
Your driver-guide will pick you up at your hotel on the morning of your tour and transport you to Acre, an ancient port city and UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To get a sense of the city as a whole, you’ll tour the city walls and waterfront on foot, learning about Acre’s importance as a strategic port since prehistoric times. You’ll also see some of the old khans (the merchant inns), including Khan El Umdan and Khan A-Shawarda, to learn about trade in times past. Your tour of the city will conclude at Acre Citadel, a building which embodies its long and varied history. Attacked and rebuilt on many occasions, it has 13th-century Crusader foundations, 18th-century fortifications dating to the Turkish period, and an Underground Prisoners Museum, where Jewish resistance fighters were held during the British Mandate years. There’s also a room here sacred to the Baha’i faith, where its founder, Baha’u’llah, was held captive in the late 19th century.
From Acre, you’ll head south to Caesarea, King Herod the Great’s Mediterranean port town and one of Israel’s most important archaeological sites. Roman, Crusader and Byzantine temples and churches remain, as well as an elevated aqueduct and a 10,000-seat hippodrome. For Christians, Caesarea’s significance derives from a stone tablet found here inscribed with the name of Pontius Pilate (believed to have given the order for Jesus’ crucifixion), thought to be the only reference verifying his existence outside the Bible. Caesarea is also the place where the Apostle Paul was sent to stand trial.
From Caesarea you’ll head to a traditional Druze home. The Druze people are an Arabic-speaking religious minority with a distinct set of values, customs and practices. You’ll be welcomed by the family for a traditional meal. Your hosts will tell you about the Druze community and their position in Israeli society, and share their own story with you. You may be offered some mint tea or cinnamon coffee, and snacks of olives from the garden, candied squash or dried figs, before sitting down to eat. Druze cooking is seasonal and the menu will vary depending on the time of your visit, but is sure to include locally grown fruit and vegetables, meat reared on local farms, and homemade cheeses. Arrive hungry.
At the end of the meal, you’ll say goodbye to your hosts and your driver-guide will take you back to your hotel.