If you’re looking for a beautiful and relaxing vacation, explore the seaside town of Nahariya. Nahariya is located on the Mediterranean coast, just north of Acco (Acre) and visitors will find plenty to do, regardless of whether they come for a
day trip or for several days of fun recreation. The area’s beaches feature miles of expansive seashore activities and there are numerous opportunities to enjoy the culture and historical sites of the town.
Early pioneers established Nahariya on land which was purchased in the 1930s. These settlers wanted to create an outpost of Jewish life in the Western Galilee. During the first years of Nahariya’s existance they earned their living from
agriculture and industry. When German Jewish immigrants began to arrive in the area they sought to establish a strong European presence that would feature the type of atmosphere to which they were accustomed. Nahariya continues
to offer that same European flavor today with small cafes and coffee shops and varied cultural events amongst a diverse population.
Most visitors to Nahariya enjoy heading to one of Nahariya’s stunning seashore areas which offer sparking Mediterranean water with sandy beaches and clean water. The two main beaches in Nahariya, the Promenade and the Galei Galil
beaches, are both staffed with lifeguards and have clean restrooms, showers and changing areas along with kiosks and other amenities. There are a number of restaurants located alongside the Promenade Beach, with the beach on the western side of the road and the bars, cafes and other eateries just across the road. There is a beautiful children’s park on the southern edge of the Promenade Beach.
The daytime waves of the Nahariya beach are gentle and there is a slow slope into the deeper waters, making the area a favorite of families who can allow their children to safely enjoy the beach.
Acco and Montfort Castle are both Crusader strongholds which were expanded during the Crusader rule in the 11th – 13th centuries but a recently-discovered mosaic in a Byzantine-era church just north of present-day Nahariya testifies to
the Christian influence even before the Crusaders arrived in the country. The church, dedicated to St. Lazarus, was excavated in 1964 and depicts plants, hunting scenes, birds and peacocks. Archaeologists estimated that it was one of
the Byzantine-era’s largest Western Galilee churches in the 4th – 7th century A.D. It is located on Bielefeld Street and can be accessed from Yechiam Street, just north of Nahariya’s center.
In 1935 the first Nahariya settlers established their homes near the Ga’aton River. The Rutnik/Leiberman museum presents a wide range of photographs and documents that offer a glimpse into the lives of the people who lived during this
era. In addition to exhibits that show how the town’s first pioneers lived and worked, the museum dedicates a portion of the display to Nahariya’s importance as a port of entry for “Aliyah Bet” immigrants — refugees who fled Europe both
before and after WWII and tried to run the British blockade and find safety in pre-State Palestine. One of the only refugee ships to have breached the British blockade, the Hannah Shenesh, successfully debarked her passengers in the
waters off the coast of Nahariya and that historical event is extensively depicted at the museum.
This article has been brought to you by Laurie Rappeport.
Laurie made aliyah to Safed, Israel 30 years ago from Detroit. She works in tourism and is involved in a wide range of projects which are aimed at bringing visitors to Safed, Nahariya and other Northern sites to enjoy the religious, historical, cultural and artistic sites and experiences that the region has to offer.