Israel

A Day Trip To Caesaria, Israel

caesaria, israel

From 20th-22nd of March, Israel is going to host the first TBEX International conference in its capital, Jerusalem.

Many bloggers including myself, will be attending TBEX Jerusalem and many of us will be arriving early\staying late, in order to soak up all that Israel has to offer.

Israel is a tiny country, but the amount of experiences it can offer to visitors is vast.

Recently, I’ve decided that I need to spend time at home and I don’t have any international trips coming up, so I’ve been making more of an effort to feel like a traveller in my own country.

And a while ago, I had the pleasure of rediscovering an interesting, hidden gem in Israel, that often gets overlooked by visitors.

And that beautiful gem is Caesaria.

Caesaria

Just a small corner of the beautiful, ancient city that is Caesaria.

Specifically, the old city of Caesaria.

 

What is Caesaria

Caesaria (pronounced: Kay-sah-ri-ah) is a small, coastal town located halfway between the major cities Tel Aviv and Haifa, about 45 kilometres each way.

With a rich history that dates back to 13 BCE (!), it was first built by Herold the Great as a port city named Caesaria Maritima. 

Over the course of the next 2000 years, the city has been inhabited by Jews, Muslims, Christians and Druze and has stuck around through the Roman era, the Middle Ages, the Ottoman Period and the British Mandate, having survived many transitions and undergone many transformations.

It is now a small town populated by over 4500 people and is often referred to as “Modern Caesaria”.

Caesaria

A statue of sorts to display an aspect of life in Caesaria Maritima… horses with carriages.

Despite it’s status as a small, modern town, the remains of its rich and lengthy past have been very well-preserved (as Caesaria Harbour National Park) and are still extremely evident and clear. It’s no mistake when you’re there, that Caesaria was once an ancient port city.

 

What can you do in Caesaria?

Well, there’s quite a bit to see and experience in Caesaria and you can easily spend the whole day there.

You first arrive at the entrance of Caesaria Harbour National Park so that the viewing of Old Caesaria can begin. You can opt to follow a guided tour to hear all the substantial explanations and details. Or you can wander off and take a look around at your own pace, reading the many informative signs that you’ll come across if you want.

Caesaria

Just having entered the park, the transportation back in time begins.

As soon as you enter inside, the preserved foundations of this ancient city are very clear.

Caesaria

Caesaria

You see the remains of the old public buildings and learn about how civilisation functioned back in those days. Right outside of this structure, you see some architectural fragments of Old Caesaria’s city wall. These wall fragments date back  to the Roman-Byzantine period, over 2000 years ago. You also learn about what happened to the port town during the Middle Ages, when the size of the town decreased, increased and changed hands many different times.

caesaria, israel

Caesaria is a great place to learn about the ancient history of the land from an architectural point of view.

But that’s not the only thing you can do there.

The Caesaria Harbour National Park also houses the Time Trek Display, a multi-media cinematic experience that takes you through the whole history of the old port town with reenactments and animations to help tell the story better.

And there is also an ampitheatre in the park where a live performance depicts what life was like in the old port town. Actors, costumes, props, kids and horses are all part of the mix. And don’t worry, I asked my mum (who was a vet) whether the horses looked like they were well cared for and she assured me that they did.

caesaria, israel

caesaria, israel

To top it all off, there are also areas to lounge and enjoy a picnic in, restaurants & cafes to sit at, art galleries & souvenirs shops to browse and gorgeous views of the sea to take in. This park is meant to be visited for a day trip after all and is very accommodating for visitors and their needs.

caesaria, israel

caesaria, israel

caesaria, israel

Yep, that’s me that you see in the reflection 🙂

caesaria, israel

 

Why go to Caesaria

Due to it’s relative close proximity to Tel Aviv and Haifa, Caesaria is perfect for a day trip, especially from one of these major cities. Israel and the Middle East region in particular is famous for having an extensive history, but Caesaria offers a taste of history that is rarely known about.

There is a lot to see and experience and it’s very much worth the visit. It’s a great window to see what life was like in Ancient Israel and to get a better idea of how much history there actually is in this country.

To get there from Tel Aviv, it will take about 45 mins by car going north up Kveesh 2 (Road 2). You can find directions here.

To get there from Haifa, it will take about 30 mins by car going south on Kveesh 2. You can find directions here.

Have you ever been to Caesaria and if you have, how was your experience? Will you be putting this old port town on your Israel itinerary? Feel free to comment below!

Be Brave & Be Kind,

Ella x

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2 Comments

  • Reply Brooklyn Murtaugh February 26, 2017 at 01:07

    I love a place full of history, so guarantee I would be in love with this destination.
    I am so bummed I won’t be attending TBEX. Hope you have an amazing time!

    • Reply Ella February 27, 2017 at 11:37

      Thank you! And it is indeed a place full of history 🙂

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