Akko offers the visitor exciting Jewish, Christian and Muslim historical sites as well as an amazing, oriental market and marine activities in the port. Much of the excitement is underground as one walks through underground crusader city as well as secret tunnels to the port. Add the Knights Halls, Okashi Art Museum, Turkish Bath, Templars’ Tunnel and Ramchal Synagogue to your bucket list. The Old City of Acre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
עַכּוֹ Akko (or Acco) in Hebrew and عكّا Akka in Arabic, but was misnamed Acre by the crusaders who confused Akko with the Biblical city of Ekron. The Philistine god of Ekron was Beelzebub (Lord of the Flies) and indeed the crusaders renamed the Phoenician tower/lighthouse in the port of Akko – “Tower of the Flies”. On my last visit my guide was a patriotic son of Akko who was very proud to lead us through centuries of history. Akko is fine for a family tour – children love it. The city also has plenty to offer if you prefer an in-depth tour.
The city originated in the Bronze period by Tel Akko, and was abandoned in the late Hellenistic period, when the new city moved closer to the sea.
Old Akko – an exciting excursion for adults and children
- 1 Weizmann St., Akko
- Tel: 1-700-708020 04-9956706
- Fax: 04-9919418 04-9913376
- For tour reservations, please call: 04-9956707
My introduction to Akko begins with the panorama on Napoleon’s Hill. Why Napoleon? That’s simple, because Napoleon’s unsuccessful siege of Ottoman Akko in 1799 was the turning point of Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt and Syria. It was one of Napoleon’s few defeats. The hill was also reused a brief period as a base for the siege of the Crusaders (1099).
In this panorama one can view the entire Haifa Bay with Mount Carmel in the background, modern roads and a high-rise hotel.
The unfinished hotel seen in this video 0:05-0:10 has since been demolished.
Napoleon’s Hill – best lookout in the city!
Napoleon’s Hill is the ancient Tel Akko on the north bank of the Na’aman (Belus) river. Today, the site is in ruins. The neighborhoods of the modern city of Akko are located to the east and north of the Tel. On the western foothills is the city’s soccer field.
Port of Akko
Acre’s first port was presumably located along the lower section of the Na’aman River. During the Muslim Period under Sultan Muawiya the sea walls were fortified and a large shipyard was built here. Egyptian ruler Achmad Ibn-Tulun (868-884) annexed the Land of Israel renovated the Port of Acre and its fortifications. During Crusader rule, the port of Acre played a central role. Its naval ties to the West were founded on this port, which was essential to its very existence. However after the Ottoman conquest, use of the port declined and it only served as a marina for fishing boats. In the late 17th century, Daher el-Omar tried renovated and fortified the city only to have the port destroyed during the shelling of Acre by the British and Austrian navies in 1840, when the breakwater wall and the Tower of Flies were damaged.
Once you reach the Acre port you can take a boat excursion out to sea or a pleasant ride in a horse-drawn carriage. The port area is lined with restaurants and cafes.
Walls of Akko