On Israel’s north coast, ancient history peeps out between the palm trees. Sandy beaches run parallel to the cobalt-blue Mediterranean, luring surfers and sunbathers to their breezy shores. But beach life is a blink of the eye in this historic area: in Caesarea, the well-conserved ruins of Herod’s ambitious port stand proud against the sea, while life continues in the labyrinthine, centuries-old alleys in walled Akko.
The largest city is Haifa, a spirited port with a mixed Jewish and Arab population – and home to the region’s star sight, the Baha’i Gardens. Sprawling across Mt Carmel, Haifa simmers with art, culture and fast-paced nightlife. Venture inland to the catacombs of Beit She’arim or biblical end-times location Megiddo. For art and wine, Ein Hod and Zichron Ya’akov deserve exploration. Spare time to ponder all you’ve seen within the luminous sea grottoes of Rosh HaNikra or by a golden beach in Akhziv.