Romantic though largely residential, Zichron Ya’akov exudes refinement from every sun-kissed stone wall. Established in 1882 by Jews from Romania, Zichron Ya’akov – near the southern end of the Mt Carmel massif – is best known for its pioneering role in Israel’s wine industry and, more recently, for its attractive old town and upper-middle-class neighbourhoods. In its early years Zichron was endowed with riches by Baron Edmond de Rothschild of the French banking family, who named it after his father James, aka Jacob (Ya’akov).
Late-19th-century buildings still line its streets and many of them now harbour artists' studios, boutique shops and cafes, making the old town perfect for wandering. In the surrounding countryside wineries round out the relaxing air.