If you know geography well, then you might picture the Israeli seaside looking this stunning. If you think of Israel as in the Middle East and forget about this part of it, like I did, this will surprise you like it did me. I thought I’d be at a beachside town, done and dusted. I did not expect the art oasis in Akko that we got introduced to by our guide.
Why there is an art oasis in Akko
Tour guide and story-teller Abdu Matta met us outside our hotel to take us on a tour. You can click that link to get ahold of him if you go and make a booking.
Akko is kind of forgotten by foreign tourists and hasn’t been picked up yet as a hotspot (I bet it will soon!) so the local people want to change that. The local government is giving money to houses to get fixed up- but not in any way, but with unique art.
They hope that then tourists will want to visit and even go inside the locals’ homes to meet them and have lunch with them! The locals are excited about it and it’s a win-win for everyone.
Our guide was energetic, but even though I always kept up with him somehow I was still always missed the best stories! I was too distracted looking around and not listening at the same time.
As we started walking down the streets, we saw that the art wasn’t just in the houses but was all over the place on walls and in alleys. This is a mostly Arab town and you’ll hear the calming call to prayer and see people covered up more than most places, but it is still Israel not a place that makes you cover up, especially on a beach town.
It might surprise you that there are mostly Arab towns in Israel, but it is the case here. The call to prayer was so beautiful with this background as you don’t picture it in a place like this!
- Read more: Why I Was in Israel and What to Expect
We had a videographer and photographer with us from Vibe. The photos that I’m in plus a couple of others were taken by the talented Matanya Tausig. I took so many photos here. It was hard not to. The tiny cobblestone alleys, the rooftop views, the mosques, the art, and of course the sea!
We stopped for a seafood lunch at the best restaurant in town, Uri Buri. It was delicious and I highly recommend it. Our server was also a rockstar lol and once he told us his bands’ name we later saw it graffitied on the wall in Tel Aviv!
Their homemade ice cream was SO good. I’m all about mint chocolate chip and this is the BEST mint ice cream I’ve ever had- and it didn’t even had chocolate chips in it! It was so fresh. There were a huge variety of flavors and we got them all.
If you want a spa experience, the Ghattas Bath Turkish bath is meant to be excellent although we didn’t have time to try it. The woman who owns it got it as a gift from her husband. I took a peek in since I love trying out spas when I travel and it looks luxe.
Inside the Akko Homes
We went to a local woman’s house for a snack (because all we do is eat) and to see an example of one of the homes that has been redecorated. I want to live in this house. Can you imagine this insanely beautiful little town with all the houses looking like this inside? It’s almost not real.
Look at that ceiling!!
Every little detail was thought out. The place was stunning. I could easily move into it. I love the buildings here which are so Middle Eastern looking but in this artsy vibe with the sea right here.
Kite surfers actually come here and one that I met showed me a video of him jumping off a cliff here.
We had rooftop champagne at our hotel, Efendi Hotel. The hotel in itself was a piece of art and it’s included on tours of the town since it’s so magical! Check it out for yourself in these photos.
Museli in Israel is the BEST. The granola is so good! Nothing like India’s yogurt as well. Sigh* I miss it.
As you can see, this place is epic and if you’re coming to Israel you have to visit Akko. Of all the places I visited, this is my favorite for sure. In fact, I think that just this town is so cool that it should be added to everyone’s bucket list!
What I Wore
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I visited Akko (Acre) as a guest of Vibe Israel. All opinions are my own. Thanks for hosting me in Israel, Vibe!
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I did think Israel was hot and sandy like the Middle East. Your pictures surprised me. The places look so beautiful. Great post Rachel!
Yeah I thought so too! Glad you liked it.
The ceiling is one of the best.
I love this little village. Very artsy and traditional all at the same time. But what a lovely view.!!!!
p.s. Did I tell you that I really like the new look of your blog and your logo. Very you! :D
Thanks!! It’s been a couple months and I still scroll my homepage like oooo I love the new look lol. My designer Anna did it all and read my mind how I wanted it done!
I dig how Abdu is a story teller too Rachel! Fun to get a tour, and more fun to have someone weave tales. Thanks for sharing!