Oh So Arty was founded and is based in the coastal city of Tel Aviv. While we love our bustling seaside metropolis we decided to take a road trip to northern Israel to discover its arty offerings. Keep reading to hear how we spent 72 hours in the north of Israel and if you are planning a trip to Israel check out our tour options here!
Our long weekend began at The Elma Arts Complex and Luxury Hotel in Zichron Ya’acov. The building is a converted sanatorium designed by architect Yaacov Rechter in 1968. In addition to being a state of the art luxury hotel the Elma offers a creative program including a 450-seat concert hall, the expansive Elstein galleries and more. Art is displayed throughout the complex from the lobby to the cafe and throughout the naturally lit hallways. The interdisciplinary cultural programming at the Elma has made it a world-class center for the arts.
The hotel also offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding Carmel mountain range and an indoor and outdoor pool as well as a full spa - this is the ultimate place to relax and detox!
We then travelled to the port city of Akko where the ancient and the contemporary mix perfectly to create an ideal city break destination. If you are visiting Akko a stay at the Efendi Hotel is an absolute must. It is made up of two ancient houses that have been painstakingly preserved and restored to provide a window back in time.
We enjoyed the comforts of a modern luxury hotel while immersed in history with views of the original city walls of Akko and the sea. Each room has a different style with unique details but all of them offer amazing views. We took in the breathtaking Akko sunset from the rooftop of the Efendi as we enjoyed aperitivo and good company.
When we finally tore ourselves away from the Efendi we headed to the famous Uri Buri restaurant for dinner. Founded by Uri Yirmias and located right next to the beach this restaurant serves up fresh seafood dishes with ample fine Israeli wine options.
Beautiful ancient architecture and artifacts fill the city of Akko however it also offers some contemporary art. Galil Gallery is a must for travellers interested in art or the modern side of this city. They offer a fresh program of contemporary art and are hosting an exhibition of work by Israeli artists Inbar Frim and Moran Kliger opening this October.
Savida is another culinary hot spot located in the old city of Akko. We stopped for lunch on our way down to Haifa and stuffed ourselves with their family style dishes. In Haifa, the Baha’i Gardens and World Center were our first destination. The beautiful gardens also known as the Hanging Gardens of Haifa are impossible to miss as you enter the city and their meticulously styled and maintained designs are a visual treat. We also recommend a trip to the Haifa Museum of Art, Israel’s third largest art museum, founded in 1951 in downtown Haifa and offering a vast collection of contemporary Israeli art.
Outside the city limits of Haifa and further North, are two unique art venues worth the trip! The Museum of Art Ein-Harod located on Kibbutz Ein-Harod was one of the first art museums to be founded in Israel in 1938. This historical landmark also has rich collections of Jewish art, Israeli art and Judaica. If you are looking for something more contemporary do not miss Umm al-Fahem Gallery an Israeli-Arab art gallery in Umm al-Fahem. Approximately forty minutes outside of Haifa this gallery founded in 1996 has become an important social and cultural meeting place to discover Arab and Palestinian art.
Our sojourn to northern Israel inspired our team to create more immersive art tour experiences that last more than one day. Oh So Arty now offers Art Trips in Israel which will visit multiple regions including the surrounding areas of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa. For more information and pricing please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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