Today we will visit Acre port and talk about history, sails, and Haifa – Akko ferry. Let’s begin!
Old Acre is the old part of the modern city of Acre. And Acre Port, as many other tourist attractions are located within Old Acre. More specifically, at Leopld ha-Sheni street.
Map of the area:
- On the map above the Acre Port is marked as #45.
- You can click on the map to enlarge it.
Acre’s first port was presumably located along the lower section of the Na’aman River. The port was first mentioned in Kambizes’ journey to conquer Egypt in 527-525 BC, during which Acre boasted hundreds of ships carrying soldiers, horses, and supplies. The fact that Acre served as a base for a fleet of such magnitude indicates that the breakwater had already been built.
Ancient Mislem Period
Reference was again made to the Port of Acre with the establishment of the Umayyad Dynasty during the days of Muawiya. Sultan Muawiya decided to fortify the settlements along the coastline as part of a maritime policy, which culminated in the conquest of Cyprus that became part of the Moslem Empire. It was within this context that a large shipyard was built at the Port of Acre. However, it had a short lifespan. Egyptian ruler Achmad Ibn-Tulun (868-884) annexed the Land of Israel and a substantial part of Syria, and, while organizing his princedom, he decided to renovate the Port of Acre and its fortifications, similarly to what had been done in Tyre.
During Crusader rule, the port of Acre played a more central role. Its naval ties to the West were founded on this port, which was essential to its very existence. Even though most of the maritime activity was limited to the May to October period, considerable space was required to store goods and equipment for the pilgrims’ accommodation as well as for the repair and mooring of ships.
Following the Ottoman conquest, the use of the port declined, and it only served as a marina for fishing boats. Paintings of 18th-century passengers depict the southern breakwater and the Crusader wall, the remains of which remain impressive.
The fortified building on the Tower of Flies was very well preserved, and a mosque was built on top of it. In the late 17th century, Daher El-Omar tried to renovate and fortify the city. Toward the end of his life, he had presumably managed to rehabilitate the port to the extent that sailboats could cast their anchor there and load cargo within the scope of his policy to develop maritime commerce.
During the first third of the 19th century, the port was kept in good working order, and it often served the Egyptian fleet of Muhammad Ali and Ibrahim Pasha. The port was 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.
Port of pilgrimage to the Land of Israel
From time immemorial, the Holy Land has attracted pilgrims – primarily Jews and Christians. Many of them arrived in Israel through the Port of Acre. Acre’s status grew, mainly after its conquest by the Crusaders in 1104, when the port became the main gate to the Land of Israel.
Source for all history quotes: official site.
At the port, you can take a short sail along Old Acre walls. I was curious, and I made once a sail from the port. The price was 10 NIS, and the sail itself is a concise one and lasts about ten minutes. There were no explanations during the sail, only loud music.
Haifa – Akko Ferry
In recent years, a new sailing route was opened. There are several sails during the day in each direction, and it is suitable for somebody that stays in Haifa or Acre and wants a day trip to the other city.
The ship sails four days a week (On Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday) between Akko and Haifa, a unique experience enjoying the spectacular views by the sea of the cities.
Round trip Ticket: 55 NIS per person
One way Ticket Akko to Haifa: 30 NIS per person
One way Ticket Haifa to Akko: 30 NIS per person
Source: official website
Along Leopld ha-Sheni street there are many rocks. I climbed on them carefully and got the following photo.
Beware of climbing the rocks. I saw several rats there. Sometimes a tripod can serve as protection tool as well 😉
Things To Do
Besides taking a sail, enjoying the sea breeze, and taking photographs 😉 you can visit one of the nearby restaurants and eat freshly caught fish.
Also, sometimes there are attractions for kids like pony rides. But I would suggest heading to the old city with its many sites. You can find additional info at Acre guide.
And I will finish with several additional photos from the port.
Have you ever been to Acre Port? Tell us in the comments below.
That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!
Additional ResourcesHere are several resources that I created to help travelers:
- Israel Trip Planner is the page that will help you to create your perfect travel route.
- National Parks And Nature Reserves page lists and put all national parks on the map. There is also a top list, information about ticket types and campsites.
- If you are looking for things to do, here are the pages for Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Sea Of Galilee, and Makhtesh Ramon.
- Wondering what events are there in Israel? Here is the Events And Festivals By Season guide.