Jaffa Highlights Tour

Jaffa – or Joppe as it was called in ancient times – is one of the oldest port cities in the world. Established around 4000 years ago, Jaffa was alternatively ruled by Egyptians, Canaanites, Babylonians, Persians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Hasmoneans, Romans, and many more. Heck, even Napoleon was here. In the Jaffa highlights tour we explore the main sites of this historic city that is mentioned in the bible, in ancient Egyptian documents, and numerous travel logs of visitors in the past millennia or two.

Jaffa Highlights Tour - view of Tel Aviv
Jaffa view of Tel Aviv

Pharaohs and Hieroglyphs

We begin the Jaffa highlights tour at the top of the settlement hill which offers a great view of Jaffa’s old city and the new city of Tel Aviv. After that we visit the excavation site of the Egyptian Ramses II gate, built in the 13th century BCE.

Following the excavation site we enter the picturesque alleys of the old city. These houses are home to many artists and galleries. Upon request we can visit the Ilana Goor museum or other artists galleries.

St. Peters church by Heiko Sieger
St. Peter’s church

Biblical Jaffa

Our route takes us to St. Peters church and the Kedumim square and continues down to the port. The Bible – both the Old Testament (Tanakh) and New Testament – mentions Jaffa. The Acts of the Apostles describes an important event in Jaffa that would forever define Christianity. In the nineteenth and early twentieth century Jaffa served as the port of entry to the Holy Land for travelers, pilgrims, immigrants and settlers. Many a famous traveler – for example Mark Twain – had his or her first encounter with this country at the port of Jaffa.

Jaffa port  - the Jaffa highlights tour by Heiko Sieger
Jaffa at the sea

Napoleon Bonaparte

We pass by St. Nicholas monastery and the “sea mosque”. Napoleon used the monastery as a hospital for his plague ridden soldiers. The monastery features famously in a painting of Napoleon painted by Antoine-Jean Gros that is now displayed at the Louvre in Paris.

The Sea Mosque by Heiko Sieger
Al-Bahr Mosque – the Sea Mosque

The Rise of Jaffa

We continue along the sea towards the clock tower square and visit the “Greek market”. In the 19th century the Greek orthodox church purchased large plots of land in towns like Jaffa, Jerusalem, and other sites relevant to Christianity. More and more Europeans and also Americans settled in Jaffa, which expanded rapidly as a result of the pilgrimage and travel boom.

Clock tower square by Heiko Sieger
Jaffa clock tower and “Greek market”

The tour ends at the flea market, surrounded by coffee shops, restaurants, juice vendors, and more.

Duration: 2 hours

Special price: $150

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