Love at first site


In the spot where Herod the Great, who built Caesarea, would once have stood, looking out to sea, 21st century couples are tying the knot, under a simple white chupah on the sand, the sea in the background and guests gathering round to celebrate. There are always dozens of tour groups in Caesarea, taking in one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Middle East. And in true Israeli style, there is a modern buzz amid all the history.

The combination of ancient sites, sea views and stunning sunsets means Israel is full of naturally romantic locations. Walk around the alleyways of Jaffa and its coastline and you are bound to see couples hand-in-hand. The same goes for Akko in the north of the country.

If you are thinking of honeymooning in Israel, it is easy to find the right place — and the right accommodation. Jaffa, for example, has seen several new hotels open in the last few years and there are more large hotels nearby, including the InterContinental David Tel Aviv and the Dan Panorama Tel Aviv.

In Caesarea, the Dan Caesarea Mediterranean Hotel has a resort feel. It is surrounded by large landscaped gardens and is close to the sandy beaches.

Guests are invited to lounge by the pool or on the large lawns — and, if the mood takes them, try out the sports facilities, including basketball and volleyball. Nearby, you will find Israel’s only 18-hole golf course at the Caesarea Golf and Country Club.

Many honeymooners heading for Israel choose to spent at least part of their trip at a spa. There are spa hotels spanning the length of the country.

At the southern tip, in Eilat, there is the Herods Vitalis and, also in the south of the country, you can find a spa in a most unusual spot — close to the dramatic 25-mile-long Ramon Crater, a phenomenon of nature. The Beresheet Hotel stands by the cliffs leading down to the crater and rooms have desert views. The vibe is relaxing and the range of spa treatments extensive.

In the north of Israel, spa destinations include the Carmel Forest Spa Resort, a kids-free zone, surrounded by forest. The chefs design healthy meals, the spa treatments encourage guests to relax and there are activities including yoga and tai chi, as well as concerts and special events.

At the Elma in Zichron Yaakov, between Tel Aviv and Haifa, there is a spa featuring energy treatments, body massages and skin therapies. But the spa is not the main feature of the hotel — the full name is the Elma Arts Complex Luxury Hotel and the whole place is a celebration of art and design.

Not long ago, the Elma was a derelict building. Today, it is a lively arts centre.

Lily Elstein, one of Israel’s most committed arts patrons, bought the place and spent a decade transforming it and for the past four years it has been home to galleries, performances, concerts and five-star accommodation.

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive