Monday, April 25, 2011

Old Jaffa

Just a short day trip from Jerusalem is a visit to Tel Aviv's ancient port city of Jaffa. It will probably take you just one hour, from door to door, to arrive at Jaffa's picturesque harbor setting. After discovering Jaffa's beautiful setting and charming streets, it is hard to imagine the centuries of history that indeed unfolded here. Jaffa is actually well known across the globe for being the oldest, continuously inhabited port in the history of the world. In fact, there are multiple references to the city of Jaffa in both the Old and New Testaments. It is from here that the prophet Jonah was engulfed by a giant whale; also, Greek legend tells the tale of the beautiful Andromeda  being chained to the rocks facing Jaffa's shore; and then there is the story of the Apostle Peter performing a miracle at Jaffa. These are just a few of the many stories tied to Jaffa's history. 


Jaffa is arguably one of the most romantic places in the Tel Aviv area, with its winding stone alleyways and verdant gardens overlooking the blue sea amidst a mix of Middle Eastern and European ambiance. You will find cobblestone streets leading you towards an abundance of restaurants and shops, tucked away behind every corner.  The most picturesque way to approach the Jaffa area is by walking down Tel Aviv's phenomenal promenade toward the ancient harbor city.

Tel Aviv's beautiful beach promenade

From Old Jaffa looking out toward Tel Aviv's coastline

 Arriving into Jaffa, you will find the port is perched comfortably atop a hillside, leaving you with impressive, sweeping views of Tel Aviv's modern city. Within Jaffa, you can begin exploring the winding alleyways filled with restaurants, shops and art galleries; or, you may opt to relax in one of the many garden-like park areas of the old city, dotted with romantic benches and hovering trees providing shade from the powerful sun. From here, you can take in the beautiful views of Tel Aviv's coastline for hours on end. 



Day or night, Jaffa is a wonderful place to visit. During the day, you can enjoy the breathtaking views and the sunny weather, choosing to either relax outside or wander through the streets, stores, churches and/or galleries. Toward sunset, you can canoodle with a loved one on a secluded bench while watching the sun dip into the facing sea. At nightfall, the area picks up pace, becoming a popular spot for young adults to bar-hop, dine or stroll with friends. 

Enjoying the ancient cobblestone streets and historic setting....




Taking in the scenic views....



Meandering through the gardens and green spaces in Jaffa (with a view to boot)....




A few of us happily enjoying the beautiful day....



I'm looking forward to returning to Jaffa sometime in the near future, especially now that the sun has started to come out on a semi-regular basis!


  1. Such a pretty place! You are going to have discovered every inch of Israel, enjoying living vicariously through your travels!

  2. Yes, that's what happens when you live in a small country the size of a US state! Soon I will have no other choice (thankfully...) but to venture beyond Israel's borders.


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