Resting against the Levantine Sea’s deep Mediterranean waters at Haifa Bay, the ancient town of Akko (the local name for Acre), Israel, was documented in Egyptian hieroglyphics. Today, its old city quarter is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Active archaeological sites continue to uncover its 5,300 years of history, during which it came under the rule of Romans, Islamists, Moors, Crusaders and Ottomans. For the past six years, the Suffi Mosque in Akko has been undergoing a massive renovation, and the doors are nearly ready to open. Time your visit for 2020 to see this historic building in all its newly polished glory, and enjoy one of the popular local festivals such as the 39th annual Akko Fringe Theater Festival, the 36th annual Kol Hamusica festival, or the new International Arabesque Music Festival. Many festivities are staged within the city’s ancient ruins.
While you’re there, make time to visit The Knights’ Halls of the Hospitallers Order’s Fortress, dating to the Crusader period 4,000 years ago. The site includes a courtyard, reconstructed halls and original streets. The site is embellished with a marketplace displaying artisans and craftspeople that include potters, weavers, glass blowers, leather workers, basket makers, blacksmiths and perfumers.
Other fascinating places to explore include the Tunisian synagogue Khan al-Umdan, mysterious subterranean city tunnels, street markets and the colorful and lively fishing port. Stay at the elegant Efendi Boutique Hotel overlooking the sea and the old city walls. Once an Ottoman Palace, the serene rooms are replete with hand-painted motifs and frescoes adorning the walls and ceilings. One of the most notable frescoes depicts ancient Istanbul, created in 1878 to celebrate the opening of the Orient Express train station.
The boutique property has 12 rooms built above a Byzantine foundation. Features include high ceilings, stone arches and a cellar from the city’s Crusader era. Guests can also enjoy spa sessions in an original, fully restored 400-year-old Turkish bath. The hotel project was the vision of legendary local Chef Uri “Buri” Jeremias, whose Uri Buri restaurant gained a worldwide reputation as one of the most outstanding seafood establishments in all of the Middle East. Hotel renovations were presided over by Israel’s Antiquities Authority, while skilled artisans from Italy were employed to oversee some of the delicate restoration work, which included the stunning original ceilings.
Prepare for your family’s spring break this year with some advice from TravelInsurance.com. There are a number of reasons why travel insurance is an important consideration for spring break travelers and co-founder Stan Sanberg has some advice about making the important purchase for spring break this year.
Five Tips to Help Minimize Potential Travel Problems
Family travels don’t necessarily need to be in theme parks or resorts with massive kids’ clubs. In fact, more upscale properties across the world cater to both adults and kids, and wellbeing brand Sensei joins the growing trend of family wellness travel. Sensei’s Wellness Science team, led by Dr. Vishal Patel, emphasizes the importance of family travels and exposing young travelers to wellness pursuits. Developing healthy habits at a young age can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s life, and bonding via family trips alleviates some of the main drivers of loneliness and isolation.
While the United States offers a plethora of bike-friendly destinations, a recent study by personal injury law firm Bader Scott found some counties across the country are far more dangerous than others. Family travelers might be surprised to find many lie in popular vacation states.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Ever dreamed of being a mermaid? Well, your dreams could come true on your next family trip. With March 29 National Mermaid Day, these two resorts offer experiences for guests of all ages to enjoy.