The Western Galilee is the most northern coastal region of Israel.
The Western Galilee aka North Coast of Israel extends along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline for 40 km, from the Carmel Range to Rosh Haniqra on the Israeli border with Lebanon, and inland across the coastal plain for 5-10 km until it reaches the hills of the Upper Galilee and Lower Galilee. It is a relatively isolated and tranquil region of great natural beauty, great opportunities for outdoor fun and full of historical and cultural interest. The "Bahá’i Holy Places in Haifa and the Western Galilee" in the region have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Most people speak Hebrew, but many residents also speak Arabic or English.
Train, bus, car or hitch-hiking into the Western Galilee are the options you have. See Akko on more specifics.
A train extension to get to and from Karmiel, in the central Galilee, is scheduled to open in 2017.
- 1 Nahariya railway station. This station is the terminus of the main line from further South in Israel, providing direct Israel Railways service to Tel Aviv, Haifa and other points
- 2 Acre railway station. This station is an intermediate stop on the same line as Nahariya
- 3 Kiryat Motzkin railway station. This station sits on the same line as the Acre and Nahariya stations
Regular bus services also run along the coast until Rosh Haniqra.
You should take highways 2 (south of Haifa) or 22 (north of Haifa) which are motorways, or highway 4 which is a more local road.
Hitch-hiking is also possible and relatively easy north of Akko.
- 1 Achziv National Park (Akhziv), ☏ . Apr-Sep 8am-5pm, Oct-Mar 8am-4pm. An idyllic, if sleepy, site on the coast. The secluded beach is known for its abundant sea life, including sea turtles during July and August when they come ashore to lay their eggs. North of the beach, the shore is lined with small rock formations which house a lot of sea life in their water-filled pools. You will see fishermen standing on the rocks, giving the illusion that they are standing on the water. Another sight is "Achzivland" - in the 70's Eli Avivi, an Israeli hipster, declared this piece of land next to the Achziv National Park an independent nation. Avivi's micro-nation has not been officially recognized by the Israeli government, but he will stamp your passport if you enter through the foreboding fence that surrounds this tiny bit of land. (Remember that proof of having been to Israel in your passport can cause unintended visa trouble with many Islamic countries.) Achzivland boasts its own private beach, a cheap hostel, and a museum. National park: ₪35/21 adult/child (includes access to the secluded beaches, nearby Crusader Castle, picnic areas).
- 2 Kibbutz Lohame Hageta'ot. The kibbutz has as its western perimeter wall an actual Roman Aqueduct which is a great sight to behold.
- 3 Roman Aqueduct (Accessible from Kibbutz Lohame Hageta'ot (via the museum) or from the Shomrat village south). This aqueduct has conquered time far better than the Ceasarea aqueduct, and it has almost completely been preserved in height and look on a distance of about 400 m. Best to walk in from 1 the most northern point of Shomrat village, because probably from the museum you will not be able to climb on top of the aqueduct. You might also just walk straight towards the aqueduct from the highway – it is clearly visible from there.
- 4 Ghetto Fighters House Museum, ☏ . Su Th 9:00-16:00 F 9:00-13:00. Located in Kibbutz Lohame Hageta'ot, whose name means "Ghetto Warriors" since it was founded in 1949 by Holocaust survivors, Jewish partisans, and survivors of the Ghetto Uprising. The museum contains many things related to the Warsaw Uprising.
- Sea to Sea hike from the Mediterranean Sea to the Sea of Galilee. A 3-4 day hike, and a pleasant way to experience the Upper Galilee.
- Akhziv Field School runs a tour of the Akhziv lagoon, where you can find sea creatures (like crabs and starfish) and the guide explains the ecosystem. Goggles recommended. (See below for location.)
- 1 Tel Kabri Expedition. An archaeological dig that takes place every odd year's summer. If you're studying archaeology it's great for field experience. It is for students who sign up only, no tourists are permitted.
Not many remote accommodation options. Have a look at the main cities to find a place to stay.
- 1 Betzet Beach (camping) (Betset) (just 1.5 km south of Rosh Haniqra). Not accessible in summer, but September to April. There are even some parasols (of the Banana Public Beach) there, against potential rain.
- 2 Achziv field school (Western Galilee Field School) (5 km north of the city), ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Great option for budget travellers. Most mini apartments come with bunk beds as well as multiple rooms and bathrooms. The common kitchen including stove and fridge are available for use. You have to call, as they don't do bookings via email or website.
- Carmel Range – a small yet diverse region of hills just south-east of and including Haifa.
- Upper Galilee and Lower Galilee – just east, including the famous Nazareth – the largest Arab city in Israel and best known as the home of Joseph and Mary – and the religiously interesting Safed.
- Tiberias – A large Israeli town in the east and great starting point for the Sea of Galilee and the Golan Heights.