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Whilst the southernmost city of Eilat is a resort destination in the Southern Negev Desert, Nahariya is Israel’s Riviera of the North amidst serenity and relaxing surroundings.

What can we do in this charming little paradise? Eat, chill, relax and meet the wonderfully warm people of Nahariya. Here are some of the places we visited:

1) The Waterfront Promenade

Stroll down Ga’aton Boulevard to the waterfront promenade for sun-kissed beaches. Enjoy a meal, snack or cuppa at one of the restaurants and cafes while soaking in the breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Nahariya borders with Lebanon. Who could imagine that this relaxing part of the country was in the war zone in 2006?

Why was Nahariya included in our 13-day Israel trip? Because it’s our dearest friend, Keren-Or’s hometown.

Photo with Keren’s grandmother. She was a city girl from Tel Aviv but moved to Nahariya after marriage and later fell in love with Nahariya. Hey, she’s still a babe and loves partying!!!

And wait till the mellow sunset disappears below the sea level horizon.

2) Sderot HaGa’aton, the city’s main thoroughfare

Also known as the Ga’aton Boulevard, this is the main touristy area where cafes, boutiques and restaurants lined the street. The river that flows through the middle of the city to the Mediterranean Sea is the Ga’aton River. FYI, ‘Nahar’ means river.

When you come across a restaurant with a huge penguin statue, it’s the Penguin Restaurant that’s the most famous in Nahariya. The restaurant started since 1940 and it’s now run by the fourth generation of the family. Due to time constraint, we can only try the food on our next visit!

The street is beautifully lit up in the evening.

3) The Sculpture Park Center at the local Library Medatech

Seize the photo opportunity at the park where quirky sculptures are the creations of the best artists in the country.

This conspicuous sculpture subtly echoes the inspiration drawn from Gaudi’s mosaic work, no?

The interior of Library Medatech looks like a hotel! We briefly toured the library when it was not opened to the public that day (thanks for the special arrangement by Keren).

It’s not all about books and shelves at the library. We were led into a room for a sensory experience of colours, lights and moving images all themed according to what we selected on the control panel. A fun and interactive environment for kids. Big kids like us were happily fiddling with the buttons to switch themes.

Thanks to the library staff for the tour and Limor for driving us around Nahariya that morning.

4) The Water Tower of Nahariya

Completed in 1936, the city’s iconic landmark is situated on a hilltop overlooking the city. The Water Tower hosts an art gallery and our friend, Keren-Or, has her photography work on exhibit as well!

A little sidetrack here… we got stuck in the lift at the Water Tower on Sabbath day!
Left: A lady here seemed pretty excited being trapped in the lift so we played along.
Right: Panic set in after minutes had passed and the fan stopped working.

Who came to our rescue? The Fire Engine came quickly in less than ten minutes. Very efficient! It was such an unusual incident that we decided to take photos with the very cool-looking firemen. Many curious onlookers followed suit and took turns to pose with them too!

5) Pizza Ben-Zion

Ben is Keren’s friend, a young chap who can bake so well that he is running the baking business in Nahariya. I loveeee his pizza and cheesecake! The bakery is called ‘Pizza Ben-Zion’ that literally translates to ‘The Bakery that comes with love‘, according to Keren. Address: Hertzel 91, Nahariya. Tel: 04-9513310

I’m craving for this type of Israeli baked cheesecake. It’s light and fluffy like Japanese cheesecake. Ben, can I have your cheesecake recipe, please?!

Sabbath Night with the Soglowek Family

We had the honour to be invited for dinner on Friday night by the Soglowek family that runs food business – Soglowek Food, a leading brand in the Israeli food industry.

Sabbath begins on Friday night with family get-together and the Kiddush ceremony is carried out by lighting candles, reciting blessing and other customs like singing and the benediction over wine.

It was a great experience for foreigners like us to join in the ceremony with a Jewish family. We had a fabulous dinner and interesting chit chat on our countries, cultures and religions.

Carlton Hotel Nahariya

As recommended by the locals, we stayed at Carlton Hotel Nahariya – the most luxurious business and leisure hotel in the city that’s centrally located on Ga’aton Avenue. The Carlton is only five minutes walk to the waterfront promenade, beaches, central bus station and train stations. Many fine restaurants and retail outlets are just a stone’s throw away.

Carlton boosts 200 spacious guest rooms tastefully appointed with quality contemporary fittings and furnishings. The spa area, saunas, fully equipped business lounge, swimming pools, sunbathing areas and wireless internet complete a hosting experience of comfort and cosiness.

The hotel restaurant serves both breakfast and dinner. We had a sumptuous breakfast with a wonderful selection of local delights.

Carlton Hotel Nahariya also serves as a base for travellers to explore the attractions in the Western Galilee like Rosh Hanikra and the ancient walled city of Akko.

For more information on Carlton Hotel Nahariya, email: sales@carlton-hotel.co.il
Tel: 04-9005555/11 | Fax: 04-9823771 | Web: www.carlton-hotel.co.il

Stay tuned for more updates on the trip. Read all posts on Israel.