Jaffa and Tel Aviv Private Tour
There are two ways to go about the Jaffa and Tel Aviv private tour: I can either drive you from site to site by car, or, depending on group size, we can combine the use of public transportation, taxis, walking and even the public bicycle system.
We start at Jaffa's clock tower, where the city's gate used to be, and ascend to the top of Old Jaffa hill - an archaeological mound with layers spanning thousands of years of history - and take in the view, reaching as far as the city of Herzliya in the north and the foothills to the east. From this vantage point we'll trace the development of Jaffa and Tel Aviv, a trail that we will follow in chronological order throughout the day.
In Old Jaffa we will wander around such sites as the Egyptian Gate, the Suspended Orange Tree, the winding allies of the old city with their shops and galleries, the Zodiac Fountain, St. Peter's church and the ancient port, and tell stories from almost every time period in both ancient and recent history. If you wish, it's also possible to walk by the proposed location of the house of Simon the Tanner, where St. Peter had his revelation on the roof.
From Jaffa Hill we'll head a short way north to find Jaffa's train station, the terminus of the very first local train line, which used to connect the port of Jaffa with Jerusalem. This is also the edge of Neve Tzedek - a cluster of 19th century Jewish neighborhoods, turned into a hip, stylish area. Our walk through the little streets and stories of Neve Tzedek will lead us naturally into the bustling heart of Tel Aviv, to its very first neighborhood of Ahuzat Bait, where the city sprang up from the dunes in 1909.
We'll walk a little along Rothschild Blvd, the place to see and be seen in all hours of the day, and observe some of the architectural styles that have earned Tel Aviv its place as a World Heritage Site. From there we'll walk several minutes to find the Carmel Market (goods and produce, with plenty of great lunch options), and the arts and crafts fair at Nahalat Binyamin (open Tuesday and Friday only).
Finally, we'll move to a different part of the city, called Sarona. Having narrowly escaped being demolished to make way for more skyscrapers, Sarona is Tel Aviv's newest highlight, featuring beautifully restored German houses, and telling the story of the Templers, a religious Protestant sect formed in southern Germany in the 19th century, whose members formed colonies in Palestine to bring about the 2nd coming. After the establishment of the State of Israel, Sarona became the first home of the Israeli leadership, and its walls contain thrilling stories from those first few decades. The place was opened to the public recently, with restaurants, lawns, a playground and a gourmet indoor market.
Optional activities with additional fees for Jaffa and Tel Aviv private tour may include:
- Old Jaffa Visitor Center, focusing on stories and people from all over Jaffa's long history.
- Independence Hall, where David Ben Gurion gave his famous speech, establishing the State of Israel in May 1948.
- Sarona Museum, detailing the history of the area from its establishment all the way the recent restoration project.
- Graffiti tour in the hipster south of Tel aviv.
- Tasting tour in one of Tel Aviv's colorful markets.
- Art tour in the incredibly designed Tel Aviv Museum, or in the city's many galleries.
- Scavenger hunt in the streets of Tel Aviv.
Any item in the Jaffa and Tel Aviv private tour can be changed or removed, and other items may be added at your preference.