Top places to visit in Nazareth this summer

I recently had such an experience during my 24-hour trip to Nazareth. Though I’ve been to this area many times, I managed to find divine new locales.

Time off in Nazareth, grilling. (photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI AND ITAI SIKOLSK)
Time off in Nazareth, grilling.
(photo credit: MEITAL SHARABI AND ITAI SIKOLSK)
Sometimes we get bogged down in life’s monotony and just need to take a break – for someone to take care of everything so we can sit back and enjoy ourselves.
This kind of pampering, combined with an invigorating hike replete with breathtaking views, good food and quality beer, all sounds almost too good to be true. 
Well, I have good news for you: I recently had such an experience during my 24-hour trip to Nazareth. Though I’ve been to this area many times, I managed to find divine new locales. In other words, you don’t need to wait for Christmas to make a visit. 
It appears this summer it will still be difficult to take trips overseas, so now’s the time to find exciting holiday options here in Israel. 

1. RODRIGO CARDOSO

There’s nothing better than someone else organizing our entire trip for us, right? Well, at least that’s how I feel. If I’m already taking off time for a vacation, I want it to be the best use of my time and really pamper myself. I don’t want to have to spend hours planning hiking routes and researching places to sleep. So, when I happened upon Tiyul Al Hagril, which is run by Rodrigo Cardoso, a tour guide who grew up in Brazil, I knew I’d found the perfect holiday organizer. Rodrigo planned out every detail of our itinerary, which he customized to our exact requirements. We wrapped a fantastic holiday with a meal full of grilled meats, as is customary in Brazilian culture. 
We met up with Rodrigo at Tzipori National Park, which is just a short drive from Nazareth. We began the day by brewing coffee on a small gas cooker out in nature, and then set out for a walk in the forest for a few hours, while Rodrigo regaled us with loads of historical anecdotes, stories and legends. We ended up at the parking area, where Rodrigo had arranged for a Brazilian-style gourmet meal to be set up for us. 
The meal began with a refreshingly cool caipirinha cocktail, a light beef tartare, potato salad with homemade mayonnaise made according to the Cardoso family’s secret recipe, roasted vegetables, marvelous garlic bread with cheeses and a plethora of salads. For the main course, we were served a cut of juicy beef that had been marinated for 24 hours and then seasoned with traditional Brazilian spices, in addition to top sirloin picanha plank steak. Being served this incredible meal out in nature after hiking and hearing all of Rodrigo’s tales made this one of the most amazing days I’ve ever had. 
Details: 055-241-2019 or Facebook page “Tiyul al Hagril.”
 Golden Crown Hotel, Nazereth (Credit: MEITAL SHARABI AND ITAI SIKOLSK) Golden Crown Hotel, Nazereth (Credit: MEITAL SHARABI AND ITAI SIKOLSK)

2. GOLDEN CROWN HOTEL, NAZARETH

We knew that we definitely were not going to have energy to drive back after experiencing such a thrilling day, so we decided to splurge on a hotel and pretend that we were on a vacation overseas. That way, we’d also have time the next morning to continue our touring around the region. We stayed at the Golden Crown Hotel, Mount Precipice, in Nazareth, which carried out extensive renovations during the year it was closed due to COVID-19. When we arrived, we could tell everything was new and shiny. We were put in a wing with 26 guest rooms that also sports a spa, a heated indoor pool and a breathtaking view over Mount Precipice. 
During renovations, they added a solarium, Turkish hammam, dry sauna, treatment rooms and a gym. The dining hall was improved, and cooking stations were added so that guests could observe as the cooks prepared gourmet meals for guests. 
The central location of the hotel is helpful when going on hikes and excursions in the area, especially if you have only 24 or 48 hours to squeeze in all of your planned activities. Guests can take a trip to the nearby Jezreel Valley and other historical sites in northern Israel. Not having to spend much time in the car driving from one location to another is a huge plus and will certainly make your vacation more enjoyable.

3. BASSAM HACHIM

Visitors who’d like to spend time in the city will enjoy all of Nazareth’s interesting sites. The best way to get to see all of the quaint streets and hidden gems in the city is by joining a guided tour. In my experience, you get much more out of a visit to a new place when you go there with someone who is knowledgeable about the history and intricacies of the location. I just love listening to the interesting stories tour guides include in their guiding. You miss out on so much when you just walk around on your own. 
Nazareth is home to many tour guides. One of my favorite guides Bassam Hachim, a Nazareth local who has been active in the tourism industry for 13 years. Bassam knows every nook and cranny in the city and loves introducing visitors to the people who live and work in Nazareth, and showing them the interesting cultural venues in the city from a different point of view. 
Details: 054-943-6120 

4. SUMSUMIYAT NAZARETH

If walking around on your own is more your speed, I suggest putting the following two stops on the top of your list. The first is Sumsumiyat Nazareth, a small shop located in the downtown area run by Walid Abu Sinai, who makes fantastic natural sesame products without any preservatives or additives. Walid’s family has been passing down the recipes for all these products for over 100 years, which spans eight generations (he inherited the business from his cousin). Walid himself has been producing candies for over 30 years, and tourists absolutely love peering into his workshop as he prepares these sweet treats. 
Location: 1 Ichsal Street. 
Hours: Monday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Best to call ahead to find out if Walid will be on site.)
Details: 052-741-6790.

5. NAZARETH BEER BREWERY

The second venue I recommend visiting is the Nazareth Beer Brewery, which was founded in 2016 by Emir Iluti and Basel Masad. The two of them met while studying electrical engineering at the Technion and they came up with the idea of starting a brewery together, since they spent lots of time drinking beer after they’d finished their studies for the day. After completing their degree, they both found work as engineers at the same company, and they began spending their free time engaging in their favorite pastime: experimenting with brewing beer. They enjoyed it so much that they took a brewmaster class together. They began a microbrewery at home, and soon after decided to upgrade their hobby to a professional level. 
To start they were producing 100 liters of beer annually, and within three years, in response to the high demand, they expanded to 1,000 liters. Their original small setup was located in the Mutran neighborhood of Nazareth. They later moved the brewery to Salzianit, which has a gorgeous view of the region, making it a great place to sit and enjoy a cold glass of quality beer. Visitors are also welcome to join a guided tour of the brewery, including a tasting, for NIS 35. 
Hours: Friday & Saturday, Noon to 6 p.m.
Details: 054-590-7696 
Translated by Hannah Hochner.