Zichron Yaakov

Wineries, history, beautiful gardens and great views, in the charming town of Zichron Yaakov. Go off the beaten path for a peaceful visit of the old town on the Carmel Mountain.
Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov

Zichron Yaakov: the delightful town on Mount Carmel.

Overlooking the Mediterranean to the west and the Galilee mountains to the east, Zichron Yaakov, one of the first Jewish town of Israel, is one of the most beautiful towns of Israel. Featuring a unique, European-like atmosphere, beautiful architecture, and an abundance of nature all around, Zichron Yaakov is truly one of the best town to visit in Israel.

The establishment of Zichron Yaakov

One of our personal favorite places to visit in Israel is Zichron Yaakov. It’s a small town but full of charms and beauty. Zichron Yaakov was established in 1882 when about a hundred Jewish Zionist immigrants from Romania arrived to Israel. The place that the first residents established was called “Zamarin” after the Arab village that was nearby. Zichron Yaakov was the third town established by the people of the first aliyah.

The initial goal of the settlers was to cultivate and build the land. They purchased carts, plows, and equipment needed to cultivate the land and establish the town, but they encountered many difficulties in their first stages. Since there were no houses in the place, with the exception of one building, they had to sleep on the ground. Later, as they didn’t have enough financial support, they also dealt with hunger and disease.

Two years later, the colony passed under the patronage of Baron Rothschild, and its name was changed to Zichron Yaakov, after Rotschild’s father. The baron hired a German engineer named Stöckler to plan the formation of the colony and all the houses in it were built uniformly. To this day, while walking in the old part of Zichron Yaakov, you can see the old and beautiful houses that were well preserved in the town. An economy based on wineries was also developed in the colony and to this day it is known for the fine wine cellars in and around it.


Best places to visit in Zichron Yaakov

Hameyasdim Street in Zichron Yakkov Old town

Among the most famous streets in the whole country is the pedestrian part of Hameyasdim Street in Zichron Yaakov, a favorits among locals, especially on weekends. This part of the Old Town of Zichron Yaakov looks like an old European town with unique houses and a wonderful atmosphere. If you arrive here in the morning, you will be able to see the various local shops. Among them, you can find special galleries, fashion designers, jewelry stores, wooden toys, natural cosmetics, and a variety of other boutique businesses that you won’t find anywhere else in Israel. In addition, along the entire street, you can find popular local restaurants and bars where you can stop and refresh yourself with a glass of wine/beer and a delicious snack any hour of the day.

Situated at Hameyasdim 43, , you’ll find the Nili restaurant, an excellent restaurant who offers an a selection of kosher dishes. While the menu primarily features dairy options and might seem somewhat limited, every dish we tried was absolutely delightful. The Pasta, Sushi and pizza were especially tasty, Highly recommended. Just a word of advice: on Fridays, aim to arrive early. The kitchen closes at 13:00, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on their exceptional offerings.

Zichron Yaakoc Midrachov (Rechov haMeyasdim


Ramat Hanadiv Park

Located just outside of Zichron Yaakov, Ramat Hanadiv Park covers a huge area of ​​about 4.5 KMs/2.8 miles and includes a nature park, memorial gardens, hiking trails, a picnic area, and a visitor center. The memorial gardens, founded in memory of Baron Edmond Benjamin James de Rothschild, are the most popular part of the entire park. They include waterfalls, a rose garden, a palm garden, and a garden that features local spices with great smells. During your visit here, you can just walk through the peaceful and well-kept garden paths that pass between colorful flowers and water fountains, but it is advisable to choose one of the longer walking routes, both circular, that pass through green landscapes with spectacular views of the Carmel Mountain and the Mediterranean Sea.

Operating hours (Entrance is free of charge) –

Weekdays 08:00-16:00,

Fridays 08:00-14:00,

Saturdays 08:00-16:00.

Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov
Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov


Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov
Ramat Hanadiv, Zichron Yaakov

NILI Museum

A great visit for history lovers who would like to learn more about the zionist struggle to establish the state of Israel. The Nili espionage network was established in 1915 and operated in the Land of Israel during the First World War. Its main goals were to fight the Ottoman rule over the land of Israel and help the British take over the land, with the hope that they will help them establish an independent Jewish country. Before the end of the First World War, most of the members of NILI had been captured, tortured and killed by the Turks.

In the NILI Museum, you can see the house from which the NILI underground spy ring had worked. A visit here is highly recommended for anyone who wants a chance to learn much more about this fascinating piece of history.

Operating hours:

Weekdays 9:00-17:00, Fridays 9:00-14:00, Saturdays 11:00-13:30.

The First Aliyah Museum

A museum housed in a building that is about a hundred years old, and relieves the fascinating history of the first and earliest immigrants of the Zionist movement to the Land of Israel.

The first Aliyah took place Between the years 1882-1904 when thousands of Jews from Eastern Europe arrived in the Land of Israel intending to build agricultural towns and eventually establish an independent Jewish country. They faced immense challenges, as the settlers found themselves struggling with the Turks who ruled the country at the time, the Arab neighbors, diseases, and hunger. The visit to the three-story museum is a great opportunity to learn about the incredible story of this time.

Operating hours:

Monday-Thrsday: 9:00-16:00, Friday: 9:00-14:00, Saturday-sunday: closed

Somek Winery Tastings

Next stop is Somek Winery.Barak and Hilla Dahan are a fifth generation of winemakers who’ve got stories and secrets of their grapes going back to 1882!  I had the pleasure of meeting Hilla Dahan, who introduced me to the barrel room at Somek Winery and shared insights into their unique winemaking process, cultivated in the valleys of Zichron. A visit to this winery spans approximately an hour and features tastings of five distinct wines, complemented by an exquisite cheese platter. What sets this winery apart is the family’s dedication to personally cultivating all their grapes exclusively within the Zichron area.

Barak has a deep-seated tradition in winemaking, combining traditional methods with a profound knowledge of each vine. Hila, an agriculture graduate from the Hebrew University who furthered her oenological studies with a master’s in oenology from the University of Adelaide, brings additional expertise to their winemaking. Together at Somek Winery, they blend tradition, advanced knowledge, and a commitment to excellence, focusing on producing high-quality wines that reflect the unique terroir of the Becaat Handiv area, where their family has cultivated vineyards since 1882. Their collaborative work emphasizes professionalism and enjoyment, aiming to produce exceptional wines that capture the essence of their region.

Visiting Somek winery, Zuchron Yaakov
Visiting Somek Winery, Zuchron Yaakov

Carmel Winery Tour

The Carmel Wineries Visitor Center in Zichron Yaakov is an experiential center that combines tours, workshops, and wine tastings in the historic winery, established in 1882. On the tour, you will enter into the authentic winery cellars and learn about the traditional and innovative technologies in the world of wine. You can also watch a short film that illustrates the process of winemaking, and engage in experiential wine tasting that will expand your knowledge about the world of wine.

Carmel Winery offers a variety of tours, including couple tours, private tours, guided wine tasting, and more. A visit here is a great opportunity to learn about the booming wine industry of this region, and its role in the development of Zichron Yaakov.

Operating hours:

Sunday-Thursday: 09:00 to 17:00, Friday: 09:00 to 14:00, Saturday: closed.

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