A light spring stroll in Ancient Jaffa

Dror Bederman

Dror Bederman

Tour Designer and Expert Tour Guide in Israel.

By day and by night, there is nothing like Jaffa for a fun and relaxed stroll along the picturesque alleys, through the history of the city, to the old port.

Here are some sites you should visit on your three-hour tour in all the beautiful places the old city of Jaffa offers you:

Begin with the heart – The Clock Tower Square

The best place to begin your tour is at the Clock Tower square that was the heart of commercial life in the city during the Othman Governance, where horse-led carriages went out to Petach Tikva and Nablus, with goods for sale.

Abu Naboot and Mahmudia – Water and Mosque

From the Clock Tower continue to Roslan street, where you will see the “Wall Savil” (a public water facility) that provided water to tired visitors just before entering the city. It was built by the ruler of Jaffa, Mohamad Aga A-Shame, also known by his nick name “Abu Naboot” (“Abu Club”), as he used to hit with a club those who did not obey him.  If you look up, you will see a 200-years old marble plate with ancient Arabic script that was discovered in recent restorations.

Few meters from the wall, you will see the steeple of the biggest and most important mosque of Jaffa – the Mahmudia mosque, built in the 18th century.

If you wish to have a short brake, you can enjoy some hot pastries and a sweet Malabi drink in Yeffet street, just nearby.  

Jaffa: A Port City Dream

A building with many faces – The Old Jaffa Museum

Continuing along the Shlomo Bay promenade, you can visit the old Jaffa museum (with pay), located in an old crusaders fortress with a prison at its basement. The building was converted into a Jewish center with a synagogue and later on it was used as a factory for soaps made of olive oil.

Further down the promenade, there is an observation post with old Beach cannons from the Othman period.

The legend of the Wishing Bridge

To your left you will see the wishing bridge, which is the Jaffa version of the Travi fountain of Rome. Legend has it that if you put your hands on your zodiac sign engraved on the bridge rail, look far into the sea and make your wish – it will come true!

The Orange and the Libyan Synagogue

From the pastoral promenade, continue to the Leo alley, corner of Hatzorfim street where you will see the floating orange statue of Dan Morin, a reminder of the long-lasting world brand of the Jaffa oranges.

The Aries and Pisces alleys will lead you to the renovated Libyan synagogue, originally the first Jewish hostel in Jaffa built in 1740 by a rich Jew from Istanbul. Later on, it was turned into a soap factory until it was re-purchased and restored.

Myths and Shopping – the end of the tour

Passing through the Zodiac lane alley on your way to the port, don’t miss the balconies that were used for storing food cooled by the sea winds. It is also recommended to get to the end of the promenade where you can see the rock of Andromeda, the mythological princess that was rescued by Perseus riding his horse Pegasus, just before she was eaten by the Sea monster. 

If you do not wish to end your tour empty handed, you can go for some shopping and some snacks at the famous Jaffa Flee market.

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