Relax among the beautiful surroundings of Zikhron Ya'aqov
Zikhron Ya'aqov was founded on Mount Carmel by Romanian immigrants in the year 1882. Baron Edmond James de Rothschild was patron to the city and was responsible for introducing vineyards and almond-tree orchards to Zikhron Ya'aqov. The first winery was established in 1885 along with a bottle factory. Citizens honored Mr. Rothschild by naming both the city and synagogue after his father Jacob. Zikhron Ya'aqov means "Jacob's memorial".
In Zikhron Ya'aqov's main road you will come across Bet Aaronsohn, the home of Aaron Aaronsohn, a notable botanist. Aaronsohn established a secret organization during World War One to assist in the battle against Turkish rule. Just outside Zikhron Ya'aqov is a road to Ramat Hanadiv, a hill were the remains of Baron de Rothschild and his wife Ada were buried in 1954. The lovely park in which the Rothschild Mausoleum is located also contains a carved stone map of the settlements Rothschild established.
Two wineries are located in Zikhron Ya'aqov, namely: Carmel winery and Tishbi winery. The best months for viewing the vineyards are August and September. At this time the grapes are ripe for picking and you can observe the crushing process. Guided tours of these wineries are a great way to spend the day. End off the tour by enjoying a wine-tasting session.
Just 5km away from Zikhron Ya'aqov is the small village of Binyamina established in 1922 as a secondary settlement. From here you can make your way west to Bet Hananya a moshav from 1950. Within this village you will find two Roman aqueducts and nearby excavations have uncovered a Hyksos fortress. To the west is the Crocodile River or Nahal Hataninim. The river mouth has been declared a nature reserve and is home to a diverse number of fauna and flora. Further along you will come to Ma'agan Mikael, a kibbutz founded in 1949. Originally stone was quarried here for use in buildings for Herod.
Zikhron Ya'aqov is a unique town with an fascinating history and definitely the best place in Israel to sample local wines.