Ottoman Clock Tower © Ian McKellar
The historical port city of Jaffa is easily reached from Tel Aviv by car, or even on foot. Its inhabitants have included notable biblical figures, and its name is said to have been derived from that of Japhet, Noah's son. Archaeological finds indicate that Jaffa existed as a port city a remarkable 4,000 years ago, serving both Egyptian and Phoenician sailors on their sea voyages.
The entrance to the Old Town is marked by the Ottoman Clock Tower, a prominent landmark and meeting point. The Old Town still has an ancient and magical atmosphere and is the main draw for visitors. Jaffa has become a popular tourist attraction filled with interesting shops, Mediterranean-style restaurants and sun-drenched cafes. There are artist quarters, studios and galleries as well as shops specialising in Judaica and archaeology. There are also some splendid markets in Jaffa - be sure to haggle! At night the historical walls are illuminated, revealing a beautiful architectural backdrop offset against the soft lapping of the sea against the ancient port walls. For an exploration into Jaffa's history pay a visit to the Jaffa Museum, which contains a dazzling collection of artefacts. The museum is located at 10 Mifratz Shlomo Street, Old Jaffa.