Ruins in Caesarea © Heatkernel
The ancient port city of Caesarea was established 2,000 years ago by Herod the Great as a tribute to the Roman Emperor, Augustus Caesar. Before this it was known as Straton's Tower, named for its founder Straton, who is believed to have been a ruler of Sidon in the 4th century BC. Caesarea is conveniently located between Tel Aviv and Haifa and is a popular excursion for visitors. Caesarea has a fascinating and extensive history and its rich archaeological heritage includes the remains of Roman architecture, including an aqueduct, a theatre, houses and palaces. The Roman theatre is used as a concert venue for big Israeli and international stars and is a special place to catch a show. Some of the archaeological finds from Caesarea can be seen in the museum at nearby Kibbutz Sdot Yam.
For scuba diving enthusiasts, diving among the ruins of Herod's city is an extraordinary experience. Caesarea has also become well known for some of its modern attractions, including some very fine private homes, an 18-hole golf course (the only 18-hole course in Israel), luxury hotels, galleries and boutiques. There are some good restaurants and cafes to investigate as well. Miles of sandy beaches stretch along the Mediterranean coastline and visitors can enjoy the sun-soaked atmosphere against this luxurious backdrop.