Presentation of the destination
Umm al-Fahm is a beautiful city located in Israel. With a population of over 48,500 inhabitants, this city is located on the Umm al-Fahm mountain ridge. Mount Iskander, the highest peak at 522 meters casts a shadow on this city, while overlooking the Wadi Ara. Umm al-Fahm means 'The Mother of Charcoal' and this city produced charcoal in its dense forests as early as 1265. There are numerous archaeological important sites from the Iron age, Hellenistic age, Roman and Muslim times. A small city, it grew during the creation of Israel and in 1985 it was declared a city after being governed by elected councils. Today, it serves as a hub for the neighboring villages. With a Mediterranean type of climate, Umm al-Fahm experiences a mild, but rainy winter. Temperatures are between 9 to 17°C in winter. Summers are hot and dry and the temperature could go as high as 35 °C.
Points of interests / things to see
This beautiful building was constructed to exhibit the rich and diverse culture of the Arab arts. Umm al-Fahm Museum for Contemporary Art was designed with an open plan of numerous terraces, spectacular views of the hills and surrounding areas and a modern building reflecting the 21st century architecture. It was strives to maintain links to the past, while optimistic about the future of the arts of this region, despite the civil unrest of this area. Ascetically constructed, the movement of the visitor through the displays is circular. The entry is through the educational building and it leads to the lobby, notice the symbolic tree that grows on the inside of the building, similar to the tree on the Sheikh's grave, it represents hope for a brighter future. There are many ramps that guide the visitors through the different galleries. Explore the galleries and marvel at the local artists work on display. Discover the educational and cultural activities in the square, the topography is a beautiful representation of the buildings and agricultural activities on the hill sides that is one of the main characteristic of the villages of this region. There are classes for both Arab and Palestinian children at this museum. Relax at the restaurant or visit shop on site.
The ancient synagogue of Tzippori is located about 26 kilometers from Umm al-Fahm. Situated in Tzippori, it is a national archaeological park. This synagogue was built in the 5th century when the Jewish population was decreasing and the christian population was increasing. This synagogue has been considered to have the most spectacular mosaic ever discovered in the modern world. The mosaics were discovered by construction workers, when building a parking lot at the beginning of the national archaeological park of Tzippori. The mosaic floor is sectioned into seven parts, the scene at the entrance depicts angels visiting Sarah and the next section shows the binding of Isaac. Notice the large zodiac and the names of the month that are written in Hebrew. Helios is shown sitting in his sun chariot in the center. There is a panel depicting the offerings at the Temple in Jerusalem, the showbread, basket of first fruits and the tamid sacrifice. The panel above shows Aaron offering sacrifices in the Tabernacle and there are a set of three panels that show a pediment building and an incense shovel used in Temples and this panel is beside another that depicts the seven branched Menorah from the Temple of Jerusalem with the Jewish holiday symbols.
A Protestant-Anglican church, the Christ Church is located in Nazareth about 30 kilometers from Umm al-Fahm. This ancient church had its spire added in 2014 after 143 years. This was the second Anglican church to be built in the Holy Land, the first church is located in Jerusalem. Built in the Gothic style, this church was never completed due to the lack of finances. Finally, it was consecrated in 1871 by Bp. Samuel Gobat and the Rev. John Zeller, who was the pastor during that period. Close to the church is the famous Basilica of the Annunciation. The Church Mission Society were the leading providers of the early missionaries at in this church and it served as a mission center for the propaganda of the religion. This beautiful Gothic church had halls filled with girls and women of the area and it was common to see men too. The service was in Arabic and the whole congregation sang accompanied by a harmonium. Most of the men wore a white cap or a black handkerchief in the Bedouin fashion. A moving experience for visitors who attend mass at this ancient church.
The Archaeological site of Munhata or Horvat Minha is located on the North Bank near the outlet of Nahal Tavor in the city of Afula 'lllit. The area of over 2,000 square meters in the Jordan Valley was first excavated in 1962 and they revealed neolithic, chalcolithic, Yarmukian and Wadi Rabah influences in the different levels. The buildings that were discovered in the earlier stages were made with stone, or plastered floors that had stone foundations. There are remains of hearths and stone structures. The other levels reveal a circular courtyard structure with rooms lead from the center. There is a large platform with channels that have been cut into it, this has a pebble lined trough that could have been used for handicrafts. There is a disruption in the settlement between the levels on three and two and they are covered with sandy soil. Explore the grounds and learn of the flint tools, arrowheads made with barbed tangs, some with wings and pointed shoulders and others shaped differently. There were many grinding tools found on this site and included pestle and mortars of basalt or limestone, rubbers, grooved stones and polishers. Many stoneware vessels decorated with green stone beads and beautiful clay figurines of animals, males and females. Carbon dating of this ancient site has fixed some of the articles to be from 7210-5420 BC.
This is a beautiful church Nazareth that legend claims stands on the location, where according to Roman Catholic tradition the Annunciation took place. It is said that this event occurred when Mary was drawing water from the local spring in Nazareth and this church was constructed on this site. The present church is a spectacular two level building with a 55 meter domein 1969 over the site of an earlier Byzantine era and a Crusader era church. Legend claims that the lower lever is the Grotto of the Annunciation that most Christians believe to be the remains of the childhood home of Mary. This church holds a very important place in the Roman Catholic canon and it is considered as important as a basilica. Historians claim that there was a shrine on this spot in the 4th century and it had an altar in the cave that Mary lived in. Emperor Constantine I built a bigger structure on his mother's orders to commemorate important events in Jesus Christ's life. This church was constructed at the same time as the Church of Nativity or the birthplace and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre or the tomb. It remained till 570 AD, when it was destroyed by the Muslim conquest of Palestine.
A visit to the markets in Umm al-Fahm will you experience the traditions and customs of the inhabitants. Most Jewish stores close mid-afternoon on Friday and open on Sunday morning, but Muslims stores close down on Friday, while Christian stores are shut on Sunday. Browse through the stores and you will discover beautiful roman glass jewelry, religious items like the Eilat stone, armenian pottery, pomegranate wine and the local delicacy, halva. Buy Silan, this is the date honey that is mentioned in the Bible. The handmade jewelry are pretty and the watermelon shake delicious. The dead sea products on sales are geniune too.
The Nazareth Village is located close to the original site of the city of Nazareth or Natsrat. Experience life in the days of Mary and Jesus at this living village that has the locals inhabitants in 1st century costumes. Watch them practice weaving, farming, carpentry, blacksmith, cooking and other crafts. Guided tours will take the visitors around the ancient wine press, quarry, terraces and the oil press. The Synagogue and houses have been replicated authentically and you can watch the goats and sheep roam around the almonds and olive trees. Interact with the locals and learn about the fascinating traditions and customs during the times of Jesus. Address: 5079 St., Nazareth Telephone: +972-(0)4-6456042
The nutrient rich valley is home to some of the best wineries in this country. Take a trip to the Galileo winery at Kibbutz Dan that was established in 2004 and produces a minimum of 2,500 bottles a year. Located close to the tributaries of the Dan River, this winery makes delicious Cabernet Sauvignon from the hand picked grapes of Kerum Ben Zimra. The technique used is still traditional and the wine is produced without filtration. Take a guided tour and learn the different procedures involved and enjoy the wine tasting at the end of the tour. Address: Galileo Winery Kibbutz Dan Website: www.gogalil.org/western_galilee.asp
The local cuisine has much to offer the visitors. Most of the restaurants will offer a salad spread, this is a delicious concept of small dishes that have different dishes and an assortment of olives, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onions and herbs. They are served with a flat bread that can be stuffed. The leg of lamb served on a bed of spicy rice is another popular dish in this city. The portions are large and the price quite reasonable. Al Babor Ein Ibrahim Junction Telephone: 972-4/611-0691
Vacation rentals in Umm al-fahm (Haifa District)
How to get there ?
The Ben Gurion International Airport is about 20 minutes away from Tel Aviv. This is the main airport that caters to Umm al-Fahm, it is located 77.1 kilometers from the city center of Umm al-Fahm. Visitors may take a taxi from the airport or a train, but there are no buses or sherut taxis into Tel Avis to connect to Umm al-Fahm. The bus number 823 or 826 from Tel Aviv New Central Bus Station will take visitors into Nazareth in two hours time, from there change the bus to Umm al-Fahem. Taxi are a comfortable, but expensive way to get into Umm al-Fahem. Getting around Walking is the best way to visit the tourist attractions in this city. The shopping areas are crowded and public buses cover the entire city, but traffic can be a problem. The sights that are away from the city can be explored by taxi, but it is expensive. There are a few tour operators who will arrange private tours of the tourist attractions, the hotel that you are staying at will help.
Hotels in Umm al-fahm (Haifa District)