Kabbalists, Crusaders and artisans all have a place in the story of the Galilean city of Safed (Tzfat), a breezy mountaintop marvel in northern Israel, dating back more than 2,000 years. Given its rich history and vibrant present, Safed is a must see when in Israel. Its two biggest draws are the Artists' Colony and significant religious sites centering around 13th-16th century rabbinic mystics such as Isaac Luria. Safed (Tzfat), the highest city in Israel, commands a breathtaking view of the Galilee in the winter with its green mountains and the white snow-capped peak of Mount Hermon. Visitors to Safed enjoy wandering its picturesque lanes, past charming stone houses whose resident artists' studios beckon. Safed has been a spiritual magnet since the Middle Ages when it became a center of Kabbala (Jewish mysticism), and is renowned for its high-ceilinged synagogues with their colorful decorations and ancient Torah scrolls. Safed's annual Klezmer Festival has become a must for summer visitors who love Jewish soul music.
Photographer: Rotem Golan. From a PikiWiki.