Most tourists will suffice with a 1-2 hours review of Caesarea’s main attractions, which are between the site’s theatre and its sunken harbor. However, Caesarea has a lot more to offer. A hippodrome hidden among banana fields, a large mosaic floor on a sandy hilltop, and two giant sized marble sculptures inside an events venue. These are just some of Caesarea’s less known attractions. If you have seen Caesarea before or have the time, it is well worth considering exploring these hidden gems of Caesarea.
The Byzantine Street and Hippodrome
Opposite to the northern entrance, lies a section of a Byzantine period street. The paved road leads to a public forum with a long inscription in Greek in its mosaic floor. The Forum still holds two giant sculptures from Roman times. The marble sculpture is of a seated Zeus, and the red Phorphir sculpture displays Emperor Hadrian on a throne. Beyond it, within a modern plantation of Bananas, lies a large sized Hippodrome. It has not been excavated yet, but a tall stone obelisk found in its spina has been re-erected.
The Synagogue and Aqueduct
A short walk from the port towards the north leads to the northern entry of medieval Caesarea. Recently, its gate complex has been restored. Beyond it lie the remains of an ancient Synagogue. Set right next to the waterfront and nicely restored in recent years, this is also a great spot to conduct a Bar-Mitzvah ceremony.
A leisurely 15 minute walk from the Synagogue along the beautiful coastline leads to the stunning remains of Caesarea’s aqueduct. In Roman and Byzantine times, this aqueduct delivered precious fresh water into Caesarea from springs in the Carmel.
In addition to the new visitor center set in the port, in Kibbutz Sdot Yam hides a humble yet significant museum containing many of the antiquities of Caesarea. Furthermore, near it is lies another small museum, devoted to the legacy of female pioneer, poet and paratrooper Hannah Senesh (“Hannah Senesh House“).
Within the modern town of Caesarea is the Ralli museum. Its special Latin American design exhibits a unique combination of Latin American and Jewish themed artwork. Modern Caesarea also has a golf club, the only full-size golf course in Israel.
One last hidden gem, not far from the golf club, is a big and impressive mosaic floor .Set on a sandy hill, the mosaic depicts 50 birds in medallions, and hunting scenes along the frame. Nicknamed by the locals The Birds Mosaic, this mosaic floor probably decorated the main hall of a Byzantine mansion outside the city (Villa sub urbana).
Segway Tour Around Caesarea
A great and fun way to discover the sites around the national park of Caesarea is through a Segway tour.
The models specially designed to ride in sandy lanes take you along the coast and through sand dunes to the various destinations.