A few years ago, you’d never have considered Nazareth as a true northern stopover on a trip around Israel. You might have bused through, or stopped by for a quick peek at the Basilica of the Annunciation, but that was typically that.
Until one day travel entrepreneur Maoz Inon came along and decided that Nazareth was the perfect spot for a hostel/guest house. Teaming up with local resident Suraida, the grand-daughter of the legendary Fauzi Azar and owner of the original family mansion which dates back some 200 years, the Fauzi Azar Inn was born!
We stayed at the Fauzi Azar for 3 days as part of our crazy 32-day family trip across Israel, and yep, had a blast! The staff are very friendly and helpful, the rooms are great (there are private rooms and dorms (we had a room for the five of us)), the breakfasts awesome (watch out for the free, daily cake!), and the whole vibe around the place is generally very unique, yet very cozy and hospitable. The building itself will charm your socks off, especially those arches and the cool, shady courtyard…
Highlights for us included the FREE city tour, which gave us a great peek at some of the sites you’d never ever get to see as a regular tourist (and you’ll also get to hear all about the amazing family history and how the Fauzi Azar Inn started), the free Arabic lessons by the lovely Rasha, and the location of the hostel itself – you really are just 2 minutes away from the Old City market and the Basilica, while everything else is a quick walk away. Seriously, we left our car parked down the road for 3 days and didn’t miss it for a second! Our 3 kids also had a great time and felt really at home here, especially when they met up with another Swiss traveler of their own age!
It’s no surprise that the Fauzi Azar was ranked as one of the world’s best hostels in 2014, and was also described by the Lonely Planet Travel Guide “one of the highlights of a stay in the Galilee” and “a great base for touring major sites of the Galilee.” The hostel might now be part of the Abraham Hostels label, but still keeps its unique identity, as it should!
We’ll definitely be back to this Galilee charmer!