Safed (Tzfat): the mystical city of Kabbalah
Whether you are a kabbalah practitioner or not, it's worth a visit to the beautiful little town of Tzfat, also known as Safed. Located at the foot of a hill, 1000 meters above sea level, it is the highest city in Galilee, which gives it a beautiful view of the surrounding green mountains.
Why so special: It has since 1600 become a spiritual center and one of the four holy cities of Israel (together with Jerusalem, Hebron and Tiberias). Scholars, rabbis, religious and enthusiasts of Jewish mysticism settled there and to this day Tzfat is sought after by those who wish to get spiritualized and study the Torah.
How to get there: It takes around 02 hours driving from Tel Aviv; but you can also get there by bus. To get to know Tzfat, start with the “Artists Quarter”, which is made up of stone houses, synagogues, studios and artists' workshops scattered in picturesque old and narrow alleys. In this artistic district there is a number of shops whose windows please our eyes with an immensity of colorful paintings, sculptures, jewelry and all kinds of craftsmanship - sophisticated - all very well made and that will surely make you want to buy.
How many days: I spent very little time in Tzfat and regretted not having stayed for at least two or three days, because the city has an energy and a warm and mysterious atmosphere that brings us peace. Getting there, for much of the year, you feel an almost village atmosphere, very calm and peaceful. The elevated geographical location and the mountains allow us to breathe a purer air and even in summer the climate is mild and cool at dusk. Also, from there - especially in the narrow streets hidden in narrow passages - you can see a beautiful sunset over the Hills of Galilee… very beautiful.
There is so much to know in Tzfat, besides the Artists' Quarter. There are centuries of history rooted in that ground full of staircases and cobblestones, details that require attention to a good observer, and also a little sensitivity to get carried away by the mystical and spiritual atmosphere of the city.