Mount Carmel can be seen as you approach Haifa from the south. You can see the ranges of Mt Carmel rising until you have in front of you Israel’s largest National Park the Har HaCarmel.
As soon as you pass Zichron Yaacov coming from the south the view is awe inspiring. On the left you have the Mediterranean Sea and on you right the majestic range of the Carmel.
Mount Carmel National Park in Israel
Har HaCarmel National Park
This National Park, Israel’s highest is about 10,000 hectares (24,700 acres) of eucalyptus, pine and cypress forests. The park has as many as 250 caves that show that this area was inhabited by prehistoric humans as far as 100,000 years ago. The area has been kept to study and preserve the Mediterranean Habitat already existing here.
There are bicycle and hiking paths and of course restaurants, restrooms, playgrounds and picnic areas for the benefit of the visitors. There is also a Druze Hospitality Center offering tea and sweet breads. Admission to the nature reserve is about NIS 20 equivalents to $5.00.
Mount Carmel National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Mt Carmel is important to many religions. Jews, Christians, Muslims, Druze and Bahai have sanctified its sites each one in his way.
The Victory of Prophet Elijah
This is the site of the Lord’s Victory over the Prophets of Baal.
When fire came down from heaven and consumed the sacrifice altar and even the water, Elijah had the prophets of Baal killed at the Kishon.
Two important Druze Villages are located on Mt Carmel. The Druze, as known have the greatest relationship with the Jews of Israel and some occupy high positions in the army and governments of Israel.
The Carmelites which originated in England around the 12th Century and acquires the name based on the Carmel Range. They arrived as Crusaders and settled on top of Mt Carmel where they built a monastery on the ruins of the dwelling place of Elijah. The Carmelite Monastery is open to the public on a year round basis.
This is another religion that considers the Carmel sacred. They built their Bahai Gardens on the slopes of the mount facing the city of Haifa. This is one of the most beautiful gardens I have ever seen.
The Beautiful city of Haifa on the slopes of Mt Carmel
Cities and villages
The most important city of Mt Carmel is Haifa occupying the northern part of the range. This is third largest city of Israel. This is a city that exemplifies the coexistence of Arabs and Jews in harmony in one city.
On the east the city of Yokneam, which in my times on the army was a little village today is a center of High-tech.
Zichron Yaacov on the southern slope is a must visit. The city has been kept beautiful over the years. You can visit it while going to Haifa at the beginning of the Carmel Range.
Sample of a Druze table full of delicious food
You’ll find in the Carmel towns like the Druze town of Daliat El Carmel in the center of the ridge. Also towns like Nesher and Tirat Hacarmel. A place to visit is Kibbutz Beit Oren on the highest point of the range.
In a visit to Israel you will see Mount Carmel several times, since it is on the way from the Central area of the country to the north. But they keep building so many new roads that now you don’t have to go through Haifa going north.
But you know what? Haifa and Mount Carmel definitely deserve a visit from any tourist to the Holy Land.
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2015 - 2018