Mount Carmel National Park
A real Garden of Eden, with breath-taking views and packed full of beautiful sights, scents and smells, the Carmel National Park is often regarded as one of Israel’s most beautiful natural destination. Thanks to location, just West of Mediterranean Sea, Carmel is blessed with an abundance of rainfall, something that is plain to see in the flowers and greenery that bloom within its boundaries. Set along the top of the Carmel Ridge, it is at the very least the largest green space within the country and is a must-visit for anyone travelling to the area.
The Carmel National Park is home to over 650 separate species of plant and over 10,000 hectares of trees, making it the perfect place to lose yourself for a few hours. Within its midst there are plenty of walking and cycle paths, with natural trails wrapped around every tree within the area. Fondly referred to as ‘Little Switzerland’ because of its Alpine appearance, the area is actually manmade, and was first started in the 1930s. The park itself is home to an array of different attractions and regardless of whether you’re on foot or wheels, there are plenty of things to see.
The Hai bar
A large nature reserve, that houses many of the worlds most endangered, the Hai Bar is a must visit for anyone interested in conversation or animal welfare more broadly. From the thousands of butterflies to the deer and wild goats, there is plenty to see and with free tours available, it’s an excellent educational opportunity for the kids.
The Cyclamen Trail and Hanging Bridges of Nesher
While only short, just 1,300-metres long, the Cyclamen Trial is most famous for its burial chambers, of which there are six along the way. Carved into the rocks, the six entranceways are said to have belonged to a wealthy Jewish family who lived in the area back in the Mishnah period. It’s a must see for those interested archaeology and with the site of the Horvat Hermesh ruins is nearby, history lovers will thoroughly enjoy a few hours spent lost in the past. Not far from the sight of the trial is also the Hanging Bridges of Nesher, hosts some of the best views in the world and it’s one you’re going to want to take plenty of pictures of.
Despite being 200-years old, having been stablished in the 18th century by Druze from Lebanon, the Daliat-el-Carmel village still offers hospitality to all those who visit it. As the sight where Elijah the Prophet supposedly proved himself, Carmelite Muhraka Monastery is an active sight of pilgrimage and while the church is small, it offers beautiful things to see. The gardens themselves are worth visiting and the viewing platform offers the chance to absorb the incredible views. And if you happen to visit on a Saturday, make sure that you visit the lively Saturday market that is hosted in the village.
While a fee is required for those in vehicles, entrance to the Carmel National Park is free throughout the year. Close to Kibbutz Beit Oren, there are also placed to stay, with the Fairy Forest ecological campsite offering a beautiful camping location. As well as a place to pitch your tent, there is an open kitchen, compost toilets and warm showers, as well as a woodland pool. There is an on-sight restaurant, as well as picnic areas, and the famous Druze Hospitality Area where fresh bread and tea can be purchased. Plus, there is a play area for the children to enjoy.