The city of Haifa, the largest city in the north of the country, also considered the north’s capital, is the third-largest city in Israel. Archaeological finds from the 15th century BCE., like remains from Tel Abu-Huam, south of Haifa Bay, which indicate that it was a port city in ancient times. It is, in fact, one of the two largest port cities of the State of Israel and an important maritime trade center.
The city’s population is mixed Jewish-Arab and is also an important center of pilgrimage to the Baha’i religion. Also, topographically it is a diverse city – a large part of the town is built on flat areas along the Mediterranean Sea, while other parts on the slopes of Mount Carmel. Like any big city – Haifa is a cultured city, and with places of entertainment, and many activities.
Unique sites in the city of Haifa
Haifa has many and various historical sites. One of the most famous places associated with the city can even be seen from many vantage points in the Baha’i Gardens.
The ‘Baha’i Gardens’ are a feast for the eyes and have a unique and spectacular beauty. You can walk among botanical gardens built to a high degree – like terrace. The view to the gardens from higher points in the city is remarkable – and even the view from the high gardens to the beach and the town is no less impressive!
On the slopes of Mount Carmel, between the Bat Galim neighborhood and the Stella Maris neighborhood – ‘Elijah’s Cave‘. According to Jewish tradition, the prophet Elijah hid in the cave, while the rest fled from Ahab, the king of Israel.
As early as the Middle Ages, Jewish pilgrims used to visit a cave, which had healing abilities according to the belief. On the walls of the cave, a rock engraving – a seven-branched lamp and an ancient Hebrew inscription: “Israel ben Koma”, next to engravings in the Greek language which are according to the historians from the Byzantine period. Today, in the cave walls lie notes with the prayers of the believers and, outside the cave, candle lighting and prayers are accepted as in all holy places.
Continuing Elijah’s path, the prophet Elisha ben Shaft, who acted during the reign of the kings Jehoash, Jehoahaz, Jehu Ahaziah, and Yoram, buried on Mount Carmel above the Cave of Elijah. Apart from the ‘tomb of Elisha ben Shaft’, other tombs of the righteous in the city: ‘Tomb of Rabbi Avdimi Daman Haifa’, he was been Amorai in the second and third generation of the Amoraim of Israel, whose laws are mentioned in the Talmud and Midrashim, are buried in the Jewish cemetery in Haifa. The tomb of Rabbi Moshe Bar Nachman, the Ramban, his resting place is controversial, but many believers believe that his grave is in the ancient Jewish cemetery near Jaffa Street.
Haifa is a modern and active city
The entertainment and shopping malls in Haifa, including Haifa’s Flea Market, plus the best known – the German Colony, offer a large variety of restaurants of all levels and all styles.
In Haifa you have a large selection of beaches:
Student beach is the beloved and popular student beach among the city’s young people;
Bat Galim beach – a small and quiet beach in the heart of Bat Galim neighborhood;
Hof Hacarmel beach – in the northern part of Hof Hacarmel promenade;
Dado beach, and Zamir beach – beaches in the south of the Haifa city.
Also, various accommodation options at all levels – hostels, vacation apartments, modest hotels, boutique hotels, and even most of the largest hotel chains in Israel – have a luxurious hotel in Haifa. Also, in terms of location and type of accommodation, you have a choice – accommodation on Mount Carmel with a stunning view of the city or accommodation near the sea.
Haifa is an excellent destination for a trip that combines history and culture along the Mediterranean’s shores and the mountain coast.