Haifa, Israel’s third largest city and its main port on the Mediterranean Sea, is world famous for the opulent and perfectly designed Baha’i gardens, an elegant and tranquil oasis descending the flanks of Mt Carmel 19 terraces to the Shrine of the Báb, the tomb of the prophet of the Baha’i faith, a religion originally funded in Persia. Are you wondering why the second holiest place on Earth for Bahá'ís is located in Israel? We are eager to answer this question, and to take you on a journey through all the holy and the wordly treasures of Israel’s cosmopolitan and multifaith seaport with our Haifa shore excursion!
Another pilgrimage site, holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims, is Elijah’s Cave, located at the foot of Mount Carmel. The Prophet Elijah (9th Century BCE) is believed to have lived in this beautifully embellished chapel. Believers of the three monotheistic religions flock to this sacred site to see the place where the prophet conducted many of his teachings, and where many significant life events occurred.
Situated high above Haifa, with an unbeatable view on the bay, the Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery is believed to be one of the oldest monasteries in the world, dating back to 1291CE. The Carmelite Order was established in the late 12th century by Crusader-era pilgrims, who decided to follow Elijah’s footsteps and dedicate their lives to hermitage.
On our Haifa shore excursion, sacred and profane are intertwined as naturally as the placid Baha’i gardens leave the stage to the bustling German Colony at its foot.
One of Haifa’s most popular neighbourhoods, with a history dating back to 1868, when a German group adhering to the Templar cult settled down in the area. Nowadays it is studded with trendy cafes, restaurants and popular art galleries. Enjoy the best falafel in town in one of the many food stands located in ‘the Wadi’, as the locals call the Wadi Nisnas, an Arab district situated next to the German Colony, with narrow streets and old stone houses surrounding this exotic eastern market.
If you want to discover more about the history of the city at the eve of the foundation of the State of Israel, don’t miss the Clandestine Immigration & Naval History Museum. This fascinating museum brings you back to British-blockaded Palestine through multimedia material in which witnesses tell the story of the clandestine actions undertaken by the Zionist movement to bring Jewish refugees from Europe to the Holy Land between 1934 and 1948. The museum also tells the famous story of the Exodus, a ship carrying more than 4500 Holocaust survivors to Palestine in 1947, which was forced by the British to return to Europe.
The Haifa Museum of art, one of the three biggest art museums in Israel, is a must for art-lovers. If you are into challenging artwork around contemporary issues, this museum, including works of art by Israeli and international artists, should be on the top of your list of things to see in Haifa.
Haifa is an exciting and intense city, with plenty of sites to discover, and on top of that it offers heavenly beaches and promenades, ports, and open spaces all along the coast. Here you can slow down the pace and spend the rest of your day just relaxing and waiting for the sun to set into the sea.
Explore Haifa’s many fascinating facets on our Haifa Shore Excursion!