Haifa view from Carmel
Photo by: david55king, Creative Commons

Haifa is not a city for the quick, mad-dash-through-the-sites tour. It is better savored as a getaway and leisurely vacation for the weary and a chance to absorb a little culture while doing so. Another of Israel’s cities by the sea, Haifa has great historical value among the Israeli for its role in harboring German refugees during World War II. Before then, it was just another seaport of little significance. Today, Haifa offers great beaches for surfing, sailing, Mediterranean cruises and other water sport activities. Unlike the bustle of Tel Aviv, the pace in Haifa is slower and more serene. A favorite activity during the day is a leisurely stroll through the Bat Galin Promenade, visiting the numerous diving and surfing clubs. From there, visitors can choose to sit and relax by the beach in one of the many coffee houses, restaurant and straw huts or take a cable car ride up the Carmel for a breath-taking view of the beach and the Ridge of the Carmel. From there the tourist has the option to ride the cable car down again or take the scenic route through several routes down to the sea.

One such route will take the visitor through the Baha’i Gardens of Haifa to the Shrine of the Bab – the final resting place of the Prophet and Herald of the Baha’i faith. The Garden itself consists of a staircase of nineteen terraces that extend up the Northern face of the Carmel, over-looking Haifa Bay towards its sister – the Baha’i Gardens of Akko. It is a tribute to the loving labor of several generations sharing a common faith.

Other routes down Mount Carmel will go through historical ethnic towns and the Old German Colony where many immigrants from Germany landed and took refuge. The routes are clearly marked so one will know which route will take him through his chosen site.

Other activities in Haifa include taking the Carmelite cruise round Haifa Bay and visiting the Haifa Museum of the Performing Arts and the Haifa Municipal Theater for some culture and art. If you’re looking for some relaxation and quality time, visit Haifa and absorb the ambience.

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