Choose the Best One from the Many Things to Do in Haifa
When someone mentions a popular cruise destination, the typical thought that comes first to mind is a white sandy beach and fancy drinks with umbrellas in them. Though the port of Haifa may not quite fit this description, it makes a strong case for a cruise destination. There may be miles of sandy beaches, but once your ship arrives, you’ll also want to spend some time inland where there are things to do in Haifa for the whole family.
Haifa – The Hidden Gem Among the Mediterranean Cruise Destinations
Haifa is the third largest city in Israel, and as with any major cruise destination, it has plenty to offer for any member of the family. With a rich cultural and religious history, beautiful sandy beaches and plenty of modern tourist attractions, it makes a strong case for a cruise destination. This makes it a great place to visit both for intimate getaways and for family vacations.
For starters, there are a plethora of museums for visitors to get a real feel of the art and culture in the area. Ein Hod is another great tourist attraction, where more than 90 artists gather for exhibitions of studios to display their works. This community of artists is quite unique and can serve as a definite stopping point for anyone interested in crafts.
1. Visit Bahá’i Gardens
For when you want to go to a nice, tranquil environment and visit some of the most beautiful places in the area, the Bahá’i Gardens offers any traveler a memorable experience. With both natural beauty and religious significance, this collection of gardens is found in various Bahá’i Holy sites throughout Haifa. Though you may not have time to visit them all, going on a cruise that features a tour through at least some of these gardens is a must.
Of course, the main Bahá’i garden of mention in Haifa is the Bahá’i World Centre. Added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2008, the Bahai World Centre is one of the major reasons that people visit Haifa. The center of the Bahá’i faith, the World Centre actually consists of multiple locations, including Mount Carmel. Whether looking to go for cultural significance or just looking to admire the views, this area is a must see for any traveler.
2. Try Haifa Cable Car
Among the things to do in Haifa, the cable car is definitely of mention. Though it currently only runs to two locations, this cable car offers a gorgeous aerial view of Haifa. The journey starts at Mount Carmel, where tourists can visit the Stella Maris Monetary and get a unique view of the history there.
When looking to get the more traditional feel of a cruise destination, tourists can take this cable car down from Mount Carmel to Bat Galim, where they can enjoy the sandy beaches. Currently, this cable car only runs this one route, but plans are being made to extend it to the bus station, University of Haifa and some other notable locations. Even if this is not in place by the time you visit, taking the cable car down from Mount Carmel to Bat Galim is quite a unique trip, and definitely worth the time.
3. Trip to Nazareth from Haifa
Nazareth serves an important part of the Islamic, Jewish, Catholic and Christian faiths. Even if you are not part of any faith, visiting Nazareth can be a great cultural experience. Among one of the best excursions from Haifa, this trip can be worth your time if only to visit the Basilica of the Annunciation.
This beautiful church was built, according to the Roman Catholic Church, on the location where the annunciation took place. Over time, this basilica transformed from an altar in a cave where Mary was to have lived and into the present day piece of art. Whether visiting for faith, architecture or artwork, it is quite a place to visit.
Of course, there is more to do in Nazareth than just visit the Basilica, including an array of other Christian and Muslim holy sites. Additionally, there are areas of interest for archeologists, including some unique roman artifacts. Finally, in 2010 the Israeli government approved $3 million in additional spending to aid in Nazareth’s tourism, which has helped some of the local businesses develop some of the more traditional tourist attractions.
4. Trip to Caesarea National Park from Haifa
After taking the excursion to Nazareth, a trip to the Caesarea National Park is another must. With a strong history rooted as far back as ancient Rome, one of the main reasons people enjoying visiting this area is for the Roman ruins. Built by Herod the Great, Caesarea Maritima housed a great harbor around 25 to 13 B.C. These ruins include an ancient aqueduct and theater, but expands beyond this as well.
Beyond just the ruins of Caesarea Maritima though, this national park has interesting places to offer to the modern day tourist. It went through a lot of bold history, going from the Roman Empire to the Byzantine Empire, surviving the crusades, the Ottoman period and remaining in place today. Along with this rich history, there are many other local attractions.
One example of this is the Caesarea Golf and Country Club, which has the only full-sized golf course in the entire country. This country club also has a gym, tennis club, semi-Olympic-sized pool and martial arts studios. For those not so interested in sports, there is also the Ralli Museum, which has a large collection of South American art and some of Salvador Dali’s original works.
And Much More – Plethora of Haifa Attractions Available
Of course, these are just some highlights of the many things to do in Haifa. For specific itineraries and individual Israeli shore excursions and activities, you should check with tour providers or your chosen cruise line.
Regardless, there are a plethora of fun and exciting tourist destinations throughout the area for everyone in the family to enjoy. So, the next time you are looking for a popular cruise destination, go somewhere that will really provide excitement for the whole family. The port of Haifa is certainly a great place to start.
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