Often referred to as the “evergreen mountain”, Mount Carmel is actually more of a mountain range than a single peak. Though it is decidedly lacking in altitude (its summit is a mere 1,724 feet above sea level), this verdant geological feature is 24 miles in length, 5 miles across at its widest point, and home to a variety of oak and pine stands and olive groves, as well as more than 600 other species of flora and fauna that flourish in the region thanks to the near constant sunshine paired with high levels of precipitation. This all makes it one of the prettiest places to hike in Israel.
Located between Menashe Plateau in the south, Haifa Bay in the north, and the Jezreel Valley in the east, Carmel offers visitors countless commanding vistas, including glimpses of Mount Gilboa, the Samaria Mountains, the Golan Heights, the glimmering expanse of the Mediterranean Sea, and Mount Tabor in the distance.
While much of the area is the domain of wildlife reserves and parks, it is also the site of Israel’s third-largest city. Known as the “City of the Carmel,” Haifa is one of the most desirable destinations in the country. The city is home to a vibrant cosmopolitan community (complete with excellent international cuisine in astonishing variety and plenty of museums, entertainments, and other distractions), and is the international headquarters of the Baha’i Faith.
Some of the most popular activities in the area include hiking along the Nof Carmel trail (approximately 15 miles in length), visiting the Druze inhabitants of Daliyat el-Carmel and Isfya, and investigating the ways and means of prehistoric humans via audio/visual presentations at Nahal Mearot Nature Reserve.