The City of Haifa is surrounded by the sea. Wrapping around three sides of the Port of Haifa, the Mediterranean is lined with beautiful gold and blue beaches from the promenade at Bat Galin to the sands of Carmel Beach. Visitors will enjoy stops at a café or one of the many restaurants that look out over the sea, swimming at a well-cared-for municipal beach, or windsurfing in the waters of the bay. Scuba divers can explore an underwater archaeological site. Passengers can also enjoy wonderful cruises of the harbor.
The most popular tourist attraction in the Port of Haifa is the Bahá’í World Center on Mount Carmel, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The most holy site for pilgrims of the Bahá’í faith, the center contains the gold-domed Shrine of the Báb, terraced gardens, and administrative buildings. Tours are by appointment, but the admission is free.
The Cave of Elijah on Mount Carmel is believed to have been the home of the prophet Elijah during King Ahab’s reign. While the site is not spectacular, it is a very holy site, and it offers wonderful walks and scenery. Christians revere the cave because they believe Jesus and his family escaped King Harrods’ persecution by hiding there.
Stella Maris is the 12th Century French Carmelite church, hospice, and monastery on Mount Carmel and the founding site for the Carmelite Order. It is connected by a hiking trail to the Cave of Elijah below it.
The German Colony of Haifa, founded by the German Templars in the 19th Century, contains some original restored templar houses. The colony’s main street is a promenade lined with shops and restaurants. The Port of Haifa’s history museum and tourist board are located within the German Colony.
Visitors may want to take a trip to the top of Mount Carmel to the Druze Villages where they will find a tourist-oriented bazaar with shops with affordable goods and great Mid-Eastern restaurants.
The Sculptures Garden was created in the 1960s, and it is one of the Port of Haifa’s most breathtaking vantage points. The 29 bronze sculptures contained in the garden were created by Ursula Malbin and given to the Port of Haifa. From the garden, you can see the bay and Galilee.
Mount Carmel is also home to the Farm/Ranch Mishmar ha Carmel. Open all year long, the historic Khan building and large open space offers overnight stays for as many as 500 people. Visitors enjoy hiking trails of all levels of difficulty, and professional guides are available. This is a wonderful spot for a relaxing day trip or picnic.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Haifa by sea can find a list of scheduled cruises on the Cruise Compete website.