A northern Israeli port city, close to Galilee, Haifa is a centre of maritime trade and a delightfully peaceful city, sometimes overlooked by visitors, although not lacking insights and beauty. Long stretches of sandy beach and quaint promenades make it a perfect holiday destination, although Haifa is known as being a city of workers, thanks to its industrial past and current role as a technology hub. The saying goes ‘Tel Aviv plays, Jerusalem prays and Haifa works.’
The most striking sight in Haifa is the Bahai Gardens, a series of lush emerald terraces which stretch elegantly upwards on the northern slope of Mount Carmel. Amazing in their style and symmetry, the gardens offer visitors a pleasant walk and an increasingly impressive view of the city as you climb to higher levels. The Shrine of Bab, the centerpiece of the gardens and adorned with a gold dome, is home to the remains of the founder of the Baha’i faith, a religion which began in the Middle East and teaches the universal worth of all faiths.
Downtown, the German Colony, an area surrounding the palm-lined Ben Gurion Boulevard and founded by German Protestant settlers in 1868, is brimming with restaurants, bars and cafes. Visitors to Haifa cannot miss a visit to the Stella Maris, a French Carmelite church, monastery & hospice, located on the slopes of Mount Carmel and accessible by a scenic cable car ride from the downtown area.