Rosh Hanikra Israel
One of the best natural attractions
in the north of the country

Just meters from the border with Lebanon, Rosh Hanikra Israel is one of the wonders of nature in the Holy Land.

Rosh ‎Hanikra means the "Head of the Reefs" in Hebrew.

You will njoy spectacular views from the head of the white reefs as you ride down the cable car to sea level, claimed to be the shortest and steepest cable car ride in the world!

Cable Cars at Rosh Hanikra in northern Israel

Rosh Hanikra Israel
Amazing Caves and Grottoes

After riding down on the cable cars at Rosh Hanikra Israel, you'll find yourself in a wonderful world of grottoes and caves amid sparkling blue water.

Sea grottoes of Rosh Hanikra in the north of Israel

The caves are actually parts of a labyrinth of tunnels. How did they form? Millions of years ago, earthquakes opened gaps in the bedrock. The sea and rain entered the gaps. As sea waves pounded the chalk reefs, the tunnels and grottoes were formed. 

The carved cave formations create eerie shapes and dazzling light formations.‎

You can hear a constant whoosing, almost mystical sound as the jagged rock formations force the sea waves through different caves and corners, some at faster and some at slower speeds.

There is a well-known legend about Amira, the beautiful daughter of a family in nearby Akko. Her parents arranged for her to be married to a very wealthy old Sheikh a bit further north in Tyre. She begged her parents to cancel the planned wedding to no avail. As they passed Rosh Hanikra she leapt off her horse into the choppy sea and drowned. If you listen closely, you will hear her sad song.

Rosh Hanikra Israel
How to get around  

‎There are different ways of exploring Rosh Hanikra Israel.

Exploring by foot is the easiest and most popular way. There is a walking path into the heart of the cliffs. 

descending into the wonderful caves of Rosh Hanikra

You can also rent bicycles or electric golf carts and discover the area, known as the Rosh Hanikra Sea Reserve. Ride along the boardwalk, the beaches near the cliffs and pretty sea inlets.

You might even get to see some wildlife, like these cute rock hyraxes sunning themselves on the rocks.

rock hyraxes sunning themselves on the rocks around Rosh Hanikra

The waters too are full of marine life, some of the fish are unique to the area. 

According to the Talmud, it was around here that the Phoencians gathered special sea snails from which they produced the famous Tyrian purple and Tyrian blue dyes used by royalty and also by the High Priest (Cohen HaGadol) who served in the Temple of Jerusalem.

If you like action, there are kayak trips in the Rosh Hanikra area, and boat trips from nearby Achziv that take you snorkeling and even scuba diving at Rosh Hanikra, when climate permits and the sea is calm. 

snorkeling at the grottoes of Rosh Hanikra Israel

Since the sea sometimes gets quite rough, make sure to go snorkeling or diving safely with an experienced guide who is familiar with the weather and water conditions.

Rosh Hanikra Israel
History of the area  

Rosh Hanikra Israel is part of a dramatic mountain ridge extending to Lebanon known as the "Ladder of Tyre" in the Bible.

The main cliff looks like an elephant leg.

Rosh Hanikra cliff looks like an elephant leg

This area was  part of ancient trader caravan routes running north to south. Paintings from these days show stairways quarried into these mountain ranges ‎for crossing with camels and horses.

Not only traders crossed these paths but countless armies on the way to conquer the Holy Land. Phoenecians, King Senharib of Assyria, Persians.  Alexander the Great passed through in 330 BCE, building stairways through the cliffs. Later on Romans, Arabs and even Crusaders passed through Rosh Hanikra on the way to conquer Jaffa and Jerusalem.

Unfortunately the ancient stairways were destroyed by the ‎British when they built the road to Lebanon. 

You can still see the remains of the Haifa-Beirut railroad tunnels and a bridge built by the British Mandate which was destroyed by Israel Independence forces in 1948 to prevent the supply of soldiers and arms to opposing forces. 

Inside one of the old railway stations is an interesting sound and light show on Rosh Hanikra that runs continuously.

Rosh Hanikra Israel

You can either drive to Rosh Hanikra or take a train (or an Egged Bus) to the nearest stop at Nahariya. From there a taxi ride takes less than 10 minutes.

Rosh Hanikra and the cable cars run every day, all year round (except Yom Kippur) except on stormy days.

Visiting hours are from 9 AM - 6 PM every day except Fridays during the summer, and from 9 AM - 4 PM every day during the winter and on Fridays during the summer (except Yom Kippur).

There is a restaurant and souvenir shop at the site.

For up to date prices, call 073-271-0100 or check the Rosh Hanikra website.

For the ultimate in comfort, consider taking a private tour of the area. Our house guide has a fascinating northern Israel coastline tour of Hafia, Akko and Rosh Hanikra. Find out more here.

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