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Muhraka

Half a mile south of Daliat-el-Carmel, the road to Muhraka forks off to the left side of the main road. Its destination is not posted, but it meanders and climbs through scrub oak and pine woods to the monastery at Muhraka, the place where Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal. You'll see a dramatic stone statue of Elijah, sword raised to heaven, and a lovely Carmelite monastery, open Monday through Saturday from 8am to 1pm and again from 2:30 to 5pm (on Fri until noon only). The view from the roof of the monastery (admission is NIS 2/50ยข/25p) is unsurpassed; you can see halfway across Israel to Migdal Ha-Emek and the mountains near Nazareth. There are tables for picnics on the grounds outside the monastery. The name "Muhraka," or "place of burning," hints at a time when this extraordinary vista point was a sacred high place for burned offerings and sacrifices in Canaanite and early Israelite times. From here, you can look across almost the whole of Israel to see the other sacred Canaanite high place in the region, Mount Tabor, near Nazareth, which was also the site of the Transfiguration of Jesus. There is no public transportation here. The Druze-Muhraka area is most easily visited by car, as a daylong bicycle excursion from Haifa, or on a tour or with a private guide who has a vehicle.

Organized Tours

A 3-hour tour to Ein Hod leaves Haifa most weekdays at 9:30am. It includes a drive through the Carmel mountain range, visits to the University of Haifa and the Druze market of Daliat-el-Carmel, and stops at art galleries, artists' studios, and other points of interest. Check with the Haifa Tourism Development Association, Egged Tours, and United Tours for current schedules. The Society for Protection of Nature (SPNI), 18 Hillel St. (tel. 04/866-4135), sells excellent hiking and walking maps of the Carmel range.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.