It is the largest green area within Haifa boundaries. The park differs from its surroundings, but it is part and parcel of the landscape of beaches and municipal open areas. Hecht Park stretches between Dado Beach, seaside hotels, and Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research Center (Limnology is the study of inland waters). The park is located near Shikmona Beach National Garden, along the coastline between the railway lines and the water line.
Hecht Park occupies 7.5 ha. Between the Hagana junction (Maxim intersection) and the Derekh Tzarfat its length reaches 1.2 kilometer, and between Derekh HaHagana and the railway lines its width is 60-70 meters.
Hecht Park is unique, because it is multifarious and offers many various pastimes both for kids and grown-ups. The playground next to the southern parking area is equipped with new attractions, including swings, climbing facilities, and universally popular "Omega" pulley allowing kids to fly in the air along the beach. Nearby there is a beautiful green place for picnics with workout equipment for adults. Natural walks allow one to stroll, to run, and to hike for the space of 3 kilometers. Along the two river canals crossing the park (from Carmel Mountain to the Mediterranean Sea), seasonal water pools with natural growth are planned. A system of pathways paved with asphalt connects the sitting places with the shaded observatory. Vehicles are not allowed into the park; at the park’s entrance there are two car parks.
The largest National Park in Israel! The park is crossed by the special pathways for cycling, jeeps and mini-tractors. There you can see captivating landscapes, natural Mediterranean canals, archaeological excavations, sacred places, and wild animals and plants.
The park occupies 8.4 ha being the largest national park in Israel. The uniqueness of Haifa is in its wonderful landscapes. Haifa is a city surrounded by nature. Carmel Park offers you many places for relaxation and picnic and beautiful sights.
Several brooks flow through the park: Mearot, Galim, and Kelah. Kelah brook is especially beautiful. It is situated on a steep cliff-side known as “The Little Switzerland”. Indeed, the place resembles Swiss landscapes.
The park also offers camping spots, observatories, and marked walking paths. Many types of trees, like the Common Oak and the local Terebinth Tree, grow here. The cliffs are inhabited by hyraxes and rare white lilies, protected flowers.
The Hai Bar Nature Reserve on Mount Carmel
It is only a small part of a Mediterranean forests reserve, where animals and their offspring are set free in the wild and breed in natural environment. It is the home for a small group of mammals, birds of prey, and waterfowls, which are on the edge of extinction, and even of those, which are already died out in this region during the last 200 years.
Hai Bar Nature Rezerve was created in Israel (on Mount Carmel and Youtvata) as a part of the project of returning the Biblical animals into Israeli landscapes. The idea was given publicity by the founder of the Nature Reserves Authority (presently known as the Nature and Parks Authority) the late General Abraham Yaffe.
Also, it is a home for certain mammal species brought to the country in order to try to preserve the animals mentioned in the Bible and ancient travel logs. Some of the animals remain under supervision and are not to be released into the wild.
You can find additional information and explanations on the species and video footage at the Haifa
University’s Hai Bar web site.
X-Park: the place for the competitions
Recently, in the Haifa southern harbor a facility for competitions and active recreation opened. It occupies 13 000 square meter. Today it is the biggest and the best equipped extreme sports park in Haifa.
The park was created by Northern Extreme Sports Corporation. Its goal is to turn Haifa into Israel metropolis of extreme sports. For this purpose they utilize the city’s and wadis’ unique topography, including Carmel Ridge and its thrilling coast line. The park offers an Olympic climbing wall, a snappling area, a large paintball area, a professional skate park, enormous cable slides and trampoline areas. Afterwards, an area for cycling and a mall with an information center will be added. There one will get all the information on the parks’ events.
The park will host local and international competitions under the aegis of such leading Israeli companies as "Shafan HaSela", “Israel Paintball”, “Adrenaline Productions” and more. The project attracts even the professional extreme sportsmen and became a local object of note, meant to draw public attention to the competitions and active recreation all year round.
There are many parking places outside the park.
Its location, the Haifa Congress Centre, is one of central objects in the Northern Israel. Here the sea, the tableland, and the mountains meet, as well as the highways 2 and 4. You can get to the park by public transport, through Hof HaKarmel railway station (Shaul Raziel station) and the new Haifa central bus station.
How to get to the X-Park:
North. You go by the highway 2 till the MATAM intersection (southern entrance to Haifa). Then you turn left at the traffic light (Freud Road) and once turn again left at the next traffic light ("Kdoshey Yassi" Street). You can enter the center by foot following the signposts.
South. You go by the highway 4 (the old highway) till the MATAM intersection (southern entrance to Haifa). Then you turn right at the traffic light (Freud Road) and immediately once again turn left at the next traffic light ("Kdoshey Yassi" Street). After that you enter the marked parking area (on the left) and enter the center by foot following the signposts.
By train. Your final destination should be Hof HaKarmel (Shaul Raziel) Station, which is 500 meter from the center, the territory of the Congress Center. Then you take a bus number 143 to the Haifa Mall.
By bus. You arrive at Hof HaKarmel (the central bus station), which is 500 meter from the center. Then you go by bus number 143 to Haifa Mall.
Haifa Educational Zoo
The zoo, named after the late Louis Ariel Goldshmidt, was founded in 1949 by the late educator and agriculturist Pinchas Cohen, who was the first teacher of environmental studies in Haifa and one of the founders of the Hebrew Reali School and "Meshotetim" scouts’ tribe.
In addition to animals, the zoo includes a botanical garden, a library, a museum of prehistory, a biological institute, and a school for nature and environment studies. Every year, more than 20,000 students come here from all parts Israel. The zoo is located at the northern part of the Lotem River (Wadi Lotem), one the most beautiful nature reserves on the Mount Carmel. Its area is about 3 ha. It neighbors "Gan HaEm" (Mother's Park) in the Carmel Center.
Recently, the zoo underwent major repairs at old Haifa residents Mr. and Mrs. Paul Reali’s expense. They made donations for the city’s residents’ well-being in the past as well. The repairs transformed the zoo and gave it modern appearance. The old infrastructure was replaced with new equipment. Modern and reliable cages for animals were built. Fences and concrete walls were finally removed. Instead open display grounds for direct observation of the animals appeared. Besides, they added service facilities for visitors.
The zoo houses more than one hundred types of animals. Some of them are rare. Among them are reptiles, birds, and mammals. Altogether there are about 350 specimens. Besides such traditional zoo animals as tiger, bear, wolf, hyena, monkey and herbivorous animals, the guests can enjoy impressive variety of local and foreign snakes and reptiles. One can see them in an air conditioned reptile aquarium, which is extremely close to their natural habitats.
There is another new service. Children can pet, hold and take photos of such animals as a goat, a spotted deer, a hare, a hamster, birds and reptiles, including snakes. Still another great novelty is the "open" displays, where the public can walk through familiarizing with the animals’ natural habitats. These display areas show waterfowl, vultures, lemurs, and gibbons that live in the wild only on the island of Madagascar. Moreover, for the first time ever, you can see in the zoo live alligators in display areas imitating their natural environment.
The illuminated zoo signposts include detailed information on each animal and show you directions to all the interesting places and services. Don’t forget to visit the Botanical Garden located at the center of the zoo. It is a home for many trees and bushes brought from Carmel Mountain and all around Israel. Also there is a Museum of Prehistory, which describes the evolution of man in the Mount Carmel region.
Recently, the Haifa Zoo was accepted into the prestigious European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). Membership in this organization allows it not only to exchange rare animals with other zoos, but to participate in large-scale international projects for the preservation and restoration of endangered species.
Haifa Cable Car
The cable car’s lower terminal is right across the road from “Af-Al-Pi-Chen”. The journey is not so ‘frightening’, as it might seem from afar. And this is a fast way to get to the Mount Carmel or to descend from it. In the lower terminal, there is a popular restaurant Yotvata, famous for its salads and ice-cream. The cable-way is in the sky, under the beach near the east edge of Bat Galim. It reaches the top of the Mount Carmel, the place of the former lighthouse and Stella Maris Church.
In the upper terminal there is a stall with drinks. In the lower one picture exhibitions take place every day.
There are few such parks in Israel. This enormous, air conditioned amusement park provides one with perfect recreation even in winter and autumn. 5, 000 square meters of making the dreams come true at the biggest covered amusement park in the Northern Israel!
Rides and attractions are:
- A special flight simulator
- Roofed chutes for everyone
- Bungee trampolines
- Bumping cars
- Horse pursuit
- Crazy surfing pool rotating on 360 degrees
- Shooting balls with paint with a cannon
- Jumping kangaroo
Attractions for kids are:
- Moon jumps
- Rio Grande train
- Devil’s Wheel
- Jeeps on rails
- Canoe ride
Besides, we have also acrobats, huge dolls, craftsmen corners, and fascinating entertainments with our employees dressed as clowns and Disney characters . Parents may join their kids on many rides or to relax in Luna’s Espresso Bar, at a stall, or at the sitting areas throughout the park.
The whole park is covered and conditioned, which is perfect for any season. The parking is for free, and there are always free places too.
Address: Simcha Golan, 54, Grand Canyon, Haifa.
The Carmelit Boat
The two-decker boat is 31 meter long and 8 meter wide. It weights 370 tons and is licensed by Israel Ministry of Transport to take on up to 250 passengers. The Carmelit Boat began sailing from the Haifa Port in 1989. Its mooring area is Maagan HaDayag on the Haifa Peninsula.
How to get there: by bus number 58 or by car. There is a free parking area.
Things to do in Haifa:
Cinema and movies
Haifa Symphonic Orchestra