For the best view in Israel, visit Muhraka

Muhraka monastery is one of those places that makes me feel Israeli-- it's the perfect place to take out-of-town guests, yet mostly locals know it exists. Muhraka is a Carmelite monastery on the Carmel Mountain (hence the name), and it is at one of the spots that Elijah is supposed to have fought with the prophets of Baal... hence this dramatic statue:

Elijah stomping out worshipers of Baal. Click to see a larger version.

For a ridiculously small fee (I think it was four shekels), you can climb onto the monastery roof, where you get this AMAZING view:

Different Israeli cities-- all of which you can see from this
roof-- are marked on the floor. Click to see a larger version.

When I stood on the Muhraka roof in December, I turned around to see the most beautiful sky I've seen in my life, complete with a glimmer of the Mediterranean in the distance:

Amazing sunlight. Click to see a larger version.

It's a bit hard to get the Muhraka-- with a car, you essentially turn right just before you reach the Druze village of Dalyat al Carmel (if you're coming from the east) and drive until you're convinced you're on the wrong road-- and then you're there. This site suggests a bus and then a taxi from Dalyat al-Carmel, which sounds like a good idea.

So if you really want to be Israeli, take your guests to this little gem on the Carmel mountain!


  1. Beautiful shot, Maya. I especially like the strip of gold along the horizon line which looks like sun hitting the sea. This optical phenomenon is known as a crepuscular ray or in more common parlance, "God beams." The latter is aptly named, I think. We see a lot of this in Israel in wintertime as the sun dips below the edge of the cloud line or through holes in the cloud layer.
    Yehoshua Halevi

  2. Thank you so much for explaining that and for checking out my pictures!

    Btw, I highly recommend Yehoshua Halevi's blog-- he's a professional photographer and (obviously) a gracious teacher, and he posts one of his GORGEOUS pictures from around Israel each week.

    Thanks again!

  3. In the army we had to climb Muchraka, and it was worse than climbing the Hermon. To make it even worse, once we got to the top we were left soaking wet in the freezing cold for 2 hours. No view to enjoy! I always wanted to go back on better terms. Great pictures!


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