There are over forty national parks in Israel ranging from archaeological sites such as Caesarea National Park and Masada to sites of natural beauty such as the Carmel National Park. With so many parks to choose from, which are the ones that a tourist should try to find time in their itinerary to experience? In this article, we will list five of the best national parks in Israel to visit.
Caesarea National Park
The aqueduct at Caesarea, adjacent to the National Park. Image Shai Kalman
Caesarea National Park, located on Israel’s Mediterranean Coast, is an ancient port city created by King Herod the Great. Extensively excavated, the port has been largely reconstructed, as have many of the buildings which house exhibitions, amazing audio-visual displays, and cafes, restaurants, and galleries. The ancient amphitheater at Caesarea hosts numerous concerts every year in its amazing location alongside the Mediterranean, and there are regular events at the port throughout the year. Read more: Caesarea National Park.
Ein Gedi National Park
Ein Gedi is an oasis, located just west of the Dead Sea, and north of Masada, in the Judean, Negev Desert. The nature reserve sits adjacent to the Ein Gedi National Park and features an oasis, spring, and amazing walks through greenery amid the desert. Amazing plants and animals inhabit the area, and The National Park itself features several archaeological ruins, including a Temple and 2,000 year old village. Read more: Ein Gedi National Park.
Masada National Park
Beautiful Masada by Avinoam Michaeli, on Flickr
One of the most iconic places to visit in Israel is Masada a symbol of the State and Jewish history. Excavated since the establishment of Israel, Masada occupies a magnificent strategic location in the Negev Desert, with amazing views across the Dead Sea and beyond into Jordan. The climb to the peak is somewhat of an institution and a symbol of strength in itself, although today a cable car can help visitors with this. Nighttime light shows take place regularly, as do a series of concerts and operas during the year. Read more: Masada
Mount Carmel National Park
Mount Carmel is a mountain range stretching about 25 miles just inland from Israel’s Mediterranean Coast. From the wine growing towns such as Binyamina and Zichron Yaakov in the south, it extends northwards through pretty villages and artists colonies such as Ein Hod, to its northern slopes and the city of Haifa. The Mount Carmel National Park comprises 84,000 dunams (21,000 acres), of lush green slopes, one third of which are nature reserves. Beautiful trails, picnic spots, and scenic roads have been created through the hills, and Mount Carmel and the small towns within it are worth a visit. Read more: Mount Carmel
Gan HaShlosha National Park
Gan HaShlosha by Jelle Drok, on Flickr
Gan HaShlosha is a National Park located close to the Sea of Galilee in the north of Israel. It has naturally warm springs where visitors are able to swim all year round, and has, with its majestic palm trees and bright blue waters, been named as one of the 20 most beautiful parks in the world by TIME Magazine. The park also has a restored water mill and other buildings dating back to the British Mandate Period. Read more: Gan HaShlosha
And we could’t miss out… Beit Shean National Park
One of the largest archaeological sites in the world, Beit Shean has for thousands of years been an important place due to its location where the Jezreel Valley meets the Jordan River Valley. If you are interested in archaeology this is somewhere not to miss with hours of excavations to occupy you spanning millenia. The site has sound and light shows and an amphitheater which is used for concerts.
So that’s it… our top six national parks in Israel. Did we miss something you think should be included? Why not comment below, and if you convince us we might just add it on…