January 13th 2015
Next to the Western Galilee kibbutz of Rosh Hanikra, and close to the Lebanese border, a rare geological phenomenon has formed cavernous tunnels which open into natural caves in the Mediterranean Sea. At these famed grottoes of Rosh Hanikra, waves crash against the rocks and spray in the air in a majestic display of the wonders of nature.
The caves are reached via the steepest cable car in the world. The ride in each direction takes about 2 minutes, and the view of the sea from the car is absolutely breathtaking. A sound and light show quarried into the mountain rock tells the story of the grottoes, combining history, legend, geology and zoology for an unforgettable experience.
On holidays, a small train travels from Rosh Hanikra to Ahziv and back (a 40 minute ride), following the route of the British Mandate railroad track. During the ride, a tour guide provides information on the history of the area. The British railroad connected the Middle East with Europe, traveling from Haifa to Beirut and Tripoli. It served the needs of the British military, and in 1944, the line transported Holocaust refugees to Palestine. The railroad consisted of tunnels through the rocks of Rosh Hanikra and bridges over the sea, including one which spans directly over the grottoes.
A walk along the sandy sea promenade is a perfect way to enjoy the vegetation and wildlife of Rosh Hanikra. In warm weather, walk barefoot in the clean white sand. At the end of the promenade is a monument to the illegal immigration ships from the British Mandate period, made out of pieces of the ships.
The grottoes can be visited during the day or at night and in all weather conditions. Winter is a great time to visit (especially on a rainy day), since the waves make an explosive sound as they crash against the rocks and spray up to 35 meters in the air. Wear a raincoat and rubber boots or non-slippery shoes. And don’t forget your camera!