Light entering a sea grotto at Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra

(Click on any image to enlarge)

There is a secret hiding away in the cliffs of Rosh Hanikra, on the western edge of the border between Israel and Lebanon. There, under the "Ladder Ridge" - named for the ancient stairs carved into it in times past - the sea has been inching away at the soft chalk for millennia, creating natural caverns.

Israel's northern coastline viewed from above Rosh Hanikra

A yellow border sign on the gate of the IDF base at Rosh Hanikra

Fishermen on the beach near Rosh Hanikra

After taking in the wonderful view from the top, take "The World's Steepest Cable Car" down to the main platform. A great tunnel with an old train track is used as a screening room for a brief overview of the natural and historical aspects of this unique place.

The tracks were precariously laid here by the British for the same reason the stairs were, many centuries earlier: as a way to get past the great barrier of Ladder Ridge. This tunnel allowed the British to have an unbroken train line all the way from Egypt, through Jordan, Syria and Turkey, and on to Europe.  In 1948, the Jewish resistance forces blew up the tracks, and they remained out of order ever since.

The craggy beach near Rosh Hanikra

Lower terminus of the cable car at Rosh Hanikra with the white cliff behind it

From the main platform begins a short tunnel, connecting the natural sea grottoes. Inside you get a different show every time; on summer days the water is still and flat, and you can see every detail of the seabed in the vivid turquoise water. On winter days, the dark waves smash against the rocks with all their might and foam, their thunder echoing through the caves.

Turquoise water in a sea grotto at Rosh Hanikra

Turquoise sea water at Rosh Hanikra

There are many unique plants and wildlife in this nature reserve, such as rock conies, monk seals and sea turtles, but the ones you're most likely to encounter are rock doves and fruit bats. These guys reside in the caves, and can be seen flying around (the doves) and heard screeching loudly over the waves (the bats).

Bat colony in a grotto at Rosh Hanikra

A dove in a grotto at Rosh Hanikra

“O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, In the secret places of the cliff..." (Song of Solomon 2:14)

Rosh Hanikra is a great spot, offering very impressive sights on a quick and easy visit. It's a must on any private tour I guide in the area, plus we can arrange for activities and events here as well - anything from scubadiving, kayaking and powerboating to weddings and Bar Mitzvas.

For Rosh Hanikra's official website, visit

The Elephant's Foot formation at Rosh Hanikra

Sunset over the sea from the cable car at Rosh Hanikra

Posted in Places and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.