Haifa is a unique place within the Israeli urban landscape. A city sitting on the edge of a mountain, with the Carmel woods on one end and the Mediterranean beaches on the other. Haifa is a proud city of Muslims, Jews and Christians coexisting side by side, and is also the world center of the Baha’i faith. Cycling can be easy or hard, depending on your direction. The following route starts at the top of Mt. Carmel and slowly goes down toward the sea, but those of you who seek more of a challenge can cycle up in the other direction.
Begin the day in Daliat El Carmel; the largest Druze community in Israel. Dalia (as locals call it) has a large open air market and many restaurants offering Druze and Arab cuisine.
Follow the road along the Carmel, leading to Haifa. You will pass the tall tower of Haifa University, where the Hecht Archeology Museum is located. From there, descend along “Aba Hushi” road, named after Haifa’s first mayor. Pass the Horev Center to Kababir neighborhood to pay a visit to the Saydna Machmud Mosque overlooking the sea, and continue to the Carmel Center. There are a few attractions to be seen here. Lock your bike and stroll down to the Haifa Zoo, the Katz Museum of Art, and the Tikotin Museum of Japanese Art; all next to a wide assortment of shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Follow the Yafe Nof Road leading to the Baha’i Gardens and World Center. Then follow HaTsionut Road to the Mausoleum of Bab Alla, founder of the Baha’i faith. These gardens are not only stuning, but they adorn the city of Haifa in an unforgettable way.
After leaving the Baha’i Gardens, keep following HaTsionut to Hillel Street. From here, enter Hadar, what used to be the heart of old Haifa and today attracts many young people. Cruise the narrow winding streets, lined with stone buildings from the 1920’s. Continue down Balfur street to the National Museum of Science Technology and Space located in the former building of the Technion. Nearby you will also find the Haifa Theater at the end of Phebzner Street. Further down Balfur street, you will reach the busy Hertzel Street, filled with clothing and shoe stores, just above the Shuk; Haifa’s fruit and vegetable market.
Follow Hertzel to the top of Wadi Nisnas. Get off your bike and devote some time to visit this unique neighborhood. Here, where Jews and Arabs share the same street, there is an annual festival celebrating the holidays of the three major faiths. The streets are decorated with public art that are renewed once a year. Wadi Nisnas also has a small, yet colorful market, and a wide assortment of food stands.
After Wadi Nis Nas, take HaGefen street to the German Colony. Originally built by German Templers in the turn of the last century, the colony’s magnificent buildings house today galleries & restaurants and offer a pleasant atmosphere. Continue on HaGefen street to Kiryat Eliezer. Cross the busy highway and follow the signs to Bat Galim, a secluded beach neighborhood originally erected in the 1930’s. Wide shady boulevards still stand here, leading to the beachfront and boardwalk. Finish the Ride by following the small road along the beach south. This road will take you past the marine research center and along all the sandy beaches of Haifa.