THE TALE OF ROSH HANIKRA
The legend tells the story of a young woman's journey to save her freedom. Nowadays a tourist site, Rosh Hanikra is one of Israel's most iconic places
Words: Emily Georgieva
Photography: Daniel Newman, Jasmin Chew
24 November 2020
Many years ago, in a far away land, a beautiful young woman from the Israeli port city Acre was on her way to marry a wealthy man she didn't love. The arranged marriage was set in stone, but the woman was willing to do whatever it took to stop it from happening.
Her father was leading the way escorting her to Tyre. Desperate to keep her freedom, the woman jumped from the horse she was riding and dived into the Mediterranean Sea. This occurred near the cliff of Rosh Hanikra and gave the place an everlasting mystery appeal. Legend has it that even now, travellers can hear the young woman's sad weeping in the sound of the waves crashing on the shore as the wind carries her songs far away.
This northern Israel place is known for the futuristic looking grottoes. They form caves and tunnels around the sea that the waves kiss and collide with. Instant water erosion and an earthquake are believed to be the reason behind the abstract formation of the rocks. The water there is anything but calm. When the weather is stormy, Rosh Hanikra undergoes a complete transformation. The water rises and sprays the rocks at as high as 115 feet.
Wake up early to avoid the crowds and explore the site to the fullest. You can either rent a family bicycle to get there riding on the beach or get a ticket for the cable car that will showcase an incredible view of the land below.
As it is the only cliff in the country going straight into the sea, it is a popular tourist place to spend a day at. To make the most of their visit, travellers can head from Rosh Hanikra through the sea turtle reserve nearby where the animals lay their eggs and follow that path all the way to Acre.
At night, the grottoes look like a magical place. There is a certain charm when the Rosh Hanikra is lit up in soft glowing light that make the climb there an unforgettable experience. Certainly one of Israel's most iconic sites it is worth the visit and should make it to your Israel bucket list.
Who to take with you
Your best friend or family so you can plan your Israel itinerary together and make the most of the country.
What you should bring
Sunscreen, sunglasses and your camera so you can document your travels there.
When you should visit
Head there in the morning to avoid the crowds or alternatively, if you want to be enchanted, Rosh Hanikra looks its best during sunset.