Carmelite Monastery of St Elijah

North Coast

Spectacular views and surprising kitsch greet visitors to this lofty monastery. The Carmelite Monastery of St Elijah is known to Arab and Jewish Israelis as the Muhraqa ('it burns'), as it is believed to be where Elijah offered a sacrifice to God, answered by a fire from the heavens – while the competing offering from 450 prophets of Ba’al was ignored (1 Kings 18). The monastery garden is inhabited by quaint frog statues and garden gnomes, plus a fairy-light-strewn Virgin Mary. Also on the Catholic complex is a chapel (built 1883) and the lodgings of monks from the Discalced Carmelite Order ('discalced' is a fancy way of saying 'barefoot').

From the roof (access is via the shop), you can see the Mediterranean, Mt Hermon (when it's clear) and everything in between. Out front is a peaceful little garden with a statue of Elijah and a small walking trail.

The Muhraqa is 5km south of the centre of Daliyat Al Karmel; bear left at the signposted Y-junction.