Rosh HaNikra Grottoes – Acre, Israel - Atlas Obscura

Rosh HaNikra Grottoes

The bluer than blue waters in these natural Israeli caves are reached via the world's steepest cable car. 


Located on the coast near the border to Lebanon, Israel’s Rosh HaNikra Grottoes are a popular nature site that was once only available to divers, but thanks to the installation of the world’s steepest cable car, anyone can come and see the incredibly blue waters of these natural caves.

Through millennia of strong waves bashing up against the soft chalk cliffs on the Mediterranean Sea, large sea caves have formed around the base. Since their modern discovery these lovely geological anomalies have generally been open only to those with the skill and equipment to approach the formations from sea. However as the popularity of the site grew, a new solution needed to be devised in order to cater to the growing number of visitors clamoring to check out the grottoes.

To meet the rising demand, a cable car was installed to ferry tourists down to the site to check out the sea caves. The gondola cars carry from the top of the white cliffs to the bottom, covering over 200 feet in about two minutes. The speed of the ride is achieved by the stark slope of the cable lines which make it the steepest cable car system in the world. Were the cables any more vertical, the system would be an elevator.

Given the site’s proximity to the Israel-Lebanon border also saw the creation of a famous train tunnel that can also be visited. However the bright blue waters filling the Rosh HaNikra Grottoes make that feat of human engineering seem a bit less impressive.           

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