Perched high on the eastern wooded peak of Mount Carmel, the Carmelite Monastery of the Mukhraqa (or Mukhraka or Muhraka) offers stunning views of northern Israel and beyond from its roof top lookout. Located southeast of Haifa on the same mountain range, the monastery was built in 1868 and belongs to the Catholic order of Barefoot Carmelites.
The Mukhraqa is dedicated to the site where the Prophet Elijah competed with 450 priests of Baal sent by King Ahab and then slew them. The name Mukhraqa means “burnt” or “scorched” in Arabic, in reference to the way in which, according Kings 1, 18, the Prophet Elijah’s offering was consumed — it was soaking wet and everything was consumed including the alter, earth and all by a fire sent from heaven.
A set of stairs next to its gift shop leads up to its rooftop observation point. The monastery’s roof offers an outstanding view of much northern Israel from the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the hills of Samaria, Jezreel Valley below clear across the country to Jordan and across the Galilee to Mt. Hermon on Israel border with Syria and even into southern Lebanon. A compass rose with directional arrows indicating to significant sites is painted on the rooftop.
In the courtyard in front of the monastery is a statue of Elijah, with sword raised over his head as he stands over the bearded figure of a priest of Baal. The statue of Elijah is pretty new, replacing an earlier version that was smashed by the Muslim Arab army who invaded Israel during the 1948 Independence War.
It takes about one hour to explore the entire site.
Mukhraqa is located south-east to the outskirts of the village Daliat El-Carmel, one of the two large Druze villages on Mount Carmel. From Daliat El-Carmel, a narrow and winding road will take you the monastery through a clearing in the bush. Mukhraqa is situated on the highest hill on the southeastern side of Mount Carmel, overlooking Yokneam and the Jezreel Valley.