Karta Ruins – Short Track by Atlit – Visitors Guide

You can find a short-loop family track at Karta Ruins Nature Reserve. You can enjoy nature and archeological remains on this track.

Map

Karta Ruins is located near Atlit, not far from Haifa.

Directions for drivers: Link to Waze and Link to Google Maps
Directions for public transport: Link to Moovit

View TripHelp

Interactive map of the area:

Offers:

  • Hotels, hostels, and apartments in this area:
Booking.com

Note: the directions above will take you to the Limor picnic area.

There are two possible starting points. You can begin at the Limor picnic area (as we did) or the western parking area. See the tracks section below for additional details.

Opening Hours

As you can see from the following photo, you should visit Karta Ruins Nature Reserve only during the daytime.

Karta Ruins Nature Reserve
Karta Ruins Nature Reserve

When to visit Karta Ruins?

You can visit this place all year round. But since there is little shade along the tracks, I suggest visiting only during cooler hours/days. Moreover, winter and spring (January – March) are the best seasons to see flowers.

Entrance Fee

Free.

Tracks

Here is an interactive map from israelhiking.osm.org.il where the hiking trails are marked:

And here are the details of the marked trails:

#NameColor of the Trail on the Map aboveDescriptionDistance (km)Total climb and descent (meters)Notes
1Karta Ruins from the Limor picnic areaBlueThis trail starts at the Limor parking and returns to the same place.1.150You can hike this trail in any direction. There is one semi-steep incline/decline, and if you prefer to climb it, start walking to the north from the parking lot.
2Karta Ruins from the Western parking areaRedSimilar to the previous track. The only difference is the starting/ending point.1.358

Limor Picnic Area

And now, we will start our hike at the Limor picnic area.

At the Limor picnic area, you can find picnic tables, including accessible tables, a playground for kids, and free dirt parking lot. Here are several photos:

Note: I did not see restrooms in the picnic area. But there are toilets at the nearby gas station.

The trail with blue markings from the picnic area will lead you to Karta Ruins. And as I mentioned above, if you prefer to go up on a semi-steep incline, follow the northern blue marking.

Karta Ruins Track

Here are several photos from the southern part of the track:

Le Destroit – Remains of a Crusader Fortress

Le Destroit is a ruined medieval fortified road station built by the Templars of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem in the early 12th century CE. It is located on the Mediterranean shore near a site where they later built the Chateau Pelerin castle, today close to the modern town of Atlit, Israel.

The coastal road near Atlit ran through a narrow passage in the rock, making it an ideal location for robbers to ambush pilgrims and other travelers. In 1103, Baldwin I of Jerusalem was wounded by robbers in the area. The tower fortress, situated on a ridge above the pass on the east side of the peninsula at Atlit, was built to protect these travelers.

The army led by King Richard I of England camped at the fortress following the recapture of Acre in 1191. However, when the larger Castrum Perigrinorum was completed in 1218, Le Destroit was dismantled by the Crusaders so that the Muslim enemy couldn’t use it as a staging ground for an attack on the main castle. Denys Pringle indicates 1220 as the year Destroit was destroyed.

Source: Wikipedia

Today you can see the podium-shaped tower base with rock-cut cisterns.

Stables

You can also see the stables and the moat. The remains are cut into the kurkar.

Water Tower

The last point of interest is the water tower. Using stairs, you can climb to the roof of the water tower, and it serves as a 360-degree viewpoint.

Here are photos from this viewpoint:

I took a long lens, hoping to see flamingoes (Flamingo Migration in Israel). Here is a photo using 500mm toward the salt pools, and you can barely see several dozen flamingoes there.

Salt Pools
Salt Pools

From the water tower, we descended to the Limor picnic area.

The Track from the Water Tower
The Track from the Water Tower

Summary

It took us about 1.5 hours to complete the track. And my 3-year-old daughter could finish it by herself (with some help). Hence this trail is suitable for families. Moreover, since it is short and there is a picnic area, it is ideal as a stop on the way to northern Israel.

Have you visited Karta Ruins? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

That’s all for today, and I’ll see you in future travels!

Stay Tuned!

   

Additional Resources

Here are several resources that I created to help travelers: And if you have any questions then check out Useful Information For Tourists To Israel.  
Did not find what you were looking for? Leave a comment below, and I will do my best to answer your questions.

Lev Tsimbler

Lev from israel-in-photos.com. You can contact me at hi@israel-in-photos.com

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