Pinsteps. Carmel's Natural vs Artificial Forests: Exploring Pine Groves and Garigue
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Continuing on your journey through the Carmel region, you'll encounter another pine grove, but this one presents a different landscape. It's denser, with shrubs beginning to appear, though they're less abundant than in natural forests. This distinction between the sparser, artificial pine groves and the more dense, natural ones is significant.

A natural forest in this region is often called "garigue." Garigue is a type of low, scrubby vegetation characteristic of Mediterranean areas. It's a landscape formed mainly of kermes oak, mastic, and aromatic herbs like thyme and rosemary. The garigue results from the dry, hot climate of the Mediterranean and centuries of human activity like grazing and fire, which have prevented the development of taller forests.

In Garigue, the biodiversity is rich despite the harsh conditions. It's a resilient ecosystem, adapted to the dry climate, with drought-resistant plants that often have small, leathery leaves to minimise water loss. For hikers, garigue offers a stark contrast to the artificial pine groves, showcasing the raw, unmanicured beauty of the Mediterranean landscape. This ecosystem is not only a delight for the senses, with its aromatic herbs and rugged scenery but also a testament to the adaptability of nature in the face of climatic challenges.

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Evgeny Praisman
Hiking trip to Hotam HaCarmel in Binyamina-Giv'at Ada of Dec 30, 2023

Embark on a captivating hiking adventure through the southern part of Mount Carmel, just a few moments away from the enchanting Ein Zur Spring. This scenic trail offers a convenient and free parking area, making it the perfect starting point for your journey. After your hike, you can relax in the beautiful surroundings of the spring.

In December, you'll be treated to a mesmerizing display of wildflowers, including marigolds, anemones, and cyclamens. As you ascend the cliffs of the mountain, you'll encounter a breathtaking viewpoint where you can take a break and enjoy the splendid vista.

Along the way, you'll discover ancient burial mounds, remnants of early civilizations. Further ahead lies a Roman and Byzantine villa and farm, providing fascinating insights into the region's history.

The trail then winds through the lush Gariga, leading you across the Crocodile River's stream to the main square of Rothschild Park, a popular gathering spot for hikers.

Your journey culminates with a visit to the remarkable ruins of Houri Farm, the ancient Greek fortress of Aleq, the Zur Spring, and the scenic park that surrounds it. This hiking route promises an unforgettable exploration of nature, history, and culture.

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Evgeny Praisman (author)
Здравствуйте! Меня зовут Женя, я путешественник и гид. Здесь я публикую свои путешествия и путеводители по городам и странам. Вы можете воспользоваться ими, как готовыми путеводителями, так и ресурсом для создания собственных маршрутов. Некоторые находятся в свободном доступе, некоторые открываются по промо коду. Чтобы получить промо код напишите мне сообщение на телефон +972 537907561 или на и я с радостью вам помогу! Иначе, зачем я всё это делаю?
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