What do the Rosh Hanikra grottoes have to do with Borat?

Karolina Fotyga

If you fancy high cliffs and amazing grottoes plus the bluest color of the sea – you’ll love Rosh Hanikra. It is a complex of chalk cliff in the North part of Israel – just on the border with Lebanon. Of course – since those two countries are still officially at war – you cannot use this crossing – but it’s there – in the demilitarized zone.

Rosh Hanikra
The Israel-Lebanon border
Rosh Hanikra
at the border

Also if you really try – you’ll see the warships guarding the sea border between the two countries.

Rosh Hanikra
War ships on the horizon – top right – very tiny from this perspective:)


Apart from being just a beautiful spot on Earth – it’s an interesting one too. Back in the day it used to be an important passage spot for caravans and others – between the South (Israel, Egypt and the rest of Africa) and the North (Syria and Lebanon).
During the I World War British army built a road that was used by motorized vehicles – it was commonly used then.

Rosh Hanikra

Haifa – Beirut – Tripolis track

During the II World War – still under the British Mandate – enormous works were done to establish a smooth connection from Egypt through Sinai, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria and Turkey to Europe for troops and supplies. In 1942 it was operational, but not for long as it soon turned out. In the late 1947 the Israeli War of Independence started. Israel didn’t want to let the tunnels be a way for their Arab adversaries to invade the country from the North. So in 1948 the sabotage unit of the Israeli military blew up part of the tunnels leading to Lebanon.

Rosh Hanikra

After the war it stayed in Israel.

Rosh Hanikra
part of the tunnel


The sea force, and also geological and biological processes impacted intensely the chalk rocks.  You can go inside and see over 200 meters of the grottoes – the marine caves. They are just simply breathtaking – the white surface of the rocks is not that white all the time – it varies depending on time and day – can be yellowish, brownish, grayish – amazing. Also the sea may seem turquoise or navy blue – depending on the time of day or the season.

Rosh Hanikra

Rosh Hanikra
the grottoes



Rosh Hanikra


Amongst variety of species loving this place – one is especially interesting – the loggerhead turtle. Unfortunately – we didn’t see one while visiting, because of the bad timing. These raptiles have chosen the area of the rocky shores as their mating scene. In early summer the females lay eggs and a couple of weeks later you can see hundreds of small turtles running towards the sea.


To reach the grottoes – you will need to take a ride with a cable car – it only takes a minute to go 70 meters down and then up, but you can admire the sights of this amazing place. The sea and the cliffs are right there under your nose.

Rosh Hanikra
the famous cable car

While you’re there you can see the audiovisual presentation about the region – its history and current state.  It’s set in a unique setting – which will impact what you see for sure.

Rosh Hanikra
audiovisual show

If you get hungry –  you’ll find a kosher restaurant it’s constructed in a way it resembles a ship. The restaurant is overlooking the open sea.


The cable car is one of the attractions available for tourists in Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra. The one you’ll see at the foot of the mountain going up to the grottoes. This Kibbutz was set up in 1949. In 1974 members of kibbutz founded a biotechnological company dealing with commercial tissue culture, in-vitro – clonal propagation of over 200 plants – mainly bananas.

Also, among the well known residents was once Sacha Baron Cohen 🙂 In one of the interviews he admitted he had spent a year there after high school. 

Borat – Sacha Baron Cohen

If you want to see more of Israel – check out THIS LINK for more inspiration:)

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