National Park Ein Afek is one of the best hidden Gems in Israel. Although the entrance to the Park is just two minutes away from the Coastal Free Way, it stays invisible for the passers-by. Here at the shore of the river Na'aman once stood a powerful Canaanite town Afek famous for the beautiful Tyrian purple dyes produced here. The town was destroyed thousands of years ago, and only the name Afek and few huge stones preserved from its fortification walls remind of its past glory.
Crusades Architecture - the fortress and the mill
The life came back to Afek Valley 900 years ago, during the Crusades Kingdom. Fertile valley was an exceptionally good place to grow wheat and sugar cane. And river Na'aman which flows to the Mediterranean Sea, with its delta being just at the outskirts of the Crusades Capital Akko, was a perfect transportation route.
Natural Beauty of the Ein Afek
Two rival Crusades Knights orders, the Hospitallers and the Templars, built their farms here, and their competition not once ended with armed hostility. Pope had to send his envoys once and again to pacify the knights, but each simply bribed the envoy, and the hostilities continued. The Hospitallers turned to be more sustainable, and their fortress and water mill stand in the Park till our days.
Wild life in the Park
Today Park Ein Afek is a real Paradise for both Nature and History lovers. Crusades tower and water mill, huge dam built across the river provide together an unusually well-preserved example of the Crusades Agriculture in the XIII Century. And the beautiful lakes, blue spring pulls, water buffalos and huge catfish in the water, black kites and cormorants in the skies add a real feeling of the Paradise on Earth.