- Middle East
- Jessica Cohen
Israel is one of the most extraordinary destinations to visit. If you have been around before, you may have seen all those mainstream historical gems, including the Western Wall, Masada, and the ruins of Caesarea. However there is so much more to be seen in Israel: read our guide to the country’s hidden gems.
Darom Adom (Scarlet South)
Every spring, thousands of flowers take over the landscapes of the Negev. With its bright red color and its magnificent aroma, Calanit (anemones) recently became the Israeli national flower. From February to May, people are able to see this unique flower blooming.
In the north of Israel, there is a magical city with quaint cobbled streets. Founded by a group of religious immigrants—financed by Baron Rothschild back in the 1800s—Rosh Pina became a cherished Israeli hidden gem. Full of restaurants and art galleries, this town is the perfect place for tourists interested in both the old and new Israeli culture. Among its numerous attractions, highlights include an antique synagogue and valuable architectural pieces. At the top of the hill is the Nimrod Lookout, which offers a monumental sight of the Hula Valley. Baron Rothschild’s gardens, built in the late 19th century and designed by the same creators of the Versailles gardens, are located nearby and well worth the visit.
Located in an Arab village near Kfar Saba, the Tira shuk (market) is a cool and secret alternative to the Shuk Hacarmel. This is the only market open to the public on Saturdays, and plays host to a vibrant mix of colors, flavors and scents. With a wide variety of products, including spices, clothing, jewellery, and fresh fruit, there’s something to keep all travellers entertained. Highlightts include the phenomenal shawarma, falafel and a plate of hummus which you can buy for only 10 shekels ($2.50 dollars). The smell of the market will make your mouth water and tempt you to try these traditional foods.
The Dor beach, located on the Mediterranean coast offers a luxurious mix of expansive horizons and reams of white sand. The Dor HaBonim Beach Nature Reserve is located within walking difference, and you can find natural treasures such as the Shell Bay, Blue Caves and Hill of Blossoms. On the Habonim side there is a camping site in which you can sleep under the stars with the sea as your backyard.
Located near Jerusalem, the Avshalom Caves are a 300,000 year-old treasure. Throughout the millenniums, flowing water has sculpted spectacular stalactites and stalagmites. There are four-meter stalactites which have reached the above stalagmites and evolved into magnificent stone pillars. Rumour has it that images of Moses can be discovered throughout the cave.