The Old City of Jerusalem, The Dead Sea, Masada, The Sea of Galilee. We would never suggest you skip any of Israel’s iconic tourist sites. However, if you would like to include some off-the-beaten-track destinations to your itinerary on your trip, we have some suggestions for you. These are only a fraction of the incredible, not so well known places in Israel, so please share your favorite hidden gems with us! Here’s our eight unique places to see in Israel!
Underground Boat Ride In Ramla (pictured above)
This unique boat ride takes you through a 500-square-meter fish-filled reservoir within an 8th century arched structure in Old Ramla called the Pool of the Arches or the Pool of the Goats (in olden times, residents would water their goats between the arches). Five rows of three stone columns each hold up the ceiling and special lighting affords beautiful reflections on the water. Open Sunday through Thursday and Saturday 8-4, as well as Friday and holiday’s until 2.
Kayaking At Rosh Hanikra
If you are visiting Israel between April and November, kayaking is a fun and different way to explore the famous grottoes of Rosh Hanikra in the far northwest of the country. The usual plan is to take the cable car down to the 656-foot walking track winding through the grottoes, which probably formed in prehistoric times through earthquakes and erosion. Few people know about the kayak rentals at the Sea Center on Betzet Beach. To book a 90-minute tour of the grottoes from the water, call 972-52-379-8610 ahead of time!
Gottesman Etching Center, Kibbutz Cabri
The etching workshop at Kibbutz Cabri, east of the picturesque Western Galilee, was founded in 1993 as a venue for artists from Israel and abroad. It also serves as an experiential museum for those wishing to watch printmaking masters at work and potentially purchase the results. The workshop contains the largest press in Israel, plus a wide selection of papers, an extensive aquatint box, large etching baths and a hot table. A sculpture garden is located next to the workshop of the late sculptor Yechiel Shemi.
Nisco Museum of Mechanical Music, Ein Hod
Nisco is at the outer edge of Ein Hod, an artists’ colony in the Carmel Mountains, located south of Haifa. Owner Nisan Cohen, a New York transplant, gathered this awesome collection of antique music boxes, hurdy-gurdies, gramophones, player pianos, and other mechanical musical instruments over the course of 40 years and loves demonstrating them to visitors. The museum is open seven days a week from 10am to 5pm and also hosts concerts.
The Black Canyon and Hexagonal Pools, Golan Heights
The Black Canyon and the Hexagonal Pools are among several spectacular pools and waterfalls within the Yehudiya Forest Nature Reserve. A licensed guide is your best bet for accessing and fully enjoying both these sites.
The volcanic stone water-filled Black Canyon between the upper and lower Zavitan is an exciting challenge for experienced hikers who also know how to rappel and swim. The Hexagon (Meshushim) Pool is located at the bottom of another deep canyon, walled in with hexagonal basalt rock formations, flowing water, and cascades.
Bel Ofri Farm, Golan Heights
In the village of Kidmat Zvi, Tami and Babi Kabalo established an eco-farm that has become a refuge for unadoptable, injured, abandoned animals including lambs, goats, peacocks, pigeons, rabbits, marmots, guinea pigs, and tortoises.
After you have spent time with the animals and heard their stories, take a tour of Bel Ofri’s boutique winery, reconstructed ancient olive press pulled by a mule, organic vegetable patch, working water well, and cheese-making enterprise. Tami Kabalo offers craft workshops in arts such as stained glass, jewelry, and clay sculpture.
Sculpture Road (Derech HaPesalim)
Along Route 44 off the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway 1 lies the Sculpture Road, a 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) route through the KKL-JNF Presidents Forest. It’s lined with environmentally friendly artworks including one honoring the space shuttle program that was sculpted by immigrant artists from the former Soviet Union. Bring a picnic lunch and eat at one of the many benches and tables on the route.
Sidreh-Lakiya Negev Weaving
Sidreh, a non-profit organization established in 1998 in Lakiya to improve the socio-economic status of Arab Bedouin women in the Negev, incorporates the Lakiya Negev Weaving Project. The women spin thread from the wool of sheep from local Bedouin shepherds and create carpets, cushions, and accessories. Traditional Bedouin women demonstrate the entire weaving process and talk about the Bedouin way of life.
Originally posted at Israel21c.