Hidden Gems in Israel

October 21, 2018

These are sites less traveled, but well worth a visit!

 

Gilboa Scenic Route –

The beauty of the views from Mt Gilboa overlooking the Jezreel Valley, Beit Shean Valley and Harod Valley will touch your heart. The height is 350m in average but this route (12 km in length) has stunning outlooks, as well as history. This is where King Saul falls upon his own sword in the battle against the Philistines.

 

Ramat Hanadiv –

A nature park located south of Zichron Ya’akov. This park has everything – a natural forest with wildlife, botanical gardens and archaeological remains. At the center of the gardens is the crypt of the Baron and Baroness De Rothschild who had a remarkable impact on the development of many communities in Israel.

 

Soreq Cave –

Located close to Jerusalem, this is one of the most beautiful stalactites caves in the world. The cave was discovered accidentally in May 1968, while quarrying with explosives. The descent into the cave is a visit to a magical fairy-tale world of stone statues created by Mother Nature – stalactites and stalagmites in a multitude of shapes that stimulate the imagination of both young and old, providing a spectacular experience.

 

Tel Hazor National Park–

This site, which has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is probably not known enough.

Canaanite Hazor was the largest and most important city in Israel during the Canaanite period, and perhaps because of this it was completely destroyed by the conquests of Yehoshua Bin Nun, as described in the Bible.

Among the important artifacts discovered here are the six-room “Solomon Gate”, the Canaanite palace that was used by the kings of Hazor in the 13th-14th centuries BCE, and a unique and impressive water system that was probably built during the reign of King Ahab.

 

The Tiberias Hot Springs National Park –

The site displays one of the most spectacular mosaics of ancient synagogues in Israel.  On the site, where the Hot Springs of Tiberias flow, there is also a beautifully preserved 18th century structure of a Turkish Hamam.

Since ancient times, Jews have come here to dip in the hot springs, which were known for their healing properties. Within the National Park, there are 17 thermo-mineral springs at 60 ° C, which flow directly into several recently renovated and renewed paddling pools, and invite a particularly warm pampering.

Here, too, the “Synagogue of Severus” awaits you, which has undergone several incarnations since it was first built in 230 CE. It features one of the most spectacular mosaics discovered in the ancient synagogues in Israel. It includes a zodiac, women’s figures that symbolize the seasons, Greek inscriptions and Jewish symbols.

 

The Good Samaritan Museum –

The “Good Samaritan Inn” was a roadhouse that operated towards the end of the Second Temple period, and for many generations afterwards served pilgrims and monks on their way to the baptismal site in the Jordan River (Qasr al-Yahud). Archaeological sites from the 1st century BCE were discovered, as well as a palace from the time of Herod next to it, including a bathhouse, mosaics and walls with frescoes. According to Christian tradition, in this area was located the road inn mentioned in the parable of the Good Samaritan, which is described in the Gospel according to Luke in the New Testament.

Today the place holds the only Mosaic museum in Israel. It holds a fascinating collection of ancient mosaics unparalleled in Israel. The spectacular mosaics, dating from the Byzantine period (fourth–seventh centuries) were collected from churches and Jewish and Samaritan synagogues throughout Judea and Samaria and from the synagogue in Gaza