Hidden gems of Israel

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When you talk about taking a trip to Israel, most people immediately think of sites like Jerusalem and the Dead Sea. These are certainly important places anyone visiting the Holy Land should go, but, you might also consider stepping off the beaten path and checking out some of Israel’s lesser known treasures as well. 

These sites might lack the name recognition of the most famous attractions, but they all have their own unique appeal and are sure to deepen your appreciation for this historic land.

The Avshalom Caves
The Avshalom Caves are a spectacular geological treasures that need to be seen to be believed. Located  about 3 km east of Bet Shemesh, the Avshalom Caves are an underground wonder that have been 300,000 years in the making. The caves are known for the incredible number of stalagmites that have formed due to centuries of running water eroding the stone, shaping them into incredible natural pillars. 

While now open to the public, the Avshalom Caves were originally kept a closely guarded secret after their discovery. The caves are so delicate and unique that is was feared they would be damaged by an onslaught of geologist and tourists. For as beautiful and striking as the caves are, they are also an important specimen for study. Known as "the Rosetta stone of climate history in the Eastern Mediterranean” it is hoped that the cave's preserved 300,000 year history will help shed light on other climate phenomenon in the area.

The Herzliya Marina
Sure, there are plenty of great places to eat and shops to visit in Tel Aviv, but why limit yourself to the city? Get a taste of Israel port life by visiting the Herzliya Marina. Just 20 minutes from Tel Aviv, Herzliya offers a taste of authentic Israel life. Dotted by small shops and cafes, you can spend the afternoon shopping and exploring before relaxing over a cup of spiced coffee and watching the sun set over the water. 

Ramla's underground boat rides
Ramla might not be the first Israeli city you think of, but if you happen to be traveling nearby be sure to take the time to check out its famous underground boat rides! This unique aquatic tour will take you in a canoe through an ancient reservoir that has stood for more than 1,500 years. Known as the Pool of the Arches, the waters meander through a maze of stone arches and small docks that weave in and out from each other.

Fun fact, in ancient times, this area was referred to as the Pool of the Goats due to its popularity with farmers seeking to water their livestock!

Nisco Museum of Mechanical Music
Love music? Have an interest in vintage instruments? Or maybe you just enjoy strange gizmos and mechanical marvels? If you can identify with any of those statements, you should definitely try to make it to the Nisco Museum of Mechanical Music. This small collection of the beautiful and bizarre is located at the outer edge of the Ein Hod artists colony in the Carmel Mountains. The museum, maintained and staffed by Mr. Nisan Cohen, a former American filmmaker who returned to his homeland in the late mid-'70s features a selection of automated musical contraptions. From player pianos and music boxes, to gramophones and hurdy-gurdys, Cohen has assembled a collection of some of the most interesting mechanical music devices in the world.

The Golan Heights
A mountainous area of natural beauty, the Golan Heights are a great spot of hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts to explore. In one of the wettest areas in Israel, there are not shortage of natural springs, rivers, and scenic waterfalls. In fact, the Heights get so much moisture they are the site of Israel’s only ski resort! Who would have thought you might want to pack your skis for a trip to Israel? Whether you fancy the idea of some kayaking, some skiing, or just want to enjoy some picturesque vistas, the Heights are worth a visit. 

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The PURPOSE of C4i is to call Christians to express love in action to the people of Israel.

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