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Introducing: ToI’s Hidden Gems

When it comes to travel, venturing off the beaten path can lead to some of the most unforgettable and downright spectacular experiences. That’s why we’ve created Hidden Gems, a brand-new feature exclusive to The Times of Israel Community, composed and curated by our very own Times of Israel staff. We want you to have that “wow” feeling you get when discovering something that feels like a secret — whether this is your first time visiting Israel or you’re a prickly-yet-sweet sabra who has lived here your entire life.

Our mission is to unearth hidden treasures across the country that you won’t find on a typical, touristy travel website, and to make our guide easy to use — including on a mobile device. We take you on a journey across Israel: through the lush green hills of the Upper Galilee all the way to the craggy vastness of the Negev Desert, through bustling Tel Aviv and deep into Jerusalem, with plenty of captivating places in between. From the joy of discovering a “pirate ship” in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City, to the allure of the best ice cream on a kibbutz in central Israel, to a delicious sandwich shop in the desert, to a Roman aqueduct hiding in plain sight next to a modern highway, to a vintage boutique and cafe that sells secondhand clothes, 19th century books of poetry, and exceptional coffee, this dream guide is a carefully selected collection of lesser-known experiences that’ll dazzle you.

One of our hidden gems down south (photo via Tangerine bar Facebook; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

And that’s another special part of this ToI Community-exclusive feature: our Hidden Gems guide is more than just a guide; it’s also an opportunity to connect with The Times of Israel team as you learn about their favorite places, hear their own personal stories of discovery, and get a glimpse into the lives of the people behind the articles you read on The Times of Israel.

Our tech reporter Ricky Ben-David, for instance, shares her family’s delightful experiences at Kibbutz Retamim in the desert, including the unique rammed earth construction and the thrill of sandboarding down the sloping Negev dunes at sunset. Our investigative reporter Simona Weinglass tells us about her favorite neighborhood in Haifa, and our military correspondent Emanuel Fabian takes us down to Beersheba to enjoy the best sandwiches he’s ever tasted.

In other words, Hidden Gems offer a personal touch that adds depth to your own exploration.

Check out Hidden Gems

You can easily filter your explorations in Hidden Gems by region and activity type, making it easy to tailor your experience to your preferences. Moreover, we’re dedicated to keeping the guide updated with new discoveries from our staff, ensuring that your journey through Israel’s hidden wonders remains as dynamic as the country itself.

So, whether you’re currently in Israel, planning a future visit, or simply curious about the lesser-known corners of this remarkable country, Hidden Gems invites you to delve deeper into the unique charm of Israel while also getting to know the incredible people who bring you the news and stories every day.

If you’re already a ToI Community member, as of today you have immediate access to Hidden Gems. If you’re not yet a ToI Community member, join here to gain access to it today.

When you join the Community, you get access to Hidden Gems, plus an ads-free reading experience, exclusive Behind the Headlines live webinars, a personal weekly letter from Editor David Horovitz and more exclusive ToI content. And most importantly, you become our partner in ensuring Israel receives responsible, professional coverage at all times.

Join the ToI Community

We pride ourselves on our fact-based reporting that is available for all, free of charge. We rely on avid readers like you to support our mission in this important time. We hope you enjoy Hidden Gems as a Times of Israel Community member.