Going on an Israel Tour? A visit in Tel Aviv is a must. Tel Aviv is one of the hot spots along the Mediterranean shore, and easily one of most exciting cities in the world. Tel Aviv offersÂ some of the bestÂ shopping, eclectic architecture, modern cuisine and 24/7 partying.
If you would ask a random fellow what there is to see in Tel Aviv, you will most likely be directed to Dizingoff Center and Shenkin St. for the shops and boutiques, the Tel Aviv beach for some fun in the sun, or to Teal Aviv Museum for a good dose of culture.
If you are a veteran traveler, you've probably seen all of the above. But even when checking Israel for the first time, remember that Tel Aviv has its own hidden gems that only a few know about.
In this short article we will take you to two of these secret places, but you must promise not to tell anybody!
Sarona - Back in 1869, long before the state of Israel was born, a group of German Templers landed on the shore of what is later to become Tel Aviv, wishing to reinvent the "true Christian" ideals by settling in the Holy Land. The Templers had a vision that later modeled the Zionist approach - they wanted to develop the desert landscape and turn it into a thriving community. Their settlement was called Sarona, and is now a reminiscent of olden days.
Sarona was built as a true European village, and every house demonstrates beautiful architecture and mesmerizing stories. Strolling through the colony, you'll be able to feel what it was like living in Sarona back in the day - visit the school, the clinic, even see an old-fashioned German bowling alley. But that's not all! The old buildings are now homes to some gorgeous boutiques and restaurants, so be ready to shop and dine while inhaling the unique history of the place.
Because we promised to tell you about secret Israel tour locations, while in Sarona, be sure to look for the old winery. Although the place might seem deserted at first, don't be afraid to walk inside the building, where you will find an extensive underground cave system, built especially to conserve the wine barrels. Take a stroll through this exciting basement, see the gigantic antique barrels, and come back home with a bunch of unforgettable memories.
The American Colony - This is truly a place that very few know about. The American Colony in Jaffa is stretched over Auerbach St. just off the busy commercial Eilat St. and what a magical place this is! Featuring the settlement of Reverend George J. Adams who brought the Church of the Messiah from Maine to Tel-Aviv.
The wooden houses on the street were delivered from the United States, the Immanuel Church is alive until this very day and the Maine Friendship House museum is open to visitors.
But the true beauty of the American Colony hides at the top of Beit Immanuel's Guest House. Once again, you will need some courage for this mission, but the big surprise at the end justifies.
All you have to do is stroll into the guesthouse and look for the stairs. Climb up to the last floor where you'll see an exit to the roof. VoilÃ ! The entire city is visible from this rooftop on a clear day and the view is jaw dropping. The Tel-Aviv beach stretches in the distance, the old city of Jaffa rests on the South, The towers of Azrieli hover above the North-West, and best of all - this treat is completely free.
So now you know what to do on your next Israel tour!
by Alfredo Coen