Israel has a typical Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers, and short, wet, cool winters.
When to fly to Israel
The main towns in Israel are year-round destinations, though they may become very hot and sticky in the summer months.
Most of the beach resorts enjoy warm temperatures even in the wintertime, so this can be the perfect time to visit. It does get cold in the mountains though.
Getting around Israel
There are a few domestic flights available in the country, between Eilat, Tel Aviv and Haifa, operated by airlines El Al, Arkia and Israir.
Buses are excellent for inter-city trips. Most are run by a company called Egged. Fares are reasonable and the journey is fast. You can by tickets in advance at the bus stations or just direct from the driver.
The rail service is less extensive, but gradually expanding. It is all run by Israel Railways. Tickets must be bought in advance, but you can reserve a seat when you do so.
Note that there is no rail or bus service on Shabbat or public holidays.
Israel insider information
- Israel must be one of the countries with the most historical import in the world. Jerusalem is a place of pilgrimage for three religions, and everywhere in the city are remains and relics of importance. However, this also means it can become very full of tourists and accommodation can be full year-round. Be sure to book ahead before you arrive.
- The country’s second-largest city, Tel Aviv can feel a million miles – or years – from Jerusalem. Situated on the Mediterranean Sea, the city is gleaming and modern, full of high rises, shops, restaurants, theatres and everything you’d expect in a metropolis. A major attraction are its waterfront and beach, around which most tourists, and many locals, congregate from sunrise to sunset. The beach extends for the stretch of the city, but different areas attract different activities and people – just keep walking till you find the part you want.
- If you really want to enjoy the beach experience, head to Eilat, the most heavily advertised tourist area in the country. At the southwest tip of the country, the resort of Eilat is focused on holidaymakers: swim with dolphins, go diving in the coral reef, water skiing or boating, eat in luxury restaurants, stay in five-star hotels and simply relax. Temperatures here are high year-round, even in winter rarely dropping below 21 degrees Celsius.
- No trip to Israel is complete without floating in the Dead Sea. The saltiest body of water on Earth, it is famous for its properties of buoyancy. When you’re in the area, head to Masada, the site of a group of ancient palaces on a steep rock overlooking the Dead Sea.
- Nazareth is, understandably, full of Christian sites. There are various places which are supposed to be the site of Mary’s visitation from the Angel Gabriel. The huge Basilica of the Annunciation has been built over one (where Mary’s house once stood). Another is “Mary’s Well”.