What's the best time to visit Israel? What ever time is the right time for you!
If you been looking for things to do in Israel, you probably already know that it’s located along the sultry Mediterranean Sea. From there, the land sweeps up to Mount Hermon in the north, to Jerusalem in the middle, while narrowing to a southern point at the Red Sea.
Deciding when to go depends on several factors.
First, just decide to go.
Second, do you like it hot or cool?
Third, what do you like to do? Ski? Swim? Sightsee? Do you want to attend a particular festival or see a certain religious site?
These are some questions you can ask yourself to determine, for you, when would be the best time to visit Israel. But, let’s start with…
Generally speaking, like anywhere, the higher the elevation, the cooler it is likely to be, whatever the season. Winters, ranging between 40’s - 80’s, are cooler, even mild, but it’s not unheard of for a snow storm to blow through on occasion.
Summers are warm to hot between 70’s-100’s, and relatively humid, especially in the lower elevations. Though, Eilat can reach temperatures of a scorching 115 degrees with low humidity.
A blazing sun on a hot day makes lounging on the beautiful sandy beaches beside the blue Mediterranean Sea feel all the better.
If snow skiing is your thing, then bundle up and spend time at Mount Hermon in the north part of the country.
For a warm winter break, head south to Eilat, on the Red Sea to find warm temps in the 70’s - 80’s, warm water and relatively low humidity.
We have visited Israel in February, May, October and November. These months fit in pretty well between the heat of summer and the rain and snow of winter. With temperatures a comfortable average of 70-ish degrees, these are considered to be the most pleasant times to visit for most people.
However, during our May 2015, visit to Jerusalem and Ariel, it was a stifling 100+. Every day. Our sight-seeing was limited to mornings and evenings. Thankfully, all of our accommodations had air-conditioning to sooth our Pacific Northwest acclimated bodies.
But, even so, each evening cooled off to a very pleasant shirt sleeve temperature with refreshing breezes, and the best part about the contrasting heat of the day, is that it made those evenings feel even more beautiful.
Any season you choose to visit, warmer or cooler weather is available any time of the year depending on what part of the country you visit and what your favorite temperature is. The trick is to take the tried and true advice and dress in layers, swimsuits to sweaters, that way you’ll always be prepared.
Another thing to consider when deciding when would be the best time for your visit, are the religious holidays observed throughout the year. Israel is a major destination for people of numerous faiths.
There is a holiday or festival happening pretty much every month of the year.
Here’s a website that does a handy job of listing them by faith and month: https://www.anglo-list.com/general-3/about-israel/religious-holidays-in-israel#jewish-festivals .
As you’re deciding when to visit, plan ahead and consider that during holidays and festivals, accommodations fill up faster, are generally more expensive and tourist and religious sites are busier.
Having said that, one of our favorite trips was during the festival of Sukkot in October 2016, (the weather being high 70’s - mid 80’s). We stayed in an apartment across the alley from a yeshiva and orphanage. One afternoon, we heard singing outside our windows so we went to investigate. Down in the street, men, women and children were singing and taking turns dancing through the crowd with a Torah scroll. Soda and cups sat on a small folding table for anyone needing a drink. Everyone was joyful. It was a very colorful real-life, real-people event we unexpectedly experienced that could only have happened while traveling during a festival.
For this trip we started planning 10 months in advance, securing our accommodations and airline tickets. During our visit, places were definitely busy but we were always able to easily get from one place to the next.
There’s almost always an event happening somewhere in Israel. So the best time to visit Israel might be decided by what your favorite thing to do is.
Israel is a great place to take in a festivals. There are all types including, music, dance, theater, beer, food, arts and crafts - there’s something for everyone.
For us, the best time to visit Israel would be during the cooler temperatures of late fall to late spring, mostly because we’re not hot weather people. There's plenty to keep us occupied. Even so, with so much to see and do, we wouldn't pass up any opportunity no matter the time of year.