Israel is well known for her year round sunshine. With an overall average of just 35-40 days of rain a year, it is the perfect destination for your holiday. Much like many Mediterranean destinations such as Greece and Cyprus, the summer season usually starts in April and ends at the end of October. The winter season kicks in from the start of November and is considered to last until the end of March.
Winter offers a diverse range of options for the traveller. You may like to try your hand at skiing at Mount Hermon and always remember that winter is always a great time to explore, given that the heat is not so intense, especially in the Negev regions and the arid south.
When we talk about Eilat and the Southern region of Israel, things change. Eilat enjoys a totally unique climate of year round sunshine, and so makes the perfect year round holiday destination. With the opening of the new airport outside Eilat and the anticipated explosion in low cost flying by way of Transavia, Ryanair and Wizz to name but a few, there is no better time to go!
For an up to date look at the weather in Israel, why not check out the official Israeli Weather Service website: www.ims.gov.il
Whatever you need, you'll find everything in Israel easily quickly and affordably, so don't worry first of all if you forget something! it is always a nice feeling to travel light. This way you have a lighter mind and a heavier wallet, Bearing in mind the cost of airline baggage these days.
It is always a good idea to carry a small secondary bag with you containing an overnight change of clothing to have on your person in the event you ever get separated with your suitcase during your journey. Having a toothbrush and spare pair of smalls can be a relief if your baggage is ever lost for a day or two!
If this has ever happened to you, and your baggage has been lost in transit you'll thank yourself so much, I had to learn the hard way!
Don't fill your suitcase to its maximum weight allowance. Leave yourself some space and enough spare kilos so you have the opportunity to bring back goodies. Israel has so much to tempt you with, herbs and spices, goods from the markets, Dead Sea skin care, not to mention some award winning wines and local delicacies! Local produce and judaica crafts are beautiful and you'll be supporting the economy!
Tie something distinctive and bright around the handle so it can easily be noticed and retrieved around the conveyer belt both home and away.
Essential Items: A sun hat or a cap to avoid sun burn and subsequent headaches, you'll be grateful for it, especially if exploring Masada or Old Jerusalem where the sun can be really intense.
Swimming Costume / trunks for that essential swim by the hotel's pool, A 'must do' salty dip in the Dead Sea (beware of the high salt content) or perhaps a relaxing soak in the Sea of Galilee. Nudity is not permitted.
If you are visiting holy sites, women should remember that they may be required to cover shoulders (and arms in the case of some mosques) so have a cardie or shawl handy and maybe a hat or headscarf in some Orthodox sites. Men may have issues entering some holy sites wearing shorts so plan carefully and you will always be required to cover your heads too if entering a mosque or a synagogue. Why not carry your own Kippah to have ready for when you need it. When you visit the Western Wall, they do issue these FOC for use. You'll also find these easily around the city and many markets. They also make great gifts and should be worn with pride.
Sensible shoes for walking with good cushion for comfort. You will be amazed how many steps you'll cover, there is just so much to see! Sun bloc, don't burn your nose and lips, quality sun glasses and a high factor sun creme.
Wet facial wipes are always handy to carry with you and a bio hand sanitise is a good idea to help prevent those pesky bugs from spreading.
Mosquito repellent is always handy to have, but do try and use an organic variety on your skin.
Why not download 'Waze' onto your mobile phone in advance? It is not only an Israeli creation but one of the best community led GPS navigation systems around and perfect if you are planning to hire a car during your stay. A point worth noting is that should you take a GPS navigation system with your car rental, ensure that it is set to your language of choice in advance of leaving their offices. Often I have had difficulties changing languages from pre set if you don't understand a word. Don't forget your locally purchased sim for use if using your phone.
I would suggest some good ear plugs for your flight if you are likely to want to sleep. Flights to Israel can be loud, as they are often 'very' family oriented so you'll be thankful you bought them if it is peace and quiet you require.
If you plan to use your phone in Israel then set aside 60-80 dollars for a decent use SIM card. This will not only allow you to comfortably use your phone for the navigation if driving, but also for live video streams and chatting. These can be picked up on arrival from the airport arrivals hall.
Electrical items run on 220 AC and operate the same plug socket size as those found in Europe.
If you are a vegan don't worry, there is no need to take emergency supplies of anything with you. Israel is the capital of the global vegan movement so leave your herbs and tofu chunks at home, Israel has your back!
Israel is literally a feast for the eyes, a joy for the nose and capture of your heart and soul. Everywhere you turn there is something to see, something to do and in particular...... something to eat!
It is therefore essential when visiting (at least for the first time) that you have some form of 'loose' plan in place, so you don't end up losing too much time trying to sort out what you are going to do when you get there! You know how it goes, you leave it to chance, you see how you feel when you get there and then before you know it you are home and wondering why you didn't make more efforts before hand!
A lot of wasted time and energy can be spent waiting, waiting for that car rental you booked, seeking an alternative restaurant because the one you wanted is full and you didn't make a reservation or how about getting yourself a sim sorted for your phone locally so you can make international calls at a fraction of the price with your cell phone.
I don't advocate planning out a holiday myself because I am not organised enough for that, but being prepared is key in order to maximise your time when there. The more you go, the more you'll know that too from experience.
Israel truly offers something for everyone. It is a little cliché to say but in this case it is very true. First of all you need to establish what it is you want from your Israel experience and then plan accordingly.
You don't want to blind yourself with science nor do you want cram too much in so your holiday is a constant rush. Establish what you require then you have a better idea of the parts of Israel best suited to your needs.
Oh and don't be taken in by any negativity from people who know no better and moreover have never actually been to Israel. It is as safe a destination as any in Europe. People live their lives from day to day the same way as anyone else and the reality is that what most people see from misinformation through inaccurate or biased news reporting could not be further from the truth when you get there.
The below is simply a guide, in short, you could just go and let your feet do the walking. Finding things by chance is often the most fun, but just in case you do prefer a little guidance, here are some tips and ideas:
Easy Traveller: You want to learn as much as you can in a quick & easy way without too much effort on your part. Perhaps as part of an organised speciality package tour or book a short stay and latch on a personalised guided tour of Israel from one of the many travel agencies that can create sightseeing trips according to your specifications, be it a day or several days. Check out our directory for some listed sightseeing options to assist.
Fly Drive: You are a free spirit, you're looking for an adventure and you're happy to drive when on holiday (and don't get stressed behind the wheel). With so much to see, drivable distances between city 2 city and the freedom to enjoy different experiences on your terms, take a car and discover as you go along. Flying into Eilat and driving from the south and making your way up is an easy and logical way to do it but not always as easy due to restrictions on direct international flights. Check out low cost flights into Ovda Airport and flights into the recently constructed Eilat Airport. Alternatively and of course the easiest option is Tel Aviv.
City Break: You're searching for a quick getaway that combines a little shopping, good food, lite sightseeing, and not too much time spent travelling. Then fly into Tel Aviv and combine it with a multi-centre trip to Jerusalem. It is definitely a great idea in which case to do a 1/2 day tour of the Holy City just to take in the main highlights. With so much to se in a limited time, it is the best way to ensure you see the highlights and don't spend too much time looking for them yourself. Old Jerusalem is a maze and expert help is always a good idea.
Quick Getaway: There is no better place to spend a cheeky weekend than Tel Aviv. You can be in on a Friday night if flying in from Europe and back out Sunday night, Monday morning. Thats just enough time to sample the electric nightlife, The plethora of amazing restaurants and shops, not to mention, if you bring your swimwear you can relax on one of the city's renowned beaches. Its the perfect all rounder as far as quick getaway city break destinations are concerned. Oh and remember there are lots of low cost carriers now flying so prices have come right down, so if you happne to be travelling through Europe from the States, Australia or South America, why not check out Wizz, Ryanair, Easyjet, Transavia and Flyup amongst others.
Foodies: It could be said that no matter where you are in Israel, you can be sure of some quality food. The whole thing is very subjective. I guess the best way to determine where to go depends on the time you have. Tel Aviv certainly has the range but travelling around the country enables you to experience regional cuisine and Jerusalem and haifa certainly have some great places too. Perhaps breaking it down into the actual kind of food you like may well determine where to head. If you are a Vegan, do not worry, you won't be caught short wherever you are, though it is said that Tel Aviv is the world capital for Vegans, so we have that one covered!
Holy Tours: This specialised and highly interesting option is a great introduction to Israel. Simply google the world Holy land Tours of Israel and loads of options will befall you. be sure to pick the kind of tour that suits your needs. Some can be Pilgrim tours and Christian specific, whilst others may be more general. They usually include all the hotels and board and certainly as a first time trip it is a nice way to experience the history of Israel and its significance for all religions. This way you will not have only covered much of the country but it puts you in good stead to plan your own visit the next time. The duration of these trips usually range from 4-7 days.
Experience all the attractions of Israel with this up-to-date and authoritative guide, complete with ‘Best Of’ recommendations. You'll find fantastic hotels, restaurants with great cuisine, trendy places to go and the best nightlife spots, as well as tips for shopping and getting by on a low budget. There are also ideas for those travelling with children and for active pursuits as well as a summary of the country's main festivals and events. Further sections include: Travel Tips, Links, Blogs, Apps & more, Hebrew phrases and index; useful too is the ‘Perfect Route' section and the handy pull-out map supplied in addition to the Road Atlas inside. MARCO POLO Israel provides comprehensive coverage of all parts of the country. To help you find your way around there are the 'Where First' panels for the large cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem, the detailed Road Atlas, a useful map of Jerusalem in the cover, plus a pull-out map. Marco Polo
Full of local knowledge and unique insights into Israeli life, Diy Tel Aviv is the city guide you have been waiting for. Packed with information about the city's thriving alternative scene, it's the guide that starts where other guides end, leaving out the major tourist attractions and opting instead for the places often left out. With this guide you'll easily discover underground clubs, punk venues, hole in the wall restaurants, alternative fashion boutiques and hipster cafés, and many more exciting things. 100% independent, this is the only Tel Aviv guide that updates once a year, keeping up with the city's notoriously fast-paced scene. Designed for independent travellers, backpackers, students and anyone interested in alternative and Diy culture, this is the perfect guide for those who want to experience Tel Aviv like a true local. Available via: LULU
Israel private Tour Guide will tailor the right private tour of Israel for your interests, budget and needs. From fun and educational family tours to desert adventures and luxurious VIP tours. Traveling alone or in a group? We will make sure your tour of Israel will be a smooth, fun, safe and most importantly an Experience of a lifetime! Israel Private Tour Guide was formed in 2003 by a small group of "elite" tour guides who shared a passion for the profession and the land. Today it is one of the leading Israel tour guide services with dozens of private tours running throughout Israel at any given time. Israel Private Tour Guide
Delicious Israel’s personalized walking, travel and cooking tours introduce traveling foodies and culture-seekers to authentic Israeli lifestyle. On their tantalizingly tasty adventures, you'll hear from the brothers running a third-generation Turkish family-owned deli on Levinsky Street, you taste shakshuka at a private Yemenite home nestled next to Shuk HaCarmel, and you'll learn about the origins of different spices from the immigrants who brought them to Israel. They will introduce travelers to Israel at its purest: Israel freshly squeezed. Israel newly baked. Israel raw. Delicious Israel
Cal Auto is an innovative patriotic Israeli company that carries the banner of the social revolution to lower the cost of self-driven cars. Check out their great deals on car rental with branches throughout Israel, including Ben Gurion International Airport. Cars are ell maintined, varied to suite all pockets and helpful to ensure maximum assurance. Cal Auto Car Rentals
Customers have questions, you have answers. Display the most frequently asked questions, so everybody benefits. Sim to Israel