Best time to travel to Israel: 3 options for planning your trip
By Theo Panagopoulos, Jul 2020
With a cool Mediterranean climate that yields long, warm summers and mild winters, Israel is a true year-round destination. Travelers choose this charming country for its impressive landscapes, magnificent events and spectacular holiday celebrations.
So when is the best time to travel to Israel? That depends entirely on the kind of adventure you seek. Here's a breakdown of the country's best events, festivals and unique experiences, separated by category, that will help you decide the best time to travel to Israel.
History and culture
If you want to skip the crowds and high temperatures and get a taste of the authentic side of Israel, travel in the fall. The autumn months are the best time for hiking in the countryside and seeing the country's most stunning landscapes, such as the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee. The fall is also ideal for anyone who wants to learn about the history and culture of Israel and experience traditional religious celebrations on some of the nation's most important holidays.
Rosh Hashana, which usually falls in September, is the two-day holiday that marks the Jewish new year. It's a great time to experience local customs and try some traditional food, such as challah and honey cake.
Nine days after the first day of Rosh Hashana comes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year. During Yom Kippur, most of the country's population is fasting, and citizens traditionally avoid driving. So even though eating out might be a challenge, exploring major cities such as Tel Aviv by bike on Yom Kippur is a truly unique experience. Lastly, the weeklong holiday of Sukkot falls in late September or early October, and it involves the building and decoration of small huts, called sukkahs, across the country.
Admire the majesty of David's Waterfall at the Ein Gedi oasis and nature reserve near Masada.
Natural wonders and outdoor fun
Springtime offers pleasant temperatures, making it the best time to travel to Israel if you want to roam around and discover the country's most beautiful spots. Take a trip into the Judean Desert and explore the Ein Gedi nature reserve, or wake up early and visit the ancient fortress of Masada for a once-in-a-lifetime sunrise experience. If you're looking for a thrilling outdoor adventure, head for the Negev desert, where you can hike, sandboard, rappel or go off-roading on an ATV.
Springtime is also the busy tourism season in Israel, as numerous travelers arrive to experience Easter and Passover in the Holy Land. Regardless of your religion, follow the massive crowds to Jerusalem to experience an incredible array of cultural events, activities and ceremonies. You could join a craftsman's workshop at the Ein Yael, an outdoor museum that simulates life during the Roman era. Or you could walk the Via Dolorosa ("Way of Suffering"), which is believed to be the path that Jesus followed to his crucifixion. If you're visiting in March, make sure to join the colorful street parties that take place in Israel's major cities for the Jewish festival of Purim.
Find your bliss on the beach at Eilat, a southern resort town along the Red Sea.
Seashore and festivals
Summer is the hottest time of year in Israel, but it still offers plenty of sunshine, calm seas and clear blue skies, making it ideal for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The scenic shores might get a bit crowded during the summer months, but it's also the best period for mingling (or partying) with the locals at beach bars and alfresco restaurants. It's also a great season to visit if you're interested in exploring Israel's shores via boat or discovering hidden gems such as the underwater observatory park at the beach town of Eilat. For the ultimate aquatic experience, float in the salty waters of the Dead Sea, which is thought to have healing properties.
If you visit Israel during the summer, check out the Israel Festival in Jerusalem; it's one of the country's largest and most spectacular cultural events. The festival, which falls during the early part of the summer, features concerts, dance performances and operas, among other cultural happenings. In late August, Jerusalem hosts the Jerusalem Beer Festival, a must for beer lovers and merrymakers. And if you're looking for some all-night partying during your travels to Tel Aviv, don't miss the Tel Aviv White Night and Tel Aviv Pride in June.
There's never a bad time to visit Israel, and depending on your travel goals, you can tailor your trip to suit your interests for the best experience possible.
Discover our Israel vacation packages and book your trip today!