When is the best time to visit Israel?
The answer really depends on you, why you are coming and what you want to see and do in Israel.
For your convenience, here are the pros/cons on visiting Israel during different seasons of the year.
If we have to choose a short answer on the very best time to visit Israel, it would be in the late spring, from May to early or mid June. Why?
Well, it is less crowded... Late spring is just after the hectic tourist season during Passover and Easter, and just before the mad rush of the summer peak tourist time, so prices are more reasonable and Israel isn't over-crowded.
Weather wise, the rainy season is over and you will enjoy sunshine and blue skies. Its the perfect time to travel and sightsee.
The weather is balmy, just before the stifling, hot Israeli summer in July and August (although with global warming, the weather is more chaotic than it used to be).
And another point not everyone is aware of. It is just before the jellyfish season in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel which starts in mid June or so, and lasts for about a month. The jellyfish stings aren't dangerous but swimming in the sea might be less pleasant if you're on the lookout for jellyfish.
The only time you might feel the crowds in the late spring is during Gay Pride week in early June in Tel Aviv.
The city is full of tourists and prices skyrocket, although its a fantastic time to enjoy Tel Aviv nightlife.
Schools in Israel and most of the world are closed from late June until the end of August, so this is the peak tourist season in Israel.
July and August are very hot months and all of Israel is out and on the beach. Read about the best Israeli beaches here.
Sunbathing is too hot around noon, and its cooler and healthier to enjoy the beach in the morning until 11 AM and in the afternoons and evenings after 4 PM.
Many of the beaches have open air bars and restaurants that are open until the wee hours of the morning.
During the summer, tourist attractions in Israeli cities such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Akko (Acre) and Caesarea run late to avoid the summer heat, starting in the afternoon until nighttim.
Even events for kids tend to start later in the day and run till late at night, much later than you may be used to at home.
The second best time to travel in Israel is in the autumn between mid September through October.
The weather is sunny and pleasant for travelling around the country.
The area around the Sea of Galilee is lovely at this time of year, although many parts of Israel are parched and brown, after the hot summer and before the winter rains.
These are the busiest month in the Jewish calendar. Israeli families are intermittently on vacation for 3-4 weeks for the important trio of Jewish Holidays:
Lots of Jewish tourists visit Israel during this period, so with Israelis and tourists on the road, it gets crowded and prices can get high.
Note that during the High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur, many businesses are shut and on Yom Kippur, the entire country including the streets and highways are closed. The special atmosphere is worth experiencing, but don't expect to travel on this day.
Read more about the exact schedule of holidays in Israel every year.
Jerusalem during this period of year is absolutely fascinating, especially visiting the Kotel, the Western Wall with fascinating ceremonies on a daily basis.
In fact, all of the Old City is packed with tourists, so expect the crowds.
During Sukkot, Israeli kids are on holiday for a full week.
From the desert in the south, through the central cities to the Galilee and Golan in the north, there are tons of indoor and outdoor activities for children during this holiday.
These can be lots of fun if you are traveling with your family.
November is probably the most 'misunderstood' month in Israel!
The weather is usually beautiful in November, pleasant during the day and starting to get chilly at night. There may be rain, but it usually doesn't last more than a day. And there aren't many tourists, so its right time of year to find good deals on airfare and lodging while avoiding the crowds.
If you like surfing, November is the perfect time of year along the Israeli coastline.
The sea is still warm, but its windy and the waves pick up. Surfing season in Israel lasts through till March or even April.
December and early January ar the most magical time of year to come as a Christian pilgrim.
Following in Jesus's footsteps in Bethlehem, Nazareth, the Galilee and Jerusalem is an amazing experience. Read more about the essential Christian sites in Israel.
The weather in December and especially January is cooler and wetter, but its much warmer than autumn in Europe or the northern United States.
Late winter is the wettest and coolest time period in Israel.
The coastline areas can be especially rainy.
There are occasional snows in the mountaintops of Israel in Jerusalem, the Galilee and the Golan Heights. But even in the winter months, there are many cool days with sunshine.
Israel's Hula Valley in one of the most important birding sites worldwide with over half a billion birds stopping by annually on their migrations!
The best times to see the bird migrations are between November and March. Read more about birdwatching in Israel.
If you enjoy hiking and don't mind getting wet, the late winter months from mid January through February are the best time of year to go hiking in Israel.
Spring time is holiday season in Israel.
It can still rain a bit, especially in March and early April. But the weather is pleasant during the day, while nights might be chilly.
After the rainy winter season, all of Israel is green and abloom. It is a beautiful time to travel across the country and enjoy the wonders of Israel Nature.
Besides the religious tourists, Israeli children have a long spring break so Israelis families are on vacation too. The parks and museums are full. There are lots of special events during the holiday time, like music and dance festivals, and fun happenings for kids.
Of course, since so many Israelis and tourists are on the road, it can get crowded and prices go up.
During the week of Passover, many restaurants don't serve bread, so you be forced to eat lots of traditional matzo instead.
Its an unleavened, cracker-like bread that kids love!
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