Many people think of Israel as being hot and all year round. But this is far from the truth. While it’s true that Israel weather is famously steamy in July and August, it is definitely not this way all the time. Israel’s weather also differs from that which you will encounter in North America and Western Europe. Here, you will basically experience two different seasons: winter from late October to mid-March, and summer from April to October.
September and October are traditionally the busiest and most crowded months for tourism in Israel, due to Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. The next busiest time is Passover in April. In between these times, when the country comes to somewhat of a standstill and is flooded with tourists, the country is typically less crowded and busy. This makes winter a good time to visit.
During the winter season, the weather in Israel is typically cool and rainy. The average temperatures at this time are quite mild, and range from lows around 50-60 degrees F at night, and 62 to 72 degrees F during the day. The only areas that normally receive snowfall are Golan Heights and Mount Hermon. Tel Aviv and other coastal areas do not receive any snow at all, but Jerusalem typically gets just a couple days of snow per year, and a good snow storm or two per decade. As you can imagine, people flock from coastal areas to experience snowfall when it does occur!
During February and March, the entire country undergoes a beautiful transformation. Almost everywhere you look, you will see green popping up- a lovely result of the plentiful winter rains. The regions of Golan and Galilee are practically covered in wildflowers. It is quite a sight. Here at Tel Aviv 4 fun, you can see some of the images for yourself.
A favorite destination of visitors to Israel during the winter months is Mount Hermon, the country’s only ski and snowboarding destination. Mount Hermon is the highest point in all of Israel, as well as the most northern point in the country. It is also the famous site of Har Habtarim, where God promised Abraham that He would give the land to his descendants, as well as an important strategic site for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Until you see how massive Mount Hermon is, it is difficult to imagine. It is said to be the only “real” mountain in Israel, whereas all of the other mountains in comparison are just large hills. Mount Hermon has several famous peaks, including Mount Shaked, which is 6,600 feet above sea level, and Mount Shazif, which is 5,055 feet above sea level. Mount Hermon also is home to three different settlements: the Jewish settlement of Neve Ativ, the Druse town of Majdel Shams, and the Druse village of Ein Kynia.
Overall, there’s really no “bad” time to visit Israel. But if you’d like to visit the country during its less busy season, and have the opportunity to ski on one of the world’s most famous mountains, winter is the right time to plan your trip.