Israel enjoys typical Mediterranean weather, with long, sunny summers and mild winters. Though very small in size, Israel's unique geographical diversity creates a variety of climate areas, from snowy mountains to a dry deserts. This page features detailed information on climate and weather conditions around Israel throughout the year.
Weather in Israel
Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in the mountains (Jerusalem and Safed).
Rain is relatively heavy in the north and centre of the country, while the south remains dry most of the year.
Regional conditions vary considerably, with humid summers and mild winters on the coast; dry summers and moderately cold winters in the mountains; hot dry summers and pleasant winters in the Jordan Valley; and year-round semi-desert conditions in the Negev.
Weather ranges from occasional winter snowfall in the mountain regions to hot dry winds that increases the temperature, particularly in spring and autumn.
Geography and nature
Israel is small but it features diverse geographical features: an urbanised coastal plain, evergreen mountains in the North, and various forms of desert in the South. Read more in the Geography and Nature page of the Israel Tourism Portal.
People and languages
Israel’s 7 million inhabitants make up a fascinating array of cultures, beliefs, traditions and languages, with Jewish immigrants from everywhere on the globe, Muslems, Christians. and many more. Read more about people in Israel on this page of the Israel Tourism Portal.
The Jewish calendar and holidays
The Jewish calendar, based on the lunar cycle, is full of unique holidays and festivities. This page on the Israel Tourism Portal features detailed information on the Jewish calendar and about each and every holiday.
Israel Past and Present
The history of Israel, the Holy Land, goes back thousands of years, with the rise and fall of numerous empires and cultures. It is also where the Jewish people rebuilt their home after almost 2,000 years of exile. This page provides an introduction to the history of the land of Israel and the modern state of Israel.
All visitors to Israel must hold a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date they are departing the country. People with no nationality must hold a valid "laissez passer", as well as a visa back to the country that issued it.
Visitors are entitled to remain in Israel up to three months from the date of their arrival, in accordance with the conditions of the visa issued to them. Visitors who seek to work in Israel must submit a request to the Ministry of the Interior for a special visa.
Important note for tourists continuing from Israel on to Arab countries (except Egypt and Jordan): It is recommended that you request that an Israeli stamp does not appear on your passport. You must notify the clerk of your request before your documents are stamped.
As of July 3, 2008, an official decision has been made that will no longer require entry stamps on foreign passports. In such cases, you must fill out form 17L with your personal details, and that form shall be stamped by passport control upon entry/exit.
The 17L form will not be collected upon exit as it is necessary for the collection of tax refunds and proof of legal entry.
Many countries have a Visa Waiver Programme with Israel which allows their citizens to visit Israel without a visa arranged in advance. Before embarking on a trip, visitors who plan to stop in Israel on their way to other destinations must check if they need a prearranged tourist visa. The list of countries below specifies from which countries tourists are required to present a prearranged visa. All Visa Waiver Programme travelers must present a machine-readable passport at the port of entry in order to enter Israel without a prearranged visa; otherwise a visa is required. This applies to tourists arriving with a passage card from countries with a Waiver Program.
More detailed information can be found in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website
The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.
Currency exchange rates
The State of Israel’s currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English). There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS2 NIS1 and 50 and 10 agorot.
Current rate of exchange: $ =NIS 3.80 approx (valid 10/2012).
Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks. The rates may vary from one place to another, and banks and hotel may charge a commission. It is recommended, though not obligatory, to carry a small amount of US dollars, since certain tourist destination may accept payment in dollars. More Information is available here.
Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency at banks which accept their credit cards. There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks.