In fact, it's one of the most frequently asked questions on the blog - so here is a month by month overview of what to expect when you're planning a visit.
First of all, there is no bad time to visit Israel. As you would expect when visiting the Middle East, temperatures are moderate to high all year round. Winter is not really winter in Israel, besides some snow fall in the far north and Jerusalem, and there also aren't that many rainy days. Take a look at the chart below, this will give you some insight into the temperatures around the country! Do you notice the differences in temperatures?
Although Israel is small, it has many micro-climates which causes the differences in temperatures. The north of Israel and the mountains of Jerusalem are the coldest parts of the country, with snow in the winter. The south and Dead Sea area are the hottest parts of the country, even during winter temperatures are very comfortable. Along the Mediterranean coast the climate is warm and humid, with some rainy, gloomy days in the winter.
Before going into the month by month overview, I recommend you to book a vacation to Israel in May or October-November. Temperatures are very comfortable and it's off season, so flight tickets and hotels are cheaper. The months April and September are great too, but because of the Jewish holidays prices are soaring high.
Below you can find the month by month overview!
'Winter' in Israel is probably not the kind of winter you'd expect. Along the coast, around the Kinneret and in the south, temperatures are very moderate - although it can be very rainy and gloomy. There are many sunny days also, which makes this month great for hiking. If you are planning to hike in the desert though, you have to be very careful and stay up to date with news and weather forecasts before your hike, since flash floods in the desert are life threatening.
What I love about winter in Israel, is that in the far north there is snow and even a ski resort! In Jerusalem it can also snow and expect to feel more cold there. If you are visiting Jerusalem you would need a proper winter coat, but in the rest of the country a lighter jacket (leather jacket for example) and rain proof shoes usually suffice.
January is also the month of delicious strawberries and the almond blossom - winter's first signs of the upcoming spring.
Weather in February is pretty much the same as in January, although in the southern regions temperatures become more and more comfortable. A visit to Eilat or the Dead Sea usually is pleasant this month, since the sun is just strong enough during the day to swim and sunbath.
Expect lots and lots of blooming flowers in February! It is the month of the almond blossom and wild flowers in Israel. Until deep in the desert you will find grass and flowers, the country truly is blooming this time of year and in the north (where it is most green) you will be surprised by the amount of waterfalls and flowers.
Although there will be colder and rainy days in March throughout the country, temperatures are really becoming more comfortable this month. Usually the first bikini beach day happens this time of year! But because weather is a bit unpredictable - you can literally go from wearing shorts to wearing two sweaters in a matter of hours - pack smartly. In Jerusalem temperatures will still be mild, keep that in mind too when booking your trip.
My favorite month! Usually the Jewish holiday of Passover falls in April, which signifies the beginning of spring. Passover is all about new beginnings, and this beautifully symbolizes blooming nature this time of year. Spring is all around, with temperatures going up all around the country. This time of year, the Mediterranean has the most beautiful, deepest turquoise color and it's so refreshing to swim in!
Although spring is blooming, you can still have a few rainy days this time of year, although it will be less and less...
This is in my opinion the best time to visit Israel. The country is still mostly green and full with flowers. It is the most perfect time to go hiking, it is beautiful everywhere and not too hot yet in the south. Because there is less rain, it is also much safer to hike in the desert! Moreover, temperatures are perfect for beach days all around the country without it being 'hot'. Lastly, it is right after the high holiday of Passover, so there are much less tourists.
This is the first 'real' summery month in Israel. There will be no rain anymore, from here on it is just blue skies and sunny days until October. In June temperatures are still comfortable, because it is not yet so humid. In the south and Dead Sea area though it will be hot already.
Around the country you can now find lots and lots of delicious summer fruits!
No surprises here, in July it is very much summer. All around the country temperatures are high and in the evenings it barely cools down. Only in the far north and in Jerusalem it is cooler at night because you're high up in the mountains. If you're visiting the Dead Sea or the south, be prepared for some pretty extreme heat, you will need to drink liters of water and hiking during the day is not advised.
Also, during the summer months it can be very busy on Israel's beaches, in national parks and in Eilat, because from June to the beginning September, the children don't go to school.
Did someone say 'avatiach'?! August is the hottest month in Israel, and traditionally Israelis eats lots and lots of avatiach (watermelon) this time of year!
A great month to visit Israel, because children are back to school and temperatures are not as intense anymore - although it is still very much summer. Be ware though, the Jewish holiday season starts in September, which makes this month a very expensive month to visit.
September is a great month to spend at the beach in Israel, because the sea temperatures are comfortable and the sun is not as strong!
The beginning of October is one of the busiest times of year, with several Jewish holidays in a row, so Israelis have many days off - which means crowded national parks and beaches. Because temperatures around the country are slowly going down it is a great month to visit!
One of the least crowded months, though temperatures are still very comfortable! November still has beach days and around the Kinneret and the south it is still very summery.
Winter is coming! December marks the beginning of winter with lots of rain throughout the country and dropping temperatures. Nevertheless, it's a very interesting month to visit because of the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah - the festival of lights. Especially in Jerusalem it is very festive! You can also celebrate Christmas in Israel, which is celebrated throughout the country in Christian Arab regions like Nazareth, Haifa and of course in Jerusalem.