Summer is in full swing, and fall is coming up relatively soon. A perfect time to start planning your trip to Israel. You’ve probably been told that Israeli fall isn’t as cold as your typical European fall, or that middle-eastern summer can be quite rough. So, how do you pack?
Don’t you worry, we’ve got your back. We are here to break down the seasons and provide a list of essential items you should pack for your trip.
Israel is known to have very unique climate. The possibility of it raining up north, whilst there’s a heatwave down south is very likely. Even a 45 minute drive from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem perfectly demonstrates how different it feels to hike with or without wind.
Israel doesn’t exactly have four distinct seasons. Spring and summer are very similar, the main difference being the increase in temperature. And fall seamlessly continues into winter.
Spring & Summer
Israel is known for its incredible summer. The great summer heat, beautiful beaches crowded with sunbathers and Matkot players - it’s an experience not to be missed. Spring tends to be a more subdued version of summer, with most of the country beginning to heat up and rain being a lot less frequent.
Overall, Israel is considered a “hot” country, residing in the center of the middle-east. But in summer, extra precautions need to be taken in order to have an enjoyable experience, as Israeli summer is no joke. Cities like Tel Aviv and its surroundings are usually hot and humid, Whereas Jerusalem is dryer and cooler, especially at night.
Spring & Summer Essentials
If you’re planning on hiking a lot, or just walking around - comfortable walking shoes are crucial. You could bring sneakers, but sandals are definitely preferred. Your feet will thank you, trust us.
The goal is to stay cool, so focus on lightweight and loose fitting clothes.
Airy, short and comfortable. Short-sleeved t-shirts, sleeveless tank tops, flowy tops and dresses. We would suggest sticking to those. A jacket for those cooler nights is also essential, especially in Jerusalem or up north.
And of course, it wouldn’t be Israeli summer without bringing along your swimsuit, a hat and flip flops. In fact, you’re more than welcome to wear your flip-flops the entire trip. You’ll fit right in with the locals. Oh, and don’t forget sunscreen! The Israeli sun is not to be messed with.
Fall & Winter
Israeli Winter can be very tricky, as it fluctuates a lot. One day it’ll be sunny and relatively warm, and the next day it’s snowing or heavily raining. But winter is still winter, and as disappointed as some people may be to have their expectation of Israel shattered, we have to set some things straight.
Israel isn’t just a scorching hot desert. Far from it, actually. Winter can get pretty cold, and some areas of the country experience snow on a yearly basis.
The question: how to dress during winter in Israel is not easy to answer. The locals face the exact same dilemma as well. As you don’t know what you’re going to get, it’s better to be prepared for every scenario.
Israeli winter can easily be compared to British summer. It could be very sunny, but still have cold temperature. We call it “Shemesh Shakranit”! (Tricky sun).
Winter & Fall Essentials
As hot as Israel can get, You’ll still need warm clothing. A coat, preferably waterproof, and good walking boots (Or sneakers). This is the time to whip out your coziest sweaters, as you’ll definitely need them. Make sure to bring one or two lighter options for those warmer wintery days.
A good rule of thumb to keep in mind when dressing yourself is: keep it casual. Generally speaking, Israelis are laid back when it comes to dress codes. Leave the blazers and ties at home. Opt for the t-shirt, jacket and jeans combo instead.
Kind of an unexpected item for winter, but make sure you bring sunglasses. Like we said, Israeli sun is no joke, and stays with us all year round.
Congratulations! You are officially a pro-packer for Israeli weather. No rainstorm or heat wave can stop you now ;).
Illustrations: Sasha Iudashkin, Ola Levitsky