• Nepal!

    Nepal: Phewa Lake. Go Now!

    Nepal
    This landlocked country mixes the cultures of the Indian sub-continent with the high Himalayas. Explore Nepal!

  • Japan!

    Japan: Traditional foods. Go Now!

    Japan
    Japan has a rich culture that is visible today in the country's dress, architecture, language, food (pictured), and lifestyle. Begin Your Journey!

  • Bahrain!

    Bahrain: Desert. Go Now!

    Bahrain
    This tiny country has overcome the desert and has found a way to thrive, like this tree on al Jazair Beach. Explore Bahrain!

  • Kyrgyzstan!

    Kyrgyzstan: Tian Shan Mountains. Go Now!

    Kyrgyzstan
    The mountains, including the Tian Shan Mountains (pictured), give Kyrgyzstan a unique culture, partially formed from this isolation from the mountains. Go Now!

  • Laos!

    Laos: Karst peak. Go Now!

    Laos
    The simplicity and natural beauty of the countryside make Laos a hidden gem in Southeast Asia overlooked by most travelers. Begin Your Journey!

Geography, Weather, & Wildlife of Israel

WARNING: Terrorist threats continue in Israel, please read this travel warning before going!

Geography

Israeli Geography - Samaria
Samaria

Israel sits on the Mediterranean Sea in the far western part of the Middle East. This land has been a crossing ground for centuries as it lies between Africa, Europe, and Asia, with water access to the Mediterranean. The country of Israel today borders Egypt in the southwest, Jordan to the east, Syria to the northeast, and Lebanon to the north. As mentioned, much of Israel's western border is with the Mediterranean Sea, while the Dead Sea forms part of a border with Jordan. In the south Israel has a very brief border on the Red Sea.

In Israel's west there is a fairly flat plain that runs along the Mediterranean and is quiet livable. Moving inland the country is very hilly, particularly in the north leading up into the Golan Hights, while in the south the land is a bit elevated, but not as hilly. The landscape varies drastically as the hilly, and almost mountainous lands create incredible diversity. In the far east, along the border with Jordan there is a deep valley, which contains the River Jordan and the Dead Sea; this is the lowest point of dry land on earth. There are also a couple rivers running from the hills to the Mediterranean coast.

Weather

Israeli Geography - River in Rosh Pinna
River in Rosh Pinna

Israel falls in between deserts, tropics, and the Mediterranean Sea so they get aspects of all of these climates. Additionally, due to the incredible geographic diversity, the weather can be substantially different from one location to the next as the Mediterranean may warm the coast, the inland mountains near Jerusalem may experience rain or snow, and the lands around the Dead Sea remain a hot, arid desert.

For much of the year, most of the country experiences weather that is hot and dry; the summers in Israel last from about April to October. Despite the summer season throughout the country, due to geographic variations, temperatures and humidity during the summer can vary drastically across the country. Along the Mediterranean humidity is relatively high, while inland it is quite dry. Temperatures also vary as along the coast temperatures tend to have daily highs of about 95° F (35° C), but nights dip to only 45 to 50° F (7 to 10° C) while in Jerusalem temperatures almost always stay between 65 and 85° F (18 and 30° C). During the winters, from November to March, the country gets more rain and cooler temperatures with ranges between about 40 and 65° F (4 to 18° C) along the coast in Tel Aviv and between 30 and 50° F (-1 to 10° C) in Jerusalem.

Wildlife

Israeli Geography - Beach in Ashkelon
Beach in Ashkelon

There are few large mammals in Israel today and the numbers are severely limited; these animals include the gazelle, boar, fox, and ibex among others. There are over 100 mammal species in the country, but the number of each is small and sightings are rare outside the more common hare or rodent. There is also significant sea life in the surrounding waters, although most inland rivers and lakes (such as the Dead Sea) are all but void of animal life. The Mediterranean however boasts a large number of fish and shellfish along with coral and other sea life. Here there are thousands of fish species along with dolphins, turtles, and more.

There are a significant number of birds in Israel as well; most of these only migrate through on the Africa-Middle East-Europe migratory route. Among the more common of these are pelicans, buzzards, warblers, ducks, eagles, falcons, and hawks. The reptilian and amphibian life is more limited, particularly the amphibian life.

This page was last updated: March, 2016