Christmas, Hanuka and New Year’s holidays are over. Everyone has gone back to work and school. In the northern hemisphere it is winter. This winter already seems to one of the coldest and snowiest on record.
Except in Israel.
January and February are the slowest months for tourism in Israel. Mainly because of rainy weather, but also because most people don’t take vacations (or holiday, for the Brits out there) in winter.
As a private tour guide in Israel, I believe that this is one of the best times to visit the Holy Land. Hotels are only partially full, sites are almost empty, and unlike Greece, for example, everything is open.
Many destinations in the Mediterranean close down for winter. Take the island of Rhodes, for example.
I was on Rhodes July of last year and met a couple who had been there before, but in February. They said that the excellent bus service we were using to get from the hotel to the main city was not operating, almost all the restaurants were closed and, well, there was nothing to do!
Except for laying on a beach, you can do everything you usually do on a trip to Israel in January as you can in July, and probably enjoy it more.
I’ll tell you why – the weather. It isn’t hot outside. True, the days are shorter and the national parks close at 4pm and not at 5pm, but with average temperatures in the 50’s, what is not to enjoy? All of the sites visited my tourists, whether they be religious sites like the Temple Tunnel Tours or the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, are open and business is usual!
All the hotels are open, prices are sometimes 40% cheaper and you can always get a room in the hotel you want.