Israel is many things to many people, and that is precisely what makes it such an exciting destination to visit. Whether you're a devout Christian, Jewish scholar, or just a curious traveller, Israel's importance as a spiritual, geographic, cultural, and political hotspot will not be lost on you. Jerusalem's holy walls are teeming with 3,000 years of history and you can wander through the bedrock of Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in a single day. If you want to find out how modern-day Israelis live, gather all the energy you can muster and head to Tel Aviv's clubs and beaches for a night of endless dancing to the latest music from around the world. For a quieter route into everyday life, head to a kibbutz where you can work with the locals for a few days or a few months, depending on how long you're staying.
The Negev desert has great off-roading sports, while the Israel National Trail is a well-maintained route which you can walk, hike, or bike through. Floating weightlessly in the salt-concentrated waters of the Dead Sea is the perfect way to unwind before heading off for a quick bite of shawarma, or dinner at one of Israel's many kosher restaurants.
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International flights to Israel arrive at the Ben-Gurion International Airport (TLV) near Tel Aviv. A second airport at Ovda serves charter flights to the south of Israel.
Israel has three airlines which are divided into an international carrier El Al; a domestic and limited European destination airline, Arkia Israel Airlines; and Israir, which serves domestic and European airports as well as New York. El Al and Delta have direct flights to Israel from New York. Other airlines that fly to Israel include Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Continental, KLM, and United.
The weather in Israel varies widely from the coast to the inland areas. From April to May and September to October, mild temperatures prevail in most areas across the region and this is the best time to visit. The coastal areas experience some rain in November and March, while the period between these months is quite cold, especially in the mountainous regions. Temperatures in Jerusalem can drop as low as 6°C during winter. In the summertime, the coastal areas are very humid and temperatures can rise as high as 40°C. This is also the peak tourist season for inland destinations like Jerusalem, so it's best avoided altogether.