If you are getting ready to go sightseeing in Israel, then definitely check out the best trips to take during Spring in Israel!
The landscape in Israel in the spring is green and lush. After the winter rains, everything is blooming and the landscape hasn’t yet dried out to the yellows of summer. Therefore springtime is the perfect time to visit Israel!
Hiking is great everywhere at this time of the year, from the mountains of the Galilee to the Negev desert in the south, and the Judaean Desert east of Jerusalem. Read on for easy suggested hikes and day trips in Israel in the Spring.
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Day Trips in Israel in the Spring
The weather in Israel is mild year round. Temperatures in the spring season are perfect for hiking, hovering around the low 20 degrees Celsius, and 70’s Fahrenheit.
That said, the time right around Passover is a very popular time of the year for tourists traveling to Israel. Therefore, if you are coming from abroad, I do suggest booking flights and accommodations well in advance.
We’ve had the opportunity to take several trips during the springtime. And as the saying goes- a picture’s worth a thousand words, I’ll let them (almost) speak for themselves.
I highly suggest looking through this guide, along with the Summer in Israel guide for ideas of hiking trails, archeological sites and more things to see, that are a little beyond the typical tourist experience in Israel.
Hiking the Negev Desert in Spring
As mentioned above, spring is the best time of the year temperature wise for some desert hiking in the Negev Desert.
Located 2.5 hours from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, it makes a great part of any trip to Israel. You can combine the following two hiking suggestions into a weekend getaway.
Awesome Makhtesh Ramon
The Ramon Crater, Makhtesh Ramon in Hebrew, is the largest erosion crater in the world. That is, it was formed by erosion rather than an impact of a meteor.
Check out the visitor’s center right on the cusp of the crater, for a more thorough geological explanation and amazing vistas of the crater. Hiking in the makhtesh can get very hot in the summer, but spring is a great time to visit.
To visit this area, it is easiest to drive (or take a bus) to Mitzpe Ramon. From there you have easy access to the crater. Remember to pack in and pack out everything you need.
Hike the Carpentry in the Makhtesh
The Carpentry Shop (HaMinsara) so called for the shape of the rocks along the trail is a great walk for beginning hikers. This short hike is easy enough for anyone, with lots of boardwalk trails. You can hike it in a couple of hours and observe the funky quartzite prisms.
Avdat National Park
Avdat National Park is a great place for exploring ruins of the ancient Nabatean city which once stood there. Explore a bathhouse, a Roman burial cave, the city fortress and two Byzantine churches. This national park is located only twenty minutes north of Mitzpe Ramon!
You can also combine your visit with a hike at Ein Avdat National Park! This is a true oasis in the Zin Valley where spring water flows year round. Alternatively head to Sde Boker and visit the desert home of Israel’s first Prime Minister, Ben Gurion.
Tel Aviv in the Spring
Tel-Aviv is wonderful during all seasons of the year. The ocean provides a moderating effect on the climate year round. Then again, it is so nice being out when the days are sunny and warm, but not yet hot and humid.
HaYarkon Park in Tel-Aviv
The Yarkon Park, along the Yarkon River in the northern part of Tel-Aviv is a wonderful recreation area to explore. There are trails for walking and biking along the river. In addition, there are lots of grassy areas with playgrounds, picnic areas and more!
If you prefer a city tour, here is a full walking tour of Tel Aviv starting in the Old Port!
Latrun in the Spring
Halfway on the road between Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem lies the Ayalon Valley, and in it, Latrun Monastery. On a cliff top, lies this Trapist monastery, the Monastery of Silence. It is a beautiful location, surrounded by low hills and parks. The monks there produce local wine.
Ayalon Canada Park
Immediately across the highway from Latrun is the Ayalon Canada Park. This forested park has hiking trails and areas perfect for a picnic! In the area, you can also visit war memorials from battels fought at Latrun, but since we’re focusing on day hikes, we’ll leave those for another day.
The day trip to Latrun and the Canada Park, can easily be taken from Tel-Aviv or Jerusalem, or on the way from one to another! Speaking of Jeruslam, let’s head there next.
Jerusalem in the Spring
Writing about Jerusalem could take all day! Guidebooks are full of so many historical sites. You could spend days and days seeing all there is to see.
Jerusalem’s elevation, means that the winter does get quite a bit colder than the rest of Israel, with the occasional snow. The summer is hot and dry as everywhere, but something about the Jerusalem stone makes it particularly bright! Therefore, spring is an excellent time to visit Jerusalem.
Mount of Olives Walk
One suggestions for a day walk is to visit the Mount of Olives. On the Eastern side of Jerusalem, this mountain is indeed covered with olive trees.
Start at the Chapel of the Ascension, where Jesus ascended to heaven. Pass by the Jewish cemetery and the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, walking to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Now you are at the foot of the mountain, you can visit nearby Mary’s Tomb, and continue on to the Old City.
Since we are already in Jerusalem, visiting the Dead Sea is a must, at least once!
Judean Desert in the Spring
The Judean Desert spreads east of Jerusalem and down to the Dead Sea. Again I will make a few suggestions that you can put together for a weekend getaway. However, getting to the Dead Sea from Jerusalem is quite simple via car or bus, so these were day trips for us.
Qumran, home of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is actually on the way from Jerusalem to the main beaches of the Dead Sea at Ein Bokek.
Qumran National Park, is an interesting destination to explore, particularly for history and Bible fans. In a cave nearby, many books from the Second Temple period were found, and named the “Dead Sea Scrolls”.
The Dead Sea
There are several designated beaches where you can visit the Dead Sea. It is quite important to stick to those marked beaches, as the area has had quite a lot of erosion via sinkholes, called bolanim (“swallowers”). Here are some more tips for visiting the Dead Sea:
Tips for Visiting the Dead Sea:
- Don’t go in with any open wounds (including shaving the day before)- it will sting.
- Kids may need some reminders to not splash (because ouch).
- Keep the littles close to you so that they don’t swallow the water!
- And if you go in the middle of the day, keep those sandals on until you get to the water’s edge- the sand is hot! .
More Things to Do Around the Dead Sea:
Many people will want to visit Masada National Park, a World Heritage Site. If you’ve never climbed it before, it’s a must-see attraction for sure, full of great stories. There are access points on both sides of the plateau and a cable car.
Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, is a gorgeous oasis that offers plentiful hiking trails for all levels. There is something so magical about water in the desert! As an alternative to the pricey hotels in Ein Bokek, you can also find a youth hostel in Ein Gedi.
Have you gone hiking in Israel? Is Spring your favorite time of the year?
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