Family is always talking about visiting in the summer, and while they all have an idyllic idea of Israel, there is a lot that they don’t know. I am not saying I don’t love Israel, but it takes an adjustment to know what you can and can’t do in the summer months.
In the States, I could always find a beach to lay down on and relax in the sand.
Tourists will also find impeccable beaches in Israel, but our beaches are a little different than the beaches in, say, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Tourists are taken aback by the jellyfish and screaming lifeguards, which you’re never sure if they’re yelling at you or not. There’s also a tiny zone where you’re actually allowed to swim, so there are a few differences between the beaches in the United States and here. Nomadica jellyfish sometimes swarm the beach, and while they’re not deadly, they do cause pain that lasts an hour or so.
Ben-Gurion airport is overflowing with people, and security lines are long. Delays are the norm. It’s a madhouse, and it’s not often the ideal way to start a trip to Israel, but being the most utilized airport, there’s a good chance this is where the family will land.
Israelis that have their biometric passports will also stare at you in their short queue lines as you wait for what seems like an eternity to get through the airport. If, for some reason, security singles you out from the crowd and finds you suspicious, you can expect to stay in the airport for an extra hour or two.
Hiking in the Negev is an amazing experience, but in the summer heat, you’re going to regret your experience just a few hours into your hike. Head to the beach where the weather is cooler, or you’ll be roasting in the heat that can be unbearable for locals that have been accustomed to the heat their entire lives.
It sounds like a great hike, and I am sure it is, but avoid Negev in the summer.
Eilat and the Dead Sea seem like beautiful places to visit, and they are until the tourists arrive. If your family wants to visit these areas, explain that the pools are overflowing with people and cafes are so crowded that you’re nearly on top of the person next to you.
Dead Sea resorts are also overflowing at this time, and a lot of Israelis will actually escape to the Greek islands at this time of year to avoid tourists.
Beit She’an National Park is a beautiful ruin that dates back to the Romans, but it’s sweltering and you’ll come home with more mosquito bites than you’ve ever experienced in your life. If your family wants to visit the National Park, recommend that they go during the fall or winter months.
Israel’s heat is one of the biggest misconceptions that my family had when visiting Israel. They couldn’t understand the difference between a hot summer’s day in Israel compared to the States (not including the desert areas).