Float your worries away
Sitting at 431 metres below sea level, the Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth and the saltiest body of water on earth. Artists have even left objects submerged in the turquoise water, allowing them to crystallise and turn into stunning salt sculptures. Spas dot the sandy coast, offering relaxing mud treatments, but for a do-it-yourself approach, just gather some of that mineral rich mud from the Dead Sea’s floor and slather it on yourself.
Follow the pilgrims’ path
Israel, and Jerusalem in particular, is religiously significant and sacred for Muslims, Jews and Christians. History comes alive in the Holy City. From the sacred Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Jerusalem is the religious epicentre for three of the world’s biggest religions. Keep in mind that come Passover and Sukkot, the city will be packed with local tourists coming to celebrate two of Judaism’s important holidays.
Despite its relatively small size, Israel knows how to embrace the outdoors with activities, such as scuba diving in the Red Sea, hitting the trails for a spot of hiking, biking or running. As a country that receives little to no rain for much of the year, you can be almost certain that rain won’t interfere with your plans. For hiking enthusiasts, the country boasts almost 10,000 kilometres of marked trails that vary from short day hikes to full-blown, week long treks. So, when you get those cheap flights to Israel, don’t forget to pack your walking boots.
When to go
Tourists season runs through July and August, and as a result, this is the time of the year when it will be most expensive to travel to Israel. The weather will be at its best, however, with an average temperature right around 25 degrees Celsius.
The shoulder seasons from September to November and March to June are an excellent time to fly out to Israel if you want to miss the crowds, but still take advantage of the warm weather. As an added bonus, flights costs will be lower during the off-peak seasons. Although the mountains can get cold at night, this is an excellent time to hit the trails precisely because the temperature won’t be as sweltering.
Airfares are likely to rise before and after significant, religious holidays, as the cities fill with people getting ready to celebrate. Even if you don’t practise any religions yourself, spending time in Jerusalem during Passover week is a sight to see, with many activities and cultural events taking place every day.
Airports and airlines
To find and compare the best deals available, go to the Netflights website and use the table at the top of the results page once you’ve entered your travel details. From here, you will be able to compare prices by airline easily, and check for other deals during the week with the ‘Flexible Dates’ tab.
Most direct Israel flights are only available from London to Tel Aviv. Usually flights to Israel from the United Kingdom will require a stopover in Europe, Turkey or Russia. While flying direct is quicker and often more convenient, choosing a route that includes a stopover will likely save you money. Airlines with service to Israel from London include UIA, British Airways, Iberia, Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines.
Although airfares will be highest in July and August, booking well in advance can still turn up some excellent deals for this peak period.