Israel in January

Mount Hermon, Israel

January is a special time to visit Israel. Although it’s the coldest and rainiest month of the year, it also brings a lot of opportunities for travelers, with beautiful blooming, great weather in the Negev, fewer crowds, and still a much more mild climate than most of the world in this time of the year. Here is our ultimate guide for your January visit to Israel.

Weather in Israel in January

January is the coldest month in Israel. In the lowland and coastal areas, temperatures drop below 9 – 10 Celsius/48-50 Fahrenheit at night. In the mountains, it gets colder, as usually, the temperatures are around 3-5 Celsius/37-41 Fahrenheit at night. The inland areas are usually colder than the coastal areas, especially in the areas of the northern valleys of Israel, like Hula Valley.

January is the month with the highest probability of precipitation in all of Israel – according to statistical meteorological forecasts, January is the rainiest month of all the winter months in Israel. January also comes with high chances of snow on Mt. Hermon, the highest mountain in Israel. In addition to Mount Hermon, there is a chance of small amounts of snowfall on the other high Israel mountains, like Mount Meron, the Jerusalem Mountains, Tzfat, and the Northern Golan Heights.

Although January is the most wintry month in Israel, it’s important to note that the winters in Israel are much more moderate and pleasant than the winters in Europe and most parts of the United States. For that reason, even the coldest month in the middle east is still a great winter getaway for visitors from most Northern Hemisphere countries in the world. In addition, the average amount of rainy days in Israel in January is 10, which means you are still likely to get plenty of nice days during your trip.

Best things to do when traveling to Israel in January

Hike in the desert

While the central and northern parts of Israel can sometimes get cold and foggy during winter, the southern region is at its peak during this time. With ideal temperatures, and an average of only 1 monthly rainy day in Eilat and 6 in Beer Sheva during January, it is the best time to go out to the desert and explore the stunning hikes of the Negev. Some of the best sites to explore during this time are the Eilat Mountains, Ramon Crater, Timna Park, and more.

Anyway, it’s important to keep in mind that dangerous floods can occur in the Negev in winter time, especially in the Judean Desert. So make sure to carefully check the weather forecast before you go out to nature.

Chase waterfalls in the north

Visitors who can handle the relatively cold weather of the north will surely enjoy the powerful waterfalls and rivers of the Galilee and the Golan Heights. The rainy winter is a great time to enjoy the waterfalls at their peak, as they are much more powerful and impressive at this time, compared to other times of the year. Some of the best waterfalls in Israel include the Sa’ar Falls, Hatanur Fall, and Gamla Falls.

Go skiing

Mount Hermon, Israel’s only natural ski site and tallest mountain, usually opens up in January, inviting thousands of visitors to take on the mountain’s ski slopes. With great options for both beginners and advanced skiers, Mount Hermon offers great views and experiences in January. However, keep in mind that it gets extremely busy here on weekends, so it’s highly recommended to come here in mid-week if it’s possible.

Events and festivals in January

International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27

International Holocaust Remembrance Day takes place on January 27, the date on which the Auschwitz extermination camp was liberated from the Nazis in 1945.
Although there is a separate Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel in the spring, the International Holocaust Remembrance Day is also observed in Israel. Representatives of the Israeli government, ambassadors, and diplomats serving in Israel visit Yad Vashem and lay wreaths, and in various places in Israel, ceremonies are held to mark the occasion. In addition, the Knesset of Israel also marks the date every year and holds discussions about the Holocaust and antisemitism today.

Israman Triathlon, Eilat

The most intense sports competition in Israel, where athletes go through an Ironman-like competition, completing a swim of 3.8 kilometers/2.4 miles, followed by a 180-kilometer/112-mile bicycle ride, and a marathon run. The competition is one of the biggest sports events in Israel and also includes a half Ironman and other triathlon competitions. So far, the Israeli Ironman record is 9 hours and 29 minutes, set in 2020. The Israman takes place on the last Friday of January, in the Red Sea and Eilat Mountains.



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