Shalom Life | December 09, 2014

Top 20 Things to do in Israel During the Winter

Ski in the Hermon, watch the migratory birds, see the holiday lights, dance the lindy hop … there’s plenty of fun to heat up chilly days.

By: Abigail Klein Leichman

Published: November 27th, 2014 in News » Israel

Photo Caption: Skiing at Mount Hermon

Photo Credit by Flash90


During December, January and February, Israel can be cold and rainy, but it can also be warm and sunny. Regardless of the unpredictable weather, Israel has so many different climate zones in a small geographical area that you can enjoy the winter months hiking in snow up north, basking in sun down south, or playing it safe with indoor activities.

And whether you’re Jewish or Christian, there’s no place like Israel for the winter holidays – after all, this is where they originated thousands of years ago!

ISRAEL21c offers 20 suggestions to roll out your winter in Israel

1. Hanukkah

A girl lighting a hanukkiyah outside her home in Jerusalem's Nachlaot neighborhood (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)

A girl lighting a hanukkiyah outside her home in Jerusalem’s Nachlaot neighborhood (Hadas Parush/FLASH90)

This year, the weeklong Festival of Lights begins at sundown on December 16. Walk along the alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City or Nachlaot neighborhood to see the hanukkiyot (menorahs) lit inside glass boxes on windowsills, or join a public lighting at the Mamilla Alrov Mall. Watch the annual torch relay from Modi’in to the Western Wall. Lots of special events will take place across the country, most of them including sufganiyot (see #11). Check out our “Top eight things to do in Israel on the eight days of Hanukkah” for more ideas.

2. Christmas in the Holy Land

Christmas parade near Jerusalem's Old City. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

Christmas parade near Jerusalem’s Old City. (Yonatan Sindel/FLASH90)

Bethlehem and Jerusalem come to mind when you think of Christmas, and indeed there are tree lightings, liturgical concerts and markets to enjoy in these cities. But the tens of thousands of Christian tourists who come to Israel every December also find seasonal events taking place from Haifa’s annual month-long Holiday of Holidays extravaganza to the Christmas parade in Nazareth. See ISRAEL21c’s “Top 10 ways to celebrate Christmas in the Holy Land” to get you started.

3. Ski at Mount Hermon

Ready to ski at Mount Hermon.

Ready to ski at Mount Hermon.

If enough snow falls, there’s only one place to ski in Israel, and that is Mount Hermon at the northern tip of the country. Rising 9,230 feet above sea level, Mount Hermon has a vertical drop of just 1,552 feet, making it ideal for intermediate and advanced skiers. Tubing and sledding also are available.

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Via ISRAEL21c

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