Israel Geography

When we talk about Israel Geography, it seems we are talking about a whole continent.

In such a small country almost the size of New Jersey you’ll find many different landscapes and climates in several geographical regions.

Israel Weather is mild like most of the countries in the Mediterranean.

The Sea of Galilee or Kineret is the heart and soul of the Galilee

Geography by Regions

Golan Heights

Israel has several mountain ranges from north to south. In the north the Golan Heights is an area formed by volcanic eruptions in the distant past. From there you may see the Hula valley, the Galilee and on a clear day the Mediterranean past Haifa and Acco.

Jordan River

Sacred to so many, the Jordan River flows from north to south. It is initially fed by the streams from Mount Hermon like the Banias and others and flows directly past the Hula Valley into the Kineret continuing its southern course and emptying into the Dead Sea.

Sea of Galilee

The Kineret is a fresh water lake fed by the waters of the Jordan River and lies between the hills of Galilee and the Golan Heights. The site is 212 meters below sea level. Its shores keep many secrets from ancient times, especially the times when Jesus preached all over the area.

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The Jordan River flows majestically through the country north to south

Israel Geography

The Galilee

The hills of the Galilee are 500 to 1,200 meters above sea level. This area is kept green most of the year due to a high average of rainfall (compared to the rest of Israel) and many small streams that run freely in the area. It is a great agricultural area; therefore this is the main activity of the residents.

Since the area is so beautiful it attracts many tourist of local and foreign origin, therefore the tourism Industry is booming in the area.

The Jezreel Valley

This spectacularly fertile and amazing valley separates the hills of the Galilee from those of Shomron (Samaria).

This valley is the richest agricultural area of the country home to many Kibbutzim and Moshavim. This is where Nahalal, see the picture on our Home Page, is located.

The Jordan Valley

It runs north to south from its beginning at the slopes of the Golan Heights all the way to the Dead Sea, the lowest place on Earth.

Its origin is millions of years ago and it is part of Syrian-African rift that continues south past Eilat into the African continent. The Jordan Valley is the natural border between Israel and Jordan.

Nahalal is the eternal symbol of the Jezreel Valley

Regions of Israel Geography

Shomron and Judea

This area is better known as the West Bank of the Jordan river, are terraced hillsides that were cultivated by local farmers through centuries. Today the population concentrates on small and larger cities.

The coastal plain

It runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea with great sandy beaches and agricultural lands up to 40 Km inland. The area is also called HaSharon.

In this central area lives more than half of Israel population. It has the biggest concentration of cities, industry, and agriculture and many tourist attractions.

The Negev Desert

It comprises about half of Israel’s land area and until now, Ben Gurion’s dream to populate the Negev has not been fulfilled yet.

The area is sparsely populated and besides the big city of Beer Sheba, the rest are smaller towns and few Kibbutzim and Moshavim.

It is a very arid zone in summer and in winter the rains usually cause floods due to the impermeability of the land.

It is characterized by wadis (dry riverbeds) and a few craters being Ramon Crater the largest.

The landscape of the Negev Desert is awe inspiring

Israel Geography on the South

The Arava

It is the continuation of the Jordan Valley extending from the Dead Sea on the north and the city of Eilat on the south.

The area ranges from very fertile to very arid. Israeli agricultures have found many ways to make the land produce “Milk and Honey”.

Today the Arava features many Kibbutzim that are very prosperous each one in their specialty, agriculture, fishing, and light industry and of course tourism.

Yotvata on the way to Eilat is a real oasis in the desert

Israel Climate

Israel has two main seasons, the winter or rainy season running from November to May and the summer or dry season from May to November.

Rainfall is an important issue in the north while is almost imperceptible in the Negev area, unless one of this rain and storms comes and floods the Negev for a few days.

Israel Geography is peculiar. The country is so small and yet so varied in landscapes and climates. In a few moments you can go from fertile green lands to arid and brown dunes of sand.

I feel privileged because as I write this, I am seating in my desk and can see the landscapes of the coastal plains, where I live and it is a panacea for the soul.

Image Credits:
kineret by pacman
jordan river by chmee 2
nahalal n/a
negev by alon strassman
yotvata by gordio

All courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The hotels images are courtesy of the hotels mentioned.

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Sea of Galilee


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Flowers in the Negev