Israel is a tricky country to visit even when it's at its absolute best. It's a very small country in a politically sensitive part of the world, and whenever political tensions subside for a while, the floodgates open and the country is awash with a backlog of travelers who have been waiting to visit. Because Israel is so small, hotel rooms become extremely hard to find (and rates skyrocket). The minute tensions rise, or an act of terrorism occurs, tourism dips or disappears, and you have the entire country to yourself (hotel rates don't appear to go down -- hoteliers try to get the most out of the few tourists who are around -- but a bit of searching can turn up real bargains). Summer is high season in most parts of the country, and often very hot for intensive touring. Spring and autumn are ideal climate-wise, but visitors have to work around the Jewish High Holidays and the weeklong festival of Succot in the fall, plus the weeklong Passover holiday in the early spring and Shavuot in the late spring, when Israelis are on vacation, flights are full, rooms are scarce, and prices are at superhigh levels. At these times, it takes advance planning to book where you want and when you want.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.