Scuba Diving in Israel

Israel is located in the Middle East, where it is only hundreds of kilometers away from territories with completely different climates and immersion conditions. Israeli diving has existed for more than half a century, and this trend began with amateur groups, which were created by retired military. The west of the country is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the south by the Red Sea. The Dead Sea is also very attractive. It's the second largest salt water reservoir on the planet, but only experienced divers are allowed to dive here.
Each of the seas offers unique conditions for diving and they are attractive as there is a chance of meeting with particular marine fauna. The country's largest lake— Kinneret (Heb. ים כנרת, “yam Kinneret”), better known as the Sea of Galilee, will undoubtedly arouse interest. The Holy Land is a set of temples, places of manifestation of miraculous power, millennial monuments of architecture and various artifacts of antiquity, both on land and under water.

Reasons to Visit

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On the Mediterranean coast of Israel, among the coral underwater gardens, lace jellyfish and siphonophores, the ruins of the household buildings of Caesarea (lat. Caesarea Maritima), await the divers. Pools and the lighthouse that has gone under the water, which is more than 2500 years old. Here you can find all kinds of artifacts of ancient culture — from anchors to fragments of statues. In addition, this area is still very poorly investigated by archaeologists.
In Israel, you will find a fascinating immersion near the defensive wall of the 4000-year-old city of Acre — the opportunity to come face to face with history surrounded by the underwater wonders of the Mediterranean Sea — colorful fish, crabs and corals. Here you can swim through the caves and grottoes that remained in the depths of the ancient city, and also — if you're lucky — find some artifacts.
Experienced divers will be interested to experience not only the Red Sea, but also the Dead Sea. It has its own specifics — for example, full face masks and weights of up to 70 kilograms are used. But the local underwater landscapes are worth it: Once you are in the depth of the water, you will be greeted by salt stalactites that look like giant ice sculptures, which sparkle in the rays of the sun.
Off the coast of Eilat on the Red Sea, you can find hundreds of species of various underwater inhabitants. Transparent waters cut through colorful flocks of butterflyfish, parrotfishes and humphead wrasses. Reef sharks, leisurely turtles and stingrays slide between corals. Here, we can also find rare members of the family of sea sirens — dugongs. Near some dive sites — for example, on the Dolphin Reef — you can also see dolphins.
The most popular dive resort in Israel is the city of Eilat. Here, on the shores of the amazing Red Sea, diving is cultivated. Choose these popular diving sites like Veronica Beach, famous for having a lot of large groupers (more than a meter long), moray eels and stingrays. Lighthouse Reef, where you can enjoy an exciting night dive. And the Sea Institute diving site — here, among the corals you have the chance observe tunas and Red Sea shooters. The average depth of diving on Eilat is 70 meters.

Diving Destinations in Israel

Most divers prefer to dive into the waters of the Red Sea, on the coast of Eilat. The water is very clean and clear, visibility is up to 30 meters — it is easy to see the marine life. For those who like wreck diving, there is an opportunity to explore sunken warships. Just as interesting as diving, is sailing in the Mediterranean Sea where, in addition to the wealth of marine fauna, you can appreciate the magnificence of the underwater kingdom of Herod — here the port of the king was located 2000 years ago. The Dead Sea is less popular because diving here requires special training. But the underwater stalactite landscapes are incredible.

Memo Notes
Currency ILS - Israeli new shekel
Languages Arabic, Hebrew
Timezone UTC +2
Phone code 972
Emergency Help 101
Electricity

Type C - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type H - 230 V, 50 Hz

Type M - 230 V, 50 Hz

Dive Shops in Israel

Dive shops in Israel began to appear in the 70s of the last century, and this sphere is already well developed. Schools and clubs offer the services of competent instructors. Here you can try cave diving, and wreck diving, and even night dives. Diving alone is prohibited, so exploring the underwater world off the coast of Israel is better with a partner.

Сlimate & Seasonality
Spring

Spring is considered the best season for holidays in Israel — not too hot and not too cold. Temperatures during this period range from +15 ° C in March to +27 ° C in May, the water warms up to +22 ° C.

Summer

Summer, and hence the diving season, in the subtropical climate of Israel lasts not three months, but from April to October, and it is characterized by dry weather. The average air temperature in summer is 26 ° С, maximum — 40 ° С. The water at this time warms up to 30 ° C.

Autumn

The climate of Israel does not have a typicaly recognised autumn season. In October, the weather is still summer, in November — we can already feel the winter coming. The average temperature in this period is 22–24 ° С.

Winter

In the winter, temperatures can drop to +10 ° C, but the average is around +18 °C. The coldest month is January. During the winter months, the largest part of annual rainfall falls on the territory of Israel.

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The Best Dive Sites

The most attractive dive spots of the Red Sea, including wrecks, are located off the coast of Eilat. For diving in the Mediterranean, you can choose a place closer to Haifa — for example, the ancient city of Acre. Where you can come face to face with history both on the surface and under the water. Also be sure to visit Caesarea, an ancient city, where ships of different ears rest near it's shores.

Health & Safety

The level of medical services in Israel is high. Doctors may require an advance payment before they begin the treatment, and the cost of treatment is likely to be very high. Before visiting the country, be sure to get medical insurance — without it, you wont be able to get into Israel.
Refrain from traveling to the West Bank and to the Gaza Strip — military operations are taking place in these areas. In general, the crime rate in the country is minimal, since local authorities pay a lot of attention to security issues.

Dangerous Marine Life

There are many poisonous and predatory inhabitants in the waters of the Red and Mediterranean seas: moray eels, sea urchins, jellyfish, reef stonefishes and, of course, different species of sharks. In order to avoid meeting them, it is recommended to dive exclusively in the places designated for this purpose or accompanied by an instructor.

Eat & Drinks

Israeli cuisine is spices and spiciness of the Middle East with the Sephardic cuisine and Ashkenazi tastes closer to European cuisine. National cuisine strictly follows the laws of kashrut, but there is a lot of non-kosher catering in the country, foods from around the world. Local street food — hummus from chickpea puree with toppings. The Arabic version is falafel. Burekas pies, grill Al ha-esh, Knafe dessert from Kadaif vermicelli and goat cheese, topped with syrup and sprinkled with nuts. Coffee, mint tea and freshly squeezed pomegranate juice are all popular. People in Israel also like beer. The water in the country is completely safe.