Israel geography – Only the really interesting ‘need to know’ stuff about the geography of Israel to make your trip even more unforgettable.
Most people don’t know about the geography of Israel:
- Israel is only about the size of New Jersey in the States and only 1/10 the size of the U.K.
- The country is only 8630 square miles in total area; 270 miles long and 85 miles wide at the longest and widest points.
- Only 9.3 miles wide at its narrowest point from the Netanya to the West Bank town of Tukarim.
- Essentially you could traverse the entire country North to South in less than 10 hours by car and cross its narrowest point on foot in less than two hours.
- Israel straddles the Asian and African continents, but is considered to be in Western Asia.
Israel Geography – Regions
Coastal Plain region- stretches from the Lebanese border in the north to Gaza (Aza in Hebrew) to the south, runs parallel to the Mediterranean Sea and is composed of a sandy shoreline, bordered by stretches of fertile farmland extending up to 40 km. (25 miles) inland. More than half of the countries roughly 8 million residents live in this area and it includes the countries major urban centers like Tel Aviv, as well as, a large portion of industry and agriculture. Zichron Yaakov sits almost in the center of this region at the northern edge of the Sharon (commonly referred to as the Merkaz) and at the southern edge of the Carmel Beach region (Hof Hacarmel in Hebrew).
Central Hills region – inland (east) of the coastal plain. Mountain ranges dominate this area that run the length of the country. The mountain ranges of the Upper and Lower Galilee in the North reaching a maximum height of 3963 feet at Mount Meron near Safed down to the Judean Hills south of Jerusalem and the West Bank. You will find this area quite lush with vegetation nearly year round.
Jordan Rift Valley region – inland (east) of the Central Hills. The Jordan Valley is dominated by the Jordan River which runs a total of 322 km. (200 miles) from the Mount Hermon in the North, down through the Hula Basin through the Sea of Galilee, then continues its course from the southern end of Sea of Galilee to the lowest place on Earth the Dead Sea. South of the Dead Sea, the Rift Valley continues into the Arava River (Nahal HaArava in Hebrew) all the way to the Gulf of Eilat.
Negev region – This desert region in the southern part of the country comprises about half of Israel’s land area but is sparsely populated. The region is bordered by the town of Beersheba in the North all the way to Eilat in the South. The topography parallels that of the rest of the country with lowlands in the West, mountainous region in the center, and a valley in the East. The southeastern region of the desert is the most arid with less than 50 milimeters of rainfall annually. At the southern tip of the Negev are the Eilat Mountains with colorful layers of sandstone.