Location: On the eastern Mediterranean shore, 416 meters or 1,373 feet below sea level.
Access: Via Israel's two international airports, Ben Gurion Airport, midway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and the Ovda Airport near Eilat. Access over land is available from Jordan. The sea ports of Haifa and of Ashdod serve cruise vessels.
The Dead Sea is accessible from all above entry points and is less than one hour’s drive from Jerusalem. A light aircraft landing strip is located near Massada.
Geography: about 470 km (290 miles) in length and 135 km (85 miles) at its widest point. About half of the country’s land area is semi-arid, including a compact desert. Israel enjoys the blessings of four bodies of water, the Med, the Red, the Dead and the Sea of Galilee.
Climate: Semi-tropical and well balanced, characterized by warm summers, lots of sunshine and short, mild winters.
Population: Israel is a country of immigration. Nearly 6 million citizens comprise a mosaic of people with varied ethnic backgrounds, lifestyles, religions, cultures, traditions and folklore. Some 80% of the population is Jewish. The non-Jews are mostly Muslim and Christian Arabs.
Flora and Fauna: The rich variety of Israel’s plant and animal life reflects its geographical location as well as its varied topography and climate. About 150 nature reserves have been established throughout the country. Israel is on the pathway of two 500-million-strong bird migrations, overflying the length of the country in spring and in autumn of every year.
Capital city: Jerusalem.
Main cities: Tel Aviv, Haifa and Beer Sheba.
Food: Israeli cooking is a reflection of Israeli society. It is a unique combination of dishes and customs brought by Jews from all over the world as well as by the local Arab population. International cuisine is widespread.
Exports: Electronics, cut diamonds and jewelry, agricultural products and chemicals.
Culture: Music, performing and plastic arts, ethnic folklore.
Sports: Soccer, basketball, tennis, surfing.
Currency: New Israel Shekel (NIS).
Credit cards: Visa and Mastercard. AmeEx and Diners are widely used.
Electricity: 220 volt, European adapter is needed.