Top 10 ways to cool off in a steaming hot Holy Land!

If it feels like you’re melting into the pavement as the famed Israeli heat takes hold, our guide to the top ways to stay cool could be a lifesaver! We recommend you sit somewhere cool and refreshing while reading this – and if not, just convince yourself it’s snowing outside (and yes, it does snow in Israel!)!

1. Stay close to the AC! Air conditioners are everywhere in Israel these days and you should be OK practically everywhere you go. There is the occasional inner-city bus or taxi that doesn’t fire up the AC for whatever reason, so if you are unfortunate enough to find yourself in one of these, grin and bear it! Just remember to keep drinking fluids as that AC can dry you up…

2. Ah, ice coffee! One of the pleasures of a hot day in the Holy Land. Some even prefer it to ice-cream, it’s that creamilicious! Our hot tip: grab a medium-sized cup from one of the main coffee chains in Israel, and not from a small-time kiosk. The coffee and ice will probably be a lot fresher at one of the big boys. Our own preferences include Si Cafe, Cafe Cafe, and Coffee Bean, who all have great iced-coffee machines churning away constantly. In our opinion, don’t bother with the ice coffee at one of Israel’s biggest and most successful chains, Aroma.

3. Mmmm, ice-cream. The food of champions. Or rather the food of very hot, sweaty locals and tourists. Tel Aviv has some amazing ice-cream places, including the ever-busy Iceberg on 108 Ben Yehuda Street and Vaniglia (which has a number of branches). In Jerusalem head for Sorrento on HaLamed Hay Street. In fact, anywhere you go in Israel you can find excellent ice-cream to keep you cool and refreshed. If it looks clean and fresh, it will cool you down…

4. Grab yourself a fancy hand fan. OK, we can’t see this one being too big with the fellas, but ladies, this is a great way to stay cool – and look hot! Made by two local ladies, these fans are a stylish way of beating the heat and are available from a number of outlets across the country. And did you know there’s even a language of seduction using a hand fan? Check out their Facebook page for more details.

5. A dip in The Med. Or Red. Or Dead…take your pick of the nearest Sea and dink your toes in (check out our guide to the very best beaches in Israel). Oh go on then, strip off and plunge in! On a hot day there’s nothing like having a soak in the sea, just remember to splash on the sunscreen when flashing your skin. We could be utterly wrong, but the Red Sea down by Eilat has always seemed the coldest to us…

6. Watermelon and Bulgarian cheese. This combination might sound a little odd to most of us, but in this part of the world it’s a hit. And a refreshingly cool combo that will delight your taste-buds! Bulgarian cheese is a soft, crumbly, salty cheese, that contrasts nicely when sprinkled on a slice of sweet watermelon.

7. Lie on the floor. You certainly won’t want to do this in the winter, but in the summer those cold ceramic tiles you see in almost every Israeli home can be an amazingly cool place to rest a hot, sweaty body. Best to run the AC for a few minutes before doing this, for maximum effect! And make sure the owner of the floor knows what you’re up to!

8. Eat some spicy food. Oh yes, just think about it and all that spicy food in Thailand, or India. It’s no coincidence that many people in hotter regions of the world eat spicy food. Spicy food increases perspiration which helps cool the body down as it evaporates. You might also get an endorphin rush which might help you forget about the hot food! Make sure you ask for hariff when ordering food, especially at felafel or schwarma joints.

9. Wear light, cotton clothes. You probably won’t want to wear very much anyway during the hot summer months, but cotton is the way to go if you do end up wearing t-shirts/shirts and trousers. Heat gets trapped by synthetic fibres, but cotton soaks up all that sweat and its evaporation helps make you feel cooler. Light colored clothes also reflect those powerful Holy Land sun rays…

10. Take a cold shower. OK, probably the most boring option, and not the most environmentally sound, considering Israel’s constant shortage of water. But invite a friend to shower with you and consider yourselves greener than green! And, of course, depending on who you invite…

2 Comments

  1. Shmuel Browns

    June 19, 2012 at 2:54 pm

    Sorrento ice cream is no longer on HaLamed Heh. For the cream of the crop in Jerusalem I’d recommend Mousseline on HaEshkol Street in Mahane Yehuda.

    Stop by the Indian Vegetarian restaurant on the same street called Ichikadana and ask for it spicy to cool you down. before your ice cream.

    Another suggestion for cooling down, take a dip in a natural spring in the hills of Jerusalem for example, Ein Balad or Ein Henya.

    • Ashley

      June 20, 2012 at 5:47 am

      Thanks for the additional tips Shmuel!

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