Tsfat, located at 2,790 feet (850 meters) above sea level, is Israel’s highest city. As a result, the temperatures are much cooler year-round in Tsfat than in the valley below.
What can visitors expect from Safed weather?
Sunny, Crisp Fall Days
Come fall, Tsfat is sunny and warm with crisp, cool mornings. The pomegranates are crimson and the leaves start to fall from the gnarled grape vines. Clouds gather atop the Meiron Mountains, and after Sukkot rain arrives, cloaking the old alleyways in fog and cloud.
During Chanukah, in December, we love to view the menorahs in the Old City, their lights eerily flickering through fog.
Bundle Up For Winter
And then we come to January, the coldest month in Israel. We can have warm days, cold sunny days, rainy, wet days and snow storms. It usually snows once a year and when it does, the snow does not linger. As soon as snow is forecasted, there may be plans to close the mountain road up to Tsfat.
And this is exactly what happened today. The local Tzfatis will then hunker down and stay inside. Schools may close and children will excitedly venture outside to make snowmen, while the braver ones will toboggan down the steep staircases.
Usually the snow disappears after a day or two as the temperature rises. And then the rains return. Tsfat is also known to be the rainiest city in Israel, receiving 712 mm (28 inches) of rain annually. Most of the rain falls between October and March, with the rainiest months being January and February.
If you are staying at Villa Tiferet between December and February, bundle up for Tsfat’s winter. Bring an umbrella, rain boots and rain gear. As the two upstairs rooms and Hobbit cottage are separate from the main house, be prepared to go through the courtyard to go to bed (sometimes with an umbrella over your head). Many homes in Tsfat are designed around a courtyard, so think of this as ‘going local’ and as part of your travel adventure.
The best part of winter at Villa Tiferet is sitting in front of a blazing fire on the cozy living room couch. We ensure you will have a supply of firewood and kindling so you can out your feet up, be warm and relaxed.
Spring’s Almond Blossoms
Late February and Tu B’Shvat mark the arrival of spring. The almond trees have soft pink blooms and the old vines awaken with tiny grapes forming. The sun warms up and the air is fresh. The entire north is verdant and in bloom, so this is an ideal time to hike Nahal Amud, bike around Biria or head to the Golan.
By March, the weather is pleasantly warm. The local Tzfatis start their spring/Pesach cleaning, airing out their homes and sweeping out stone courtyards.
Sunny Summer Months
Summer in Tsfat is hot, dry and bright with cloudless blue skies much like in Jerusalem, while nights are cooler and comfortable. There is often a cool breeze so a light sweater or shawl may be needed at night. This makes Safed an ideal place to go if you are fleeing the intense humidity of the coastal areas.
Summer days are long and the sunsets intense. Come August, we hear shofars blowing from many old synagogues each morning, announcing the upcoming High Holidays. After Tisha B’Av, three days are dedicated to live musical concerts. The Klezmer festival, with its eight open-air stages, attracts some tens of thousands of visitors from all over Israel and the world.
Tsfat is one of the few places in Israel with four distinct seasons. Each one has its own special ambiance, so choose the season that suits you and pack accordingly so you can enjoy your stay at Villa Tiferet.