We’re super pleased that winter is over. Summer means long, balmy evenings, even more casual attire than usual and delicious watermelon.

And while it also means scorching heat, sunburn and sweaty people on public transportation, we’ll still take it any day.

Watermelon, and lots of it. Watermelons for sale in the market at Petah Tikva. Photo by Nati Shohat/FLASH90

 

July and August are usually the hottest summer months, when temperatures can reach an astounding 40°C (104°F) in the hottest parts of the country, such as the Beit She’an Valley, Dead Sea area and the southern city of Eilat.

Tel Aviv beach on a hot summer day. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

In Jerusalem, temperatures average at a more bearable 29°C (84°F), while Tel Aviv usually stands at 30°C (86°F).

However, the high humidity in Tel Aviv and other places along the coastline makes things feel much worse – take our word for it and stay away from your full-length skinny jeans if you’re planning a day out on the town.

Teenagers enjoy a surfing class by the beach in Tel Aviv on a summer day. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASH90

A favorite local way to battle the heat is to plunge ourselves in water, be it at the beach, natural water springs, the pool or even at city-center water fountains.

A man drives a water scooter off the coast of Tel Aviv. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90

And it’s not a pastime enjoyed only by humans –animals at the zoo enjoy a cool dipduring the summer months too.

Elephants enjoy a swim at the Jerusalem’s Biblical Zoo on a hot summer day. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Keeping Israelis’ caffeine habits in mind, it comes as no surprise that coffee also plays a central role in keeping cool.

While some prefer it hot year-round, many others switch overto iced versions from May to October. These versions include either a café kar (a regular cold coffee), or an ice café (a sugary, caffeinated slushy). Kids can join in on the fun too by sipping ice shoko (cold cocoa slushy)or even ice vanil (a super-sweet vanilla-flavored slushy).

The clothes of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men are left behind as their owners go swimming in the sea. Photo by Yossi Zeliger/Flash90

Of course ice cream, popsicles, watermelon (served with feta cheese!) and other fresh fruits also comprise a major part of Israelis’ summertime diet, not to mention tons and tons of water.

Seriously, drink up – you don’t want to end up all miserable and dehydrated indoors.

Children play in a water fountain near the Tower of David in the Old City of Jerusalem. Photo by Corinna Kern/Flash90

Happy summer!