(Fast Facts)

Access : By car or coach, 2 hours from Tel Aviv; less than 2 hours from Ben-Gurion Airport; 1 hour from Jerusalem; 30-minute flight from Tel Aviv; regular public bus service from all parts of Israel; self-drive cars.

Accommodations : popular-priced hotels to luxury resorts and spas: campgrounds and holiday village.

Weather : less than 40 mm (2 in.) annual rainfall; mean relative humidity 34%-50%; average maximum daytime temperatures from 20 C (68 F) in January to 39 C (102 F) in July; temperate in spring and autumn.

Elevation : 400 meters (1,300 feet) below sea level, the lowest point on earth.