How big is Israel compared to Ireland?

Israel is a very small territory. Its diminutive size is commonly referenced in comparison to New Jersey for American audiences. Being originally from Ireland, Israel’s size in reference to Ireland is much more interesting for me.

Personally, despite the drawbacks of cramming more than 8 million people into such a small space (overpopulation and noise; oh the noise!), I love Israel’s small size.

Its diverse scenery means that, at least to me, it never feels too small.

You have lush greenery in the Golan and Galilee. Freshwater beaches in the Kinneret. Desert town south. Tel Aviv and much of the merkaz on the coast. And because the country gets really thin down south (at its narrowest, Israel is just 15km wide!), the drive down to Eilat, from Jerusalem, lasts for about four hours — which gives you the feeling that you’re going somewhere far. You can even take flights within Israel — Sde Dov (now closed) to Eilat (also now closed; or at least moved to Eilat Ramon) was the most popular domestic route, although there are also smaller routes running to little-known airfields up North ( did you know that Haifa has a tiny airport?)

Israel is smaller than Ireland. But how does it size up (literally) compared to Cork and Munster?

First up, let’s take a look at some visuals. For this, we have which lets you drag one country and move it atop another.

Ireland Israel Size Comparison

If Israel were offshore Ireland, it would look like this (to scale):

And if Ireland were transplanted into the Middle East, this would be the result (also to scale):

As you can see, from north to south the countries are roughly the same “height”. But Ireland is wider.

From south to north (roughly: Mizen Head to Malin Head), Ireland is roughly 462 kilometers “long”.

Measuring Israel from just south of Eilat in the south (technically, the border crossing into Taba is Israel’s southernomost point) through to the northernmost point in the country, just north of the Israeli Hermon, one finds that the country is 434.17 kilometers long according to Google Maps distance measurement tool.

Thus, Ireland is only about 30 kilometers “longer” than Israel. Or Israel is only 30 kilometers less long than Ireland.

In answer to the big question of which is “bigger”. Clearly Ireland. Israel, at its widest point, is 114km from east to west. Ireland, however, is 275km.

And the total areas:

The result: Ireland is 3.38 times the size of Israel.

To round off the fact collecting:

  • Cork County is 7,500 km2
  • The province of Munster, comprising counties Cork, Clare, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary, and Waterford, is 24,675 km2

Israel is therefore 3,905 km2 smaller than Munster.

And Munster is 1.19 times the size of Israel. So it’s 19% bigger.

Originally published at

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