Unlike many other parts of the Middle East, Jordan experiences four distinct seasons, and has many sub-climates that visitors need to be aware of.
On this page we will cover:
- Jordan’s climate – broken down by season and popular tourist destinations
- Public holidays & School holidays observed in Jordan
- Festivals and events in Jordan
We are going to look at the country based on the major tourist destinations, as each has pros and cons of visiting at different times of year.
There’s no one size fits all best time for Jordan, but GENERALLY SPEAKING, Jordan is at its best during the Spring (March to May) and Autumn (September to November) when day time temperatures in the mid-’20s should be experienced in most of the country.
Jordan does experience four distinct seasons, but the summers are long hot and dry, while winters are relatively short and mild. Amman and the north can be considerably colder in the winter than the coastal and mountainous areas.
The prettiest time to visit Jordan is the spring when much of the country becomes blanketed in wildflowers.
Best time to visit Petra
Petra is best visited in the Spring and Autumn months when it is not too hot or too cold so that trekking is comfortable.
That said, it’s also when crowds are at their peak. If you want crowd-free photos, always set off early in the day and consider mid-summer when crowds are thinned and headed to beach resorts instead! Petra’s average day time temperature in peak summer is 33c/91F.
You can also visit Petra mid-winter, rug up in layers that you can strip down as you warm up (Day time temperatures will still climb to around 20c/68F). But be prepared for cool nights in winter that can drop as low as 2c/36F. Dressing appropriately, these winter temperatures are still quite pleasant for this active destination, and a much lower likelihood you’ll have crowds to tackle.
Note that if you want to experience “Petra by Night” this only occurs on a Monday, Wednesday & Thursday.
Best time to visit Wadi Rum
Despite being a desert, Wadi Rum does like to promote itself as still being a year-round destination.
Summer is not as hot as you may expect in the coastal resort towns. Mid-July sees day time highs in Wadi Rum around 34c/93F, though it can exceed 40c/104F. The nighttime temperature will drop around 10c below the day time max.
Winters, on the other hand, are much colder. You can expect day time temperatures in the desert of only 10 to 15c, and overnight temperatures down to zero/32F.
Things start to re-emerge from winter in March, however, some may still find this quite cold. Plenty of blankets will be provided year-round by your Bedouin hosts to keep you toasty warm, no matter the weather. March to May and September to November are ideal.
You may be interested in timing your Wadi Rum trip for the Perseids Meteor Shower, in approximately July / August. The amazingly clear desert skies here make this the perfect place to witness this natural phenomenon.
Best time to visit the Dead Sea
The Dead Sea, being the lowest point on earth sits in its own microclimate. You can expect almost year-round sunny skies and very hot summers – in excess of 40c/104F and water temperatures as high as 37c/98F – not entirely a refreshing dip! Throughout the year, humidity is low.
You may experience some rain from late November through to March but this is unpredictable and very minimal, normally less than 50mm falls per year. Do note that when it does rain, the nearby mountains can experience flash flooding.
Due to the drop in water temperature in winter (down as low as 20c/68F), this is considered the low season, but on the plus side, you may get slightly better resort prices! Winter air temperatures rarely drop lower than 10c/50F overnight and day time temperatures around 20c/68F in winter.
Best time to visit Aqaba and the Red Sea
Aqaba is best known as Jordan’s resort town on the Red Sea, with perfect diving opportunities so you need to be mindful of both air and sea temperatures planning a trip to Aqaba, Jordan.
Water temperatures in Aqaba range from 21c/70F in the middle of winter to a very pleasant 27c/80F in the peak of summer. Air temperature ranges from highs of only 20c/68F in the middle of winter to 40c/104F in the peak of summer. Aqaba does not suffer much from humidity, on average below 24%.
Aqaba does benefit from a long shoulder season, so visit mid-March through to Mid-November (summer in July-August) to make the most of the pleasant coastal conditions. We’d still recommend finding a resort with a temperature-controlled pool though off the peak of summer!
In February you can catch the Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival. This annual event is to promote and preserve the culture of the Bedouin people in the region, showcasing handcrafted goods.
Best time to visit Amman
Amman usually experiences temperatures around 10c cooler than Aqaba.
Amman does experience more extremes in winter than the rest of the country. You can expect rainfall, even snow and bitterly cold winds. Day time temperatures average only 12c/52F in mid-January. You definitely need coats and woollies mid-winter.
The Spring and Autumn are comparatively long and pleasant. Mid Summer bringing with it exceptionally nice days, average day time highs around 32c/90F making it one of the Middle East’s most pleasant capitals in summer.
Public Holidays to be aware of in Jordan 2019/2020
Jordan observes the following public holidays (Note that many dates will move each year depending on moon sightings under the Hijri (Islamic) Calendar).
- New Years Day – 1 January 2020 (fixed date)
- Eid Al Fiseh Al Atheem (Easter – Christians only) – 12 to 13 April 2020
- Labour Day – 1 May 2020
- Jordan Independence Day – 25 May 2020
- Eid al Fitr – 24 to 27 May 2020 (variable)
- Eid Al-Adha – 31 July to 4 August 2020 (variable)
- Hijri New Year – 20 August 2020
- Birth of Prophet Mohammed – 9 November 2019 / 29 October 2020
- Christmas Day – 25 December 2019 (Nationally observed – fixed date)
Note that the Jordanian work week runs Sunday to Thursday. The Holy Day is Friday. Generally, resorts and tourist destinations are at their busiest Thursday & Friday nights.
School Holidays in Jordan 2019/20
Whilst local school holidays should have minimal impact on tourists, here you can find the Ministry of Education calendar (Arabic).
Note private and international schools may have different dates on a three-term basis.
Festivals and events in Jordan
Jerash Festival of Culture and Arts
Held around June or July each year, the Jerash Festival is held in the ancient Roman city of Jerash, approximately 48 kms north of Amman has become an annual sensation. It brings together an assortment of singers, dancers and musicians including an international line up of artists who perform at the ancient amphitheatres of Jerash.
Dead Sea Ultra Marathon
Held in April each year, this endurance test sees runners compete from the heights of Amman and descend the lowest point on earth. Learn more here.
Ramadan in Jordan
The Holy Month of Ramadan is observed by Muslims in Jordan who represent around 93% of the country’s population. The dates vary each year as it is based on the moon’s cycle, which varies by about 10 days per year. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Hijri calendar.
In 2020, Ramadan is due to fall in the peak of Spring tourism season 23 April to 23 May, followed by Eif Al-Fitr celebrations.
Whilst smoking, eating and drinking in public is prohibited for Muslims who should be fasting during Ramadan (with a few exceptions), non-Muslims do not need to meet this requirement. That said, doing so would be considered rude and culturally out of place.
Our detailed family guide to Ramadan in the Middle East is coming soon!
You may find during Ramadan in Jordan a change in regular business hours as businesses open later and close earlier to deal with the day time fasting aspect of Ramadan.
Restaurants that would normally be open serving tourists may also be closed during the day (however, you will find large hotels will still keep some dining facilities open). Everything re-opens again at sunset after Iftar – the breaking of the fast.
Although Hajj takes place in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, you will find that AMM in Jordan is a popular connecting airport. You should expect limited availability and expensive airfares in the weeks immediately preceding Eid Al-Adha.
If you have any further questions about the best time to visit Jordan, why not pop on over to our Family Travel in the Middle East Facebook community. Here you can ask fellow family travellers your detailed Jordan travel questions.
How do you fit it all in? Check out our Classic 5 Day Jordan Road Trip Itinerary