Petra is every bit worth its bucket list status. In August in Petra, summer holidays bring visitors from all over the world who want to explore this world wonder. Temperatures are typically hot during the day, but nowhere near as hot as the searing Gulf countries to the south. Petra can be busy in the summer months despite the heat, catering to those who need to travel on school holidays or those coming from the gulf for some cooler weather. With these pro tips, you will be able to make the most of your visit despite it being high season.
As you plan your time in Jordan, you ideally want to plan at least one full day (and a night) to explore. I suggest a few days to explore Petra because it is a lot to take in all in one day.
Below you will find everything you need to know about visiting Petra in June including the typical weather, what to pack and how to plan for your visit.
August in Petra: Summer Weather
August in Petra is the hottest time of the year. It can be uncomfortably warm at midday as visitors and locals all look for shade next to Petra’s towering cliffs. Expect average daytime temperatures around 27°C (80°F) with lows around 19°C and highs reaching 35°C.
Packing for Petra in August: Essentials List
I have an entire post about what to wear in Jordan, but these are the essentials. After you read this post I suggest you click on the link and see what else you are going to want while you are in Jordan.
- Comfortable Clothes: Petra is not the place for short shorts and t-shirts. Pack comfortable clothes for walking all day, keeping modesty in mind.
- Sturdy hiking boots or comfortable shoes: I choose boots with a solid grip for navigating Petra’s rocky terrain. However, if you do not love hiking boots, comfortable shoes are fine. May is a very popular time for hiking.
- Sunscreen & Hat: Start every morning with sunscreen. I also find it helps with the dry climate. A hat will keep the hot sun off your face and neck (a scarf also works as well)
- Backpack: A comfortable, lightweight pack works for the day whether trekking from Little Petra or exploring from the Siq. Ensure you have water and snacks as well. There is a restaurant in the site and places to buy drinks.
Petra Open and Closing Hours in August
In the summer months, you will want to get up early and enjoy Petra before the heat of the day.
In August Petra is open from 6am to 6pm.
What to Do in Petra in August
Get up early and enjoy as much as you can before you are looking for a little shade.
Take your time wandering the Siq, or better yet, hire a guide to show you its hidden secrets. Take a selfie or two at the Treasury and enjoy a cup of tea as you watch others in awe as they emerge from the Siq.
Continue down and explore the Colonnaded Street, the Great Temple, and consider Al Khubta trail for the best views of the treasury above. For those who have multiple days in Petra, consider the backdoor trail from Little Petra to Petra which offers a backdoor trip to the Monastery avoiding having to climb the 800 stairs required to visit it.
Candlelit Wonders: Petra By Night
Imagine walking through the narrow Siq to the Treasury, illuminated only by the soft glow of candlelight. This is Petra By Night, an event that captivates visitors every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. As you meander along the candlelit path, the shadows and light create a mystical atmosphere, enhancing the spellbinding features of the ancient city. The star-studded winter sky adds an extra layer of magic to the experience, while the cold night air makes the warm tea served by local vendors taste even more comforting.
There are plenty of other sites beyond Petra, including Wadi Rum, Jordan’s famed desert. Shobak Castle lies to the South and Kerak Castle to the North. The Gulf of Aqaba is less than 2 hours by car and offers stunning coral views just off shore. There is also a resort vibe in Aqaba with Tala Bay and Ayla competing for visitors looking for some relaxing vibes.
Satisfying Tastes: Indulging in Local Cuisine
After spending the day exploring this world wonder, finish your day with a traditional Jordanian meal. Mansaf, the national dish of Jordan, is a hearty invitation to savor tender lamb cooked in a fermented dried yogurt sauce, served over a bed of aromatic rice. You can usually find Mansaf at local family-run restaurants within Wadi Musa, the town adjacent to Petra.
For another warm and flavourful treat, seek out maqluba, an upside-down dish layered with rice, vegetables, and chicken or lamb.
When the stars twinkle above the desert expanse, wrap your fingers around a cup of sweet tea or Turkish coffee. These hot beverages, steeped in tradition, are ubiquitous in cafés throughout Petra and offer warmth from within. Each sip feels like a moment of connection to the ancient city and its culture.
For the sweet tooth, enjoy knafeh, a warm dessert layered with cheese and soaked in a sweet syrup, often sprinkled with pistachios. This sticky treat is a favorite among locals and visitors for its comforting textures and flavors, providing a sweet finale to your day of exploring.
Read more about where to eat in Wadi Musa.
August in Petra: Other Considerations
If the summer months are your only time to travel, then do not put off Jordan because of the heat. While the warm weather dominates, this ancient city still wows at every turn.
When planning your trip to Petra in July, make sure to secure accommodations in advance. This is not something to leave to the last minute when you visit as rooms can be snapped up by families who are holidaying from the gulf. It is also better to book airfare in advance, especially if you are coming in on the increasing number of low cost carriers from Europe. The same goes for car rentals, typically everyone charges the same amount but when inventory drops, everyone raises their prices.
More Helpful Information
Lindsay fell in love with Jordan when she first visited in 2016. She now goes back every year to explore more of this special place. Lindsay is also the owner of Amman Food Tours, a social enterprise that is women-owned and hires local female guides. This project provides meaningful employment for women in Amman.