Petra is every bit worth its bucket list status. Visiting Petra in March is ideal trekking season and the perfect time to explore this archaeological marvel. Temperatures can be brisk in the mornings with spring warmth coming from the sun.
As you plan your time in Jordan, you ideally want to plan at least one full day (and a night to explore). Because spring can bring rain, when planning your Petra visit, it is ideal to have a little flexibility in your itinerary. On rare occasions, Petra is closed when heavy rain is in the forcast as the water from the neighbouring mountains flows down into the site. It would be a shame to miss out on a Petra visit if you do not have any flexible time in Jordan.
Below you will find everything you need to know about visiting Petra in March including the typical weather, what to pack and how to plan for your visit.
Spring in Petra: Petra’s March Weather
It is hard to imagine that it is cold in Jordan in March, but let me tell you (from a Canadian), the mornings and evenings often have a bite to them! Petra and much of Jordan is quite elevated and the temperature is a lot different than the Gulf countries to the south. In fact, most of Jordan is occupied by a plateau, which has an altitude between 700 and 1,200 meters (2,300 and 3,900 feet). Petra is located at 900 meters above sea level and has a desert climate
Expect cool weather in Petra especially in the mornings and evenings, with average daytime temperatures around 13°C (57°F) with lows around 6°C and highs of 20°C.
On Average Petra recieves 4 days of rain in March but be sure to prepare for occasional shower with a waterproof coat and good shoes.
Packing for Petra in March: 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.
- Thermal layers: Given the chilly morning temperatures and cool nights in the month of March, I pack a thermal base layer to stay warm.
- Waterproof jacket: With the chance of rain being high a good raincoat keeps me dry during unexpected showers. It also helps block the cool wind.
- Sturdy hiking boots: 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. This is the best time for hiking without crowds.
- Warm hat and gloves: If you tend to get cold, pack a warm hat and gloves, especially if you are setting off early in the mornings or visiting Petra by Night.
- Sunscreen: Even in winter, sunscreen is important. I also find it helps with the dry climate.
- 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 March
In the cooler days of March, Petra reveals a more tranquil aspect, especially for early birds. Explore the siq without jostling through crowds and enjoy minimal people at the Treasury and Monastery.
It is important to keep in mind that the days are shorter in the winter months. The average length of the daylight in Petra is roughly 11 hours in March. In spring Petra is open from 6am to 4pm.
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.
Savory Warmth: Indulging in Local Cuisine
After spending the day exploring this world wonder, warm up with traditional Jordanian comfort foods. 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 cold bites and 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.
The March Verdict: Trekking at its Finest
March is the perfect time to visit Petra. The winter chill starts to disappear and this ancient city wows at every turn. March offers sunlit afternoons and crisp evenings.
March is a popular time for trekking groups who are doing multi-day treks in Jordan. It is the ideal time for those who want to visit without the scorching summer heat.
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.