Although Jordan lies in the Middle East, winter in Jordan is actually quite cold! But, with that being said, it does not mean you should not visit Jordan in winter, you just need to be prepared! Jordan is really a year-round destination that can be enjoyed at any time of the year, although winter is generally low season. Jordan has 4 distinct seasons and the best time to visit Jordan is probably not in the winter.
However, I do not want to disuade you from visiting Jordan in winter. If that is when your schedule allows, then by all means, book your flights and start planning ( use this handy 7 day itinerary for reference) ! There are a few benefits for visitors. Since it is the off-season, you might find yourself alone at one of the major tourist sites. I remember when I was in Jerash for the first time, I wondered where everyone was! While hotels do not change their prices a lot in the winter, you might find some deals and you will for sure have more availability when you experience winter in Jordan.
When visiting Jordan in winter, you may find that some attractions (mostly hiking ones) only operate seasonally. That is because the winter and early spring bring most of the country’s annual rainfall and flash flooding can cause dangerous conditions in the mountains and streams.
Jordan Winter Weather
When planning a visit to Jordan in winter you want to be ready for rain and the possibility of snow. The rainy season begins at the end of November and continues till the end of March. However, in 2018 and 2019 April had above average rainfall. But the rain that Jordan receives is sporadic and it is very unlikely that you will have rain for your whole trip.
The coldest months of the year are December and January, where temperatures average about 13 degrees Celsius but can drop to around 5 degrees. In areas with an altitude of 1000 meters and above, (such as Amman) there is a chance of snowfall in winter. Petra and Wadi Rum have even been known to receive a skiff of snow.
|Month||Average High||Average Low|
|January||54°F / 12°C||38°F / 3°C|
|February||57°F / 14°C||40°F / 4°C|
|March||63°F / 17°C||44°F / 6°C|
|April||73°F / 23°C||50°F / 10°C|
|May||81°F / 27°C||57°F / 14°C|
|June||87°F / 30°C||63°F / 17°C|
|July||89°F / 32°C||67°F / 19°C|
|August||89°F / 32°C||67°F / 19°C|
|September||86°F / 26°C||63°F / 17°C|
|October||79°F / 26°C||57°F / 14°C|
|November||67°F / 19°C||47°F / 9°C|
|December||57°F / 14°C||41°F / 5°C|
|Month||Average High||Average Low|
|January||59°F / 15°C||37°F / 3°C|
|February||62°F / 17°C||39°F / 4°C|
|March||69°F / 21°C||44°F / 7°C|
|April||79°F / 26°C||52°F / 11°C|
|May||87°F / 30°C||58°F / 15°C|
|June||93°F / 34°C||63°F / 17°C|
|July||96°F / 35°C||67°F / 19°C|
|August||96°F / 36°C||67°F / 19°C|
|September||92°F / 34°C||63°F / 17°C|
|October||84°F / 29°C||56°F / 13°C|
|November||71°F / 22°C||46°F / 8°C|
|December||62°F / 17°C||39°F / 4°C|
|Month||Average High||Average Low|
|January||70°F / 21°C||50°F / 10°C|
|February||74°F / 23°C||52°F / 11°C|
|March||80°F / 27°C||58°F / 14°C|
|April||89°F / 31°C||65°F / 18°C|
|May||97°F / 36°C||71°F / 22°C|
|June||102°F / 39°C||76°F / 25°C|
|July||105°F / 40°C||80°F / 26°C|
|August||104°F / 40°C||80°F / 27°C|
|September||99°F / 37°C||76°F / 25°C|
|October||92°F / 33°C||70°F / 21°C|
|November||81°F / 27°C||60°F / 16°C|
|December||73°F / 23°C||52°F / 11°C|
Wadi Rum Weather
|Month||Average High||Average Low|
|January||58°F / 14°C||37°F / 3°C|
|February||62°F / 17°C||40°F / 5°C|
|March||68°F / 20°C||46°F / 8°C|
|April||77°F / 25°C||53°F / 11°C|
|May||85°F / 29°C||60°F / 15°C|
|June||90°F / 32°C||65°F / 18°C|
|July||93°F / 34°C||68°F / 20°C|
|August||92°F / 33°C||68°F / 20°C|
|September||87°F / 30°C||64°F / 18°C|
|October||79°F / 26°C||58°F / 14°C|
|November||69°F / 21°C||48°F / 9°C|
|December||60°F / 16°C||40°F / 5°C|
So what to do in Jordan in Winter
Almost everything is at your disposal when you visit Jordan in the winter. While some hiking trails will be closed and it might not feel like beach weather, there is still plenty of things to do:
- Petra is open 365 days of the year
- There is still plenty of hiking options, although some hikes, like the water hikes will be closed
- Cooking classes in Amman and Petra offer lively evenings out of the cold
- Explore the museums all over Jordan. Churches also have plenty to explore!
- sip coffee at a cafe
- bundle up and get out and explore
- shop in Amman’s malls
Holiday Season / Christmas Break in Jordan
If you are traveling to Jordan over Christmas break, this is a busy travel period all over the world. Ensure you book your airfare well in advance as well as any tours or hotels. You do not want to miss out on that once-in-a-lifetime visit because everything was sold out, or flight prices skyrocketed before you had the chance to book! But do not let that discourage you from visiting Jordan over Christmas break if that is the best time for you. You will still see little crowds at this time of year, I just do not want you to miss out if you plan on booking a tour! December also has plenty of Christmas events in Jordan that you can check out!
Enjoy Off Season Minimal Crowds
While I touched on this above, winter is a great time to visit Jordan as it is mostly low season. Apart from Christmas break (which is high season almost all over the world), there are few visitors to Jordan from December – February.
The low visitors means that you can wander ancient wonders like Petra without tour groups around every corner of the Siq. You will have very little problems getting around and plenty of hotels and restaurants have lots of availability! If you are visiting Petra in high season, on some nights it is almost impossible to find a room! This is not the case in winter in Jordan!
As I mentioned above, this does not apply over the Christmas period and you should book any tours or hotels in advance! But other than those two weeks, for most of the winter in Jordan you will have very limited crowds.
What to Wear for Winter in Jordan
Jordan is a muslim country and conservative dress (for men and women) is mu suggestion for anyone visiting. In the wintertime, jackets and pants are a must. You do not need to worry about conservative dress in winter in Jordan, as you will be bundled up to keep warm and dry!
Compared to Jordan in the summer, you do not need to worrk about “Can i wear this dress? Does this show too much cleavage?” When you visit Jordan in winter, these thoughts go out the door. Thoughts of, “will this jacket be warm enough, do I have gloves, do I have a toque?” should be on your mind if you are visiting Jordan in winter.
Something else to take into account when you are visiting Jordan in winter is heating. While hotels should have adequate heating, it might not be central heating. If you are staying in a local home it will NOT be central heating and if you are in a camp in Wadi Rum, book one with a heater! Wadi Rum weather over the winter can drop below freezing!
Many hotels have a single heater / air conditioner in the room that should suffice to keep you warm. If you are in a private home, baseboard style heaters are common, as are portable propane gas and electric space heaters. This usually means that you need to move them from room to room. I suggest you bring warm clothes for wearing indoors.
Camping in Wadi Rum is going to require warm clothes! Many of the luxury tents have heaters, but it is still just a space heater. Bring your long johns and a toque to keep warm as the nights can drop below freezing!
Packing properly for Jordan in Winter is probably the single best piece of advice that I can give you.
I have told people countless times that a windbreaker is not going to cut it if you are visiting Jordan in February. Ok if you plan on wearing a fleece underneath and the dry cold does not bother you then feel free to prove me wrong. I will continue to suggest down-filled jackets, plenty of layers, warm socks, gloves and toques. You also want something that is waterproof if you do not have a flexible itinerary and end up wandering Jerash or Petra on a really wet day! (my feet have gotten soaked multiple times in Jordan, whether waiting for a taxi, or walking to my car, or just crossing the street!) The drainage in Amman is non-existant which means that the streets turn into rivers as the water going down the hilly streets!
You can read more on my post about what to wear in Jordan.
Winter in Jordan means the beaches are EMPTY (But COLD)
While it will likely be in the 20s (that is degrees Celcius for my American friends) at the Red Sea and the Dead Sea, you are not going to see summer warmth at the beaches. The breeze can be cool at the beach, even in March and April and the hotel pools are FREEZING all year round (except the heated ones).
Depending on where you are from, you might enjoy the 20-25 degree weather at the Red Sea in Aqaba. Ensure you have sunscreen as even that winter sun can burn!
The Dead Sea is always warmer than Amman due to its position as the lowest point on Earth and the surrounding hills. I have been there while it has been raining, but it is still definitely warmer than Amman in the winter! If you plan on visiting Aqaba ( or flying into Aqaba ), I have a restaurant guide for Aqaba, as well as posts about getting from Aqaba to Petra and Aqaba to Wadi Rum and Aqaba to Taba (Egypt Resort Town), as well as the best day trips from Aqaba.
Winter in Jordan Tips: Have a flexible Itinerary
While most of Jordan may be classified as desert, it is actually made up of 4 climate zones with huge altitude variations and microclimates. In the winter, there can be inclement weather, and it is usually seen in advance. Sites like Petra will close if they are expecting heavy rains as the rain water pours off the tall Siq cliffs and a torrent of water ends up running down the Siq.
It can be dangerous and the flooding in Jordan takes lives every year.
Check out the videos below of flooding in Petra in Nov 2018
Here is flooding in Amman in Feb 2019
I highly suggest that if you are visiting Jordan in winter to pack some flexibility into your itinerary if you are not on a fully guided tour. You do not want to get rained out of Petra if you have a tight itinerary to keep to!
Pay attention to the weather forecasts if you are backpacking Jordan alone and check with the front desk at the hotel. Those are the first to places to start to find out if bad weather is expected today, or in the future!
You also want to worry about SNOW! Yes, it can snow in Jordan, especially in Amman, and everything comes to a standstill in the snow. Amman is made up of several hills and when going from A to B you will have to go up or down a hill at some point. Without snow tires, cars just slide. If you are trying to use the desert highway in the snow, be wary of fast moving vehicles who are not driving for the conditions and ensure you are driving for the conditions yourself.
It Gets Dark Early: Plan for Short Days
It can get dark before 5pm (around 4:30 at the shortest day of the year) in the winter in Jordan so take that into account when planning your day. If you do not want to be driving in the dark you will have to plan ahead to make sure you are at your destination before dark.
So what to do with all that dark? There are plenty of great restaurants in Amman to grab a meal (here are my favorite ones for breakfast in Amman). The same goes to Aqaba and Wadi Musa. You can also take a cooking class to learn more about Jordanian cuisine. There is a lively coffeeshop / cafe scene in Amman in the evening and you will find plenty of locals who are socializing with a coffee and shisha.
Jordan in Winter Safety Tips
Jordan is a safe country to visit overall. I have never felt unsafe while there and I use the same cautions that I would when visiting any country.
In the winter in Jordan there are certain extra considerations when it comes to driving. When it is raining be wary of traffic. Cars do not have great tread on their tires so they can easily slip in the rain. In the snow, the city almost shuts down as the hills and twists and turns makes driving almost impossible.
Watch for flash flood warnings if heavy rain is expected. Amman, the Dead Sea and Petra and even Wadi Rum can experience flooding during heavy rainfall.
More Jordan Travel Resources
In order to help make your visit to Jordan as memorable as possible, I have created a number of resources from planning guides to local eats.
If you have just begun the planning, check out 101 Things to do in Jordan to give you some inspiration on the places you want to make sure you have time to see.
Rental Cars are very popular in Jordan, get a quote on renting a car before you arrive.
If you are working on a self-drive itinerary or plan to see the country independently, there is a guide on getting around in Jordan.
If you are thinking of booking a tour, or wondering how much hassle a self drive itinerary can be, check out this post I have on the best Jordan tours to book.
5 Things to Bring with You to Jordan
I have always been a guide book person and physically having that book in your hand as you plan your day, in addition to blogs like this one, can help immensely. Pick up a Lonely Planet Guide to Jordan (or the kindle version) before your trip to Jordan.
Whether you want to keep the sun off your head or want to show a little modesty, a scarf goes a long way in Jordan any time of the year. You can bring one with you or pick up one when you arrive, but don’t leave your hotel in the morning without it! It can serve as a hat to keep the sun off your head and neck in the summer and can add some warmth in winder and can offer modesty to cover shoulders for women.
A Grayl Water Bottle is something I recommend for every traveller, not just those going to the Middle East. Some people say the water is safe to drink from the tap, others say it is not; it is not something I am going to chance. And Jordan has a HUGE garbage problem. The streets, the forests and even the desert are littered with plastic bottles.
If you consider drinking at least 1-2 big water bottles a day while you are there, think of how much plastic that creates when every visitor and the population’s 9 million people do the same. With a Grayl, you can filter any tap water (or actually any water source) and have clean drinking water in seconds. Since most people travel with water bottles already, consider one like this with a filter so that you are not just pouring from big water bottles to small. It might sound expensive, but when you compare it to spending a few dollars per day on water while you travel (and do not forget how expensive the water is inside airports), you will pay for this very quickly.
An inexpensive Universal Travel Adapter is another must for Jordan. You will find an assortment of 220V plugs, from European 2 pin, another style of 2 pin and UK Plugs. While European 2 pin is most common, it is best to carry one of these adapters with you. With a handy USB input, you do not need to bring your plugs from home.
Kleenex or Wipes are another thing to put on your list. Jordan’s public washrooms (and even restraint or hotel lobby washrooms can often be unstocked. Unless you are good with a bidet sprayer, bring yourself some kleenex or wipes just in case! You will find that most washrooms in tourist sites and rest stops have an attendant that will give you toilet paper and paper towel for a small tip. Usually half a dinar is fine.
In Jordan, the plumbing is not set up to handle toilet paper. Every bathroom (even hotels) you should use the garbage can beside the toilet for your toilet paper and any sanitary products.
Motion Sickness Pills might be needed if you are prone to motion sickness and plan on traveling by bus or in the back of the car. There are many windy, hilly and bumpy roads in Jordan. Sea Bands might work for you if you are prone to motion sickness.
Travel Insurance for Jordan
There are a few other things to think about when it comes to travel. The first thing is travel insurance. Whether it is an emergency room visit for something as simple as strep throat, or an emergency appendix surgery, or an unfortunate moped incident things do go wrong when people travel everyday.
I highly suggest travel insurance and a good policy. I personally never travel without it, and I even checked into my policy about care for my children if I am ever in an accident or hospitalized. There are just too many things to think about.
You can find out more information and buy your travel insurance here.