You may be wondering, is winter a good time to visit Jordan? Does Jordan get cold? Or, how can I make the most of my trip while staying warm? And of course, what should I pack?
– Don’t worry! We have the answers to those questions and more below. There are plenty of great options for sightseeing, hiking, and having an amazing experience…
Winter is a great season to hike in Jordan.
In summer most places are crowded with tourists, and the blazing sun can make being outdoors uncomfortable. But you can avoid both of these inconveniences by planning your trip during the winter months between November and March.
This time of the year is especially perfect for activities such as hiking, since the temperatures are comfortable for even long hikes on desert trails. For example the route from Little Petra to Petra is a fantastic hike to consider: Rated among the top hikes in the world by National Geographic, it has you enter Petra via the lesser travelled ‘back door’ route. That route enables you to explore the beautiful and wild landscape, as well as many other attractions on the way, without the heavy traffic of thousands of fellow tourists. It also incorporates the phenomenal site (and sight!) of Petra with a better grasp of cultural and historical places and traditions.
While in Petra, you perhaps also want to take the time for a visit to Petra kitchen. It’s a great option for the shorter days of winter! There you can learn to cook traditional meals with local women. Additionally, it is a fantastic opportunity to engage with locals, sample delicious dishes, and learn more about the fundamental importance of food and hospitality in Jordanian culture.
Other Options for visiting Jordan in Winter:
A trip to Madaba, could include visits to several (heated) museums and churches, as well as a stroll on nearby Mount Nebo. The view over the Holy Land is best at this time of the year, when the dust in the air has been washed away by the winter rains. There is a renovated church on top of the mountain, boasting an array of beautiful mosaics, and on the road up to/down from the site itself you can visit the best folklore museum in Jordan: La Storia. In Madaba there are different churches that are also worth stopping by – above all the Church of St George accommodating the oldest existing map of the region. …and since Madaba is a predominantly Christian town, a December trip can incorporate the sighting of sparkling Christmas trees too!
Another great option is to travel to the Dead Sea. Due to it’s low altitude, the climate in this region is much warmer than in the rest of Jordan, and the opportunities for relaxation are unrivaled. Even if you find it too chilly to swim in the sea, many of the hotels have heated pools, plus the spas are heavenly- treat yourself!
And last but not least, there are also many options in the capital city of Amman. In Amman there are art galleries, restaurants, cafes, cultural centers, concerts, historical sites, or local markets. (As travel experts, we would be happy to recommend some options specific to your trip.)
How is the weather? And what to Pack?
Practically, if you are visiting between December and February: Do pack warm cloths! Although it may seem that the temperature is higher in Jordan than your home country, the feel of the temperature can be quite different. There can even be snow! Wearing layers is advisable, as it means you can react flexibly to changing temperatures (day/night, inside/outside), plus a decent coat, sturdy shoes, and warm socks.
Indoor heating may be different than what you are used to from your home country as well. In Jordan the buildings generally have room heaters (hot water carrying wall units), AC units (that are also able to blow hot air), or space heaters (electric or gas) as primary heat sources. That is instead of central heating like more modern buildings and areas. Hotels should always be comfortably heated in the winter. However, houses and older buildings are very often poorly insulated. So even inside buildings, you may want to wear a light jacket.
Preparation is key, so be sure to check the weather forecast before you come for any signs of rain/snow!