You’ll need plenty of warm clothes for Jordan in February. Don’t be fooled, just because it’s in the supposedly warm-to-hot Middle East. Amman’s mid-winter temperatures this month at an average of 50°F (10°C), with many days significantly colder due to biting winds.
But towards the end of February, you can feel that spring is in the air as temperatures gradually warm. The eastern desert will be equally cold, if not more so, and the mountain zones also considerably colder, with guaranteed frost at night. In Petra, the temperatures are beginning to inch upward but remain a chilly 59°F (15°C) on average.
If this all sounds too chill, ponder the south: Aqaba averages a relatively balmy high of 70°F (21°C) by day, with chilly evenings. And the Jordan Valley, and particularly the Dead Sea, also tend to be warmer than Amman.
February is also (with January) one of the two rainiest months of the year in all parts of the country, although rain in Aqaba diminishes significantly by the end of February. The northwest of Jordan receives the lion’s share.
Note that although hotels and other public facilities usually have heating, many homes and older buildings do not.
Crowds & Costs
While Jordan has plenty to recommend it in February, most visitors continue to await warmer days. Airfare and accommodation costs are thereby also at their lowest—a good time for budget travelers to make hay. The exception is Aqaba and the Red Sea, where the pleasant winter weather draws both international visitors and Jordanians from Amman; the prices reflect its popularity.
Where to Go
Aqaba and the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, enjoy the warmest weather in Jordan in February—reason enough to visit. Aqaba is renowned for its world-class snorkeling and diving, but you may want to simply soak up the rays on the beaches, which also have volleyball and soccer.
Culture vultures will also find plenty to see, including the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, the exquisite Sherif al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque, plus Mamluk Castle—site of one of the most famous battles of WWI, as immortalized in David Lean’s 1962 Lawrence of Arabia.
Aljun, in northwest Jordan, offers plenty to satisfy travelers fascinated by history and with a passion for nature. To warm up, head into the sprawling pine forest nature reserve to hike the trails. Then visit the 12th-century hilltop Muslim castle, built during the rule of Saladin, to marvel at the genius of medieval military architecture that confounded the Crusaders eight centuries ago. The town has a lovely 15th-century mosque.
Head to Madaba, an easy-going market town 20 miles (30 km) southwest of Amman, to marvel at the superbly preserved Byzantine-era mosaics for which it is known. You won’t want to miss, most famously, the impressive sixth-century mosaic map of the Holy Land on the floor of St George’s Church. But roaming the narrow streets, lined with old Ottoman stone houses, you’ll come across many other mosaics, often more vibrantly colored and complete. The mosaics date back to the 3rd century AD, but reached their golden age during the 6th century. Don’t skip the intricate mosaics at the Church of the Apostles (578 AD), the Crypt of St Elianos (595 AD), and the Church of the Virgin (595 AD).
What to Do
Dive the Red Sea! The waters of Aqaba Marine Park offer world-class snorkeling and scuba diving along its 4 miles (7 km) of shoreline and coral reefs resplendent in the crystal-clear waters. There are more than 30 main dive sites, including a shipwrecked Soviet tank, with options for people of all levels of diving experience. With luck, you may even encounter whales sharks. You’ll need a wetsuit at this time of year (water temperatures average 72°F/22°C in winter).
Combine your visit to Petra with a stay at Ammarin Bedouin Camp to experience the Eastern Desert as the Bedouins know it. It has a small ethnographic museum with exhibits spanning thousand-year old Bedouin history to jewelry and even medicinal plants, such as frankincense. But you can also partake of traditional activities, such as bread-baking or Kohl production, and folkloric music and dance. More active adventures include horse trekking, and traveling in a camel caravan along the ancient Frankincense Route. Or hike nearby nature trails in hopes of seeing the honey badger, desert gazelle, or (fingers crossed) Nubian Ibex. And, of course, you can hike the trails to Petra.
For a complete taste of Jordan’s attractions, follow the King's Highway, which runs along the spine of the central highlands above the Dead Sea rift. The meandering and sometimes narrow route—which connects Amman to Aqaba—was mentioned in the Old Testament and served as the main Roman highway for trade, and later as the Crusaders heavily fortified umbilical cord. Hence, it passes many of the top draws and is packed with Roman ruins, Crusader castles, and sites of biblical import. Major stops include Madaba for its mosaics, the Crusader castles of Karak and Shobak, plus Petra, and the spectacular Dana Nature Reserve.
Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival. This annual celebration, in Aqaba, promotes and honors the culture of the Bedouin people and is a showcase of their traditional arts and crafts.
Azraq Festival. Every February the small desert town of Azraq, 60 miles (100 km) east of Amman, hosts an art and culture festival, with music, dance, feasting, and art and crafts.
Traveling to Jordan in February? Check out these great itineraries
Golden Triangle & Dead Sea - 5 Days. From the red city of Petra to the desert wilderness of Wadi Rum to the Red Sea port city of Aqaba, this tour offers a taste of everything the south has to offer.
Jordan in 7 Days. This itinerary prioritizes Jordan's iconic landmarks, including its two warmest spots in February—Aqaba and the Dead Sea.