November marks the approach of winter, with Amman and higher elevation tourist sites increasingly cold. The rainy season also begins at the end of November and continues through March. But Aqaba feels still like a perpetual summer, the Dead Sea is bathtub warm, there’s great hiking throughout the country, and no end of cultural activities.

Weather

Temperatures continue their sharp fall as November progresses, and the number of rainy days increases as autumn turns to winter. The higher elevations now feel cold, especially at night. Amman—at an elevation of around 3,300 ft (1,000 m)—averages 57°F (14°C), with a daily range between 48-70°F (9-21°C). in November, the first biting winds of winter begin to sweep the valleys. Petra’s temperatures average more or less the same as Amman in November.

Aqaba remains delightfully warm, averaging 81°F/27°C for the month). The eastern desert also remains warm by day, but nights can be very cold. The Gulf of Aqaba water temperatures are still balmy (averaging around 79°F/26°C), and scuba diving at its most agreeable.

Bring cold-weather clothing, along with lighter summer clothing for the diminishing warm sunny days. Pack sun-lotion, plus a shade hat, sunglasses, and comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes.

Crowds & Costs

Despite the increasingly cool weather, November is still a high-season month for visitor arrivals and you can expect the most popular tourist sites to be fairly crowded in early November. Airfares are also at their most expensive, with few if any bargains. It’s wise to book flights and reserve accommodations well in advance, especially in early November and for the main tourist areas.

Where to Go

Soak in Ma’in Hot Springs. The Hammamat Ma'in thermal mineral springs and waterfalls, about 45 miles (75 km) south of Amman, are referenced in the Bible and according to legend once drew Herod to bathe in the medicinal waters. You’ll feel enervated, too, soaking as did the Romans in the mineral-rich pools (each of a different temperature) at the base of the cascades, comprising a lush canyon paradise in the hills above the Dead Sea, at 866 feet (264 m) below sea level.

Aqaba and the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, enjoys the warmest weather in Jordan in October—reason enough to visit and soak up the rays. 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.

If you love history, especially Biblical, hike to Machaerus, the hilltop stronghold palace and fortress of Herod the Great. Built around 90 BC—before Herod’s time—at about 3,300 feet (1,100 m) in the eastern hills overlooking the Dead Sea, the now ruined site was protected on three sides by deep ravines. It was here, according to biblical legend, that John the Baptist was imprisoned and beheaded by Herod Antipas (son of Herod the Great): appropriately, perhaps, it is known to locals as Qala’at Al Meshneq (Castle of the Gallows). You can also make out the site of Herod Antipas’ palace, where Salome reputedly danced; and, on the western side of the hill, the remains of a siege ramp built by the Romans in AD 72 to capture the fort. A visit can be combined with Ma’in Hot Springs, nearby.

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What to Do

Rated among the top hikes in the world by National Geographic, the 50-mile (80 km) trek from Dana to Petra crosses ruggedly beautiful desert and mountain landscapes. It begins in the Dana Biosphere Reserve, crosses the vast arid expanse of Wadi Araba, then climbs into the Sharah Mountains to spill you out at Petra via the lesser traveled back door.

Count the birds at Aqaba Bird Observatory. This bird-watchers’ paradise at the northern tip of the Red Sea, is a mosaic of forest and artificially created wetlands that comprise a lush contrast to the harsh desert surrounds. In November, it receives huge flocks of migratory birds passing between Europe, Africa, and Asia. A good percentage of the country’s 390 or so bird species can be seen here, and this is one of the best times of year to spot them.

The low, clear sunlight and crystal-clear air of November spells nirvana for photographers. Head to Wadi Rum to capture the spectacular kaleidoscope of color and texture, including dune lines and undulations and fantastical geological formations enhanced by the play of light and shadows. The cooler months allow longer periods of time spent outdoors shooting. The best time to shoot is usually the hour after sunrise and hour before sunset, when the light is warm and colors are at their juiciest.

November Events

Mawlid or Mawlid al-Nabi al-Sharif. Jordanians celebrate the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad in the third month of the Islamic calendar. Low-key festivities involve feasts, and singing plus poetry readings.

Traveling to Jordan in November? Check out these great itineraries

Experience Jordan: Amman, Petra, & Wadi Rum - 7 Days. Experience the best of Jordan on this curated adventure of Jordan's main attractions, including the highlights of Amman, plus Jerash, Mount Nebo, Petra, and a chance to see the Perseids Meteor Shower with an overnight at Wadi Rum.

Family Trip to Jordan: Petra, Dead Sea, Wadi Rum, & More – 8 Days. There’s something for the entire family on this itinerary, from overnight in a Bedouin camp at Wadi Rum to hiking at Petra and floating in the Dead Sea.

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