Temperatures dip sharply as October progresses, and the first light rains that green up the land point to the not-too-distant arrival of winter. The higher elevations begin to feel cool (nights can be cold). Amman—at an elevation of around 3,300 ft (1,000 m)—averages a temperate 68°F (20°C), with a daily range between 57-79°F (14-26°C).
Petra’s temperatures fall more sharply and average the same as Amman in October. Aqaba remains delightfully warm, averaging 89°F/32°C for the month), as does the eastern desert, where nights are now beginning to get cold. The Gulf of Aqaba water temperature is still delightfully warm (averaging around 81°F/27°C), and scuba diving is at its most agreeable.
Bring plenty of sun-lotion, plus a shade hat, sunglasses and comfortable yet sturdy walking shoes.
Crowds & Costs
By October, Jordan hits its peak of visitor arrivals and you can expect the most popular tourist sites to be fairly crowded. Airfares, hotels, and tourist packages are also at their most expensive, with bargains more difficult to find than water in the eastern desert. It’s wise to book flights and reserve accommodations well in advance, especially in the main tourist areas.
Where to Go
Make the most of the autumn weather in Dana Biosphere Preserve. Feynan Ecolodge is a great base for exploring Jordan’s largest nature reserve and the only one that encompasses all four of the country’s bio-geographical zones. This is a great place to hike, with fingers crossed for sightings of such endangered mammal species as the Syrian wolf and Sand cat. Terrain spans elevations from 80 feet (50 m) below sea level to 5,577 feet (1,700 m), providing sufficient variety to fill several days. Take warm clothing for the upper elevations, which can be cool at this time of year.
If the uplands in October already appear too cool, head to the Dead Sea. At 1,410 ft (430 m) below sea level—the earth’s lowest point—it’s significantly warmer than most of Jordan in October. And the midday water temperature averages a bathtub-warm 90°F/33°C, about the same as the air. Don’t forget to bring a book or newspaper to read while you float on your back. You’ll need to apply a non-harmful sun-lotion but note that, supposedly, the low elevation of the Dead Sea reduces exposure to harmful UV rays.
Autumn is a Goldilocks season to visit the Eastern desert (bitterly cold in winter, brutally hot in summer), when the temperature is just right and the landscape is a Monet palette of wildflower bloom. To appreciate nature at its best, head to Shaumari Wildlife Reserve. Established in 1975 by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature, this tiny (8 sq mil/22 sq km) reserve serves as a breeding center and protected environment for locally extinct or endangered Middle East wildlife. Take a guided safari to spot Dorcas gazelles, Arabian oryx, and Persian onagers (wild ass).
Aqaba and the Gulf of Aqaba, at the northern tip of the Red Sea, enjoy the warmest weather in Jordan in October—reason enough to visit and soak up the rays on the sands, and take advantage of the world-class diving.
What to Do
October temperatures are ideal for outdoor adventure. There’s no more challenging an active adventure than hiking the length of the Jordan Trail, a 400-mile ( km) cross-country trek the length of the country north to south—a chance to experience the full diversity of Jordan close up and personal. It starts at Umm Qais in the north and runs south to the Red Sea. You can try the entire route (plan on up to one month) or any of eight more manageable 50-mile (80-km) sections.
Enjoy a multi-faceted, multi-day adventure in Wadi Rum, with overnights at one of the Bedouin desert camps. Start with an early morning hot-air balloon ride for a panoramic birds-eye perspective. Then take a precipitous hike to the summit of precariously perched Burdah Rock Bridge, ride a camel to the red sand dunes that bank up against Jebel Umm Ulaydiyya, and explore the narrow siq (canyon) that cuts into Jebel Khazali to admire ancient petroglyphs that include feet, ostriches, and even a woman giving birth.
October is the second most popular month for scuba diving the Red Sea, where the water temperatures average a delightful 81°F (27°C). However, be prepared for the occasional overcast (or even rainy day), which can make for comparatively disappointing viewing of marine life. On sunny days, however, the diving and snorkeling are sensational in Aqaba Marine Park, part of the larger Red Sea Marine Peace Park. The abundant marine life includes eagle rays, turtles, and even the occasional whale shark. And there are many wrecks, from former tugboats and a C-130 Hercules plane to a M42 Duster former Jordanian Army tank just 18 feet (6 m) down.
Haya Theatre Festival. First held in 2015 and spanning September, this festival hosted by the Haya Cultural Centre features children’s puppet theatre shows plus drama by international troupes and includes workshops and family activities.
Traveling to Jordan in October? Check out these great itineraries
Dana to Petra Trek - 9 Days. The epic trek from Dana to Petra, part of the country-long Jordan Trail, takes you through some of Jordan's finest landscapes, ending at its top archeological site.
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 overnight at a Bedouin camp at Wadi Rum.