The virtually rainless summer officially begins in June. This month is typically cooler than July and August but can still be brutally hot, especially so for the extended hiking that is part and parcel of exploring Petra. The average high temperature in June is 90°C (32°C), with some days reaching into the 100s Fahrenheit as the month progresses. Fortunately, the summer air is dry—Petra typically receives zero rainfall in June—and still comfortable through most of this temperature range.
The beginning of the month may still see a sudden dramatic spike in temperatures when the khamseen blows. This dry and sometimes gale force desert wind can whirl in from the Arabian Peninsula, causing sandstorms that can last a few days. It normally occurs in late April and May, but can occur in early June.
Pack a lightweight wardrobe, bring your shade hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, and be sure to drink lots of water. You’ll also need sturdy walking shoes.
For more on weather this month, see Jordan in June: Travel Tips, Weather, and More.
Crowds & Costs
The crowds of spring have gone home and visitor numbers are at their lowest of the year in June. You get to enjoy exploring Jordan’s most popular tourist destination at its most peaceful. Plus, Petra is open for two additional hours (6 am-6 pm) in summer.
As this is the low season, airfares come down, hotels decrease their rates, and organized excursions and tour packages are also discounted. Although prices are now at their best, note that many restaurants and other places that rely on the tourist trade may close for the low season or operate on reduced hours.
What to Do
Petra is stupendously photogenic. But photography can be a challenge in the harsh light of June, especially during mid-day hours when the colors wash out. Visit the “Rose City” as early as possible—that means as the gates open at 6am—for the soft light. Shoot in the shadows during the worst hours of the midday glare. And stick around until sunset, when the rocks glow an incredible ruby color. If you’re going to be using a slow shutter speed be sure to have a tripod, especially for the “blue hour” after sunset.
After UNESCO declared Petra a World Heritage Site in 1985, the Jordanian government relocated the Bedul tribe cave-dwellers to a new village: Umm Sayhoun. A few Bedul still live as troglodytes, however. Adventurous budget-travelers can arrange a “cave stay” and experience a simple traditional lifestyle, plus home-cooked meals, wed to a few modern accouterments (like the Flintstones with Wi-fi). But don’t expect a shower nor even a toilet!
Visitors are often surprised at the sheer scale of Petra and how much there is to see. For that reason, many people never make it as far as the Monastery, the furthest site from the visitor center. So as not to short-change yourself, plan at least a two-day visit. On day one concentrate on the near sites: The Treasury, High Place of Sacrifice, the Roman Soldier’s Tomb, then the Theater and Royal Tombs. On day two head straight to the Monastery—which requires a strenuous trek up a steep, rock-cut 900-step staircase—to beat the June mid-day heat (and crowds) before exploring the Great Temple and adjacent sites below.
King Abdullah’s Coronation Anniversary: June 9 is a public holiday and events are held throughout Jordan to celebrate the anniversary of King Abdullah's coronation in 1999.