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The Monastery at Petra, Jordan

When is the best time to visit Middle East?

As a general rule, the best time to visit the Middle East is April and May or October and November, though this can vary depending on where you’re going and what you want to do. Temperatures during those times are generally warm rather than exceptionally hot, though crowds may be heavy at certain sights. In Oman and Egypt, December to March is also an excellent time to travel. Elsewhere, though, you’ll find cooler temperatures and occasional rain or even snow.

If you’re comfortable in consistently very high temperatures — over 40°C (100°F) — you might consider visiting between June and September. You’re likely to be one of just a few visitors to sights like Petra and the pyramids. And, while temperatures are high, the air is very dry, which can make it more tolerable (though Oman can be humid). It’s also a good time to unwind on the region’s three different coasts.

You should also be aware of Ramadan, Islam’s month of fasting, prayer and community. Celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, it shifts slowly across the seasons. Your specialist can tell you how the holy month will affect your individual trip.

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Our recommendations for when to visit Middle East

Destination Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Oman climate guide

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Travel is not recommended

Travel is not recommended

Travel is not recommended

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Jordan climate guide

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Egypt climate guide

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Israel climate guide

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Turkey climate guide

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

Travel is possible, but this is not the best time of year

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

The best time to travel

The best time to travel

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

A good time to travel, but there may be some factors to be aware of

Dubai climate guide
Best time to visit

Best time to visit

Good time to visit

Good time to visit

Travel possible

Travel possible

Not recommended

Not recommended

Month-by-month guide to travelling in Middle East

Abu Simbel, Abu Simbel

Visiting Middle East in January - February

In Oman and Egypt, this is the coolest time of year, making it an excellent time to visit. In Jordan, Israel and Turkey, however, cold temperatures, rain and snow make these less-popular months, though you’ll encounter fewer visitors.

Events & Festivals

  • Aqaba Traditional Arts Festival (February): This celebrates the culture of the Bedouin people, and is a showcase of local traditional arts and crafts. Read more
  • Muscat Festival (February): Held annually, this is a month-long celebration of Omani culture and art.
  • Purim (February or March): One of the most joyful holidays in the Jewish calendar, it celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from a Persian plot to purge the population. The two main cities in Israel have a carnival-like atmosphere.
  • The West Bank Marathon (late January or early February): This half marathon is held on the banks of the Nile.
Jebel Akhdar

Visiting Middle East in March

This is one of the most variable months across the region. Oman and Egypt see warming temperatures, while Turkey and Jordan remain cool. Despite lower temperatures, Christian and Jewish holidays mean March can be busy in Israel.

Events & Festivals

  • Easter (March or April): The holiday is incredibly busy as Israel is flooded with many Christians who choose to celebrate in the Holy Land, especially in Jerusalem. Easter and Jordan get very busy, too.
  • Jebel Akhdar Mountains (March and April): This is the rose-blooming season in the Jebel Akhdar Mountains close to Muscat, providing fragrant air and beautiful scenery. Read more
  • Purim (February or March): One of the most joyful holidays in the Jewish calendar, it celebrates the deliverance of the Jewish people from a Persian plot to purge the population. The two main cities in Israel have a carnival-like atmosphere.
Ajloun Nature Reserve, Jordan

Visiting Middle East in April - May

Across the Middle East, this is one of the best times to visit. Temperatures are comfortable and, in many places, you’ll find green growth everywhere. Riotous blooms of roses and wildflowers coat the mountain valleys, especially Jordan. In Oman and Egypt, temperatures start to rise a bit, making it slightly less crowded than the previous months.

Events & Festivals

  • Easter (March or April): The holiday is incredibly busy as Israel is flooded with many Christians who choose to celebrate in the Holy Land, especially in Jerusalem. Easter and Jordan get very busy, too.
  • Hidrellez Festival (5th to 6th May): This Turkish holiday celebrates when the Prophets Hızır (Al-Khidr) and Ilyas (Elijah) met on Earth. Marking the start of spring, the festival includes street performances by traditional Roma, Dom and Lom bands
  • Jebel Akhdar Mountains (March and April): This is the rose-blooming season in the Jebel Akhdar Mountains close to Muscat, providing fragrant air and beautiful scenery. Read more
  • Passover (usually April): Commemorating the Exodus story, this is one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar. As such, it’s also a particularly busy time to travel — all Israeli schools are closed and many families will spend time moving around the country, making it one of the most difficult times to get to certain sights or find hotel rooms.
  • Sham al Nessim (usually April): A Coptic festival of Pharaonic origin that celebrates the coming of spring. This is held on Easter Monday and is celebrated with picnics in parks and on riverbanks throughout Egypt.
Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Visiting Middle East in June - August

High temperatures settle in across the region. For the most part, visitors stick to the seaside resorts during these months. But, if you’re comfortable with the sun and heat, it can be an excellent time to visit popular sights, where the crowds will be thin. Jordan is a particularly attractive destination in June, with dry air and temperatures not yet at their peak.

Events & Festivals

  • Aspendos International Opera and Ballet Festival (June and July): Set within Turkey’s Aspendos Roman theatre, the festival hosts numerous performances by international ballet and opera companies
  • Jerash Festival (July): A celebration of Jordanian arts, culture, literature, food and music. This is a large and lively event, and often includes optional seminars and workshops in addition to the main celebrations. Read more
  • The dark skies of the desert (August): At this time of year, the skies provide the perfect canvas for watching the Perseid meteor shower, which occurs annually. Read more
Little Green Bee-eater, Oman

Visiting Middle East in September

Temperatures start to taper off, though it can still be very hot. Israel and Turkey are the two most comfortable destinations during this month — Israel’s major holidays fall in September, something you may want to take into consideration. It’s a good time to see an abundance of birds in Oman.

Events & Festivals

  • Autumn harvest (September and October): The autumn harvest reaps pomegranates, walnuts, olives and grapes in many countries across the region.
  • Rosh Hashanah (September or October): This two-day holiday marks the beginning of the Jewish calendar year and is an important time in Israel. Be aware, many businesses will close during Rosh Hashanah.
  • Yom Kippur (September or October): The holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, when Jews ask for forgiveness for their sins from the previous year. Observance includes a 25-hour fast, beginning at sunset. Many businesses shut down over this period, and it can be difficult to find transportation or an open restaurant as many locals take time off work.
Cappadocia

Visiting Middle East in October

October is a great time to visit almost anywhere in the Middle East. Temperatures are comfortable and the skies are blue. In addition to annual fruit harvests, you can find a variety of festivals and holidays. In Jordan, you’ll find a late-month burst of rain often turns the hills and valleys green. However, in Turkey, resorts along the Mediterranean begin to close by mid-October.

Events & Festivals

  • Autumn harvest (September and October): The autumn harvest reaps pomegranates, walnuts, olives and grapes in many countries across the region.
  • International Wine Festival (end of October): Annually held in Turkey’s Cappadocia region, with wine-tasting events from local vineyards. Read more
  • Republic Day (29th October): Celebrated across Turkey, but most vibrantly in Istanbul, with various art events and firework displays.
  • Rosh Hashanah (September or October): This two-day holiday marks the beginning of the Jewish calendar year and is an important time in Israel. Be aware, many businesses will close during Rosh Hashanah.
  • Yom Kippur (September or October): The holiest day on the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur is the day of atonement, when Jews ask for forgiveness for their sins from the previous year. Observance includes a 25-hour fast, beginning at sunset. Many businesses shut down over this period, and it can be difficult to find transportation or an open restaurant as many locals take time off work.
Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Visiting Middle East in November - December

In Jordan, Egypt and Oman, this is the best time to visit. Temperatures are at an annual low, hovering around the low 30°Cs (86°F to 95°F). You may have to contend with more visitors, though. In Israel and Turkey, you’ll likely experience cool, rainy days and chilly nights, as well as the chance of snow.

Events & Festivals

  • Christmas (25th December): Although Judaism and Islam are the biggest religions in Israel, many Christian residents and visitors spend Christmas in the Holy Land, especially in areas such as Bethlehem and Nazareth. It’s also a popular time to visit Egypt, and hotels and Nile cruises fill up well in advance, so we suggest planning at least a year ahead if you want to visit over the holiday.

Middle East trip ideas and travel guides