A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
Exceptional, beautiful, and fascinating: Taiwan! The mountainous island is utterly safe for traveling and a great place to meet some of the friendliest people on our planet. Read our season tips as well as a complete guide with tips for every spectacular place in Taiwan!
When is the best time? You can travel to Taiwan throughout the year but consider typhoons are likely to happen from July to October. The driest months are from November to April. These are the best months to travel around the entire island. During summer (July and August) Taiwan is overrun by the Taiwanese.
First of all, if traveling to Taiwan, you have to consider that rain is common throughout the year. There is much more precipitation on the east side due to the high mountain range. Most rainfall occurs from May to October. In these months Taiwan gets hit by typhoons regularly, especially in the east and in the central mountain range.
Breakwater on the East Coast
The northern part of Taiwan and the Taipei area are several degrees colder than the south like in Kaohsiung and Kenting. Being there for quite a while, we learned that the weather forecast gives you an indication, but often it's better than predicted especially in the drier season from November to April. Find more weather details here: Monthly Weather Taipei - Taiwan North — Monthly Weather Tainan - Taiwan South
Spectacular Sunrise and Sunset
In Taiwan, you can experience stunning sunsets and sunrises. We give you insider tips for the popular spots and show you the hidden gems as well. Just mesmerizing!
Alishan National Forest Recreation Area
View from Alishan
Alishan is famous but also an extremely crowded spot to view the sunrise. If you depend on public transport, it's one of the view sunrise spots where you can get to. However, it's utterly crowded which makes it hard to enjoy the sunrise. You can't watch the sunrise in Alishan only on the 2.489 m high Zushan mountain. Take the sunrise train which runs just once from the Alishan station early morning. If the train is not fully booked, you can get tickets from 1 pm to 4.30 pm the day before. The departure of the train depends on the time of the sunrise. Each afternoon at 4.30 pm the exact time will be mentioned. Ask at your hotel reception for the departure time. When booking the hotel ask them to make a reservation for the sunrise train for you the next morning. It's a short ride up almost to the summit of Zushan. To catch the train, you have to get up very early between 4 and 5 am. It's a bit of a hassle during the sunrise, but you can take an amazing picture.
The rest of the day shuttle buses are offered but only every 2 hours. 9/11/13/15. The Zushan area is also beautiful in the daytime, and the views are awesome. Take the sunrise train or the bus later in the day to the top and walk back through the forest to Alishan. Consider frequently the clouds already roll in before midday. Therefore, it may happen that you are covered in clouds from midday onward.
Tip: Stay in Alishan if you want to watch the sunrise otherwise you have to get up in the middle of the night. ll the hotels here are fully booked very far in advance, although most of them are not outstanding. The best one perfectly located in Alishan is the Alishan Hotel ****.
An excellent budget option is the Legendary Bed and Breakfast in Fenqihu. The owners; Mr. and Mrs. You walk an extra mile for you. We prefer Fenqihu which is much quieter and located close to the Dadongshan Trail.
More information and details about Alishan and Fenqihu can be found in our detailed description of the Central Mountain Range.
More Beautiful Sunrise and Sunset Places Without Crowds
Besides Alishan there are even more outstanding locations in Taiwan to experience a gorgeous sunrise above the horizon or a mesmerizing sunset in the evening. Let us show you the best ones:
Linzhi Mountain is not far from Alishan already in the Yushan National Park is still one of the hidden gems. You can either come here for the sunrise or just early morning to watch the spectacular Alishan Mountain Range and the highest peak with 3.952 m Yushan or Jade Mountain. The Linzhi Mountain Loop Trail is roughly 7 km long and takes 3 1/2 hours. It's an easy and well-marked 1/2 day hike. Due to the high elevation, you may watch the sea of clouds before midday. Parking at Takaka Visitor Center. The visitor center is closed every second Tuesday each month. Bring water and a sandwich. There is just a restaurant but no shop. Takaka Visitor Center Google Maps
Dadongshan or Dadong Mountain
Spectacular hike and views without any crowds can be experienced from Dadongshan or Dadong Mountain. It's already part of the Alishan National Scenic Area and close to Fenqihu. Here you can watch a stellar sunrise with fewer people on the 1.976 m high Dadongshan or Dadong summit. It’s an hour drive west of Alishan. The climb is roughly 2 km up one way, and it may take up to an hour. The trail can be slippery and muddy. Watch the roots and stairs along the path. During summer be aware of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Mosquitos occur here at this time of the year. Winter can be pretty chilly. When you reach the viewing platform, you can see the highest mountain of Taiwan Mount Yushan on a clear day; during winter covered in snow. Mount Yushan also called Jade Mountain is 3.952 m high above sea level. Also here frequently clouds roll in at midday and spoil the breathtaking view. hen we hiked the trail we ended up in fog. However, you walk through lush vegetation full of life and we enjoyed the mystic atmosphere. You can either hike the short circular trail or add another one. Have a look at the hiking map of Dadongshan. Dadongshan Trailhead and Parking Google Maps
Hehuanshan near Taroko Gorge with a height of 3000 m is an excellent spot for the sunrise. You can already watch the sunrise from your hotel room, or you climb to one of the summits of Hehuan Mountain. For detailed information read our article about Hehuanshan at Sunrise.
Popular by locals, not so much by foreign visitors, is the Eryanping Trail through tea plantations between Longmei and Shizhuo. The area has the perfect climate to grow tea due to dense fog and cool temperatures in the afternoon like at Alishan. The Oolong - high mountain tea grows mainly at an altitude of 900-1200 m. It's a short steep trail up mostly on steps leading to two outlooks. Parking is available at the trailhead, and there are restrooms as well. Nice farm stalls and six fresh waffles for a less than 1,50 € are offered. Eryanping Trail Google Maps
We also watched a beautiful sunset at Guanwu where you can get to by car. It's 5 minutes walk to the viewing platform only. Guanwu is also excellent for hiking and famous for two thousand years old giant Formosan Cypresses. Detailed information in our Guanwu National Forest article.
Cherry Blossom and Sakura Season
This is the most famous time of the year in Taiwan. Depending on the elevation level it usually takes place between the end of February until mid-April. The most popular places are Yangmingshan and the Wuji Tianyuan Temple, Wulai Waterfall, Sun Moon Lake and, Alishan. All these places get utterly crowded, especially during the weekend.
Before we dive into our adventure experiences and ideas for your next visit, let us give you a detailed season overview. What to expect in terms of climate, highlights, and crowds:
March - April - May (Spring)
In terms of weather March and April are often sunny while heavy rainfall starts in May. March has pleasant temps above 20°C but not too hot. Temps are Increasing in April and May, as it's already hot with high humidity. However, rain showers can always occur. March and April are perfect months if you'd like to see Taiwan in full bloom. In April and May, we highly recommend visiting Guanwu for the rhododendrons.
June - July - August (Summer)
Temps are above 30°C, and it's not a pleasant time. During the Computex in June, the biggest IT Show in Asia, it's heavily crowded in Taipei. July and August is the peak season because the residents go on vacation. Many Taiwanese travel either to the cooler mountains or to the sea. Often to Kenting in the south to escape the heat. Expect high humidity and lots of precipitation. These are the wettest months on the entire island and typhoons can occur.
September - October - November (Autumn)
There is still lots of rain until the end of October and typhoons are likely to occur until the end of September. October gets drier but not on the east side. November is one of the driest months with pleasant temperatures above 20°C, but it's often cloudy in the north. We can't recommend traveling in September, due to the rainfall. October and November are much better and not very crowded except Taipei.
December - January - February (Winter)
The temps in winter are still pleasant at day time roughly around 20°C and sometimes slightly below. The temperatures in the mountains are pretty chilly during the night from December to March. In January and February, the peaks are often covered with snow. Snow is something special for the Taiwanese and many of them travel to higher elevations like Hehuanshan or Alishan.
Avoiding the Crowds
So many regions of Taiwan are still overlooked by travelers from non-Asian countries. Of course, the famous attractions in Taipei like the World Trade Center or the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall as well as Taroko Gorge, Alishan, and Kenting are popular and crowded. In general, Taipei is extremely busy during the summer between July and August and from the end of December until early January. Weekends are always super busy. The Taiwanese have very few holidays. That's the reason for the very crowded weekends almost everywhere on the entire island. It tends to get busy from Friday midday onwards. Even worse is Xitou, which is busy even on weekdays due to retired hiking people. However, the hinterland and not well-known places by tourists are just visited by residents. What did we do to dodge the crowds? We went on adventures and deep into nature. Particularly on weekends to get away from the masses. That's how we shared beautiful nature with very few people only. Tip for the famous spots: If you'd like to visit the popular places, get there early in the morning to dodge the most crowds.
Land Diving where the New Zealander AJ Hackett got inspired for Bungee Jumping. It’s a custom which takes part from the first Saturday in April until the last Saturday in June, 13 times in 2018. There is limited space only and flights fill up quickly. Advanced booking is recommended. Only very few airlines offer this trip. We did our booking 6 months in advance. Regarding the weather Pentecost experiences much precipitation until late April. May gets drier and June is the best choice if you like to watch these breathtaking dives.
Pentecost has a tropical climate. It’s warm throughout the year and gets hot and humid during the rainy season with temps above 30°C. The season lasts from November to March officially, but the wettest months are January to April. The dry season lasts until October. Occasional rain showers occur. The western side of Pentecost experiences more rain. Cyclones are more likely to happen between January and March. The category 5 monster; Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu in March 2015. It was the worst natural disaster ever.
Usually, the Land Diving is held for 30-40 people but the audiences increase if it’s presented for a cruise ship. There is much space for everybody to sit and stand around the diving tower. Due to a limited number of seats and flights available you will always sit in the first row to attend this cultural spectacle from an ancient time.
The mesmerizing Milford Sound is one of the wettest regions on earth with up to 9 meters of rain each year. It's also is one of the most visited places in South New Zealand. To figure out the best time for your visit depends on the season you plan to come. Continue reading to get the insights we got told by local rangers or get answers to your questions by using our quick navigation (most popular are the 7 Must-Know Tips):
- Essential Cruise Tour Tips
- Driving Tips from Te Anau
- Monthly Weather & Crowds | Best Times
- Hotel Booking Tips
- Scenic Flight & More Cruise Tours
- 7 Must-Know Tips Before You Visit
- A Perfect Day | Milford Itinerary
- Hikes and Walks
Milford experiences a minimum of 200 days of rain, 7 meters of rain on average each year. One of the few places where rainfall is measured in meters. Usually, it rains 2 days in 3. In 2017 the precipitation was even 9 meters, and on the opposite, the summer in 2018 was pretty dry even accompanied by forest fires. Nevertheless, rain occurs quite often throughout the year. With a high amount of rainfall, the fjord is full of awesome temporary waterfalls, and the existing ones are at its peak. It’s spectacular when waterfalls thunder down from the cliffs.
We wanted to experience the sound on a clear day, and we did. We just monitored the weather forecast and booked our tour just two days before. We drove 10 hours from Christchurch to Te Anau and another two for the 120 km from Te Anau the next morning before sunrise.
Essential Cruise Tour Tips (Crowds & Booking)
Milford is the most popular place in New Zealand with more than 500.000 visitors each year. If you like to go on a cruise at midday advanced booking is recommended. These tours are frequently fully booked, that's why you must book these in advance, regardless of the season! During peak season, every tour should be pre-booked. In shoulder and low season, you may book the early morning and afternoon tours on the spot, as they are less crowded. Our favorite cruise is this one: Milford Sound Nature Cruise. To make sure you get on a cruise we recommend, book at least one or two days before. There are different tours being offered at different times. The first starts around 8.30 am, but at this time of the day, there is still not enough light for taking a good picture in the sound. It improves a lot an hour later. However, you should always arrive early at Milford Sound. Why? Read on below:
How to Get to Milford Sound (With Tips for the Drive)
You should (or must) drive from Te Anau to Milford Sound: Google Maps - Te Anau <> Milford Sound. It's one of the most gorgeous drives we've done! Start early and arrive around 8 latest 8.30 am at Milford Sound parking from December to March. This ensures you don’t need to park far away and have to take the shuttle to get close. The shuttle is offered at the busiest time of the year only. The two different parking areas fill up soon.
It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes from Te Anau very early in the morning. If you start later schedule two hours minimum for the drive plus half an hour for the shuttle. The sunrise in the morning and later the sunset on the way back were breath-taking. Keep in mind there isn’t any gas station or fuel stop along the Milford road just an un-manned in Milford. Between May and November, snow chains are required. The Homer Tunnel at an altitude of 945 m above sea level is just one narrow single lane, 1.2 km long, and traffic is controlled by a traffic light.
Read our detailed Milford Sound weather guide for every season and month below. We also included information about peak tourist times with possible crowds and less busy periods.
Spring (September/October - November)
It’s still chilly in the night, but days tend to be warmer and longer. It’s the shoulder season, less crowded and overrun. There are hundreds of waterfalls gush down from rocky cliffs due to the spring rain and the melting snow. The countryside is covered with wildflowers. In November and December, the rata and the pohutukawa trees are in full bloom. These trees are also called Christmas trees. Mountains are still snow-capped. The Fiordland Crested Penguin can be seen until November or December by the latest raising the cheeks.
Summer (December- January - February)
December and January have the highest amount of precipitation but these months are also the warmest and busiest. The average temp is almost 20°C, and it can increase up to 28°C. In turns of sun and rain, the humidity is quite high. The Christmas Trees are in bloom until December. A shuttle service from the overflow parking is offered from December to March.
Crowds thin a little bit out and the shoulder season starts around mid-March. There are still many hours of daylight. The temps may be still close to 20°C at daytime. Nights become already chilly. It's the best time of the year for hiking. Waterfalls are not at their peak. There is a slightly higher chance to experience Milford on a clear day as we did at the end of March.
Winter (May - June - July - August/September)
That's the low season, and it’s less busy. Snow is common on the road to the Milford Sound, especially in higher altitudes. This makes the mountains even more photogenic. Seals and especially penguins are more active during colder temps. The Fjordland crested penguin comes to the same beach for mating each year. They lay their eggs in August and cheeks fled between November and December. The downside the road to the sound can be closed due to avalanche warnings although the roads are accessible. Often the rangers get asked for the reason for closing the way. There is a team monitoring the mountains and snowfields if they ascertain a high risk for an avalanche the only route to the sound can be closed for days. Hiking isn't possible everywhere. Avalanche-prone bridges get removed to prevent destroying by flooding or debris avalanches. The average daily temp is around 4°C. This makes the cruises pretty cold outside on the deck. Most of the ships offer indoor and outdoor seating and viewing area.
This is a complete guide with unique tips you’ll love before visiting Death Valley National Park. The desert in Death Valley is one of the hottest places on our planet! Between May and September the temperatures reach extreme highs and exceed 115 °F (46 °C). The best time to visit depends on what you’re looking for. The must-read sections in this article are (click the links or scroll down to the end for even more tips):
- Spring | Season Guide
- Summer | Season Guide
- Autumn | Season Guide
- Winter | Season Guide
- Blooming Wildflowers
- Stargazing Tips
- The Best Tours & Hotel Tips
- 9 Must-Know Tips (Summer - Late Spring - Early Fall)
- 3 Must-Visit Places & Top Tips
Spring (March - early May)
Zabriskie Point by Giuseppe Milo, CC BY
This is a very popular time for a visit with pleasant temperatures. On the other hand, spring also brings the most wind. The blowing sand, which may last for days, can make camping uncomfortable. A real attraction is the gorgeous spring wildflowers. However, it’s an exception to see whole the desert filled with all kinds of colorful wildflowers. In some years, there are only a few. Regarding crowds: Keep in mind that spring is also a busy season. It gets very busy during spring break holidays from the last week of March through the week after Easter. Make sure to book well in advance for a spring visit.
Summer (mid-May – September)
Death Valley (July) by Murray Foubister, CC BY-SA cropped
Summer arrives early in Death Valley. In May, the average daily high is already 100 °F (38 °C). June, July, August are even hotter (up to 120 °F), as well as September. At least it’s a dry heat with low humidity, which helps a little. The month of August and early September also bring thunderstorms, sometimes causing dangerous flash floods. Always check the weather forecast. Camping or hiking is not recommended during these months with boiling heat. Hikes during the day in lower elevations are dangerous and can become life threatening because of the extreme temperatures. If you do anything outside at lower elevations: Do it until 10 AM. However, there are two summer hikes at higher elevations which can be done: Wildrose Peak and Telescope Peak. Most visitors tour by car on the paved road along the main Points of Interest. Despite the heat, July, and August are the months with the highest visitation from Europe and other continents. However, almost all of them stay in their car for a short tour between 2 hours and half a day or a little more, while stopping at the main viewpoints. Also read the 9 Summer Tips in the section below.
Autumn (October – November)
Death Valley - Badwater Basin (October) by Paxson Woelber, CC BY cropped
Warm but more pleasant temperatures and usually clear skies. You may hike at lower elevations now. But still, start early to avoid the possible midday heat. Ranger programs and camping season begins in October. It’s relatively uncrowded, except for the Death Valley ‘49ers Week and Thanksgiving (both in November).
Winter (December - February)
Death Valley National Park (December) by Rob Rattray, CC BY cropped
Temperatures drop, but it never gets cold in the winter except at higher elevations. However, since it's cooler in the mornings, we suggest that you bring an extra jacket. There is less daylight in Death Valley now, but it usually lasts long enough: Sunset - Sunrise. Employees and park rangers say, the winter months of January and February are among the best months weather-wise. January and February bring the most rain, but it usually doesn’t rain heavily. Soaking rain, going for hours, can happen but it’s the exception. Winters also bring snow to the higher elevations and coat Telescope Peak (Panamint Mountains) in white. December, January and most of February are quieter months. Except for public holidays/holiday weekends (see below: Avoiding Tourist Crowds). Tip: If you visit in the winter months, don't forget to check our hotel deals & tour tips below. We updated them recently. Alternatively bookmark this link: Death Valley Winter Hotel Deals via booking.com > sort by star rating & price to see the best deals. Important: Book in advance but not too far in advance, or you'll run the risk of paying a lot more! Just save the link and check prices about 2-3 weeks before you go)
A very helpful weather and climate overview can be downloaded here: Death Valley | NPS | Weather & Climate. Rule of thumb for strenuous and longer outside activities: During summer, stay at higher elevations. During winter: Longer activities at lower elevations are possible. Bring layer of clothes for higher elevations.
Blooming Wildflowers (Highlight)
Death Valley is popular for its fascinating wildflower displays in the spring. However, only when the conditions are perfect you'll see blankets of gold, purple, pink or white flowers. Depending on the winter rain, it can be a great year for wildflowers or a moderate one with less blooming flowers. Check the official website: NPS Death Valley - Wildflowers. Another great website with updates and photos for each year: Death Valley NP Wildflower Reports
Peak Blooming Periods:
- Mid-February - Mid April: Lower elevations (Areas: Jubilee Pass, Highway 190 near the Furnace Creek Inn, base of Daylight Pass)
- Early April - Early May: 2000 to 4000 ft. Elevations (Area: Panamint Mountains)
- Early May - Mid July: Above 4000 ft. Elevations (Area: High Panamints)
Death Valley National Park is a paradise for stargazing. Why? For the best stargazing experience a dark sky is require and Death Valley is certified as the largest Dark Sky National Park in the country by the International Dark Sky Association. The park offers one of the darkest skies in the US. When you get the chance for a visit after dark, do it. It's an incredible once in a lifetime experience. Visitors report, that you can see the Milky Way galaxy almost as clearly as on NASA photos. Watch this intriguing video on YouTube: Death Valley Night Skies.
You might be wondering: Which are the best spots for stargazing at night? In fact the whole valley is excellent as long as you're not very close to buildings or other light sources. However, these are some top spots:
Dante's View: This is our favorite place in the valley for stargazing. Its altitude makes it perfect for sky-watching in the night. Read more details the place itself below. Tip: If you have enough time get there earlier to enjoy the sunset as well as the stars later. Also bring warm clothes, and maybe a blanket as it gets a lot colder up there in the night.
Badwater Basin: Different from Dante's View as you are at the lowest level, but almost equally stunning. The mountains may block the Milky Way view. However, the unique night sky view from the salt flats can't be missed. Especially if you want to take photos which look from out of this world. Read more details about Badwater Basin in general below.
Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes: We have a separate article here. For stargazing this is a perfect spot, since your view isn't obstructed by anything. There is as much dark sky to see as possible from here. The only small downside could be light pollution from cars driving on the close highway.
Harmony Borax Works: It's close to Furnace Creek Visitor Center (Harmony Borax Works Map Location). The big advantage here are the great foreground elements for taking photos, like the mule cart (see the photo above).
For the most stunning stargazing experience you should follow some rules and tips:
- The Best Season: The beautiful dark skies can be observed year-round. However, in winter and spring there are even special ranger tours and programs. Check them here: NPS Death Valley Program
- New Moon: Without a visible moon the sky is much darker, which will greatly enhance stargazing with more visible stars. Preferably visit during new moon: Moon Phases Death Valley Calendar
- No Light Pollution: Try to avoid places with nearby lights from buildings or cars. Since the whole valley is a natural area, it's often easy to walk away from light sources. Walking away 100m from smaller light sources is usually good enough.
- Time: Stay outside for at least an hour. It takes about 20-30 minutes for your eyes to get adjusted to the dark. Then enjoy the spectacular view. Even better with binoculars.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
The busiest times are: Spring (March/April) - even busier from the last week of March till the week after Easter - and summer from July to August (mostly visitors from Europe and other countries), as well as September. According to a park ranger, the least crowded months are December and January. However, even during low season, it gets busy on certain days: From Christmas to New Year's, on Martin Luther King Day weekend in January, and Presidents' Day weekend in February.
To avoid the crowds at the main points of interest during peak months: We know it’s a challenge, but get up very early and try to reach most destinations around 8 AM, at least before 9 AM. It’s worth it, as you’ll dodge the crowds at beautiful places like Zabriskie Point, Badwater Basin, Devil’s Golf Course, etc. In the summer, you’ll not only beat the crowds but the boiling heat as well. On a single morning, you could cover the quick 2-hour tour: Badwater | Zabriskie | Devils Course - Google Maps
You might be wondering: What's the best time to experience Wadi Rum desert? Get ready for our fascinating insights and let us help you finding your best time to visit this amazing scenic desert landscape as well as a complete Wadi Rum guide (updated 2019!). Don't forget to take a look at our complete Petra guide as well: Petra - Jordan | Complete Guide & Tips. Now, here is everything you need to know abou visiting Wadi Rum (click the links to jump directly to your desired section):
- Season Guide | Best Time
- Where to Stay | The Best Camps
- Tour Tips | From Amman or Aqaba
- Quick Facts
- Quick Guide | Itinerary
- History and Facts
- How to Get to Wadi Rum
- What to Do | Activities
- How to Spend the Night
- Must-Know Tips
Quick Tip | Organized Tours from Amman: If you're coming from Amman or staying in Amman and want to experience Wadi Rum, as well as Petra, Dead Sea and maybe Aqaba within 2-3 days and hassle-free without taking care of everything, book an organized tour! However, please don't book any random tour. We picked 2 tours from our own experience with the best guides. You'll be safe and have an amazing experience. Also important: Within both tours you'll spend one night in Bedouin camp in Wadi Rum. Other tours don't offer this. We'd never recommend going there without spending at least one night (read our tips in the main section below).
3 Day Tour: Petra - Wadi Rum - Aqaba - Dead Sea | Includes pick-up at your hotel in Amman and excellent guides. You spend the night in Wadi Rum (highly recommended). Perfectly organized tour!
2 Day Tour: Petra - Wadi Rum - Dead Sea | A private 2 day tour including pick-up in Amman and spending one night in Wadi Rum. Quote from a visitor: 'An excellent organized trip, perfectly safe and comfortable'
March - April - May (Spring)
- Season: Peak season
- Tourists: Medium - high
- Weather: Excellent
In March the temperatures are getting pleasant. Often ranging from 15-20°C (59-68°F). From mid-March to late March it's getting even warmer. However, keep in mind that especially in early March the nights are still cold. Definitely bring additional layer of clothes and a jacket. Later in the month nights are getting warmer and you usually don't extra clothing any more during nighttime. In April and May the average daytime temperatures are climbing and reach around 30°C (86°F).
Are there a lot of tourist crowds? Besides autumn, spring is the most popular time to visit Wadi Rum. It's also the busiest time. However, since you are on a tour in a vast desert during the day, tourist crowds are not a big issue. Except for Wadi Rum Village, which is busier of course as well as hot spots visited during desert tours. Book your accommodation well in advance. Another great thing about spring are the desert flowers which bloom in March/April. It's not unlikely that you'll see gorgeous carpets of purple wildflowers during that time.
June - July - August (Summer)
- Season: Low season
- Tourists: Low
- Weather: Hot - very hot
While in summer the average highs hover around 33°C (91°F) 'only', temperatures can in fact reach 40°C (104°F) and more sometimes. That means it boiling hot at times, especially in July and August. However, you can get lucky as there are days when it's not that hot, even in the summer. On the other hand you could experience heatwaves with extreme temperatures. Even in June there are already days when it gets very hot up to 40°C. For many visitors that's not the time for a pleasant visit. This is why this is low season in Wadi Rum, with the big advantage of having less crowds in Wadi Rum Village and quiet camps.
So, is summer a good time to visit? It depends! First of all, the heat is easier to tolerate than in other regions. Mostly, because it's a dry heat. However, if you're not good with boiling temperatures, don't go in summer. We think it's a great time. Tours in summer take the heat into account: Lunch breaks are longer and in a shady place. If you travel with kids, we'd say choose spring or fall instead. For children it's more difficult to tolerate the heat.
September - October - November (Autumn)
- Season: Peak season
- Tourists: Medium - high
- Weather: Excellent
In September temperatures are still high up to 35°C (95°F). Especially until mid-September some visitors say it's still too hot for them. Towards the end of September it starts to get cooler. Weather wise from mid-September until end of October it's the most pleasant time to visit. Temperatures range from 20 to 30 °C. Although, evenings, mornings and in particular the nights in October are getting a lot cooler with temps ranging from 8 - 12°C (46 - 54°F) Also, there can be a little rain in October.
Is autumn really that great? In general a fall visit is an excellent time with a lot of daylight (8 - 11 hours of sunshine), beautiful clear skies, less dusty wind and fascinating migrating birds. Another big advantage: You can experience sunrise without getting up in the night. Sunrise is between 6 and 6:30 in autumn. From mid-October through November it's also the perfect time for trekking/hiking tours. While you need warm clothes in the evening and morning already in October, it's even cooler in November (about 10°C / 50°F mornings/evenings) but still not as cold as in winter. In general autumn is a busier time tourist wise. That means places like Wadi Rum Village and some popular tour spots can't be enjoyed in solitude.
December - January - February (Winter)
- Season: Low season
- Tourists: Low
- Weather: Cooler but not cold (except during nighttime)
Like summer, winter is low season in Wadi Rum. Which results in quieter hot spots and less busy popular sunset places, which you now can enjoy almost in solitude. Is it cold? Not during the day. It's just cooler with average temps between 10-15°C (50-59°F), which is excellent for tours, in particular hiking/trekking tours. But still, prepare for cold evenings and mornings as well as much colder nights. Alle three months, from December to February, are equally 'cold', with January being slightly cooler. Bring layers of clothes, gloves and a warm jacket (rainproof) for the evenings and nights. Warm blankets are provided by the camp. In the night temps can drop to zero degrees celsius.
Can it rain in winter? Yes, Wadi Rum experiences about 15 days of rain every year and most of them in the winter. However, rain showers are usually not very long. Rainfall which is going on for days is very rare and it's very unlikely hat rain will spoil your visit during winter season. Despite popular opinions, we highly recommend a visit to Wadi Rum in the winter.
It can get very hot in the summer months. However, the heat in Wadi Rum area is more tolerable since it's a dry heat. Unlike in Aqaba for example, where it's getting uncomfortable humid and even hotter. In Petra on the other hand it's slightly cooler due to the higher elevation. From late April throughout May, you may experience 'khamsin' in Wadi Rum. This means hot, dry and dusty winds which may cause heavier sandstorms. Wind, although not as as extreme as 'khamsin', can be present in summer, especially in the afternoon. Good to know for photography are the sunrise and sunset hours: Sunrise and Sunset Times
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Wadi Rum is still (2018) significantly less busy than Petra for example. However, during spring and fall it gets busy at Wadi Rum Village, as well as at the popular desert hot spot sites. Booking a remote camp (see below) with knowledgeable local guides helps. They can take you to stunning hidden spots, away from all tourists. Also visiting in the low seasons of winter or summer means enjoying even the popular spots in solitude.
When is the best time to visit Dubai? It depends on what you are wanting from your vacation. Whether you are looking for sightseeing, hot air ballooning, dune bashing, quad biking, sunbathing or shopping holiday, do not fear because Dubai has it all. A strong factor of deciding when to visit will be the weather, specifically the humidity and temperature, hotel prices and crowds.
Spring (March - April - May)
Best Time for Beach Fun!
- Hotel Rates: Medium - High
- Crowds: Medium - Low
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: Still excellent in March. Otherwise not perfect, but good
- Shopping: Great indoor and outdoor
- Beach: Warm water and cool golden sand
This is a great season to visit Dubai because the weather is heating up but is not incredibly humid. It's bearable to be outside in the sun, even in May. It's a great time to head to the beach in April and May because the sea is a comfortable 26°C to 28°C and the sand won't burn your feet yet. In March it could still rain sometimes with a little cooler water temps around 23°C. However, it's very unlikely than rain will spoil your trip as the rainy days are few and far between. Also, in early spring nights get slightly chilly sometimes. While it is not hugely common, sandstorms can occur during March and April, but very rarely in May. As the season passes there are fewer tourists because temperatures often reach around 37°C by the end of May.
Summer (June - July - August)
Best Time for Budget Travellers!
- Hotel Rates: Lowest prices all year!
- Crowds: Low
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: Too hot for some tours. Evening desert tours are still good
- Shopping: Summer sales have started
- Beach: Too hot, except for early mornings or short late afternoon visits
Summer in Dubai is incredibly hot and very humid. Average high temperatures exceed 40°C. Is it still ok to visit? Yes, if you can tolerate heat or are used to it. For us, it was still great. For other visitors these conditions are a no-go. Full days at the beach or a visit after lunch is definitely a not something you should try. However, visiting the beach in the morning or in short bursts later in the afternoon is definitely possible. Destination experts suggest beach visits in the extreme summer months from 6 a.m. - 8 a.m. and in the afternoon after 4 p.m. Otherwise stick to the hotel pool. But still, wear sandals or flip-flops at the beach any time to avoid burning your feet. It's also not a great idea to visit the beat during the extreme heat with younger children.
Due to the boiling heat there are fewer tourists than any other time of year, which is a major plus if you plan on visiting the cities sightseeing hot spots because the queues are short. Don't worry about the heat if you'd like to do late afternoon/evening desert tours: It's a little cooler in the desert, and vehicles are air conditioned as well. Also, hotel prices are low. If you have a strict budget this is your time to experience all that Dubai has to offer.
Autumn (September - October - November)
Best Time for Sightseeing Tourists!
- Hotel Rates: Medium - High
- Crowds: Medium
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: All tours are open
- Shopping: Still good for indoor and outdoor malls
- Beach: Still not very comfortable until mid-September. More fun in October and November
Although we included September in the autumn section here, you'll definitely experience summer temps until mid-September. Which means you are dealing with the same challenges as in the summer months in early September. Temps get more pleasant at the end of September. If you are looking for comfortable weather and smaller crowds as well, then the end of Autumn is the best time for you to visit. All tours are operating, meaning you don't need to miss out on anything. The only con is the hotel prices are increasing, so book well in advance. The beach is a common activity when the average high temperatures fall to 35°C - 31°C in October and November.
Winter (December - January - February)
Best for Shopaholics!
- Hotel Rates: Most expensive! February is the cheapest month in winter.
- Crowds: High
- Sightseeing and Outdoors: Places get crowded. Besides that, it's a good time for sightseeing and other outdoor tours
- Shopping: A great time for shopping!
- Beach: Not the best time for sunbathing or general beach fun but possible on certain days
The desert heat is at its weakest making it a pleasant time to be outside in the fresh Dubai air. Rain can also be expected, especially in February. However, it usually doesn't rain for days in Dubai. It's more like brief rain showers which can occur. Due to the colder temperatures, beach days are irregular, but some days can provide beach fun. The temperatures vary from 20-25°C. Sandstorms occur every now and then, so take appropriate precautions.
Is winter still a great time for being outside at the beach? Yes, especially in December. However, in January and February the weather becomes a little unpredictable. A lot of days are not sunny and very windy in both months. It really depends on someone's luck to get sunny days in a row for beach weather. Just keep in mind that the water temperature is too cold for most visitors. But still, some enjoy swimming regardless of the sea temp. What about the desert in winter? The desert is comparatively cooler on these months than the rest of the year.
Due to Dubai Shopping Festival this the best time to visit Dubai, if you are a shopper. The festivals take place in January and February. But don't forget about Christmas because the many extravagant and luxurious malls have amazing sales pre-Christmas. The most popular malls are the Mall of Emirates and The Outlet Village in Jebel Ali.
Dubai has the typical desert climate. Especially the summers are extremely hot and humid. For weather details for each season, read our guide above. Most days are sunny throughout the whole year.
If you're looking for some water recreation and swimming, the water temperatures are usually great from spring through autumn. In winter it's a little to cold for many visitors.
Time of Day (Safari Tour - Things to Do)
Morning Safari Tour
Morning desert safari tours start early in the morning around 8 am and offers a calming desert expedition. The serene drive to the outskirts of Dubai city takes about 45 minutes and the whole experience takes about 3 hours to complete. Morning Desert Safari is the best way to enjoy the desert in the mellowed sunshine and enjoy activities like dune bashing, camel riding and hot air ballooning in the desert. A sunrise desert safari offers an incredibly serene experience to witness the beauty of the Arabian Desert. This tour starts at pre-dawn where you can watch a tranquil sunrise on the desert horizon. The tour departs at 4.30 am and continues for approx. 4 hours.
Afternoon Safari Tour
Afternoon desert safaris are for the adventure junkies. Those who don't mind the sultry desert heat can have a great time enjoying adrenaline rushing sand sports. Gear up for an exhilarating day teeming with sand dune bashing, quad biking, sand boarding, and many more thrilling desert sports. These tours start around 3 pm and extends for 6 hours where you wind up the tour with a scrumptious Arabian dinner and traditional entertainment.
Evening Safari Tour
For those who feel they cannot bear the stifling desert heat can forgo the adventure options and opt for evening tour which starts with a serene desert sunset view followed by a night filled with cultural activities. An evening tour offers you the scenic splendours of the Arabian Desert with quintessential Arabian hospitality and entertainment. A dinner in Desert tour lets you enjoy a blissful evening in Bedouin styled campsite. These tours start around 4.00 pm and wind up in 5 hours. The overnight tour stretches your pleasant evening to an all-night experience filled with recreational activities, mild adventure sports, traditional folklore and fine dining experiences. An overnight desert tour starts around 4.00 pm and ends the next day with drop off to the hotel.
More Outdoor Activities
For incredible tours in Dubai, check here: Dubai Tours and Outdoor Action (they have the best guides!) These are the most amazing activities you'll love (they usually include transfer/pick up from your hotel - very comfortable):
First, you step inside and watch as they release the balloon. Starting to ascend over the Dubai's iconic sand dunes, you already know it's such a fascinating experience. But something else makes it special, while gliding up to an altitude of 4,000m ...