Spring break in Rome

Between ancient wonders, city-wide water fights and lots of laughs amid mellow weather, there is something for everyone in this round-up of April’s cultural offerings.

Rub shoulders with Roman gladiators at the Colosseum before summer temperatures hit; get your Indiana Jones on in Jordan; bask in Melbourne’s balmy weather and get a bellyful of laughs at the comedy festival; and escape Thailand’s scorching heat with water sports galore.

petraThe rock-hewn city of Petra © Reynold Mainse / Getty Images

Discover your inner Indiana Jones in Jordan

Compact Jordan is the complete package. Ancient wonders? Visit the 2000-year-old rock-hewn city of Petra or Kerak’s Crusader castle. City sights? Try Roman Jerash or the souks of Amman. Jaw-dropping landscapes? Camp in the alien-esque deserts of Wadi Rum. Wildlife? Explore Dana Nature Reserve. Beach? Pick between the salty Dead Sea or snorkel-friendly Red Sea.

More surprisingly, Jordan can also be very green – especially at this time. In April, humidity and rainfall are low, temperatures loiter delightfully around the low 20°Cs (68-73°F), the central valleys are lush from winter rains and there are wildflowers everywhere. In particular, Ajloun Forest is abloom with strawberry trees and rock roses and Dana’s oases are bright with oleander and birds. Also, the vastness of Petra can be explored without breaking a sweat. In short, a beautiful time to travel across the country.

  • Trip plan: From Amman, nip north to Jerash and Ajloun before veering south towards Aqaba, stopping at the Dead Sea, Dana, Petra and Wadi Rum en route.
  • Need to know: The khamseen (hot, sandy wind) can hit Jordan in spring; it usually only lasts a few days.
  • Other months: Mar-May – springlike, ideal; Jun-Sep – very hot; Oct – fleeting autumn, pleasant; Nov-Feb – cold in many areas, Aqaba warm.


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