When to Go

High Season (Dec–Feb)

  • Balmy winters avoid the heat of the desert interiors, though January can be rainy in some countries.
  • The Christmas–New Year period is high season in many countries, and other religious holidays represent mini high seasons.
  • Prices are sky high and transport crowded; book accommodation well in advance.
  • Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean beaches are almost deserted in winter.

Shoulder (Mar–May & Sep–Nov)

  • Religious festivals aside, spring and autumn represent shoulder seasons in most countries.
  • Weather often agreeable and crowds generally smaller.
  • In Iran, prices are highest and crowds biggest during No Ruz (21 March to 3 April).

Low Season (Jun–Aug)

  • High season along Mediterranean beaches and Turkish sites, which are extremely crowded in summer.
  • Egypt’s Nile Valley and deserts across the region are unbearably hot from June to August.