"For Luxury Hotels, Spa Treaments and some of the best undiscovered Scuba Diving sites - Aqaba is the perfect destination..."
A port city situated on the shores of the sapphire Red Sea, there is no better place in Jordan to enjoy some time on the beach than Aqaba. It is renowned for the quality of the watersports on offer, with things like snorkelling and windsurfing especially good. Yet it is also a modern and vibrant town, with beachside nightclubs and fantastically welcoming people. With many shops, restaurants and cafés frequented by locals as well as tourists, Aqaba offers an authentic taste of Jordanian life, as well as being a tax-free zone.
Close at hand is Wadi Rum and the stunning desert landscapes made famous by T.E. Lawrence, and Petra is also within easy reach - making Aqaba an ideal base for exploring some of Jordan’s most iconic sites. The desert lends itself perfectly to activities such as camel treks, jeep safaris and camping and is an unforgettable experience. All of this and more makes Aqaba the ideal place for an active holiday in Jordan, such as on a family or group holiday.
Aqaba Travel Guide
At A Glance:
Aqaba is a port city situated on the Red Sea Gulf of Aqaba. It has been populated since around 4000 BC and is home to a number of fascinating historical sites. This combined with its beautiful blue waters and hot climate has made it a popular holiday destination, with watersports such as diving, and windsurfing considered to be very good there. The city is medium-sized with a population of just under 200,000, ensuring that it is the ideal place for a fun and relaxing beach holiday.
With a hot yearly climate, it is especially good in the summer months. Temperatures average above 20 degrees between May and October, with the hottest months being July and August when the generally sit in the mid-thirties. Its winters are wet and mild with January and December being the coldest and wettest months.
History and Culture
Originally known as Ayla, the city dates back to pre-biblical times. It was supposedly the location of a naval base built by King Solomon at the nearby Ezion Geber. It was used by the Romans from 106 AD and then passed to the Byzantines once the empire had collapsed. It then swapped between the Crusaders and Muslims during the Middle Ages, being considered crucial to ruling the area successfully. Aqaba was then ruled by the Ottomans for 400 years, before Lawrence of Arabia helped the Arabs defeat them and it was handed to Jordan as part of the post-war settlement.
Situated in a sheltered bay, it makes it the ideal place for children to have some safe aquatic fun on their family holiday. The area is renowned for the quality of its snorkelling and watersports, ensuring that older children can try out something new. The Aqaba Park is an interesting aquarium which shows the best marine life that can be found in the area. While the desert around the city is the ideal place for children to try the hand at camel riding or enjoy an exhilarating jeep ride
Tours and Attractions
Featuring a multitude of different activities for visitors to enjoy, it will surely guarantee an excellent holiday for everyone who travels there. Foremost of these are the gorgeous beaches, where the Red Sea gently laps, to make the perfect beach holiday. It is also an excellent spot for windsurfing and diving with various coral reefs located in the sheltered bay. Anyone who is interested in history should be sure to check out the ruins of Ayla, which is a fascinating remnant of the area’s ancient past. While the crusader built Aqaba Fortress is also an interesting visit that offers beautiful vistas over the sea and surrounding area. The desert surrounding the city is also a great place to trek, explore and go on a camel ride walking in the footsteps of the famous Lawrence of Arabia.
A bustling tourist resort it has plenty of evening fun for visitors. This is largely centred around its port and harbour area, with a series of seafront clubs and bars, the ideal place to sit back and enjoy a relaxing drink or dance with a spectacular view of the Red Sea. Inland the area is quieter although visitors will still find good restaurants and a couple of bars.
The resort is an ideal for people who want to seek out local handcrafted goods, with a plethora of small sellers offering artisan goods and handmade Bedouin jewellery. There are also plenty of more modern boutiques selling fashion items from internationally recognised brands, ensuring that there is something for everyone. Aqaba also plays host to a ‘Free Zone’ where visitors don’t have to pay tax on the things that they purchase, making it cheap as well. If you are determined to purchase locally made goods than the Queen Noor Hussein Foundation, which was deliberately set up to support local traders.