I drove to Aqaba from Petra via the spectacular King’s Highway. Watching sun setting down on the jebels of the desert. Arabic music playing in the background. It was a truly memorable moment.
Aqaba, known as the doorway to the Red Sea. Is the only city in Jordan that actually has access to the sea.
Situated at the tip of the Read Sea. A typical tourist resort. A fun city offering fantastic diving opportunities. Sandy beaches. Good shopping. Some fascinating historic sites. A mild winter climate. An idyllic setting on the Aqaba Gulf and extremely welcoming people.
The town’s greatest attraction lies offshore. Exploring the underwater brilliance of the coral-rich gulf, which ranks amongst the bests in the world. That is the main reason of my being here as well.
Besides the underwater escapades. The city is an ideal location for all kinds of water sports and relaxation.
Aqaba has become more of a holiday destination than a ‘not to miss’ spot for tourists. But if you are interested in relaxing for a couple of days at the end of your trip, this is the place to come. There is a laid-back vibe to this city.
The beaches in the city, not counting Coral Bay at the Royal Yacht Club, are unappealing. A short taxi ride will take you to the South Beach. Where You can enjoy a great day. Kick back and relax with a book in the sun.
To be honest, Aqaba is not that exciting for travellers who are strictly into sightseeing.
It has a fort. Originally a Crusader castle. Rebuilt at the end of the Mamluk era with characteristic Arabic writings on the walls.
It has an Archaeological Museum and recent new reports claim that the oldest church in the world was discovered here, but we have to wait for more research to be done.
Unfortunately. Some time ago archaeological works had to be stopped. Due to unstable walls and the area has been filled with sand until a solution can be found.
It also has the modern Al-Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque. And to be frank that would be all.
Aqaba, like many of its archaeological sites, needs to be excavated.
After seeing all of the possible sights I strolled along its streets mindlessly but with eyes wide open. That is when I really started enjoying the city.
I observed everyday life. Talked with people in the market. Had a coffee in a little stand with a few chairs around. Got lost in a sweet shop and played backgammon with two older men in the sun.
You would have to see their faces when they realised that this European woman in a red dress with a fancy bag can play this game.
This one time only. I didn’t really care if I win or loose. It was all about being in the moment.
And lets be honest. Being a Backgammon Princess in Europe making me a beginner here.
I have to admit that Aqaba can be a real insights into the Jordanian lifestyle. Just keep your eyes open.