The delightful seaside resort of Aqaba, located on the northern tip of the eastern arm of the Red Sea, is the best place for relaxation and recuperation. The biggest attraction of the resort is the Red Sea itself with amazing coral reefs, which are full of vibrant underwater life. Snorkeling (snorkelling), diving, normal swimming, sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing or just relaxing on the beach are just a few of the ways to relax and rejuvenate in Aqaba. The warm sea, great weather and the highest level of service await you.
The best hotels and resorts in Aqaba have superbly equipped spas and fitness centers, gyms and, of course, swimming pools and tennis courts. There are also many sports and health clubs in the city itself.
In addition, there are other entertainments in Aqaba – museums, historical sites, excellent restaurants offering seafood, cinemas and much more. And if you are already full of the impressions of the day, there are many ways to just relax and unwind.
The underwater world of the Red Sea is unusually rich. The reefs of Aqaba are full of outlandish fish and a variety of corals. Corals are not plants, but animals. They belong to an ancient group of primitive animals called coelenterates. Living coral is actually a colony formed by hundreds and thousands of these tiny creatures. Corals grow slowly, at a rate of about 1 cm per year, which means that the specimens that can be seen in the Gulf of Aqaba are many hundreds of years old. The warm waters of the Red Sea create ideal conditions for coral growth. The coast of Aqaba is protected by law protecting the safety of this fragile ecosystem.
Along with the common branching corals, fungia and montipora, one can also find an extremely rare species – the black tree coral, first discovered here by King Hussein himself. In the thickets of corals, clown fish, triggerfish, gobies, parrot fish rush, needle fish flicker. There are anemones and a hetero-conger eel, so flexible that it is almost impossible to see it among the algae.
In addition to scuba diving, perhaps the most exciting in the world, hotels and beach operators offer other sports activities. You can snorkel, fish, sail or, if you prefer to see the underwater world without getting your feet wet, take a trip on a glass bottom yacht.
Sights of Aqaba. At the far end of the coastal spit stands the Mamluk Fort, and on the island in the very center of the bay rises the fortress of Saladin, the enemy of Richard the Lionheart and Reynald de Chatillon. In the last century, Arab forces under the command of T. E. Lawrence recaptured the Fort from the Ottoman forces, scoring one of the biggest victories of the Arab Revolt. Aqaba also houses the Archaeological Museum and the Aqaba Museum of Antiquities.
Nine months of the year – spring, winter and autumn – the weather in Aqaba is very warm. It can be hot here in summer, but it is easy to adapt to the local climate by resting during the day and resuming activity in the evening.
The most famous landmark is considered to be Petra (“Pink City”).
They say whoever has not seen Petra has not seen Jordan. The city, carved right into the rocks, changing its color from pale pink to burgundy depending on the time of day, was founded by the wise Nabataeans. Petra meets with beauty and grandeur those who, after walking 1200 meters along the narrow, no more than 5 meters wide, Sig gorge, go to the most famous building of Petra – the Treasury.
A monumental miracle 30 meters wide and 43 meters high is carved into the rock and is truly mesmerizing. There are approximately 800 monuments in Petra, tourists are given the opportunity to visit the Beida settlement (6000 BC), the Edomite settlements (700 BC), two castles of the Crusade period and the Roman fortress of Urdru. The English poet and traveler Dean Burgon described Petra in the following words: “truly unique is this extraordinary miracle, a red-pink city only younger than time itself.”
Situated on the edge of the Arabian Desert, in the mountains south of the Dead Sea, Petra was once the resplendent capital of the Nabatian kingdom during the reign of Aretas IV (9 BC – 40 AD). The city amphitheater could accommodate up to four thousand people. The monumental Royal Tombs and the 42-meter façade of the Hellenistic monastery of El Deir provide an insight into the culture of the Middle East. Unique architectural structures, the creators of which were the masters of a civilization lost in the centuries, have survived to this day only because almost all of them were carved directly into the rocks. Today it is one of the most amazing historical monuments that have survived to this day.
Some helpful tips. Wear comfortable, preferably sports shoes. You will have to walk a lot and over rough terrain. It is better to visit Petra in the morning or in the afternoon when the sun is not so hot. From the main entrance to the entrance to the Sig Gorge, 700 meters can be walked, but usually it is overcome on horseback or on a donkey cart. If you are an elderly person or it is difficult for you to travel long distances, you can continue walking around Petra on a donkey, camel or in a cart (negotiate the price with the driver right away).
Do not be afraid of difficulties! Impressions will be unforgettable!
And one more small addition: on July 8, 2007, a significant event took place – Petra was named the New Wonder of the World!