This young resort on the Red Sea coast is located in the northernmost part of the Gulf of Aqaba, 335 km from Amman. There are crystal clear water and good conditions for relaxation. Thanks to the mountains in Aqaba, there is a special microclimate: you can swim all year round, in the winter months the water temperature does not drop below +22 ° C, while in summer the real heat comes only in the afternoon. For Jordan climate and geography, please check TopPharmacySchools.
Temperature-sensitive tourists should visit Aqaba in autumn, winter or spring, as it can get too hot in summer.
How to get there
From Aqaba, you can easily get to Amman on comfortable JETT buses or private Trust. Stops of both companies are in front of their offices. JETT – on King Hussein St, just behind the Movenpick Hotel, a 10-minute walk from the center. The company operates flights to Amman 5 times a day (travel time – 4 hours). Trust International Transport is located on Just off An-Nahda St. From there, 6 flights depart to Amman (the journey takes 4 hours): the first at 7:30 and the last at 18:00. There are also buses to Irbid (travel time – 5.5 hours) and twice a day to the Egyptian Nuweiba.
Hundreds of yellow private taxis ply the streets, picking up tourists and locals alike; they are all almost the same, except for the fact that some cars are equipped with air conditioning. It is better to agree on the fare in advance, before boarding.
Minibuses connect the residential areas of Aqaba with the city center. Passengers can board and disembark anywhere along the way, with stops in Aqaba upon request. The central station is opposite the police office on King Talal st, less than 10 minutes walk from the center (Ayla square, Al-Hussein Bin Ali Mosque).
The most luxurious hotels in Aqaba, with an international audience and cuisine, are Movenpick Resort and Intercontinental. But the resort also has many budget hotels – without much glamor and glamor, but a clean room and a hearty breakfast are guaranteed.
A little tip that applies to all hotels in Aqaba: rooms with a sea view, of course, look more prestigious than those with a street view, but since the sea is in the south, it can get very hot in the “sea” room from the constant sun.
9 km from Aqaba, the Tala Bay luxury complex was opened with its own beach, 2 km long, private property, infrastructure and hotels. One of them, and already operating, is Radisson SAS Tala Bay.
Cuisine and restaurants
Casalingo Italian Restaurant at Movenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay (South Beach Road – Tala Bay Area; Opening hours: 18:30 to 23:30), with a modern Mediterranean design, attracts attention with a wood-fired pizza oven. Casalingo offers traditional Italian dishes, seasonal dishes, excellent pizzas and a fine selection of wines. Dishes are prepared by an Italian chef. Visitors can eat on the terrace or in the air-conditioned room.
The Red Sea Grill at Movenpick Resort & Residence Aqaba (not to be confused with the former, located on King Hussein St, P; opening hours: 19:00 to midnight) is only open during the summer and serves fresh seafood. For example, grilled fish and shellfish combined with Afro-Arab cuisine. Add to this a wonderful view of the Gulf of Aqaba from the restaurant terrace.
In the city center you can find takeaway food – hummus, falafel, shawarma.
Alerzal or Al-Erzal (Aqaba Gate complex) is a Lebanese restaurant where you can taste national cuisine and Mezza combined with seafood and grilled meats. This is the best Lebanese restaurant in Aqaba, which has two halls – on the water and on land. The specially equipped Harmattan Boat offers an exquisite boat trip during lunch or dinner around the bay, where you can see the beautiful corals of the Red Sea (there is a dive instructor on board).
One of the city’s most famous restaurants is located at The Royal Yacht Club. Here you can find seafood at prices comparable to those in the West. Service is fast. Open for dinner only.
Not far from the Yacht Club, behind McDonald’s, there is an excellent 35 Degrees East (longitude of Aqaba), which opens only in the afternoon. European food is cooked very well here, including steaks and seafood. Prices are European, higher than in other restaurants in Jordan. Also noteworthy is the Syrian Palace restaurant (Raghadan Street, Hayl al madina, on the right side of the Al Shuala hotel).
Aqaba is a duty-free zone and is partially isolated from the rest of Muslim Jordan. Many shops offer a wide selection of inexpensive alcohol and cigars.
Most of the beaches belong to hotels, the rest are publicly available, and mostly locals relax on them. In the northern part of the city, the beaches are sandy, closer to the south – rocky, with coral reefs close to the coast.
Diving in Aqaba
There are 6 diving centers in Aqaba offering training according to the standards of PADI, SSI or BS-AC associations. Underwater visibility is on average 35-40 m. During the plankton bloom (April-May), visibility can decrease to 10-15 m, but at the height of summer it reaches 50 m or even more.
The most popular diving center The Royal Diving Center, located 15 km south of the city, has its own sandy beach with one of the most interesting dive sites. Sea Star Dive Center at Al Kazar Hotel offers beginner training and night dives upon request. Al Morjan Club has showers, a snack bar, equipment rentals and a swimming pool; you can get there by taxi or free bus from the diving center at Al-Kazar Hotel.
In total, the resort has about 30 noteworthy dive sites, which are easy to reach by boat. Many reefs are very close to the shore, so you can enjoy the underwater world lightly, armed with just a mask and snorkel. Even beginners will be able to find an interesting and uncomplicated dive there.
Entertainment and attractions of Aqaba
The fort near the waterfront in the city center, the archaeological site on the hill of Tell al-Khalifa, the Aqaba Scientific Station Aquarium, the Museum of Antiquities adjacent to the fort, and the museum in the house of Hussein Ben-Ali, King Hussein’s great-grandfather.