Aqaba – Jordan’s only coastal town – full of history, culture and of course water sports…
Aqaba is full of history, culture and of course water sports! As Jordan’s only coastal city it draws international and Jordanian visitors for fun in the sun all year round. But enjoying, diving and time on the water is just one of the many other activities that you can do whilst in Aqaba.
1. – Scuba Diving
This is probably the most popular activity in the city, with over 20 different dive sites along the south coast many of which in the protected Aqaba Marine Park area of the Red Sea, the marine life here is spectacular. Most of the coral here grows along the shore in fringing reefs, so no need for long boat rides like in Egypt, just a short walk down the beach and off you go! Of course, there are boats available if you wish, but it is not essential.
As well as the reefs, there are all so some artificial sites such as the Cedar Pride – a 80m long cargo ship and ‘The Tank’ – a M42 Duster anti-aircraft military vehicle. Technical divers can also enjoy the ‘Taiyong’ and the ‘Sharouk’ wrecks at 40m+.
2. – Glass bottom Boat
Don’t fancy getting wet, but don’t want to miss out on the marine life? No problem! Aqaba has lots of glass bottom boats that you can hire, down at the fisherman’s harbour you can negotiate a price for a trip anything from a 1 hour tour up to a full day including a lunch. However, these boats are quite small and simple and usually only a small window in the hull.
If you are looking for something a bit more, try booking a ride on the Sindbad’s coral discovery, with a large glass window in the hull or the Neptune Submarine-vision boat – a fantastic ride where you can ‘dry-dive’ in a fully submerged glass section of the hull.
3. – Water Sports
Jet-ski, para sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, banana boats, speed boats, pedalos and many more…..You name Aqaba has it! On a more laid back side there are also sailing boats and cruise yachts for a relaxing trip around the gulf, a meal on board while watching the sunset over the mountains of Sinai.
Contact us for more information and booking water sports
4. – Take a city tour
Aqaba is not just about the water. There is a whole city full of history and culture. See ruins from the ancient cities of Ayla and Berenice. As well as what is thought to be the world’s oldest church from 4th century AD. Make a stop at the Mamluk fort and the Archaeological museum. Just next door is the Arab Revolt Plaza and one of the world’s highest free standing flag pole (very hard to miss!!)
Make sure you visit the souq – or market place. To see (and may be try) some of the local spices, nuts, fruit and vegetables. There is one shop in particular where the owner will happily put on a bit of a show explaining what all the wonderful spices are and even let you try some. After all this you will probably be in need of a rest, so pick a cafe and relax with a cool drink and try some of the local fast food such as shawerma or hummus and falafel.
5. – Bird Watching
Aqaba bird observatory is located close to the Eilat border. It is run by the Royal Society for the Conservation of Nature and is an important site for many European and African migratory species. The observatory is open all year round, but the best time to visit is in the Spring and Autumn months.
6. – Handicraft class
Exclusive to Above and Below Adventures! – Get a true cultural experience with the ladies at Green Creations. A poverty alleviating programme, where local, underprivileged women make hand made jewellery and home décor items using recycled material. On a visit to them you can learn more about this amazing programme, get hands on learning to make their beautiful products and enjoy a chat over a cup of ‘shai’. After wards explore their shop to purchase some unique gifts for friends and family.
7. – Cooking Class
Another exclusive for Above and Below Adventures! Learn how to make a traditional Jordanian meal, and who is better to teach you than a local woman in her own home. See how the ingredients are prepared, which spices give the authentic flavours, and how it all comes together, then stay and enjoy the meal with the family observing local traditions and table manners. Choose from Mansaf (lamb or chicken cooked in Jameed served with rice), Maqluba (chicken, vegetables and rice cooked ‘upside down’) or Sayyadia (fresh fish with rice and onion sauce – Aqaba speciality).
8. ATVs – dirt buggies
This is not just in Wadi Rum. There is also a centre here in the south beach area of Aqaba that takes you up into the mountains behind the city. With different sized engines for different ages, this is a great activity for all the family.
9. – Ultra Light Flight
Discover Aqaba from above. Taking off from Aqaba’s own King Hussein International Airport, this tour will show you all the highlights of the city, the south coast and the resort of Tala Bay. It is also possible to do this flight together with an aerial tour of Wadi Rum covering Lawrence’s spring and the Seven Pillars of Wisdom.
10. – Take a day tour
Although Aqaba is full of activities and things to do it is also a great base to explore the rest of Jordan. From Aqaba it is possible to take a day trip to Petra, Wadi Rum, Wadi Mujib or the Dead Sea.