Set on the Red Sea, this coastal resort town is one of the world’s best snorkeling destinations and an idyllic beach getaway.
Aqaba is home to brilliant blue waters and some of the best snorkeling in the world. Set on the Gulf of Aqaba, which opens up to the Red Sea, the waters are a stunning contrast to the reddish mountains on land. Spend your days snorkeling over the coral reef or engaging in more active watersports. As the sun sets, head to downtown Aqaba to taste spectacular seafood in lively restaurants.
Snorkeling in Aqaba is easy because the reef is located just off shore. Swim over the coral and you’ll quickly see why Aqaba’s reefs are so famous. Spot the thrilling array of fish that thrive in these waters. You may see parrotfish, groupers, damselfish, butterflyfish and moray eels.
While a modern crop of luxury hotels brings travelers to Aqaba for the sparkling beach, the area has been a popular destination for millennia. Aqaba is home to underground springs that have always made the area very attractive. Take the time to visit the historic sites which stand as testaments to its long heritage. Aqaba Fort, for example, acted as a hotel for travelers en route to Mecca in the 16th century.
Go on a hike through the Aqaba Bird Observatory, a man-made wetland that has become a haven to wildlife of all sorts. Many bird species stop here along their migration routes between Africa, Europe and Asia. Tour the Aqaba Archaeological Museum, which houses many seventh-century artifacts and a wealth of historical information. In the afternoon, stroll along the Corniche, a beachfront promenade lined with shops and restaurants, before heading back to the beach for sunset.
To reach Aqaba, fly into the international airport, conveniently close to the beach resorts, or arrive by the Desert Highway. After days spent in Jordanian cities and deserts, you'll find a swim in Aqaba’s turquoise waters very hard to resist.