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Das Rote Meer in Aqaba, Bild: Hamdan Yoshida / shutterstock

Aqaba – Discover the beauty of Jordan on the Red Sea

Jordan is a country with many different facets and offers both unique cultural and natural experiences. The port city of Aqaba, which is located at the southern end of the country, is one of Jordan’s most popular tourist destinations and impresses numerous tourists with its location on the Red Sea and its rich history. In this article, we would like to introduce you to Aqaba as a unique destination and give you tips and recommendations for your visit. Aqaba is a unique destination that delights both nature lovers and history buffs.

Special features and history of Aqaba

Aqaba is a magnificent city that has been an important crossroads between Asia, Europe and Africa for thousands of years. Due to its strategic location on the Red Sea, the city was a very important trading center for goods such as spices, gemstones and frankincense. Today, Aqaba is a modern port and an important tourist center, characterized by its fascinating landscape and its old, historical sites. However, one of the biggest features of Aqaba is the Red Sea. The breathtaking underwater world of the sea offers an incredible variety of corals and fish and attracts numerous divers and snorkelers every year. Another highlight of the city is the impressive mountain range of Wadi Rum, which has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and invites visitors to unforgettable hikes and jeep tours.

Attractions in Aqaba

The city of Aqaba offers its visitors many sights and historical sites. One of the most significant monuments of the city is the Aqaba Fortress, which was built by the Ottomans in the 16th century. The fortress has been expanded and restored over the centuries and now serves as a desirable museum. Another historical structure is the ancient city of Ayla, which was founded in the 7th century and played an important role in trade between the countries of Arabia, Egypt and Syria. The ruins of the city, some of which are still well preserved, can be visited and give unforgettable insights into the life of the inhabitants of this once important city. However, in addition to the numerous historical sites, Aqaba is also home to many modern attractions such as the Aqaba Marine Park, which offers visitors a unique opportunity to explore the underwater world of the Red Sea. The park is home to over 85 species of coral and over 1000 different species of fish and other marine life.

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Attractions around Aqaba

Beach in Aqaba
Aqaba is excellent as a seaside resort, Image: Luka Dakskobler / shutterstock

There are many unique places around Aqaba that are worth a trip. One of the most famous is the ancient city of Petra, which is now considered one of the Seven New Wonders of the World and is one of Jordan’s most popular tourist attractions. The city is located about 150 kilometers north of Aqaba and can be easily reached by car or bus.

Another destination is the city of Wadi Musa, which is about 10 kilometers from Petra and is often known as the “Valley of Moses”. Here, visitors can see the ruins of a well-preserved ancient Roman theater, as well as the remains of Nabataean houses and buildings. The city of Ma’an, which is considered the historic center of the Nabataeans, is also definitely worth a visit. It is located about 90 kilometers north of Aqaba and offers a variety of highly interesting archaeological sites and sights.

Another destination is the Dead Sea, which is located about 200 kilometers northwest of Aqaba. The Dead Sea is known for its high salt content, which makes swimming almost impossible, and also for its healing effect on skin and respiratory diseases. Visitors can also visit the Wadi Mujib Nature Reserve here, which offers stunning scenery with a variety of plant and animal species.

Tips for your visit to Aqaba

View of Aqaba in Jordan
View of Aqaba in Jordan, Image: byvalet / shutterstock

If you visit Aqaba, be sure to visit the local restaurants and try the traditional Jordanian cuisine. Dishes such as mansaf, a lamb dish with yoghurt and rice, and falafel, as well as deep-fried chickpea balls, which are served with salad and tahini, are particularly recommended. For a pleasant time on the beach, you should pay attention to compliance with Islamic dress codes and note that there are certain areas that are only accessible to women. You should also find out about the current security conditions, as Jordan can occasionally be affected by political unrest and instability.

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Facts about Aqaba

  1. Aqaba is the only Jordanian city that has direct access to the sea.
  2. The city has a long history and was settled over 5,500 years ago.
  3. Aqaba is an important port and tourism location and has a strategic importance for trade in the region.
  4. The city is known for its beautiful beaches, including South Beach and Tala Bay Beach.
  5. Aqaba is a popular place for snorkeling and diving, as the Red Sea offers rich marine life with coral reefs and colorful fish.
  6. The city also has historical sites, including the Aqaba Fort, which was built in the 14th century and is used as a museum.
  7. Aqaba is a major transportation hub in the region and has an international airport.
  8. The city has a dry desert climate with high temperatures in summer and mild temperatures in winter.
  9. Aqaba has a multicultural population and is a melting pot of different cultures and traditions.
  10. The city is also an important border crossing point between Jordan and Israel, making it an important place for trade and tourism between the two countries.