Aqaba has an ideal combination of city-life, beaches and history. The southernmost city in Jordan, Aqaba sits on the northeastern tip of the Red Sea and is surrounded by mountains and desert. Although there is a border between them, Aqaba is in very close proximity to Eilat, Israel’s most southern beach resort city. While the water and beaches draw many people here, the city’s prime location gives visitors access to many amazing attractions in Jordan, including Wadi Rum and the famous lost city of Petra.
History of Aqaba
The city of Aqaba dates all the way back to 1500 BC. Historians believe the Edomites built the first port in Aqaba and transformed it into a major hub for exchanging goods. Today, the city still values its history and culture. Within Aqaba, travelers can visits mosques, ruins, and museums that tie the city to its people and history.
Aqaba also draws visitors year round because of the weather and access to the Red Sea. The Red Sea is known for incredible diving and snorkeling. Just south of the city, the Aqaba Marine Park has 7 km of shoreline where visitors can explore the sea’s coral reefs, fish and other marine life. This is also the best place to enjoy the beaches. There are outdoor areas for sports like volleyball and soccer and picnic areas to eat food.
After spending time here, don’t miss seeing Jordan’s main attraction, Petra. Make traveling easy with a tour to Petra from Aqaba. For visitors who have more time and would like to experience Wadi Rum as well, there are tours that combine these two attractions. Being so close to Israel, it is easy to cross the border and explore Israel’s major cities.
How to get to AQABA
Aqaba’s location on the Red Sea makes it accessible by land, air, and sea. Aqaba’s Airport is located a few kilometers north of the city and serves low-cost and charter flights from Europe and the Middle East in the winter months, and year-round flights to Amman and Istanbul. Shuttles from Aqaba Airport to the city’s hotels run in coordination with the flight arrivals.
From Petra, Amman, and Northern Jordan, buses are available to Aqaba every day, whilst many arrivals to the city come at the end of a tour to Petra or Wadi Rum. Taxis and private transfers can also be arranged, however, with the journey time from Amman to Aqaba around 4 hours, these are quite costly.
Many arrive to Aqaba from neighboring Israel and Egypt. From Egypt, regular ferry services operate from Taba, just across the Gulf of Aqaba, making it easy to fly into Taba and cross to Jordan, or continue to Aqaba from elsewhere in Sinai or Egypt. From Israel, many visitors to Aqaba opt to fly to Eilat, landing on one of the many low-cost flights and then taking a shuttle from Eilat to Aqaba. Alternatively, some come from Northern Israel arriving in Eilat by tour, domestic flight, or bus, and then cross the border to Aqaba.