Getting from Eilat to Aqaba is a journey of just a few kilometers in distance, between the two resort cities which sit at the ‘head of the Red Sea’ – it requires crossing from Israel into Jordan. The process of traveling from Eilat to Aqaba is three-fold, with the need to travel from Eilat city center to the Arava Border Crossing, cross the border itself, and continue with another mode of transport from the Jordanian side to the city of Aqaba. There are shuttles available from hotels in Eilat to hotels in Aqaba which simplify and in many cases work out cheaper than traveling independently between the two cities. This article will spell out the options for getting from Eilat to Aqaba.
The 100% Independent ROute from Eilat to Aqaba
The independent route from Eilat to Aqaba means the following:
- 1. Take a taxi from the city of Eilat to the Arava Border. The journey is 5-10 minutes from Eilat city center (10-15 minutes from the hotels south of the center) and the taxi would cost around 30-40 NIS (approx $10)
- 2. Enter the border crossing and leave the Israeli side, enter the Jordanian side, paying all fees and taxes directly to the authorities. (Note: as of January 2016 in most cases, the crossing can only be made with pre-arranged visa. This is not the case if you travel to Jordan with an organized tour or take a pre-booked shuttle (see below) as the operator is able to handle the visa preparation and the customer should just pay the visa fee at the border.)
- 3. Take a taxi from the Jordanian border terminal to Aqaba city center. The journey is 5-10 minutes (20 minutes to Tala Bay) and the cost is 11 JD which is approx $15.50. Note that the taxi drivers at the Jordanian terminal have a reputation for overcharging, so insist on the fixed fare
Total cost of traveling independently is $25.50 plus border taxes and visa fees (if possible to receive a visa at the border)
Shuttles from Eilat to Aqaba
Daily shuttle services from Eilat hotels or airport to Aqaba hotels are available daily at 7 am and 6 pm (subject to change). The transfer costs $15 per person (which is a big saving if there is one person traveling, and similar if there are two people traveling). The journey is with other people so the travel time to the border in Israel and from the border in Jordan might be longer than taking taxis, but you will be assisted on the border crossing on both sides with an assistant collecting the taxes and paying the authorities (meaning there is no need to change currency, but there is a small service fee for the assistance), and pre-arranging visas for almost all nationalities.
Shuttles from Eilat to Aqaba can be arranged and booked online via flo Shuttle. A similar service is also available to/from Ovda Airport.
Private transfer service from Eilat to Aqaba
Private transfers are also available from Eilat to Aqaba with vehicles of all sizes from private cars up to buses, available, also from flo Shuttle. These services are available between the two cities at all times that the border operates.
Tours from Eilat to Aqaba
Whilst no tours visit just Aqaba from Eilat, most tours to Petra visit Aqaba at the end of the tour (whether it is a one day, two day, or three day trip), which gives a short time to explore the city, and also gives the option to remain in Aqaba rather than returning to Eilat with the group.