Tucked away in the south of Jordan is Aqaba, the only seaport and a thriving tourist city of the country. As a result of its trading place, the region was inhabited since 4000 BC and was known in the Bible.
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It continued its position through nearly all of history as a port town, including through the occupation and the Islamic age. The city never survived and its ruins are a tourist hotspot, although Throughout the beginning of the Islamic era, construction began on the town of Ayla. Ayla is mentioned in the Arabian Nights tales that Sinbad seen.
After passing through the control of several Islamic dynasties, Aqaba eventually dropped under the control of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th century. Until World War I, the town reverted from being a significant seaport into a very simple fishing village. Throughout the Arab Revolt of World War I, forces headed by Sharif Hussein and also T.E. Lawrence ousted the Ottoman Empire from the Area. Aqaba was integrated into Jordan and once again turned into a harbor.
Ruins of Ayla
Have a Look at 15 Things to See in Petra
Day Trip to Wadi Rum
This city now receives almost all Jordan’s imports and exports, phosphate and shells. It is also famous for its stunning coral reefs and its abundant water sports activities. Aqaba has six universities, one of which, the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts, offers the master’s of fine arts program in the entire Middle Eastern and North African area.
Note from David
This town is home to the Aqaba Flagpole, the next largest freestanding flagpole on earth. It was built in honour of the Arab Revolt and occupies the flag of the revolt. Reputation 427 feet high, this flag can be viewed from Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Tourists love Aqaba for its fun-in-the-sun civilization and stunning resorts. Aqaba offers diving trips and several snorkeling to explore hop aboard a glass-bottom boat, or colorful sea life and coral reefs into the deep sea to glance.
Here are our top 5 things to do in Aqaba, Jordan!
Snorkeling is the perfect approach to explore its own mythical coral reef and Aqaba’s sea floor. The water temperature of Even the Red Sea it is buzzing with life, and is ideal for diving and swimming. You might think as you take in the lush environment, you’re in a fish tank. The sea floor will result in an ideal family outing, and is equally playful and colorful. For those seeking to go scuba diving, contact the Royal Yacht Club. A snorkeling or scuba group can be booked, which includes gear rental and a barbeque lunch on board.
Each of the diving is based from shore, so access to reefs is within easy reach. From fire coral into grouper, a profusion of diving spots feature sea life viewing and photographing opportunities. The region features 25 diving spots.
Jordan Experience is a short movie about culture and the history of the nation of Jordan that is shot from a bird’s eye perspective. The scenes are interspaced with a narrative regarding the most well-known destinations of the country and also a look at the movies. As an attempt to familiarize vacationers with the country, the Jordan Experience was created. It is opportunity to learn about the country visually within a brief period of time.
The movie is displayed in English and in Arabic every day at 11:15 a.m., 1, 1 p.m., two p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 6 and Saturdays p.m. Admission is just 6 JD.
Mamluk Fort is a rebuilt castle located on King Hussein Bin Talal Street. The castle comprises an execution room that is intimidating, a prison, horse stables and a roost for messenger pigeons. Climb up to the next floor for a better view but be as a result of shortage of railings.
Also stop from Sharif Hussein bin Ali’s House and the Archaeological Museum to Find out about the castle’s Background.
The ticket cost for both areas is 1 JD. Visitors can enjoy tea or coffee or trip round the flag on horse or a camel.
Through its heyday, Ayla, built in 650 AD, was the very first Islamic city outside of the Arabian Peninsula. These early Muslims made special buildings known as Misr. Each had rooms to the governors a mosque and quarters to the tribes. Today the city lies in ruin but people can explore the area.
Informative signs can be found throughout the city, giving visitors with info regarding the mosque, the town wall , the towers and other structures. Kids will delight in the valley located near, which was originally utilized to funnel floodwaters into the ocean. Given the intense heat, it is somewhat hard to believe that flood was experienced by Aqaba.
Wadi Rum is really a desert about one hour south of Aqaba that looks like the rugged surface of the moon. Ringed by shadowy granite mountains, this region was inhabited since prehistoric times. By visiting rock engravings or the petroglyphs and pictograms sprinkled throughout the picture, some which date back to over 2,500 decades ago and feature scenes of people hunting antelope visitors can find evidence of the early inhabitants of Wadi Rum. The main valley is home to the Zalabia Bedouin, that conduct a thriving business within this picturesque desert.
The landscape may be also recognized by buffs from several movies, including Lawrence of Arabia, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, where the desert masqueraded as Egypt, and Red Earth.
Visitors will find themselves in a pavilion accompanied with tourists getting prepared for a day of sightseeing, upon reaching the entrance to the Wadi Rum Tourist Center. Make sure you be on the watch for the rock formation, and it will be a hill with seven heavy vertical ridges, once you step beyond this pavilion. You ought to hire a 4×4 car with a driver/guide to take you in the black mountains. The ride will take you past some large orange sand dunes that are strewn with rocks that will remind you. Neither of these features can be discovered in the Sahara Desert, making Wadi Rum a landscape which shouldn’t be missed.
After a while on the Jeep and a few stops later, you may encounter a cluster of black Bedouin tents where you can buy java, souvenirs or take camel rides, and which can be a handy system of desert journey and a wonderful way to take in the environment. Close by one of those bigger Bedouin tents, a breaking up of Lawrence of Arabia’s surface can be observed. Make sure you ask your driver to take you beyond the carving that is distinct.
The friendly and educated Bedouins are pros of this landscape and they operate camel rides, the clothing and souvenir sales. Heritage and their culture is intricately connected into the desert, so their presence will make your Wadi Rum encounter authentic and unforgettable. Back at the pavilion, you can grab a bite to eat at the restaurant, which serves traditional Jordanian cuisine such as lamb with rice, fried fish and kebabs.
It is suggested that you cover camel rides in Wadi Rum and/or in Petra. They can get expensive, but with this desert on back of a camel headed with a native Bedouin guide will make you grateful you saved your own dinar. If you’re more of a risk taker, then you can arrange to sleep together with meals included in a traditional Bedouin camp. The price is generally 25 to 30 JD per individual for an overnight stay.
The most valuable information to follow is to reserve tour or your guide ! Research Wadi Rum Jeep tours and desert guides to create an educated choice. The guide will deal camel ride costs and enhance your experience. As with every tourist attraction, there are cases when non-professionals scam naive tourists.
Aqaba is Jordan’s only seaport and a coastal city. From here, it is likely to cross into Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt, but it is illegal, unless you have a passport for these nations. During a trip to Aqaba in January temperatures that are already scorching hot may be found by you and it is highly advised that you never visit through August or July, the hottest months.
This town is easy to research and its downtown area is a superb place to stop and enjoy some tea and shisha in addition to to get souvenirs. Beware of a few of the sellers, who will tempt you and then charge double or triple the cost. Don’t hesitate to enter but do not feel obligated to buy anything.
To avoid this hassle, only remain by the hotel and the beach. The sea has much more to offer although the beach is pleasurable. Book ski trip or a ski trip, and revel in the glory of the vibrant coral reefs of Aqaba. At least half a day is recommended to be able to soak in most of the underwater wonders.
Visit this town of Ayla’s ruins and delight in the feel of this historical city. Do not neglect to go to the flag, put next the largest flags in the world. But in the event that you need to find out what Jordan is all about, then stop by the Jordan Experience and learn the way to explore this country the way it is meant to be.
Getting around: Walking is the simplest and best way to go around Aqaba. You may realize that a number of the places worth seeing are within strolling distance. Taxis and buses are available; keep in mind that men and women do not sit next to each other if you take a bus.
Jordan’s streets are busy and clogged, which means you could find it stressful to attempt to drive yourself. It is best to stick to car or bus rentals. White flights have fixed routes and are shared between passengers. Yellow taxis are personal. Even though nearly all flights are fitted with meters, agree to a cost before taking off, especially at nighttime. Women shouldn’t sit in the front seat of a taxi. Tipping is not obligatory, but is obviously valued.
Visa: A two-week visa can be bought upon arrival at the airport. A single-entry visa prices 20 JDs ($30). A visa can be extended at any police station.
Shopping: Aqaba is a duty free zone, which means you’ll spend less on trinkets and memorabilia here than in the rest of the country. You’ll come across candies, books, gold, spices, nuts, handmade jewelry and a good deal of”Made in Jordan” goods. In the bazaars, you will have a chance to talk to local merchants and soak up some local atmosphere. If you’d love to market yourself, many stores and stores promote body and facial products created from Dead Sea salts.
Tips for shopping: Negotiating costs is anticipated, but do not expect over a 30 percent reduction of the initial cost. Wait until he’s performed before asking him some questions, if you see a store proprietor praying. For any specific item, the more economical you look, the more you’ll pay as a rule of thumb; so you may choose to leave the fancy watch. Keep a close eye on your belongings. You do not need to pull pickpockets. However, my advice: love yourself!
Hours of performance: Many businesses including banks and government offices are closed on Fridays and Saturdays. Thursday afternoons, other businesses too shut. Normal shop hours are 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and again from 3:30 to 6 p.m. Most museums are closed on Tuesdays. Early closing times are typical throughout the month of Ramadan.
Jordanian Dinar, symbol “JD.”
Currency converter: XE
Best time to Visit September through May
Queen Alia International Airport (AMM)
+962 06 445 2000
Country Code +962
Emergency Line 199 and 191
Royal Jordanian Airlines 1-LRB-800-RRB- 223 0470
Jordan Tourism Board + 962 6 567 8444
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