Don't forget to send Mom a postcard. Visit the Aqaba Post office, get your card or letter weighed for postage, and the staff will handle the rest.
Price: 100Fils for 10 grams.
Tip: The average price for a card in an envelope to the Americas is 1JD.
Eat what locals eat...in the lane near the Entrance to Aqaba Market, leading to Amer's Hotel is a take out place. Chicken Shwarma sandwiches are half JD; a bucket is 1 JD consisting of a shwarma sandwich, fries and salad to go.
Fresh oven baked breads stuff with spinach, potato or white cheese is 100Fils; topped with Zhatar Spice and Olive oil 100Fils; Beef topped 150Fils; and other varieties such as pizza, egg and cheese are also available.
Delicious...Zhatar is my fav.
The Visitor's Centre in Aqaba is located in the Park, across the street from Ali Baba's Restaurant. It's very small but has maps of Jordan and other brochures printed by the Jordan Tourism Board - all free.
The public beach Promenade stretches from the Yacht Club to the Flag Pole. Take any set of stairs from the street level to the beach, near the Jetty are tented facilities for small restaurants. Lots of flea market stands.
The beach is a combination of sand and hard rock - a little uncomfortable on the feet and can get hot in the summer temp. of 40C.
I would not suggest that a woman alone or a few women go to this beach without male friends. You'll be stared at and harrassed and probably the only women in swimsuits or shorts. I would suggest a private beach facility such at Coral Bay at the Royal Diving Club. Unfortunately it costs a lot more. The promenade is ok for men or mixed company.
Try a walk along the promenade to the Flag Pole.
The Fort is about 500 years old and is located at the base of the Flag Pole on the waterfront in Aqaba. Next to it is a small museum, entrance is half JD. The Mameluk Fort was originally a Crusader Castle, rebuilt by the Mameluks in the sixteenth century. Once inside the main doors, notice the Islamic writings on the Walls.
To get there, take any set of stairs down to the beach and walk along the Promenade until you reach the plaza at the Flag Pole base. Afterwards, head toward street level and walk back towards the city centre. There are a number of local casual Restaurants in this area and small shops to buy cold drinks.
The old city remains (behind the Movenpick) is Aqaba's second archaeological site.
Behind the Movenpick, in Aqaba, is the site of the old city remains. Excavations reveal the remains of the old city wall and residences. It is reported that the oldest church is here, however, during excavations the mosaic floor and surrounding area has been filled with sand to prevent the walls from collapsing until a solution can be found.
The Fort at the Flag Pole base is Aqaba's second archaeological site.
As recommended, I approached Arab Diving School to do 2 dives in the afternoon after I arrvied Aqaba. It costs JD35 (50 US). It is good price and the dive sites are good. The owner is very nice. He closed the shop and drove me to the dive site. Along the way, he picked up the dive master. While I was diving one-to-one, the owner waited on shore and played with his son. What a personal service from Arab Diving centre! What else can you expect for JD35? After all, I dived in Red Sea!
I dived in Japanese Garden and Cedar Pride ( a wreak dive). Very nice.
Remember that after your dive, you should not go certain altitudes until 6-12 hours as recommended by Padi. This includes the travelling to Petra as Petra is located 1,000 m above sea level!
"qahwah" means coffee and coffee shop.
Men head towards "qahwahs" right after their siesta in summer time.
It's not the custom to see women sitting in one of these traditional coffee shops, but as a woman I never had any problems.
It'll be fun if you can join in one of the many backgammon or card games.
The Aqaba corals are renowned for their beautiful colors. Aqaba's location on the gulf protects it from high wind (most of the year) hence making the water clear for diving.
So if you have never dived before, Aqaba's mild weather is perfect for your first trial dive.
And if you are a certified diver, you would enjoy different diving locations as well as some great night diving experience.
Jordan Diving Center
I know that some of my friends will tell me those are not really mountains, but for this region they are, if you have the time you can go and visit the desert mountains, they are just in the outskirt of the city.
I would say that the best thing in Aqaba is probably the red sea. If you are into diving it is fantastic place to dive, no matter if you are in Jordan, Israel or Egypt side of the sea, it will always be beautiful. It just as you can see in the photo, blue and not red.
The Aqaba Flagpole is the second tallest free standing flagpole in the world at a height of 130 meters high. It carries the flag of the Arab Revolt and can be seen from Israel, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia.
Pole height: 130 meters
Pole weight: 344,000 pounds (172 tons).
Flag size: 98.5 feet (30.0 m) by 197 feet (60 m).
You can watch my high resolution photo of Petra on the Google Earth according to the following coordinates 29° 31' 29.19" N 34° 58' 3.96" E or on my Google Earth Panoramio Aqaba Flagpole.
Fullday trip to Pharaoh Island (Egypt) is operated ONLY on SUNDAY. The pier is located near Aqaba fort and starts from around 10AM. We stop by Tala Bay where more passangers are joining.
After guided tour on Salah al dinh castle, we enjoy snorkeling. The water is crystal crear and even from the surface we could see a lot of fishes. Snorkeling gear costs extra. Towels are provided so you don't have to anything with you. We enjoyed snorkeling for and hour and delicious BBQ on boat.
Can be booked by the hotel, but we were advised where the tour is operated or not would be confirmed before 10days. We were lucky that we were happend to be in Aqaba that day.
Theres an enormous flag of Jordan at the waters edge - near the Aqaba museum - and where these guys were jumping into the clear blue water and swimming out and back to shore again. Looks like this is the place to get a glass bottom boat ride - or this was just a good spot for the guys to park up and relax in their boats.
But we had great views down into the water (looked like quite a bit of rubbish on the bottom though!) and across to Eilat, which is Israel, and right around that area of the Red Sea (not the Dead Sea - here we are at the Red Sea!! - but couldnt see anything red about it from there!)
If you are interested in diving in Aqaba, there are a few different companies you can go with. We chose a shop called Dive Aqaba (www.diveaqaba.com), which provides guided trips for divers of all levels. We went out on their boat for about 6 hours, made two dives, and they grill and serve lunch on the boat inbetween dives. Overall, it was a pretty good experience.