Day 1 in Aqaba
Welcome to Aqaba! Upon arrival at the airport, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do!
We recommend you get acquainted with a stroll along the waterfront where most of the action in the city is found. Sit down and enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants with a view while taking in the lively atmosphere. From here take a walk around Aqaba`s old town and explore the souq with covered stalls and handicraft stores where you can pick up some unique souvenirs and stop at a traditional cafe for a coffee while taking in the intoxicating sounds and scents of old Arabia.
Take a stroll to see the ruins of the oldest known purpose-built Christian church in the world. The Aqaba Church was discovered by archeologists in 1998, the walls, foundations of a chancel screen, a collection box with coins, fragments of glass made oil lamps and a cemetery with 24 skeletons.
See the spectacular ornate white structure of the Masjid Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque found between the Souq and the beach in Aqaba. The mosque was named after Hussein Bin Ali who was the Sharif and Emir of Mecca from 1908-1917. See the intricate glass windows and high minarets with the largest dome of any mosque in Jordan.
Stop by the port and see the giant flagpole of Aqaba, which is the sixth tallest free-standing flagpole in the world. The flagpole soars to 430 feet high with the flag of the Great Arab Revolt that symbolizes the Great Arab Revolt. The flag can be seen from Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, it measures 20 x 40 meters.
Next visit the Aqaba Castle, an ancient fortress built by the Crusaders in the 12the century, it was the site of the famous battle of the First World War in 1916 and built by the Mamluk Sultan Qanswah el-Ghawri. The castle features a prison, an execution chamber, horse stables and a roost for messenger pigeons.
Make your way to the ruins of Ayla on the Corniche between the marina and the Movenpick Resort Hotel. This is the ancient port of Aqaba built in 650 AD as the first Islamic city outside of the Arabian Peninsula. Explore the ancient ruins of the olde Misr buildings, the city walls, the mosque, the towers, and other buildings.
As evening time approaches make your way to the beach to capture a beautiful sunset and then head back to the old town where you can uncover delicious cuisine. There are many authentic restaurants found here offering some of the most delicious dishes including mansaf, Zarb, hummus, and kebabs. Enjoy some mouth-watering baklava for dessert, take a stroll around the souq at night.
Day 2 in Aqaba
After a good breakfast, make your way to the beautiful beaches of Aqaba. There are many public beaches found here just minutes from downtown, pick a place on the sprawling stretch of coastline and take a stroll along the sand, sunbathe on the beach and swim in the warm, relaxing waters of the Red Sea. The greatest asset of Aqaba is the Red Sea with some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the world. The water temperature is lovely and the gentle waters create the perfect environment for the growth of corals and marine life.
Take some time to explore the mile of coastline that makes up the Aqaba Aqua Marine Park, filled with protected coral reef gardens featuring 19 dive sites brimming with fish and other marine life. There are 127 types of coral formations in the warm Red Sea waters. The sea bed here is home to many unusual wrecks that include tanks and one of the most famous is the 246 foot Cedar Pride, a cargo ship scuttled in the 80s and Pharaoh`s Island which is home to outstanding coral blooms and the famously incandescent underwater mountain named Picasso Reef.
Check out the Masjid Al Sheikh Zayed Mosque which stands tall with its two minarets and 28 domes adorned with geometric Islamic Art. The mosque is an architectural masterpiece in the city inspired by the design of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque located in Abu Dhabi. There are well-manicured lawns, vibrant gardens and sparkling fountains that surround the mosque.
Grab some lunch in downtown or around the beaches and then head out to explore some of the most iconic wonders that surround Aqaba such as Petra or Wadi Rum.
Petra is the ancient pink stone ruins found just 90 minutes north of Aqaba, one of the most precious treasures and top attractions in Jordan. There are tours and buses that leave from Aqaba taking visitors to these sights all day long.
Wadi Rum, also known as `The Valley of the Moon` features windswept rock formations 37 miles from Aqaba. An unspoiled natural wonder with ethereal landscapes and a stunning backdrop of the desert. Sunsets are simply spectacular at Wadi Rum with awe-inspiring changing colors across the rocks and desert.
On your last evening in Aqaba be sure to capture a sunset. The beaches are a great location to sit back and relax while watching the sun dip down beyond the sea. There are also many boat tours that offer sunset cruises on glass-bottomed boats, this is a unique way to capture a stunning sunset.
For dinner on your last evening be sure to try the local specialty `Sayadeyah` which is made with freshly caught grouper sauteed in a special sauce with onions and spices and rice. The Aqaba Marina features many dining options along with great waterfront views and some bars for coctails and music after dinner.
Additional Days in Aqaba
If you are able to spend additional days in Aqaba visit the Aqaba Bird Observatory where hundreds of species of birds can be seen. Visiting during the spring and autumn months gives visitors a chance to see the migratory birds that cross over Aqaba twice a year. The observatory has the highest concentration of white-eyed gulls in the world.
Check out the Aqaba Aquarium which gives visitors a chance to see plenty of marine life from the Red Sea and home to vibrant corals.
Your Last Day in Aqaba
Depart from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer to the airport if so the representative will meet you at your hotel with plenty of time to get you to the airport for your flight out.