Oct 14, 2007
The Gulf of Aqaba is Jordan’s aquatic playground, standing on the Northern tip of the red sea. Surrounded by rugged mountains, it is Jordan’s only beach resort. From Aqaba’s town centre, the Borders of Israel, Sinai and Saudi Arabia are no more than a half hour drive away. The winter temperature here hovers around 25C, whilst Amman shivers around 5C. In summer, daytime temperatures in Aqaba are 35C upwards. There is over 12 hours sunshine everyday and in the winter the water temperature does not drop below 20 degrees.
Any one looking for resort-style atmosphere and facilities may be disappointed, and the line of tankers, less than 500m from the beaches are far from picturesque. The town promotes itself as a ‘resort’, but it is not nearly as developed as it pretends to be. The beach is dirty, and half of it is covered in cafes. On the plus side, away from the beach, Aqaba boast’s some of the world’s best
scuba diving by day or night. Enjoy the crystal waters of the Red Sea, and when you dive there are over 500 species of coral, and 1200 species of fish. It is illegal to remove, buy or sell coral, and to take coral goods on an aeroplane.
Aqaba was an insignificant fishing village until Arab Forces with TE Lawrence (Lawrenceof Arabia) wrestled the port from the Ottomans (Turks).
Aqaba Castle (Mamluk Fort) is worth a look. The castle was built early 14thcentury by the crusaders
Danger and Annoyances.. Women travellers have received various degrees of harassment from local lads on the public beaches, and foreign women will feel far more relaxed (but not necessarily more comfortable) wearing loose shirts and baggy shorts.
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