Jordan, a country filled with many delights and one of the 7 wonders of the world, isn’t normally synonymous with its seas or forest nature scapes. Unfortunately, huge gems can go missed when all the focus is just on its desert landscapes. But, if you want to get the full experience of going to Jordan, then do not forget to visit Aqaba and here are 10 unique things to do in Aqaba by exploring its Red Sea.
1. Water Activities in Aqaba
Of course, it goes without saying that water activities in Aqaba are one of the most popular things to do and should be on your bucket list while visiting. One of the most popular activities in Aqaba is diving and the diving happens to be world-class. Instructed by some of the most talented divers in the region, you will have the chance to explore coral reefs, see a shipwreck and some sea animals along the way. Moreover, depending on your experience and swimming level, there’s something for everyone who is a beginner or intermediate.
Some other water activities in Aqaba include windsurfing, paragliding or jet skiing. And, of course, for the more leisurely activities you can do, snorkeling can be added to your list and is a fun family activity. Moreover, many snorkeling places can provide you with some local information about marine life and conservation.
2. Best Beach Club in Aqaba
Of course, if water activities aren’t your thing, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that Aqaba is full of beach clubs and fun swimming pools that can be for more of the single or coupled crowd, looking at you millennials.
The best beach club in Aqaba includes going to one of its resorts, Ayla at the B12 Beach Club. Featuring dining experiences, drinks and activities, there is even an option for a family-friendly option for anyone visiting the country.
So lounge by the pool, enjoy some food and drinks and definitely stay for the sunset.
3. Best Beach in Aqaba
The best beach to visit, thanks to the many marine conservation projects, is South Beach. Many travelers have raved of its cleanliness and maintenance of the beach as well as a hidden gem that can’t be missed…Belal’s Bazar Store, which includes many handcrafted items and knicks and knacks.
South Beach includes many great opportunities for snorkeling and includes family-friendly options. The well-maintained beach also has been deemed for its conservation efforts.
Also, the great thing about South Beach is that it highlights that there are many public beaches you can visit, rather than just opting for a private beach stay.
4. Aqaba Castle
One of the things to do in Aqaba and most certainly unique
Maybe you need a break from lounging at the beach and doing some activities, so head to land to visit the Aqaba Castle. The Aqaba Castle highlights some of Aqaba’s more unknown history with the fort dating back to 1501-1517 AD. It was one of the stops along the pilgrimage for Darb Al-Sham and for the location, it is in, it is significant in its size.
So if you need to break away for some water to cool off and let your tan settle, then don’t miss out on this historic site.
5. Things to Do in Aqaba at Night
Now, you’ve done some water activities, you’ve laid by the beach and most certainly have checked out the fortress, now night time has come and you want to get out and about.
Aqaba, believe it or not, has some fun nightlife activities to not be missed with themes and DJs. Rovers Return and Buffalo Wings and rings are lively places to visit for food and drinks. There are dance floors and most importantly, great food. Then, there’s Crazy Elephant where you can also move and groove. And if you are not full from getting the Seaview, then visit The Suzana Restaurant, which gives you a sea view while you dine.
6. Aqaba Bird Observatory
Did you know that there are over 430 bird species recorded in Jordan? There have even been sightings of unique birds, such as the white flamingo during their migration.
That being said, going to Aqaba Bird Observatory is a place where you can not only revel in the sites of the different bird species but also learn about the migratory and resident birds that come through the region each year.
With cooperation from the Royal Society of Conservation and Nature as well as the Aqaba Water Company, there have been many efforts in maintaining the sustainability of the habitats and for people to enjoy and also have an educational hub. Deemed as an ecotourist experience, there are almost 10,000 people that come to visit.
7. Visiting Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque
Aqaba is such a unique place to visit, especially in the fact that there is a mix between the sea and some spiritual sites, like the Sharif Bin Ali Mosque. The grounds are massive in relation to the city and highlight some amazing Islamic Architecture.
The mosque, which is a new building in Aqaba in the late 70s, highlights modern and old Islamic architecture with decorated stained-glass windows, art and carpet. The mosque also includes views of the garden and has a wooden gazebo.
8. Visiting Aqaba Archaeology Museum
With over 6,000 years of collection and located just across the castle, you can see some inscriptions and other important artifacts found in the city that date back to the ninth century AD.
The most interesting aspect of this museum is the fact that it was the former house of Sharif Hussein Bin Ali, who the mosque site above is named after. And even more interesting enough, you can see the ceramic and steatite vessels from the Islamic Ayla.
9. Glass-Bottom Boat
Feel like you’re floating on water with one of the most famous and definitely unique things to do in Aqaba, the glass-bottomed boat is definitely worth it as you can see the sea beneath you and everything going on under the beautiful clear waters.
Thankfully, in Aqaba, there are many opportunities for sightseeing, including taking a look at the different fish species. By going on a glass-bottomed boat, you can have a bird’s eye view of coral reefs and fish species, the most famous fish species in Aqaba just so happens to be Denis, which is used in the dish you just have to try when visiting.
10. Try Sayadieh
Sayadieh literally translates to catch in Arabic and is exactly what this dish is aimed at providing. Most traditionally, Sayadieh is made from the catch of the day and mixed with rice, different species and topped with tahini sauce. Not only is this a famous dish amongst locals and a tradition to eat when visiting the city, but celebrates the traditions of fishermen.
This traditional dish is made with fish, rice, and different spices and topped with tahini sauce. It is a favorite amongst locals and a tradition to eat when visiting the city. The fish usually used in the dish is Hammour or whatever another local catch is available.
I mean, how can you visit Aqaba without trying this local dish and most importantly, if you want to see some of the local catches of the day, you can also visit the Fish Market in Old Aqaba.
Lay by the beach, do a water activity or tea and hit the land for 10 Unique Things to do In Aqaba and most certainly, alert the masses, us…if you happen to try one of the suggestions we’ve listed above. Ya meet ahlan o sahlan al el Jordan (a 100 welcomes to Jordan).