A Proof Of Natural Marvels
Jordan’s coastal gem, Aqaba, stands as a living testament of natural wonders due to its location on the Gulf. Often referred to as the ‘Bride of the Red Sea,’ this city offers an array of attractions that cater to history enthusiasts and nature lovers.
If you’re planning a visit, here are the 9 best things to do in Aqaba.
Aqaba Castle, popularly called Mamluk Fort, is a living relic of past centuries. Its origins trace back to the 1100s when Christian crusaders constructed it. It was resurrected by the Mamluk dynasty in the 1500s after Saladin burned it.
It gained fame as the mainstay in the Arab Revolt of 1917 against the Ottoman Empire and during the exploits of Lawrence of Arabia. Should you seek this historical monument, look no further than the soaring 130-meter flagpole nearby.
Souks In Aqaba
For generations, Aqaba’s bustling port has been a hub of commerce, making its souks a haven for skilled negotiators. Wander through the city’s diverse markets as each offers unique treasures.
While Zaharan Street envelops you with the fragrance of various spices, Raghadan Street comprises stalls with some of the best local produce. Furthermore, don’t miss the Friday night Souk by the Sea, a treasure trove of artisanal crafts.
Opposite the castle stands the Archaeology Museum, once the abode of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, King of the Hejaz. It treasures 6,000 years of uninterrupted human habitation.
Don’t forget to check out the Bronze Age Lady of Aqaba and ninth-century AD inscriptions from the early Islamic era.
Sharif Hussein Bin Ali Mosque
Despite its construction in 1975, this active worship sanctuary is a testament to traditional Islamic architectural grandeur. Its luminous white stone, intricately adorned with archways and domes, offers a captivating sight.
Visitors can wander through marble courtyards outside prayer times. When you view this structure that consists of a row of evenly-spaced columns up close, it is magnificent.
Located along King Hussein Street, the Aqaba Corniche makes it attractive for visitors to take strolls along the seafront. The Corniche transforms into a beautiful theater as the sun descends in a splendid display of warm hues, casting its golden glow upon the tranquil waters.
Lined with an array of restaurants, bars, and cafes, it is a marvel to the eyes and makes an attractive culinary adventure. You can savor the delicate flavors of Jordanian cuisine, accompanied by the gentle melody of lapping waves, creating an immersive experience that captures the essence of life in this vibrant city.
Ruins Of Ayla
Just a stone’s throw from Aqaba’s main hotel district lies Ayla, the first Islamic city established beyond the Arabian Peninsula around 650 AD. Rediscovered only in 1989, its remnants include formidable city walls, 2.5 meters thick, stately gateways, and a historic mosque.
Like the Aqaba Corniche, the Al-Hafayer Beach, or Palm Beach, is also located along King Hussein Street and boasts a generous stretch of golden sands. However, its primary attraction is the serene ambiance of its surrounding cafes. For those seeking a day of sun and surf, Berenice Beach Club offers three pools, a diving center, and a private beach.
You will find the Aqaba Bird Observatory near the Eilat border. It’s a magnificent display of artificial wetlands and verdant woodlands, welcoming migratory birds from Europe, Africa, and Asia. Even for non-avid birdwatchers, the chorus and dance of 400 different avian species offer a captivating spectacle.
Still along King Hussein Street, Al-Hafayer Beach, colloquially known as Palm Beach, consists of a serene haven of sun-kissed sands. Beyond its golden expanse, this coastal retreat is renowned for the harmonious ambiance that envelops its environs.
The scent of saltwater mingles with the aroma of freshly brewed coffee from the nearby cafes, creating a sensory tapestry that attracts visitors into a tranquil repose. For those seeking more than the caress of gentle waves, the Berenice Beach Club is your best option.
It offers a private beach and three inviting pools that shine under the beautiful Jordanian sky.