As the only coastal city in Jordan, Aqaba is a base for jumping into the Red Sea. On the other side of the city you can venture into the rocky landscape of the Wadi Rum, while ancient ruins and breathtaking mosques fill the city centre with elements of a proud Islamic culture and Middle Eastern history.
Only 10 minutes from downtown Aqaba is the free public beach of Al-Hafayer, also known as Palm Beach. Lined with gorgeous palm trees, it’s the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset over the Red Sea. Aqaba is also the gateway to the Wadi Rum, a valley of sandstone and granite with a mystical quality that has drawn people to it for centuries. Also known as the Valley of the Moon, this natural landscape of rock formations has been orchestrated by weather and erosion across the millenia.
Aqaba is packed with significant monuments that tell stories of the city’s exciting culture and history. A definite highlight is the 16th-century Mamluk Castle, where a famous World War I battle played out that led to a victory for the Arab Revolt. Be sure to check out the Aqaba Archaeological Museum just opposite the castle too. It’s home to a vast collection of Bronze Age artefacts and gives the best introduction to the region.