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Aqaba, the snorkeling and diving break of your trip in Jordan

As you may have read in our article on our trip to Jordan, Aqaba is an absolute must on your itinerary. It’s the ideal place to relax, dive, snorkel and enjoy the beach.

To give you an idea of its geographical location, the Aqaba golf course is located south of Jordan and north of the Red Sea. This is the only coastline that Jordan has.

We will detail below why you should absolutely include this city in your itinerary and all our recommendations and tips for a successful stay.

You will also find at the end of the article our map with all our good addresses, as always our goal is to help future travelers to organize their trip easily!


1) Why go to Aqaba

As you may have read, my sister worked for a French company in Amman, the Jordanian capital, for two years. We spent 2 days and 1 night in Aqaba, more precisely in Tala Bay (we will explain why right after).

She used to go there regularly to enjoy the beautiful coastline. She helped us write this article and gave us all these good addresses, so thank you very much for your invaluable advice. First of all, here are the reasons why you should include this stage in your itinerary:

  • For relaxation, if you’re told you’ll find fine sand and clear water for snorkeling from your hotel beach. It’s still tempting to add this stop to your itinerary. As you can see, visiting Jordan is not easy, you will certainly get up early, ah yes, we are sorry to tell you that, to fully enjoy the sites and you will walk a lot.

    Believe us, this break in Aqaba, at the end of your stay, will do you a lot of good! Also note that this is one of the only places in Jordan where you can enjoy a beach.
  • You’ ll be all alone in the world: Jordan is an incredibly rich country in terms of sites to explore, with classic tours focusing on Amman, the Dead Sea, Petra and Wadi Rum. The city ofAqaba is generally forgotten by the tourist circuits. As you probably know, we don’t like crowds, but we recommend this town because you can enjoy it and its beaches without a horde of tourists at your side!

  • The weather is generally good in the Gulf of Aqaba. You can enjoy the beaches and snorkeling all year round, with generally good visibility underwater.

  • Last but not least, only 1 hour separates the city of Aqaba from Wadi Rum (a must-see site). If you include Aqaba, you’ll add just 2 hours round-trip to your original itinerary. You can even book a 2-hour jeep tour of Wadi Rum from Aqaba.

2) Where to sleep in Aqaba and Tala bay

The main activity in Aqaba is to enjoy the sea bed by snorkeling or diving. Thus, we advise you not to sleep in Aqaba, which has few beaches, the latter are more pleasant, just next door, in Tala Bay (about 20 minutes away).

If you want to get to Aqaba, it’s easy to do, as the road between the two cities is very good.

As in other Jordanian cities, there are few cheap hotels. Prices start at around €60, but for this price the hotel doesn’t usually have a private beach. You will need to go to the free public beach, located here (also on our map below)

We advise you to cover up for swimming, with a t-shirt and long shorts / leggings to blend in with the locals. This beach is very popular, especially at weekends, when families come to enjoy the seabed and picnic baskets are out and about – a great atmosphere guaranteed!

We advise you to stay in Tala Bay and to book a hotel with a private beach!

Si votre hôtel ne possède pas de plage privée, vous pouvez tout de même aller sur une plage privée de Tala Bay, majoritairement fréquentée par des touristes, vous pourrez en profiter en maillot de bain. Il faudra réserver dans un bar, restaurant ou demander un accès à l’un des hôtels, sans oublier que généralement cet accès est payant.

Nos conseils et hébergements

1- Notre hôtel coup de cœur avec piscine et plage privée : Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, c’est un hôtel haut de gamme. Nous ne fréquentons généralement pas les chaînes cependant, nous avons longuement regardé et c’est vraiment la meilleure option pour profiter pleinement de Tala bay.

Nous avons profité de l’immense piscine accessible tardivement, nous nous sommes même baignés de nuit. Vous pouvez faire du snorkeling et voir plein de beaux poissons depuis la plage de l’hôtel ou vous détendre sur les nombreux transats et le petit déjeuner est inclus.

Nous avons été upgradés car il restait des places dans de meilleures chambres en plein mois d’août.

2- Une alternative pour les petits budgets : Arab Divers Aqaba (mais sans plage privée), vous aurez une belle vue sur mer avec le petit déjeuner inclus et une piscine pour vous détendre. Il y a une très bonne ambiance, avec majoritairement des voyageurs qui viennent faire de la plongée.

3- Une adresse charmante au centre d’Aqaba, si vous ne souhaitez pas profiter des fonds marins, le Movenpick d’Aqaba est une bonne option. Nous ne sommes pas rémunérés pour parler de la chaîne Movenpick que nous n’avions jamais fréquentée de notre vie. Cependant, à Aqaba, selon nous, c’est vraiment la meilleure option.

View from our room at Movenpick in Aqaba
Movenpick in Aqaba
Movenpick in Aqaba

3) Where to practice the main activities: snorkelling and diving

The seabed is full of corals and rocks that are home to many beautiful fish.

Snorkeling two options are available to you:

  • Good news, you can practice it directly from the beach of your accommodation in Tala bay.
  • Where to go on a boat trip, there are many snorkeling sites nearby. We were pleasantly surprised to discover the beautiful seabed of the Red Sea. We booked a half-day on a boat to relax and explore the coral and fish with our snorkel. We observed beautiful multicolored fish in 3 different places.


In the Gulf of Aqaba, you can find professional diving schools that will accompany you to the different sites to explore. Aqaba offers approximately 25 dive sites. You can dive to a depth of about 20 meters. The site is famous for the diving of the famous wreck Cedar Pride.

Les excursions en snorkeling et plongée

– Ma sœur nous a conseillé de passer par Omar Madain. Pour 4h de snorkeling et le bbq du midi nous avons dépensé 35 JOD (44€). Pour la plongée + le bbq, il faudra débourser 70 JOD (88€).

Nous étions un groupe de dix personnes, nous étions les seuls à faire du snorkeling donc nous étions tranquilles sur les différents spots.

Le bateau est grand avec un étage pour admirer la mer et des matelas à l’avant pour se détendre après l’effort. RDV : port de Tala Bay

– Pour les baptêmes de plongée ou les excursions, vous pouvez également passer par l’hôtel Arab Divers.



4) Explore the old town

A bit of history, the ancient city of Aqaba, called Aenechousos by the Greeks, was part of the Nabatean kingdom. It was built on the shore of the Gulf of Aqaba. It is from the beginning of the 18th century that the city of Aqaba took the importance it has today.

If you prefer to stay on land and still have some energy left, there are a few places to explore in Aqaba, which we will list below. Let’s be honest, if you don’t end up in Aqaba, you certainly won’t be able to see much in Aqaba.

Sharif Hussein bin Ali Mosque

Located in front of the sea, in the center of the city and therefore easy to access, this beautiful bright white mosque can be visited outside the prayer hours, with an appropriate dress and head covered for women.

The fort of Aqaba

It is one of the only remains of the old city of Aqaba. This building once defended the city from any attacker. If you are a lover of old stones, you can stop there for a few moments, to visit this site for free.

The souk of Aqaba

Of course, if you’re going to a city in Jordan to soak up its atmosphere, you must visit its souk, to sample local specialities, buy spices or tea.

The ancient city of Ayla

It is a ruined site, one of the oldest places as well, which can be visited quickly and for free. The excavations have brought to light the remains of ramparts of about 80 m in length that surrounded the city, a mosque and columns.


5) How to get to Aqaba

Aqaba is located about 4 hours south of Amman. To get to Aqaba, there are several means of transportation. You can get there by plane, by car or by bus if you do not plan to rent a car. From Amman, the road is very good.

By plane

From France, you can find flights from €150.

We recommend the Skyscanner website, which we usually use, to compare prices of different airlines and find your flight at the best price.

By car

The best option for getting around Jordan is to rent a car. You will be free to move around and you can stop to take photo breaks whenever you want.

We had no difficulty driving in Jordan. As in many countries, this will just require you to be a little more careful.

Outside the capital, roads are not very busy. We still advise you not to ride at night!

Nos conseils pour louer une voiture

Location de voiture: Pour comparer les prix des locations nous vous conseillons le site RentalCars afin de trouver le meilleur tarif. En août, nous avons trouvé une voiture pour environ 33€ par jour en réservant quelques semaines à l’avance.

Le loueur Sixt proposait le meilleur tarif. Vous pouvez récupérer puis déposer votre voiture à l’aéroport. Nous n’avons eu aucun souci avec ce loueur.


6) Where to go out in Aqaba

We also note two places to go out during your stay in southern Jordan. Please note that alcohol is not readily available outside tourist hotels. For lunch, we have a late lunch at the gigantic buffet of our hotel.

  • In Aqaba: Rovers Return: a good place where you can eat Jordanian specialties at an attractive price and you can also have a drink. You will find alcohol which is not common in Aqaba.

  • In Tala Bay, the Tala Bay Beach Club is a beach bar with a swimming pool, so you can enjoy the facilities of this establishment if your accommodation doesn’t have sea access.

7) Map with all our good addresses and tips

As you know, we love to write down all our good addresses and our itinerary on a map to facilitate our readers’ stay. Obviously, we share this map below with you:

As you can see from this article, we loved our stay in Tala bay, we achieved our goal, we relaxed well before our return to France.

We thank my sister again for having made us discover this great place, once again preserved from mass tourism.

Feel free to leave us a quick note or 5 stars below, to tell us if you’re planning this trip, to ask any questions you may have, here or on Instagram, we’ll get back to you with great pleasure.

Pour votre itinéraire : demandez un devis gratuit et sans engagement !

L‘organisme Evaneos propose des circuits organisés de grande qualité, 100% personnalisables.

Nous vous conseillons de contacter un expert local pour demander un devis gratuit et sans engagement, afin de gagner du temps dans la préparation de votre voyage et vous donner plein d’idées !

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Voyageur dans l'âme, je me suis toujours senti à ma place partout dans le monde. Je suis aussi passionné par les nouvelles technologies. J'adore tester tous les plats typiques quand j'arrive dans un pays. Toujours à la recherche de nouvelles expériences, je partage celles que je vis à travers ce blog.

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