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

Visit Aqaba

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!

Aqaba jordan

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.
Aqaba jordan
  • 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.
Aqaba jordan

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!

If your hotel doesn’t have a private beach, you can still go to a private beach in Tala Bay, which is mostly frequented by tourists and can be enjoyed in a bathing suit. You will have to make a reservation in a bar, restaurant or ask for an access to one of the hotels, without forgetting that this access is generally not free.

Nos conseils et hébergements

1- Our favorite hotel with swimming pool and private beach: Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, a top-of-the-range hotel. We don’t usually go to the chains, but we took a long look and itreally is the best option for enjoying Tala bay to the full.

We took advantage of thehuge swimming pool, which was open late, and even went swimming at night. You can go snorkeling and see lots of beautiful fish from the hotel’s own beach, or relax on the many sunbeds, and breakfast is included.

We were upgraded because there were still places available in better rooms in the middle of August.

2- An alternative for smaller budgets: Arab Divers Aqaba (but without private beach), you’ll have a beautiful sea view with breakfast included and a pool to relax in. There’s a great atmosphere here, with the majority of travelers coming to dive.

3- A charming address in the center of Aqaba, if you don’t want to enjoy the seabed, the Movenpick Aqaba is a good option. We’re not paid to talk about the Movenpick chain, which we’ve never visited in our lives. However, in Aqaba, in our opinion, it really is the best option.

Aqaba jordan Movenpick
View from our room at the Movenpick in Aqaba
Aqaba jordan Movenpick
Movenpick in Aqaba
Aqaba jordan Movenpick
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.

Snorkeling and diving excursions

– My sister advised us to go through Omar Madain. For 4 hours of snorkeling and the lunchtime bbq we spent 35 JOD (€44). For diving + bbq, you’ll need to pay 70 JOD (€88).

We were a group of ten people, and we were the only ones snorkeling, so we had peace and quiet on the various spots.

The boat is large, with a floor to admire the sea and mattresses in the bow for relaxing after the effort. RDV: Tala Bay harbour

– For scuba diving or excursions, you can also book through theArab Divers hotel.

Aqaba jordan Movenpick

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.

Aqaba jordan Movenpick

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 advise you to use a flight aggregator to compare the prices of different airlines and find your flight at the best price.

By car

The best way to get 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!

Our tips for renting a car

Car rental: To compare rental prices, we recommend you use an aggregator to find the best rate. In August, we found a car for around €33 a day by booking a few weeks in advance.

Sixt offered the best rate. You can pick up and drop off your car at the airport. We had no problems with this rental company.

Aqaba jordan Movenpick

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.

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Picture of Matthieu
A traveler at heart, I've always felt at home anywhere in the world. I'm also passionate about new technologies. I love trying out all the typical dishes when I arrive in a country. Always on the lookout for new experiences, I'm sharing the ones I've had through this blog.
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