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Aqaba, the harbor city of Jordan, located right at the Red Sea. It is an important city of the country and quite popular with tourists. It is really popular, because it is so close to Israel and also Wadi Rum. At the Aqaba beach, you can book a diving tour, with which you are able to see some special things, like a plane or a tank, but what can you see without a tour, to save money and is it worth it?

Where is Aqaba located?

Aqaba is a city with over 100.000 people living there at the gulf of Aqaba. The location is at the north east of the Red Sea, so it is not far from Africa, great for economic situation. Also it is the most south of the country.

Aqaba attract many tourist, also because of one of the seven new world wonders are located not far away, Petra. 

It is basically the neighbor town of Eilat in Israel, with who they have peace from politics, also crossing the border is not hard. Jordan in general is bordering other countries, Saudi-Arabia, Syria  and Iraq. When you count it as a country, then also Palestine is a neighbor country. When counting the sea borders, then technically Egypt.  

Usually the geopolitical position would be really critical, but they have good relations to the neighbors and makes them in my opinion maybe even to the safest country in the middle east to visit. 

What to know before you go to the beach?

Like at any other beach, the general things you should bring are of course a towel, some swimming pants and if you use it, also sunscreen. 

In Aqaba, when you are coming during the summer, it is getting unbelievably hot. When being inside the water, you are not going to feel it, but you should use sunscreen, many burned bodies are able to see. 

To be on the safe side, take some underwater shoes with you, it could be helping you a lot. Without them it is of course also possible, but a bit more risky, because of many sea urchins underwater. 

Next to the beach, at least in 2018, there was nothing to buy anything to drink or to eat. Also it is quite far away from the city, for walking, so just take some stuff with you, to get there along. 

That is the next important thing, it is not that close to the city, so walking there is not a real option. Hitchhiking is quite easy in Jordan, so that would be an option, or the other option is taking a taxi, which is of course more expensive. I was lucky that some locals were taking me there, where I booked my accommodation. 

At the Aqaba beach, finding shade is not really possible. There were some umbrellas, if you are still able to use them now is something I don’t know and also when it is crowded, it is likely that they will be all in use. Better take something with you, to protect yourself! 

Sea urchins at the Aqaba gulf

What are you able to see underwater?

The amazing thing about the Red Sea, it is super clear! You can see even 20 meters down and are able to see the ground. Of course to see something, you obviously need to have goggles, because of the salt. 

Just by getting in the water at the beach and swimming a few meters, you are able to see many different fishes. Like mentioned earlier, in all the rocks underneath the surface, there are a lot of sea urchins hiding. They don’t look dangerous, but are going to hurt you a lot, when you step on them!

When swimming a bit further, you are able to see the endless ocean with not much going on there. It is seeming like, that there at any moment is coming a shark, but I luckily was not experiencing that. Also it should not be that common at that point. 

With a tour, you are able to see a bit more and dive deeper with the help of the oxygen tanks, but still it is not necessary to spend the money on that. You are also going to be satisfied without it. 

My experience

I went twice to the Aqaba beach, once with a diving tour and once to do the normal hanging out and snorkeling a bit on the coast. 

Sadly my visit was in a really hot season, where it was over 45 degrees in the city, at the beach, it was a bit colder, but still above 40! Because of the temperature it was perfect to dive in the water. 

The water was decently warm and comfortable to swim in, there was never the point of freezing while going into it. I was extra careful because of the sea urchins, because a day before the visit, a tourist from Europe was brought to the hospital, because of stepping on one. 

It was a lot of fun, swimming there and slowly burning, without really noticing. Luckily I wasn’t getting burned too much, but still, it is really easy for it to happen!

The locals I met were really friendly and went to welcome me to the country, with the little amount of English they spoke. Many people in Jordan are speaking English quite well, just at the beach. On that day, they didn’t, which is nothing you can expect, it is not their mother language, same for me!

The beach is great to relax and go away from the city for a while, which is perfect, when you like water and beaches.

What would I do differently today?

There are a few things, which I would have done differently today. The first thing, which I would have done differently, is for sure the time when I went. Going in the summer to Jordan or the Middle East in general, is not the best idea.

It is during the day so hot that you are not motivated to do anything. You just want to be in front of a fan and hope the day goes over quickly.

For the next time, having some water shoes would be smart, but only good to have, when you are not traveling so long, otherwise you need to carry that around with you all the time. That can be something you regret. 

For the Aqaba beach it would have been good, because I was after hearing the story with the hospital, the whole time worried. Luckily nothing happened, but still.

If I had the same opportunity by getting a free lift to the beach, I would not change anything. Otherwise I would have tried to hitchhike there, after the experience I have now. 

A puffer fish at the gulf of Aqaba


Aqaba beach and especially the Red Sea is amazing to see. Whenever you have the chance to visit the Red Sea, it is of course possible in other countries as for example Egypt, Sudan, Saudi-Arabia and some others too. When you are starting with the Arab countries, then Jordan is probably the best place to start though!

I had good experiences with locals at the beach and even more in the country itself. It is not necessary to take a tour, just snorkeling by yourself will be fine, to have a great experience on its own. 

Like this you are going to save money, which you can spend on something else. It is always good to protect yourself from the sun and also with water shoes for sea urchins, which is just a recommendation. 

 I would love to hear your experiences about this place, or questions. Share it with me in the comments.

Some of my travel gears + supporting me

Underneath there are links from my travel gears mentioned. When buying something, I get a little percentage from Amazon. This way, you are getting a good deal and supporting me as well. It doesn’t need to be the article mentioned, it could be any other purchase on the website, after clicking on the link. Thank you for your support.

Click here to get the water filter I am using 

Not as cheap but worth it, when using, it can filter up to 4000L

Click here for the perfect travel soap 

It is small and really efficient, there are other smells as well. In addition to it, it is a good price.

Click here to buy the drone I am using 

This drone is perfect for traveling, not big with a high quality, the price of good quality drones are sadly never cheap but it is worth it when using. Not all countries are allowing drones, please check that before traveling with it. 

Click here to get the travel towel I am using  

Any other fast drying towels are fine, they are small, cheap and doing the job.

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Written by

Nico Koch

I am Nico Koch from Hamburg in Germany and happy that you are interested in seeing the world through my eyes and want to join me on my journey.