Relax on the Red Sea coast

TUĞBA TOKGÖZ
Published 26.11.2014 01:45
Relax on the Red Sea coast

Aqaba, a Jordanian coastal city, has much to offer for those seeking the sun, sand and high-quality diving sites. Enjoying sunshine year-round, the city is a popular holiday destination. The Red Sea looks like an open-air aquarium

Lying on the coast of the Red Sea, Aqaba is Jordan's only port city, which has become a "not to miss" spot with its pleasant climate and wide range of tourist sights. Flights from Turkey to Jordan generally take two and a half hours and Turkish citizens enjoy visa-free travel to the Arab kingdom in western Asia.

Today, Aqaba is the ultimate holiday destination for sea and diving enthusiasts. The sea temperature remains steady throughout the year while the coastal city has a desert climate with hot dry summers and warm winter days, allowing tourists to go swimming anytime they wish. Rich marine life is waiting to be explored in the Red Sea, which is home to hundreds of fish and coral species. If you do not fancy diving or using snorkels, then you can take a colorful underwater tour on exclusive glass boats. Aqaba's fine-grained beaches are also very clean. Berenice Beach Club offers a 500-meter beach, where you can enjoy sunbathing, diving, water sports, yacht trips or just relaxing on the sand. You may end the day with traditional Jordanian music on a boat trip while enjoying the sunset at the same time.

Warm and cheerful locals welcome you in the city center. The smell of different spices is on every corner. Locals mostly add cardamom, ginger or saffron to their meals and tea. Different spices are used while cooking fish, meat and chicken. Aqaba's most famous dish is "Sayadiyah" (the meal of hunter) made with rice, fish and spices. Indeed, the city's traditional cuisine tastes like Turkish meals, except the spices are what makes them unique. Al-Baba Spices is the most popular store to buy spices cheap.

The Dinar is the currency of Jordan and 1 dinar converts to roughly $3. Unfortunately, you do not have many alternatives to buy souvenirs aside from the most popular ones, such as bottles with sand-made camels or palm trees in them. The shelves of many souvenir shops are decorated with colorful coral necklaces or bracelets. Their prices are extremely expensive, though. Cosmetic products are very popular among female tourists. Soaps, creams, relaxing salts and masks made of sea minerals and mud are in high-demand.

The Castle of Aqaba, the Aqaba Archeological Museum, Al-Sharif Al-Hussein bin Ali Mosque, the ancient city of Petra and Wadi Rum are the most important places to visit in Aqaba. Located in the south of Jordan, Wadi Rum is a natural wonder in the middle of a vast desert. Also known as "the Valley of the Moon" with its red rocks and sand dunes, the region is regarded as one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. Wadi Rum has been included in UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2011. When you walk into the ancient city of Petra, you feel like as if you are in a dream. Huge rocks, narrow roads, historic walls and colors changed with the light impress people.

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