I traveled to Jordan for 11 days and the country wasn’t at all what I’ve expected. Jordan surprised me in a good way, especially the hospitality and how much I enjoyed my Aqaba holiday. After traveling around Jordan for over a week, I treated myself to 3-days at the Mövenpick Hotel & Spa Resort at Tala Bay Aqaba and absolutely loved it.
If you need convincing why you too deserve a holiday in Aqaba Jordan at the Mövenpick Tala Bay, find some perfect excuses listed below.
The Mövenpick Tala Bay Resort and Spa in Aqaba invited me to stay with them. I did try out all their services and facilities. All opinions are my own.
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11 Perfect Excuses Why You Deserve an Aqaba Holiday in Jordan
- #1. Ultra cheap air travel to Jordan from different places in Europe
- #2. You’ll need a holiday in Aqaba after the intense travel around Jordan
- #3. You can enjoy some fine dining in Aqaba
- #4. You need a winter break to the sun
- #5. You want to swim in the warm sea
- #6. You want to (learn how to) dive in the Red Sea
- #7. You want to experience the desert at Wadi Rum
- #8. You want to see Petra from Aqaba
- #9. You want a spa experience in Jordan
- #10. Combine your Aqaba vacation with a trip to Egypt
- #11. Shop tax-free during your Aqaba holidays
- How to get to Aqaba?
- Things to do in Aqaba Jordan?
- Where to stay in Aqaba?
#1. Ultra cheap air travel to Jordan from different places in Europe
I booked my non-stop flight to Jordan via Royal Jordanian Airlines and flew in and out of Amman. Once I got to Jordan, I learned from several other travelers how cheap the airfare to Aqaba was. After I did some research online, I learned that low-cost budget airline, Ryanair, now included Aqaba (and Amman) from several of their hubs in Europe.
So if you’re based in Sofia, Athens, Cologne or Rome it might be very much worth it to consider this low-cost and no-service airline. For example, a flight from Sofia to Aqaba is as cheap as 10€ when you’re lucky! Make sure to add in luggage fees and seat reservations and read the fine print on checking in online but it might be the cheapest option for you! This leaves enough room to splurge on that fancy luxurious hotel and the perfect excuse to book your Aqaba holiday!
#2. You’ll need a holiday in Aqaba after the intense travel around Jordan
After traveling around Jordan for more than 1 week, I was exhausted. Taking in the new sounds, smells and sites, not to mention the endless walking and climbing, I needed a break! I wanted to laze by the pool, read a book or two, swim around, have some food and basically do nothing for a change.
I don’t want to get into the exhausting debate about travelers vs tourists too much, but there is nothing wrong with a little holiday in Jordan when you’ve traveled around the Middle East!
For me, my 3-day stay at the Mövenpick Hotel & Spa Resort at Tala Bay Aqaba was the perfect end to my travel in Jordan. It recharged my batteries and I was ready for work again.
#3. You can enjoy some fine dining in Aqaba
Aqaba is famous for its world-class restaurants by the bay. Explore downtown Aqaba and find the freshest seafood dished up for you. I was too lazy to leave the relaxing calm of my resort hotel, but I discovered they have an excellent restaurant on site. The Casalingo Italian restaurant not only serves pizza and pasta.
They also had a special themed menu consisting of my favorite ingredient: Chocolate! They managed to surprise me with a 3-course meal, all dedicated to the sweet and bitter taste of chocolate. I never knew you can do so many amazing things with chocolate.
#4. You need a winter break to the sun
I traveled to Jordan in November which is considered the start of winter where I am from. Lazing by the pool, swimming in the sea, wearing a dress and flip flops in a warm and sunny climate is the perfect remedy for your winter blues. In November, the average temperature in Aqaba was still around 26 degrees (78F). Even in December and January, the temperature is nice enough to work on your suntan. It does get dark early but the hotel has plenty of entertainment to offer for those early evening hours.
#5. You want to swim in the warm sea
Who doesn’t want to float around in the warm water, enjoying the waves slowly bobbing you up and down while you float away? The Red Sea is amazing. The water is so clear and calm and the sea was even warmer than the pool when I was there! Make sure to wear water shoes or some sort of protection for your feet because the pebbles can have sharp edges.
#6. You want to (learn how to) dive in the Red Sea
As mentioned above, the clear water of the Red Sea is a true attraction. Due to the warm temperatures, this is the perfect winter dive spot. As we all know, our marine life is under some serious threat but the Red Sea around Aqaba has some interesting dive sights, for more experienced divers and beginners. As I had never taken a dive before, I wanted to try it out but I had too little time in Aqaba. I guess that means I just have to come back someday.
#7. You want to experience the desert at Wadi Rum
Only an hour away by taxi, the desert of Wadi Rum is a perfect day trip from Aqaba. To experience the desert and connect with your inner T.E. Lawrence, an overnight desert trip to Wadi Rum is a must-do. Sleep under the pitch dark sky, surrounded by red-orange sands and listen to the grunting of a camel in the distance.
A desert tour in Wadi Rum and an overnight stay at one of the desert camps is an experience you’ll never forget. Enjoy the silence, the different shapes and colors of the desert and the hospitality of the local bedouin people of Wadi Rum.
#8. You want to see Petra from Aqaba
Even if you go on holiday to Jordan, you can still squeeze in some cultural experience and see the world-famous Wonder of the World that is Petra. Only 3 hours by bus or maybe 2,5 hours by private taxi, a visit to Petra is on your doorstep if you enjoy your vacation in Aqaba. Combine a relaxed holiday with one of the greatest treasures of the ancient world.
#9. You want a spa experience in Jordan
Relax, take a deep breath, scrub the sand and salt from your skin. Rinse and repeat. I loved the Zara Spa experience at the Mövenpick Tala Bay Aqaba resort. I enjoyed the hot tub, the sauna, and the floating pool. They also offer a wide range of massages and other body treatment. Just what you need after exploring the Jordan desert for a day!
#10. Combine your Aqaba vacation with a trip to Egypt
Standing in Aqaba you can almost see 4 countries at once. In the far distance, you’ll see the Sinaï desert of Egypt and only a 1-hour boat ride away. Next-door neighbor Eilat is clearly visible and if you’d continue outside of Aqaba you’ll see the desert of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia is not accessible from this part of Jordan, but a vacation or travel experience combined with Egypt is a good option. You can take a 1-day ferry ride to Egypt or if you need more time in Egypt, fly out from Aqaba and explore the pyramids at the next-door neighbor.
#11. Shop tax-free during your Aqaba holidays
When visiting Eilat is not an option, you can still steal a bargain in Jordan because Aqaba has Duty Free Zones. Cheaper alcohol, cigarettes, and gold. If you don’t feel like spending your money on those items, look for local handcrafted objects like jewelry made by Bedouin women, handmade cloths or a new rug for your house.
How to get to Aqaba?
As mentioned above, Aqaba has its own airport, Aqaba airport also called King Hussein Airport. Although small, it is an international airport that serves a few places in Europe and the Middle East. Although Aqaba is mostly used for charter flights from big holiday companies, you can travel independently on a scheduled flight. Search online via Skyscanner for different options to Aqaba. You can also fly into Amman and then take a 1-hour flight to Aqaba. Or explore the country by highway, this will take 3-4 hours.
You can also reach Aqaba by boat, although information is very limited. There is the day-ferry to Egypt and a cargo boat that also takes passengers across the Red Sea but the information is not confirmed.
Everywhere in Jordan, you can take a taxi or rent a car. Buses are limited but Jett buses leave Amman on set times and take approximately 4 hours to reach Aqaba.
Things to do in Aqaba Jordan?
Besides lazing by the pool, work on your tan, have a spa experience and take a class in diving, there are many other things to do in Aqaba if you have more time. As I only had 3 days, I clearly weighed my options and did not do all the things in Aqaba:
- Aqaba Aquarium. In case you can’t go diving, you can still admire the fish and the marine life of the Red Sea
- Glass bottom boat, take a trip around the Red Sea and watch the marine life swim underneath you via the glass bottom.
- Aqaba Revolt Flagpole. Maybe not really a thing to do in Aqaba but as long as you’re downtown taking a look at this 137-meter tall flagpole.
- Get lost at the Bazaar or Souq. Shop for souvenirs or handmade artifacts that will remind you of your Aqaba Holiday years to come.
- Visit the ruins of Ayla. Scholars say it is the oldest built church in the world!
- Explore Aqaba fort. Currently under restoration, but a historic sight to see in Aqaba once finished
- Aqaba Archaeological Museum. With a milestone of the ancient Trajan road, the forerunner of the King’s Highway. Unfortunately also closed due to renovation.
As Jordan is so small, a day trip to either Wadi Rum, Petra, or the Dead Sea is easily manageable with your own wheels or taxi driver. Your Aqaba Holiday can easily become a way to explore more of Jordan!
Where to stay in Aqaba?
You can stay downtown Aqaba but I wanted a more relaxed holiday experience at a resort. I picked the Mövenpick Tala Bay Resort & Spa and I didn’t regret it. Amazing view, excellent rooms and service, good food, and enough to explore in the surrounding to keep me busy and make my little holiday in Aqaba unforgettable. Check for prices and availability here.
Are you thinking of escaping winter or looking for an interesting get-a-way? Do you love to combine a relaxed holiday in Aqaba with exploring Jordan? Then Aqaba is the perfect excuse for you for a lovely holiday. Enjoy!
Have you been to Aqaba? Thinking of visiting Jordan and explore from Aqaba? Let me know in the comment section below!