Our day in Aqaba

On Sunday we spent the day in Aqaba. Aqaba is a port city on the Red Sea in the south of Jordan and is Jordan’s only coastal city. Jordan only has 22kms of coastline. Whilst Aqaba is only 120kms from Petra it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes to drive there. Sorry about the quality of the photos in this post – they are all taken in the car whilst we are driving so not the best quality to start off with and then with compressing them for the post they lose more quality.


Driving into Aqaba. The city on the moutains is Eilat which is the Israel city.


Aqaba and the Red Sea.


Sweik Mall one of the large shopping malls in Aqaba. Eilat in the background.

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This photo shows the “no-mans” land between Jordan and Israel in the middle of the photo.

We had come to Aqaba to do a bit of shopping and just enjoy a family day out. First stop was lunch. We had a delicious lunch of seafood and bbq chicken including a whole fish that had been butterflied, grilled so that the skin was blackened and crispy and topped with a sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic, chilies, lemon juice and herbs and spices which called for fingers to be licked to savour the beautiful flavours. I’m sorry that I didn’t take a photo to share with you, but wrangling a hungry 1 year old and being a tad bit peckish myself that when the fish was placed before us and it was smelling amazing and the tastebuds were salivating that over half the fish was eaten before I thought about taking a picture. Next time! I will also try and see if I can get some access to some fresh fish and attempt to recreate this dish for you as it really was scrumptious.


View from the restaurant whilst we enjoyed lunch.


The main road in Aqaba along the foreshore. The restaurant where we ate lunch is on the right hand side. Not sure what the umbrellas are for but they certainly add a splash of colour. The mountains rise quickly and steeply on the edge of town.

After lunch we drove around the coastline to the Saudi Arabia border past the port areas and all the luxury resorts at Tala Bay. At this point you can see four countries – being in Jordan, looking across the Red Sea to the mountains of Egypt and Israel and looking down the coast to Saudi Arabia, all within a 10km radius.

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Beach at Tala Bay. Looking across to Israel and Egypt.


Old Port area of Aqaba. Larger port facilities are being built closer to the Saudi Border.


Can’t escape Westernisation! Surprisingly and fortunately you can only find Maccas in Amman and Aqaba and not in Wadi Musa.


“Drive-through” fruit shopping. Just stop in the middle of the road and yell at the driver what you want.


I call this street in Aqaba Blanket Alley. Finding a plain, simple, one coloured blanket is just not an option!

After we had finished shopping we bought one of our favourite snack foods from this boy.


He was selling lupins or in Arabic turimis. They are pickled in a brine solution and sold in small bag lots with extra salt sprinkled on them. They are addictive. A small bag costs 25 piaster which is about 30 cents. I joke that they are the Middle Eastern equivalent of potato crisps – but much healthier for you!



You make a small tear in the yellow outer skin with your teeth and pop the seed into your mouth. Atef is very accomplished at doing this and can demolish a small bag in a couple of minutes. It takes me a bit longer but I’m sure with practice I’ll get faster.

One last photo of our day in Aqaba. It’s of the large freestanding flag pole and Jordanian the Flag of the Arab Revolt which is located in the centre of town down on the beach.


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