Aqaba city breaks may conjure up images of camel rides and desert exploration, but this sun-kissed spot on the Red Sea has plenty to offer beach fans, too. As well as scenic sunbathing opportunities, Jordan’s only coastal city is a diver’s paradise, where sandy shores lead to colourful coral reefs and ethereal sunken wrecks.
Once you’ve explored the aquatic life, there’s a wealth of treasures to discover back on dry land. A wander around the quaint old town, with its archaeological remnants of centuries past, is a delight for history buffs, and the laid-back marina is surrounded by lively falafel stalls and seafood restaurants, making it a haven for those keen for a taste of the Middle East.
Aqaba is also an ideal base from which to explore the other two parts of what is known as Jordan’s Gold Triangle – the architectural wonder that is the city of Petra and the striking, otherworldly landscape of Wadi Rum, where you can enjoy canyoning, trekking and camel rides. But city breaks to Aqaba aren’t just for thrill-seekers. The relative lack of crowds means that families, lone travellers and groups can enjoy its natural wonders, multilayered history and culinary delights at their own pace.