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LEISURE & WELLNESS

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Aqaba's beaches are safe and clean.

Greatly prized as Jordan's window to the sea, Aqaba brings a refreshing release from the rose-coloured desert to the north. Its sandy beaches and coral reefs are the most pristine on the Red Sea, and Jordanians hope to preserve them through careful planning. With several first-rate hotels, restaurants and shops, Aqaba caters to a tourist crowd that is tranquil and relaxed, seeking its pleasures more by day than by night.

Indigo-coloured deep water lies just off shore in Aqaba, bringing kaleidoscopic marine life within easy reach. Exploring means a leisurely drive to a private spot and a short swim out to the reef. Unusual vertical currents and sea breezes make diving cool and pleasant, even in the heat of the summer.

Although Aqaba is famous for its water sports and adventure activities, there are a host of leisurely activities that can be enjoyed by visitors who wish to relax, rejuvenate or just get away from the pressures of city life. For those who prefer their marine life at arm's length, glass-bottomed boats are a fun way to enjoy the marvels of the Red Sea.

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One of Aqaba's popular sailing yachts.

Boat trips are a great way to spend a relaxing day, and there are many to choose from. Daily excursions tour Aqaba's coastline, stopping periodically to allow guests to take a dip in the warm waters or slip on a mask and snorkel to take in some of the colourful sea life. Overnight trips can also be arranged on board the larger sailing boats and include full-board accommodation and water sport activities.

Aqaba basks in balmy weather nine months of the year, in winter, spring and autumn. Summer is hot, but you can pace your activities and adapt to the climate, slowing down in midday, and reviving in the cool of the evening.

After a long day of relaxing on Aqaba's sandy shores, there is no better way to refresh than by visiting one of the luxurious spas found in many of Aqaba's leading hotels. The spas combine Eastern and Western techniques and offer luxurious body treatments, rejuvenating facials, cleansing scrubs and body wraps, using world-renowned Dead Sea products.


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Aqaba's reef is alive with untold variety in its coral and fish. Common species are branch coral, fungia and montipora, and the rare archelia, a black, tree-like specimen found at great depths and first discovered by King Hussein himself.

The Mameluk Fort, one of the main historical landmarks of Aqaba, was originally a Crusader Castle. It was rebuilt by the Mameluks in the 16th century. Square in shape and flanked by semicircular towers, the fort is marked with various inscriptions marking the latter period of the Islamic dynasty.