Aqaba, with its infectious ‘on holiday’ atmosphere, retains the relaxed small-town atmosphere of a popular local getaway, despite the growing developments and the unsightly port nearby. For the visitor, although there’s not much to ‘do’ as such, the town offers a sociable stopover en route to the diving and snorkelling clubs to the south and the big destinations of Wadi Rum and Petra. It’s also an obvious place to break a journey to/from Israel and the Palestinian Territories or Egypt, security situation permitting.
Wadi Rum is a stupendous, timeless place, virtually untouched by humanity and its destructive forces. Here, it is the weather and winds that have carved the imposing, towering skyscrapers, so elegantly described by T.E. Lawrence as “vast, echoing and God-like…”
A maze of monolithic rockscapes rise up from the desert floor to heights of 1,750m creating a natural challenge for serious mountaineers. Hikers can enjoy the tranquility of the boundless empty spaces and explore the canyons and water holes to discover 4000-year-old rock drawings and the many other spectacular treasures this vast wilderness holds in store.
Also known as ‘The Valley of the Moon’, this is the place where Prince Faisal Bin Hussein and T.E. Lawrence based their headquarters during the Arab Revolt against the Ottomans in World War I, their exploits intrinsically woven into the history of this amazing area. To see Wadi Rum, you definitely need a 4×4. If you don’t want to get lost, you also need a guide.