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Aqaba (Not Petra)


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Just curious if anyone has tour suggestions for a day in Aqaba (we have decided Petra just too strenuous although we don't mind walking).

Anyone done the trip to the Dead Sea and if it was worth it - which company.


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Aqaba to the Dead Sea resort used by most cruise lines is about 3 hours (170 miles)  e/w - over an hour more than to Petra. (77 miles). Haven't done it - but ship-mates weren't impressed. Essentially a resort hotel with private Dead Sea frontage.

We have since visited the Dead Sea on the Israeli side - very much more worthwhile. Two-day port-of-call at Ashdod, rented a car, drove the Negev Desert  Masada fort, bathed in the Dead Sea-, overnight in Jerusalem, walled city am, back to the ship pm.


Yes, there's a fair bit of walking at Petra, and some of the ground is uneven. But the only strenuous part is the walk back up the siq - about 1/2 mile of the one-mile walk back to the buses. There are two-wheel, two-passenger horse-drawn buggies available to get you up the siq, not cheap but the price varies according to how busy they are, and how gullible or knackered you look.


If I can't persuade you, to change your mind about Petra, go to Wadi Rum. 40 miles & something under an hour from Aqaba).

At the visitor centre (not much to see there, but an opportunity to use the rest-rooms, buy a drink etc).  Here you change to  4x4 trucks (begging pardon, make that 4x4 utes), about 6 to 8 in the open back plus a seat next to the driver for the physically unfit but usually empty. Usual routine is across the high desert to Lawrence of Arabia's Seven Pillars of Wisdom, weaving between bluffs, a few interesting stops here and there, ending at a tented encampment of Arabic nomads. (if the truth be told, they're probably no more nomadic than you or I, and are there for tourists - but still good fun). About two hours in the desert IIRC, Then back the the visitor centre & return on the bus.

We did it as an afternoon ship's excursion. I guess it can be done privately but you'd need a group of about six - including one expert haggler.

Some energetic posters on Cruise Critic have squeezed Petra and Wadi Rum into one round-trip (Wadi Rum is a few miles offf the road to Petra).  Doesn't sound like you - or me. :classic_wink:. But we've done the Wadi Rum excursion twice on cruises !


JB :classic_smile:




Edited by John Bull
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There really isn't a whole lot to do in Aqaba, apart from lazing around on the beach and possibly snorkeling. I don't know what your visa/citizenship situation is, but the Israeli city of Eilat is right across the bay and has a lovely aquarium and a national park with very nice snorkeling and equipment rental and a lot of shopping since it's the only tax-free port in the country. That said, you'd be running the risk of having to cross the border -- most of the time, it's easy-peasy. Sometimes, it isn't. 

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  • 3 months later...

Thank you both for responses - for some reason I missed them before.


Unfortunately my back will not take the trip out to Petra, and I presume maybe the Dead Sea, or the Wadi if it is in 4wd Utes. We spent time in the Arabian Desert last year and my back suffered after, but still loved it as we used to do a lot of 4wding.


I might have to have a rethink about what else to do. Thanks again.

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