Aqaba

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Contrasting the rose-coloured desert to the north, the indigo-coloured deep water lies just off shore in Aqaba, offering kaleidoscopic marine life within easy reach, and an array of fish darting through the ocean.

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 the late King Hussein himself.

There is snorkelling, fishing and sailing, or glass-bottomed boats for those who prefer to keep marine life at arm′s length, There is a Mameluk fort (now known as Aqaba Fort) at the end of the corniche and, on an island in the middle of the Gulf, the castle of Saladin, foe of Richard the Lion heart and Reynald de Chatillon. In this century, Arab forces with T. E. Lawrence of Arabia, wrestled the port from the Ottomans in one of the most dramatic victories of the Arab Revolt.

What to see

1. Aqaba Marine Science Station

2. Aqaba Birds Observatory

3. Aqaba Archaeological Museum

4. Aqaba Fort

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