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THE RED SEA RESORT
The Red Sea resort of Aqaba is Jordan’s only coastal city famed for its remarkably rich marine life and renowned for its palm- fringed beach resorts and luxury hotels which offer a relaxing atmosphere and a great range of water sports activities. Aqaba’s sparkling crystal clear warm waters offers a breathtaking snorkeling experience and an unsurpassed scuba diving adventure amongst the vast array of beautifully colored coral reefs.
Aqaba which had great significance in ancient times has interesting historical sites. The Roman ruins of Aqaba port city, Ayla were unearthed along with mud brick remains of what is believed to be one of the world’s earliest known churches, dating back to the late 3rd century AD, but the resort’s main attraction is the 12th century AD Crusader fortress of Helim, known as Aqaba Fort, which was rebuilt by the Mamluks in the 14th century AD and remains relatively well-preserved. Behind the fortress are Aqaba’s modest museum and the house of Sharif Hussein Bein Ali, the great grandfather of King Abdullah II. Of interest also is Aqaba’s Aquarium which reveals the treasures of the Red Sea.
Underwater enthusiasts may enjoy snorkeling and diving at Berenice Beach Club which is distinguished by its location since it’s situated along the rich and bio diverse south coast region of Aqaba at the heart of the 7 km long protected Marine Park -which was created to conserve the thriving near shore underwater marine life where extensive coral communities (over 300 species of hard & soft coral) dominate the coast-line and provide habitat for a multitude of reef fish. More than 20 stunning snorkeling and diving sites are located at the Marine Park, two of which are most famous and within easy reach -just off the Beach Club- the Cedar Pride Wreck (Shipwreck) and the Black Rock, suitable for both advanced and beginner divers. Nearby is also one of the popular dive sites in Aqaba, the colorful reef of the Japanese Garden.
The beach club houses the outstanding Sindbad Dive Club which is an Aqua Lung Partner Center offering up-to-date scuba and snorkeling rental equipment, along with state-of-the-art PADI diving courses for all levels (introductory, beginner & advanced) under the guidance of professional PADI instructors. Snorkeling and packaged diving trips (day/night – shore/boat) for certified and advanced divers are also available.
A wide range of water sport activities are available at Berenice Beach Club offered by Sindbad Yachting & Water Sports company including water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, banana boat & inner tube rides and also a variety of yachting cruises including a Coral Viewing Cruise aboard Sindbad Discovery glass-bottom yacht with the option to snorkel, a sunset cruise with the option to dine & a full day sea excursion to explore the Crusader’s island of Ile de Grave (known as Pharaoh’s Island) in the Red Sea, near the shores of Sinai-Egypt, where one may enjoy snorkeling amongst the pristine reefs.
Sea excursions are also available to St. Catherine’s Monastery in Sinai-Egypt which was constructed over 1,400 years ago on the site where Moses encountered the burning bush at the foot of Mount Sinai.
One may also explore the wonders of the Red Sea on the Semi-submersible Submarine which is available at Tala Bay.