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Voyage to Pharaoh’s Island, Egypt

Posted on 23 May 2012 by christie

Crusader Castle on Pharaoh's Island

Crusader Castle on Pharaoh's Island

Besides loving all that Aqaba has to offer, we mainly stayed extra time awaiting the Tuesday boat tour to Pharaoh’s Island, Egypt. The island lies in the Red Sea just 250m off the eastern Egyptian coast. The small island consists of a fortified castle built by the Crusaders during the 1100’s in order to defend their trade route across the Red Sea.

A lovely boat ride (Sindbad Travel) with 25 other travelers took us from Aqaba through the Red Sea. We passed by Eilat, Israel before reaching the Egyptian coastline. After about one hour we arrived to Pharaoh’s Island. The castle view became increasingly impressive as our boat pulled closer to the tiny island. The transparent waters are among the most picturesque we’ve ever seen. The entire island is surrounded by stunning coral reefs that can be seen above the water. Continue Reading

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Aqaba: Jordan’s Red Sea Port

Posted on 22 May 2012 by christie

Al-Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque

Al-Sharif Al Hussein Bin Ali Mosque

After a full day driving down scenic King’s Highway, we finally arrived at Aqaba. Its circle-ridden downtown had us dazed and confused for about an hour before locating Al Qidra Hotel. Aqaba was not originally on our radar (thanks Nick!), but we loved it so much we stayed a full week. Aqaba, the furthest point south in Jordan is strategically located on the Red Sea. It borders Saudi Arabia, Israel, and the Palestinian territories with Egypt just south across the Red Sea. Interestingly, the popular beach resort town of Eilat, Israel is within clear view. Our downtown hotel location provided the right mix of local culture with easy access to the stunning beaches and snorkeling activities.

The Red Sea at Aqaba, Jordan

The Red Sea at Aqaba, Jordan

Aqaba’s history dates back to the 10th century BC when it deemed the world’s largest copper smelting site. It was later made a key meeting place for pilgrims going to and from Mecca. The port city’s significance grew so much that King Hussein of Jordan bartered a land agreement with Saudi Arabia in 1965. Continue Reading

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