Eilat or Aqaba for a couple days on the beach?

Feb 6th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Eilat or Aqaba for a couple days on the beach?

We have had to shift gears very quickly. After being booked into Egypt in early March, we have canceled and are now off to Jordan and Israel. We will will have a couple of days to spend on the beach at the end of the Jordan component. We are trying to decide between Aqaba on the Jordanian side or Eilat on the Israeli side. We want to swim and snorkel in the Red Sea. We are not really interested in any excursions-we will have been traveling for over a week by then and these two days will be "down time" before the next leg of our trip. Which location offers the best beach and access to colorful sea-life?

Thanks for your suggestions-
pirouette is offline  
Feb 6th, 2011, 12:08 PM
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We have been to both but since your beach holiday is at the end of the Jordan component, I would stay in Jordan. It's not so easy to cross the Jordanian/Israeli border and vice versa.
Tala Bay is a newly built tourist resort a few kilometers out of Aqaba, in the direction of Saudi Arabia. It is brandnew, clean, it has a few nice hotels and restaurants. It's very easy and cheap to get to Aqaba by taxi. Aqaba is a pretty noisy city with a lot of traffic and IMO the hotels in the city are mostly outdated. Tala Bay is quiet and it has a nice beach.
Check out the Radisson Blu Tala Bay. It gets mostly excellent reviews on Tripadvisor. There seems to be a Mövenpick, too which wasn't there yet when we visited Jordan.
MyriamC is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 06:54 AM
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Out of curiosity, what is the "next phase" of your trip after Jordan? Is it Israel or another country? The answer may well depend on the answer to this question.

Also, ask some questions about the bathing dress code in Tala Bay. I have heard that females in Jordan realistically cannot don Western swim suits on public beaches but I do not know whether heotel beaches are an exception. Be sure to look into this if you think you will be affected.

Be sure to write a trip report when you return. I hope to do a similar trip some time in the future.

wanttogo is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 10:59 AM
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Pat, no problem on wearing Western swim suits on public beaches. Tala Bay is mainly a tourist beach, though it is a public beach (very quiet, by the way).
Jordanian families mostly use the beach that is located between Aqaba and Tala Bay. I wouldn't feel comfy there in my bathing suit but I don't think the people would mind.
During weekends there were quite some Jordanian guests in our hotel. We all sat together around the pool: Western tourists in their bathing suits (some women topless, which I find insulting in an Islamic country), Jordanian men and children in their swim suits, Jordanian women dressed from head to toes, including a veil.
MyriamC is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 12:11 PM
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Aqaba, without a doubt. The people are much better and welcoming overall I found the Israelis to be very difficult people. Both resorts have the same climate, food items, etc. Aqaba will probably be a little cheaper than Eliat.
partyon is offline  
Feb 24th, 2011, 12:42 PM
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It's difficult to compare Eilat and Aqaba. Two different worlds, in fact. Eilat is luxury, has very good hotels and excellent restaurants. Good shopping, too. Aqaba is a typical (poor) middle-eastern city. Pretty dirty, no shopping (except for some tourist shops).
MyriamC is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 02:53 AM
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We have chosen Tala Bay just outside of Aqaba. The hotels are new and the beach is supposedly less crowded. We will travel on to Israel following our stay in Aqaba. We will spend the next five nights in Jerusalem and end our stay with two nights in Tel Aviv. We leave in the next couple weeks and I will do a trip report on our return.

Thanks for your input.
pirouette is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 04:03 AM
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Pirouette, we might be there at the same time. We leave for Tala Bay on March 14th ...
MyriamC is offline  
Feb 25th, 2011, 04:25 AM
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Prefer Jordan for the beach beautiful Petra

and the wadis with wonderful bedouin culture.

Eilat more eurotouristic not as appealing to me.

OK for diving nicer hotels for upscale.
qwovadis is offline  
Feb 26th, 2011, 07:32 AM
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Myriam, we arrive in Tala Bay on the 17th. I will look out for you!
pirouette is offline  

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