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21 Dive Centres in Jordan

Jordan

Jordan is shrouded in a veil of mystery and eternal beauty. The country’s hospitality and magnificent sights are iconic, and even underwater, Jordan hosts an overwhelming selection of dive sites reeked with natural beauty and grandeur. Jordan (officially called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan) is smack in the middle of the continents of Asia, Africa and Europe. Sharing its borders with Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel, the Palestinian West Bank, and Syria, Jordan’s geographic location is mind-blowingly interesting. Surrounded by these neighbouring countries, Jordan has a mixed cultural heritage that inspires and welcomes people without losing its sense of identity, which is rooted in the traditions and values of the past.

To this day, Jordan remains a safe haven for visitors, and it boasts many natural wonders, from the stunning reefs of the Red Sea to the meditative desert landscapes.

Scuba Diving in Jordan

If you look at a map, you’d be surprised to discover that in Jordan’s southernmost tip there’s a narrow opening on the Red Sea. Although there aren’t many kilometres of coastline, the region of Aqaba is blessed with over twenty stunning dive sites for divers of all levels. The Aqaba marine park is an oasis of peace and quiet, and most dive sites are easily accessible from shore. Jordan’s dive sites are nowhere near as crowded as other top diving destination in the Red Sea, making scuba diving in Jordan a delightful experience that won’t fail to bring a smile to every diver’s face.

The King of Jordan, King Abdullah II, is a passionate diver and actively promotes initiatives to create artificial reefs and safeguard coral reefs. This makes Jordan one of the best scuba diving destinations in the world, with the Government taking to heart the protection of its underwater treasures.

Jordan is renowned for its excellent visibility, its unique underwater military museum, and all the treasures typical of the Red Sea. There are quite a lot of dive centres, all with facilities and services to help you make the most of your diving holiday. Go for a fun dive or develop your diving skills by signing up for a course with one of the biggest diving agencies like PADI and SSI. There are also professional diving courses and tech courses. As an international diving hub, courses are offered in English, Arabic, and other popular languages like Russian and French.

Best Dive Sites in Jordan

Cedar Pride wreck is one of the best dive sites in Jordan. Cedar Pride is a well-preserved and busy artificial reef. Sunk in 1985, she is easily accessible from shore, and lies between 9-26 metres, giving divers of all levels of experience the chance to see her and to take some stunning photographs. Surrounding Cedar Pride, there are coral reefs and more reef fish to be seen. For the more advanced divers looking for the ultimate adventure, Cedar Pride makes for a truly unforgettable night dive!

Seven Sisters and the Tank dive site has a lot going for it. The easy shore entry and the shallow depth is ideal for beginners, but it won’t fail to impress advanced divers too. There are coral-encrusted pinnacles crawling with marine life. Watch out for lionfish, clownfish, nudibranchs, and in the patches of seagrass, for sea horses and sea snakes. The dive site also features an American M42 for a picture of a lifetime opportunity.

Japanese Gardens is one of the most beautiful dive sites in Aqaba and, like most of the other diving spots, Japanese Gardens is also accessible from shore. Here, you’ll find some of the Red Sea’s finest attractions, with plenty of reef fish darting through coral reefs. The healthy ecosystem is home to moray eels, octopuses, turtles and schools of barracuda.

Power Station is one of the most satisfying dive sites in the Red Sea for advanced and tech divers. Power Station starts with a beautiful coral plateau at 12-20 metres, and its beauty culminates with a huge drop-off point that exceeds 40m. This spectacular wall dive has black corals, and large hump-head wrasse and giant moray eels are often spotted here.

When to Visit Jordan

Jordan enjoys a year-round diving season. However, some seasonal differences determine whether you should pack your 3mm or 5 mm wetsuit.
The Summers are very hot, with water temperatures reaching 28C. The Winters are cooler, but the water temperatures are still around 20C. The beginning of the year also brings strong winds, sandstorms and plankton, but the 30m+ visibility is hardly affected by it. Overall, the best time to visit Jordan to scuba dive is between April-May and September-October.

Even for non-diving activities, the weather changes a lot throughout the country. But generally, pack lightweight clothes for the Summer (preferably that cover knees and shoulders), but keep a thick warm layer for the chilly evenings. If you’re travelling in the Winter to the Eastern Desert and elevated locations like Petra, thick winter clothes are a must.

Getting to Jordan

Whether you’re in a neighbouring country or on the other side of the world, there are a few options for getting to Jordan.

There are direct flights to Jordan from major cities in Europe, Asia and North America. You can fly into Amman and then catch a domestic flight to Aqaba or, better still, watch out for charter flights directly to Aqaba to land directly in the heart of the diving scene.

Jordan is also accessible by sea. Many cruise lines include Aqaba as a port of call, and there are also passenger ferries operating from Nuweiba, North of Sham El Sheikh, Egypt. The timetable is known to be fickle, the paperwork tiresome, and it takes you the same time as flying. But it’s still a cheaper option, and it makes for an interesting travelling adventure! Check the visa requirements before travelling from Egypt to Jordan.

If you want to get to Jordan by road, the only real option is through Israel. There are three border crossings, with Yitzhak Rabin Terminal/Wadi Araba being the closest one to Aqaba. If you decide to cross the border, be mindful to check the visa requirements beforehand and the border opening times.

Getting Around

The best way to get around Jordan is by public transport or by taxi. Although roads are quite good, driving rules are often open for interpretation, making driving a dangerous and scary experience.

In Aqaba, most hotels are walking distance from the city centre and dive centres. If not, there are cheap taxis readily available. Just make sure that the taxi driver uses the meter! Big resorts outside of the main tourist area often have shuttle buses into the city.

Eat, Sleep & Drink

Aqaba has many hotels ranging from budget accommodation to luxury resorts. Most high-end places are on the outskirts of town, where it will be quieter, while the cheaper hotels are more central, but there will be more traffic and noise.

Jordan has an interesting blend of Mediterranean, Asian and Arabic cuisines. While you can awaken your taste buds with traditional dishes, there are also Italian and Indian restaurants. The coastal town of Aqaba doesn’t have a wild nightlife, but you can still find one or two bars that will appeal to westerners.

Non-Diving Activities

Scuba diving in Jordan is fantastic, but there are other non-diving activities that you definitely can’t miss out on.

Petra is easily classified as the number one tourist attraction in Jordan. As one of the Seven World Wonders, the ancient city of Petra lives up to its hype as one of the most stunning landmarks in the world. The 2km passage through the narrow and deep gorge will fill you with anticipation and curiosity, making your journey to the Treasury square a legendary adventure.

The Dead Sea is yet another unique destination in Jordan. The Dead Sea has high salinity levels, meaning that you don’t need a wetsuit to effortlessly float on the surface! The Dead Sea is also a popular health retreat. The mineral-rich mud and water are known to have many healing proprieties and, if anything else, they work wonders on your skin.

Wadi Rum is a stunning desert valley that looks like a Mars-like landscape. There are many things to do in Wadi Rum, with each activity better than the last. Go for a camel ride, hike the towering cliffs and stone arches, go for the full Bedouin experience and camp in a typical Bedouin settlement, and sleep under the magical star-studded night sky.

Safety

Generally, Jordan is a trouble-free country, and it works hard to maintain a positive image that welcomes and attracts tourists. But with the problems going on in the Middle East, check with your government for the latest travel advice.

The Aqaba Marine Park is a protected area, and like any other diving destination, please maintain good buoyancy control to avoid damaging reefs and interfering with animals. As always, follow local rules and regulations to protect and preserve aquatic life. There are hundreds of species of fish and corals in Jordan, so book your diving trip with a local dive shop to see some of the best diving spots in the Red Sea!

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