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Wanted up to date transport option Egypt/Jordan

Jeanie99

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Tags: Egypt and Jordan travel
  • Added on: December 25th, 2013
Does anyone have up to date transport information between Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt and Aqaba in Jordan.

We would like to travel to Petra for a few days while we are staying in Sharm.
On the Internet I don't seem to be able to get up to date information and what is there not sure if it is correct.

Ferries and where we can take them
or
Bus travel which I guess is via Israel, how long would this take,
Is it right we could get a visa on the Israel border?I've a multi entry visa for Egypt so can get back in.

Looked at a flights but they are so so expensive I couldn't believe the prices.

We have three weeks in Hurghurda before traveling onto Sharm and the Internet said there was a ferry between the resorts but now I find there isn't which is a real pain as we have to take a flight which will cost about £150 each.

2wanderers

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  • Added on: December 27th, 2013
The Arab Bridge ferry runs Nuweiba-Aqaba. It looks like their winter schedule is the vehicle ferry only, which is quite slow, and has a reputation for long loading delays. Leaves Nuweiba at 4pm, returns from Aqaba at 3 am. They also run high speed catamarans sometimes ($142 round trip), but I don't see it on their schedule...maybe email to find out if the website is accurate. When I was there, this was the only option, and it was...unpleasant. We were able to get the fast ferry, but figuring out where to buy tickets, and then moving around the port was a big stress, and the ferry still left around 3 hours late because of how slow it loaded.

More recently, Arab Bridge started a tourist-focused subsidiary (Meenagate), which runs Taba-Aqaba, and appears to be set up with the idea of doing day-trips from Sinai to Petra. Be at the Taba ferry port by 5am, and return from Aqaba at 6:30pm. From the sounds of it, this is the more pleasant option, and is actually cheaper because the distance is shorter: $130 round trip.

There's regular bus service on the sinai that will run from Sharm to Taba (via Nuweiba), but it's not tied into the ferry schedules, so there'll be some waiting around. You'd almost certainly have to overnight in Taba if you want to catch the 5am ferry.

I know little about bussing through Israel. As I understand it, there aren't cross-border services, so you'd need to arrange separate transportation in each country. That may have changed, and due to the restrictions crossing through Israel would have put on us later, we didn't even consider it in our travels.

On a side note, it's well worth spending more time in Jordan, it's a fantastic country, particularly in comparison to Egypt, which is one of the few countries I've visited that I wouldn't want to go back to. Petra's a highlight, but there's far more to see, like Wadi Rum, Kerak, Jerash, Dana, the King's Highway, the Dead Sea and likely a whole host of things I've forgotten (or missed entirely).

2wanderers

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  • Added on: December 27th, 2013
Added note: the wikitravel guide suggests that because the tourist ferry companies are primarily used to dealing with groups, there may be some added details an independent traveler needs to watch out for, such as paying the Jordanian departure tax and making sure you get both a visa and an entry stamp in Jordan.

Jeanie99

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  • Added on: December 29th, 2013
Neil
Many thanks for the very informative answer to my question and it is much appreciated.
It does seem someone drawn out to make the trip and we are re thinking the whole Petra visit.
Recent news from a local who lives in Aqaba, (info via the hospitality club) is that there are demonstrations in Jordan because of the refugee influx from Syria so my husband and I have decided reluctantly to put this trip on hold.
We have 6 weeks in Egypt in two resorts and will spend the time holidaying instead of traveling. Snorkeling and sailing if we can hire so it will still be a great trip.
I am loosely planning a 6 month round the world trip from December 2014 so will include the Jordon visit on the way out and will then get the chance to include a few more places within Jordan making a better visit all round.
We can fly in straight from the UK as our first leg so much simpler.

Thanks again and enjoy your traveling in 2014.

Jean :D

Lucky Luke

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  • Added on: January 13th, 2014
Hi Jeanie,

I've just got back from a couple of weeks in Israel & Jordan.

Firstly, I don't think you have anything to worry about re: protest/Syrian refugees; this seems to be concentrated solely in the north of the country and a couple of girls we met who live in Irbid(?) said they hasn't even seen anything; it seems to be just on the border.

Secondly, if you enter Jordan at Aqaba, you get issued a free visa as Aqaba is a special economic zone or something similar. Apparently if you're not also departing from there you are supposed to go and register somewhere in the town but we didn't and nobody asked any questions or charged us any fees when we flew out of Amman a week later. If you're exiting from Eilat, Israel there will be a 107 NIS (£20ish) departure fee however.

Thirdly, if it happens that you do enter Jordan at the Eilat/Aqaba crossing, I highly recommend that you prearrange your transport from the border (ie pre-book a private taxi). There is a well known taxi-mafia operation at the border, run by a very unpleasant, aggressive little man who it is best to avoid dealing with if at all possible. (a google search on the crossing will supply plenty of horror stories)
Luckily, we'd done our research and had a car waiting so he left us in peace but we did witness him in action when a couple of backpackers and it wasn't pleasant. He got very angry and even physical with the guy. Not someone you want to be stuck at the mercy of.

Other than that, Jordan was pretty awesome. Petra was amazing - especially recommend doing the "by candlelight" experience if you're there the right date - a bit cheesy but so worth it for the photos. We stayed at La Maison Hotel which is 3 mins walk from the entrance and was only 22JOD per night for a pretty tidy 3 star.

Also, if you get a chance, go to Wadi Rum, it was definitely a highlight of the trip for us.



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