Aqaba contains sites dating back to 4,000 BC, including the recent discovery of what is believed to be the world's oldest church from the 3rd century AD, the remains of the medieval walled city of Ayla and a Mamluke fort. These are proof of Aqaba's strategic position as the main port on the trading route to the Far East from Africa in ancient times, which made it a thriving town, and it is this same location today that makes it an important tourist centre. It is also conveniently situated for excursions to the spectacular desert scenery of Wadi Rum and the ancient rock city of Petra.
Aqaba is situated in southern ofJordan, lies at the tip of the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aqaba. It is strategically located at the crossroads of the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, and borders Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel.
The town's greatest attraction lies offshore in the colourful coral reefs that are rated as the best in the world. As Jordan's only outlet to the sea, the tourist resort of Aqaba is known for its fantastic diving opportunities, mild winter climate and sandy beaches.
These boast an incredible marine life and provide wonderful opportunities for divers and snorkelers in the clear waters year round. Besides underwater escapades, Aqaba is an ideal location for watersports and relaxation, whether it is swimming, waterskiing, parasailing, fishing or sunbathing.