For the history enthusiast, Aqaba contains sites reflecting human habitation back to 4000 BCE, resulting from the citys strategic location at the junction of trading routes between Asia, Africa and Europe.
According to the Bible, "King Solomon also built ships in Ezion-Geber, which is near Elath in Edom, on the shores of the Red Sea." This verse from the Old Testament (1 Kings 9: 26) probably refers to an Iron Age port city on the same ground as modern Aqaba.
The ruins of Ayla, unearthed in the mid-1980s by a American-Jordanian archeological team, are a few minutes walk north along the main waterfront road.
The Crusaders occupied the area in the 12th century and built their fortress of Helim, which remains relatively well-preserved today.
The thriving underwater marine life and the crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Aqaba make diving conditions there among the acknowledged best in the world.