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. Situated on the tip of the Red Sea in southern Jordan on the Gulf of Aqaba, the town's greatest attraction lies offshore in the colourful coral reefs that are rated as the best in the world. 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 swimming, water-skiing, parasailing, fishing or sunbathing. For the history enthusiast, Aqaba contains sites dating back to 4000 BC, including the recent discovery of what is believed to be the world's oldest church (3rd century), the remains of the medieval walled city of Ayla and a Mamluk 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.