Al Aqabah, Jordan is a port town. It is in the extreme southwest of the country and lies on the Gulf of Aqaba. This gulf is an inlet of the Red Sea located to the east of the Jordan-Israel frontier. It is the country’s only seaport which has direct access to the famous Red Sea. As early as 10000 B.C., a port had existed here as a site which handled trade between Syria and Palestine. Due to the freshwater springs in its vicinity, it had been King Solomon’s port during his time.
Al Aqaba was originally called Ayla by the Arabs. The current name is an abbreviation of Aqabat Ayla, meaning the “pass of Ayla”. It refers to the city being the pass (through the mountains) to the northern region. This pass now is occupied by the highway going to Ma’ān. It was first improved for traffic as early as the 9th century.
Tourists say that the beautiful, balmy Al Aqaba evenings are what you would expect and miss in Aqaba. The Gulf is very nice and it’s wonderful to cruise because in less than 50 kilometers, you can already cross four different countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The border of Jordan in the Gulf of Aqaba is 35 kilometers. You can see Israel from here.
When you go to Al Aqaba, you should not miss to go to Aqaba Fort. It is another famous landmark in the city built by none other than the Crusaders.