Aqaba, 280km south of Amman, is the southernmost town of Jordan and its only access to the Red Sea. The gulf around Aqaba is named after it. Aqaba has been settled since 4000BC, mainly due to its strategic location at the junction of trading routes between Asia, Africa and Europe. Due to its long history Aqaba has a number of historic buildings. In the year 2000 Aqaba and its suroundings has been declared a special economic zone, which has driven the development of the area. Nowadays Aqaba is a major tourist resort on the Red Sea, which due to its mild climate attracts tourists the whole year. South of Aqaba is a long stretch of beaches with crystal clear waters, where many hotels are located. In Aqaba there is a ferry to the Egyptian city of Nuweiba
on the Sinai peninsula.