Ancient Ayla

To the far south of Jordan, about 380 km from the capital Amman, you will find the only sea port of the Kingdom overlooking the oasis of Ayla. Shaded by palm trees, Ayla sits along a coast rich in coral reefs and amazing marine life – not to mention thousands of years of history. Just beyond the bustling streets, shops, restaurants, hotels, and resorts that characterize modern-day Aqaba, you can visit the city’s historic heart.

If you want to take a break from enjoying Aqaba’s beautiful beaches, just take a short walk to this site and you will discover a part of this city you may never have imagined. The Islamic city of Ayla was one of the most important seaports in the Middle East, linking Syria, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. It was an important center of copper smelting, and products made with copper, brought in from nearby Wadi Araba, became one of the most important trades for the people of Aqaba, in addition to ship building, and sea fishing.

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