Travelling in the Middle East; Beautiful scenery, ancient civilisations, fascinating culture and mouth-watering cuisine. The Middle East offers plenty for every type of visitor. Here are a few Middle-Eastern destinations that we think should be on your travel bucket list for this region.
The otherworldly white travertine terraces of Pamukkale are Turkey’s most visited attraction. If you stay overnight in Pamukkale, you’ll be able to avoid the worst of the crowds, who tend to arrive in the afternoon after a long drive from the Turkish coast. Start your day with a dip in the warm waters of one of the natural pools, soaking up not just the reportedly health-giving minerals but also the striking views across the Anatolian plains, and spend the rest of the day exploring the impressive ruins of the nearby ancient spa town of Hierapolis.
As your footsteps echo off the narrow, sandstone walls of the canyon known as the Siq, allow yourself to be transported back in time, maybe as many as 11,000 years, which is how long the Rose City is thought to have been inhabited. The Siq is the most popular entrance to this ancient archaeological site, discharging its visitors at the much-photographed Al Khazneh (the Treasury). This is the best-known of Petra’s sites, but there are plenty of others to explore within the 2,640 acres.
There are plenty of reasons to visit the nation of Qatar, which occupies a finger of land that juts into the Arabian Sea. Many of its most popular attractions, including the phenomenal Museum of Islamic Art, are found in its capital, Doha, but if you have time to venture a little further afield, travel by 4WD across the golden dunes to the ‘inland sea’ of Khor Al Adaid. It’s beautiful by day, but under a full moon on an overnight camping tour complete with traditional entertainment and food, it becomes truly magical.
The Sultanate of Oman is the easternmost nation on the Arabian Peninsula, with more than 3000 kilometres of coastline to enjoy, which means there are plenty of options if you’re looking for beautiful beaches. Ras El Hadd is roughly a three-hour drive from the capital city of Muscat, and if your timing is right, you can watch green turtles coming ashore at night to dig holes for their eggs or watch the hatchlings make their journey back to the sea.
Caesarea is located on Israel’s northern Mediterranean coast, which means it offers both lovely beaches and settled weather, but its real drawcard is the national park, which is one of the country’s most impressive archaeological sites. Take in a live concert in the restored amphitheatre, visit the harbour that was built by King Herod and is considered an engineering marvel, or dive amid the ruins at the world’s only underwater museum.
Whether your preference is independent travel, a small group tour or even a luxury cruise, there is a Middle Eastern adventure that’s right for you. Ask your personal travel manager for advice and travel tips to start planning yours.