It all started here, the birthplace of civilisation. From ancient Mesopotamia to the first greatest Kingdom of Egypt.
The Middle East is where the ancient trespasses into the present. There’s the iconic Pyramid of Giza, intruding into the landscape from 4000 years ago – and the Temple Mount of Jerusalem, the holy place to three great religions. The beauty of Petra, the Rose-Red City, still translates after two millennia – and Tunisia’s Roman pillars give the place its Mediterranean charm. But even in the current-day medinas of Morocco, or the souks of Iran, there’s the essence of tradition, floating with the spice-aromas through the age-old air.
Top 10 trips in the Middle East
Why we love the Middle East
- Israel’s complex story is best told with the help of a local leader. Journey through the culturally and religiously significant cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, via the imposing Mount Carmel and shores of the Mediterranean Sea
- The United Arab Emirates is a land of vast oil reserves, huge sand dunes and gleaming feats of architectural engineering. Evolving at a pace that needs to be seen to be believed, the UAE’s blend of culture, tradition and modernity results in a real cosmopolitan feel
- The iconic sight of Al Khazneh in Petra is recognised all over the planet, but there’s a whole world beyond it just waiting to be discovered. Spend the night in a Bedouin desert camp in the Wadi Rum before a full day of exploring the old Roman road, amphitheatre and tombs of ‘The Treasury’
- Oman’s Wahiba Sands offers the ultimate in desert landscapes. Out past the palm-lined oasis of Wadi Bani Khalid, relish an evening of traditional Omani food and music around an open fire under the stars
- Away from the traffic of mainstream tourism, Iran retains a sense of mystery and splendour. The ancient palace of Persepolis is one of the most impressive UNESCO sites in the world
Destinations in The Middle East