Middle Eastern Vacations You Must Take Before You Die
When most people think about the Middle East, we think about violence and unrest. This is in part due to the sensationalism of war in the media. While there are precautions to take and customs of mind, that contentiousness should exist regardless of where you’re traveling. Depending on where you go, you will experience the beauty of everything from glorious mountain ranges, untouched land, tropical waters, and awesome ancient history.
The Mystique of Jordan
Jordan is probably one of the safest places to visit in the Middle East. Sure it is close to places that have been at war, but you haven’t much to fear in the safety of Jordan’s security and stable government. You might want to avoid going anywhere near Syria and Iraq, but that won’t take away your enjoyment of Jordan. There you will find one of the new Seven Wonders of the World, Petra, a city of immense historical and archaeological value, in the southern parts of Jordan. Petra, also known as the Rose City ( because of the stone’s color, from which the city is carved), is famous for its rock-cut architecture and water conduit system. It should be on everyone’s bucket list to visit the mosaics of Madaba and float in the Dead Sea, dive in the warm waters at Aqaba and relax in the hot springs. Madaba is the lowest point on earth and full of historical Judeo-Christian locations. One of the reasons Jordan is so safe is because it is trying to turn itself into the ultimate family vacation destination. It is very popular also for the food. Hummus and bread and cheese and salads, your trip to Jordan are not complete until you have eaten your weight in Mansaf.
The future host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar is the perfect Middle Eastern spot for the sports-minded traveler. Camel racing, kite-surfing, jet-skiing, and boating are popular leisure activities for both tourists and residents alike. History buffs can explore the Museum of Islamic Art and its collection that spans 1400 years or explore cave and rock formations.
Swimming in Oman
For all ye seafaring folks, Oman is a popular attraction for adventure. Swim I the freshwater pools of Wadi Shab, go turtle-watching on the impeccable shores of Raz Al Jinz, frolick with dolphins in the Khor Ash-Sham and SCUBA dive in the waters of the Arabian Gulf and sea. There be land, ho! Dry off under the stars as you camp in one of the Omani deserts, 4WD through the Hajar Mountains, or hit the shops in the Muttrah Souk where you’ll find amazing bargains and beautiful merchandise. Oman is remote and growing as a popular tourist attraction where westerners are welcome.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)