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25 Most Beautiful Places in the Middle East: The Ultimate List

25 Most Beautiful Places in the Middle East: The Ultimate List

An incomplete checklist of the most lovely locations in the Middle East – from Bahrain to Yemen, the Dead Sea to the Empty Quarter, trendy metropolises to mud villages, and the whole lot in between.

Natural wonders, Holy websites, historical magnificence and trendy Islamic structure, bustling souks, Norwegian-style fjords, good oases, countless deserts, and sufficient UNESCO World Heritage Sites to please even the most discerning historical past buff. Yes, the Middle East actually does have all of it.

Discover 25 of the most lovely locations to go to in the Middle East area (Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, UAE and Yemen), as advisable by me and different journey writers.

  • Looking for Turkey inspiration? See my checklist of the most lovely locations in Turkey.

Please be aware: This submit incorporates affiliate hyperlinks, which means I could earn a fee in case you make a purchase order by clicking a hyperlink (at no further price to you). Learn extra.

25 lovely locations in the Middle East

Bald Sayt | Oman

Bald Sayt, a secluded village in Oman
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Nested in the foothills of the Al Hajar mountains, Bald Sayt (Bilad Sayt) is a real Middle Eastern oasis and a must-visit vacation spot in the lovely nation of Oman.

Remote and secluded, the tiny village is accessed on foot by strolling by means of Wadi Al Sahtan and Wadi Bani Awf. As you emerge from the closing canyon, the very first thing that greets you’re the terraced fields – tinted ruddy brown or good inexperienced relying on the season – and thick groves of date palms heavy with fruit.

The knot of tan and ivory homes that’s Bald Sayt is wrapped in mountains on all sides, including to the feeling that it emerged out of the pebbly hills by magic. Follow the snaking mountaineering path for various views of the village with the terraces and palm groves in focus.

Oman is made for street journeys – and Bald Sayt is a case in level. It can solely be reached with a mix of 4×4 and mountaineering. When planning your Oman driving itinerary, be sure you rent an off-road automobile (supplied you’re snug with driving slim, precipitous paths) or alternatively, price range a couple of days to journey to the village with a driver and information from Nizwa.

There aren’t any guesthouses in Bald Sayt – the closest lodging will be discovered in Al Hamra. Misfah Old House, a guesthouse set in a standard mud brick home, is extremely advisable.

Wadi Rum | Jordan

Sands and hills in Wadi Rum, Jordan, one of the prettiest places in the Middle East.
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At the southern fringe of Jordan lies one among the most opulent deserts on earth, Wadi Rum. Here, rock-ribbed mountains develop from an ocean of never-ending pink sand whereas the blistering solar vaporises each final drop of water.

It’s a surreal scene that resembles one thing from outer area. And, for that reason, Wadi Rum is nicknamed ‘The Valley of the Moon’.

But this isn’t the solely attraction: Relics from the Nabataean peoples will be discovered all through the desert. From petroglyphs and inscriptions to historical ruins, there’s a wealth of historical past.

There are a number of methods to discover this pure surprise. From jeep excursions and camel treks to hikes and in a single day stays, there’s something for everybody. With an space of 720 square-kilometres, you would simply spend per week right here, however an in a single day keep is the greatest compromise. There’s nothing like indulging in a scrumptious meal ready by an area household and sipping contemporary mint tea underneath the stars.

Be certain to deliver a heat jacket and a shawl. Temperatures plummet in the evenings and the dry desert winds will be unforgiving. No matter which journey you select, it’s certain to be an expertise of a lifetime!

By Jen from Dabbling in Jet Lag

Sharqiya Sands | Oman

Rippled dunes in Oman
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As you’re about to find, there’s a lot extra to the Middle East past desert landscapes. Yet the scale and solitude of the Empty Quarter by some means captures the countless great thing about the area so nicely.

The Rub Al Khali is shared between Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Oman’s portion, the Sharqiya Sands (previously referred to as the Wahiba Sands), is one among the most accessible areas for travellers, with desert safaris departing from the capital, Muscat.

Dune bashing, camel rides and sand browsing are all on provide – however in reality, it’s simply as enjoyable to stroll the rippled dunes and dip your fingers into the melting pink sands.

Luxury lodges in the type of desert camps dot the panorama. The Desert Nights Camp is one among the best and takes cues from the space’s Bedouin heritage. An evening right here – with sundown from the dunes and dinner underneath the stars – is hands-down one among the greatest experiences you may probably have in the Middle East.

Valley of the Kings | Egypt

Dramatic cliffs form a backdrop to an archaeological site in Egypt
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Not solely is Egypt’s legendary Valley of the Kings a stupendous place to go to, it’s additionally one among the Middle East’s most vital historic websites. This archaeologically wealthy space was the burial floor for royal Ancient Egyptians between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries BC. New discoveries are nonetheless being made to at the present time. Located on the western river financial institution from the metropolis of Luxor, it’s straightforward to get to with a Nile cruise, practice or coach from Cairo.

It’s attainable to go to a lot of the historical tombs and see their lovely work up shut. Depending on the time of your go to, the authorities that take care of the Valley of the Kings open sure tombs at totally different occasions.

At the time of writing there have been 62 documented tombs, all found earlier than 1922. The greatest ones are all the time visitable every day. Some particular tombs embody Ramesses IV KV2, Ramesses KV9 and Tutankhamun KV62. It’s extremely advisable to purchase a ticket for Seti 1 KV17 as nicely.

As a high sensible tip, go to with an area, educated tour information. This might be most helpful for actually understanding the historical past and significance of every tomb. Else to look at a documentary or learn a selected guide beforehand to study extra.

By Zoe from Together in Transit

Petra | Jordan

The iconic Treasury Monument in Petra, a must visit place in the Middle East.
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The lovely metropolis of Petra is situated about 240 kilometres south of Jordan’s capital metropolis, Amman, and is critical to archaeologists due to its rock-like buildings. It dates again to the 4th century BC, is a Wonder of the World – and must be included in your bucket checklist.

Visitors enter the park at Wadi Musa and comply with a path into the Siq, a gorge fashioned by tectonic plates that broke the mountain into two items. Snaking down a path with rock partitions that tower above your head is kind of an entrance. You may know this path because it featured in the 1989 journey movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, with Harrison Ford.

As the mysterious path lastly opens up, you’ll come to your first awe-inspiring view of the Treasury Monument, constructed as a tomb for the Nabataean King Aretas III. The Treasury is the spotlight of Petra, however that is solely actually the begin of your go to. There is a lot extra to see.

Once you move the Treasury, you would simply spend a day exploring the remainder of the ‘Red Rose City’, so-called due to the pink-hued stone it’s carved from. Other highlights of Petra embody the tombs and homes on the Street of Facades, and mountaineering unmarked roads to seek out spectacular views. Eventually, you’ll make it to the Royal Tombs and the magnificent Monastery.

By Chris from Aquarius Traveller

Abyaneh | Iran

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One of the most uniquely lovely villages in the Middle East is the pink mountain village of Abyaneh. Sitting fantastically in the Karkas mountains, that is one among the oldest villages in Iran, courting again no less than 2,500 years.

What makes Abyaneh so distinctive is that villagers nonetheless dwell in accordance with pre-Islamic historical customs. They nonetheless communicate their unique language and gown in conventional clothes. The costume of the girls is very distinct, with white flowery shawls.

Abyaneh’s crimson color comes from the pink clay used to cowl the homes, which makes the village mix in with the surrounding nature. Aside from exploring the streets and admiring the structure, there are outdated fort ruins and underground cave homes that guests can stroll to. This is the place you’re going to get the greatest view of the village, so it’s value the brief hike.

Read more: Best Places to Visit in the Middle East

With no public transport obtainable, the best method to go to Abyaneh is by automotive. You can rent a driver from both Kashan, Natanz, or Esfahan. To enter the village, guests should pay a upkeep payment of 10,000 rials.

When visiting Abyaneh, it’s essential to be respectful in direction of the locals. Keep this in thoughts when snapping your Instagram pictures.

By Linn from Brainy Backpackers

Jerash Ruins | Jordan

A stone path leads through a row of tall columns at the Jerash Ruins in Jordan.
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It’s possible that at any time when somebody mentions ruins in Jordan you’ll immediately consider Petra. However, there are various different archaeological websites worthy of including to your Jordan itinerary, together with the gorgeous Jerash Ruins.

The metropolis of Jerash is situated about 50 kilometres north of Jordan’s capital of Amman and will be accessed inside about an hour by taxi or collective bus. It’s actually value taking the journey out of the metropolis for.

Jerash has been dubbed ‘Pompeii of the East’, and in case you’ve ever visited the unique Pompeii ruins in Italy, you’ll be capable to see parallels between the two websites. Although the Jerash Roman Ruins weren’t obliterated by a volcano, the structure and buildings have rather a lot in frequent with Pompeii. This can be one among the greatest Roman damage websites exterior of Europe.

The web site of Jerash in all fairness in depth, and like many ruins, has little in the method of shade and shelter from the solar. Remember to pack a hat, sun shades and sunscreen, particularly in case you’re visiting throughout the center of the day. Ideally it’s best to attempt to get there early to dodge each the warmth and the tour teams.

Unmissable websites embody the Oval Forum and the historical Colonnaded Street together with the Temple of Artemis and the Arch of Hadrian.

By Becki from Meet Me in Departures

Qeshm Island | Iran

White rock formations on Qeshm Island in Iran.
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The charming Iranian island of Qeshm is the largest island in the Persian Gulf. Its essential geographical location in the Strait of Hormuz means it’s all the time been an important buying and selling and navigational centre, precipitating invasions by the Dutch, French and Portuguese in centuries previous.

Qeshm is a free zone permitting nationals of most nations to amass a visa on arrival. The ease of journey, wealthy artisan traditions and wealth of uncommon geological landscapes are all wonderful causes to discover Qeshm island.

Designated as Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark in 2017, the island is residence to a various vary of pure phenomena. Take a visit round the Hara Mangrove Forest, an actual deal with for birdwatchers with 220 species nesting amongst the winding timber and calm waters. The dhow boats in the port are a testomony to the conventional Bandari lifestyle on the island.

The Fallen Star Valley is greatest seen at sundown as the glow falls on the weather-eroded ravines and towers. Explore Chahkuh Valley in the northwestern a part of Qeshm, the place tectonic motion and washed away rock create a labyrinth of loopy cavities and shapes alongside the partitions of the gorge.

Another spotlight is discovering the salt cave at Namakdan, which is believed to be the largest in the world at 6,850 metres lengthy. Qeshm is an unimaginable vacation spot filled with tradition, custom and mind-blowing terrain.

By Vanessa from Wanders Miles

Tower of David | Israel

The Tower of David, an important historical and religious monument in Jerusalem.
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One of the most distinguished silhouettes in Jerusalem’s skyline together with the Temple Mount, the Tower of David is a must-see historic web site in the Middle East.

Even although it’s named after the biblical king of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah, David, the citadel really dates again to medieval occasions. That mentioned, the complicated does embody some stays of partitions and towers from a lot earlier eras, together with the First Temple (1006-586 BC), the Hasmonean Period (141-63 BC), and the Herodian Period (37 BC-70 AD).

The lovely fortress sits at a strategic excessive level between jap and western Jerusalem near Jaffa Gate, which is one among the greatest causes it has such nice historic significance. As cliche as it could sound, visiting it may well make you’re feeling such as you’ve been transported to the previous, and that’s an expertise you can not skip out on.

Today, the citadel complicated homes the Museum of the History of Jerusalem, the place you may study greater than 3,000 years of the metropolis’s previous. Throughout the yr, it additionally hosts the most unimaginable night time experiences that assist you to immerse your self in the tales of Jerusalem and King David by means of sounds, movies, and pictures screened on the citadel partitions.

By Or from My Path in the World

Masada National Park | Israel

Dusk over the hills in Israel
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Located in the centre of Israel, Masada National Park is called after the legendary Masada Fortress that stands atop a plateau overlooking the Dead Sea and Judean desert. It was as soon as residence to a complete civilisation, which you’ll think about while exploring the nooks and crannies of the partitions that also stand there at this time.

On high of its historic magnificence, one among the hottest issues to do right here is arrive very early in the morning and hike to the high of the plateau for dawn. The trek takes round 60-90 minutes, stretches 2.7 kilometres and rises to an elevation of 350 metres. Despite beginning the path in the darkish hours of the morning, it nonetheless feels very protected.

Although the climb will be performed at your individual tempo, most individuals have the objective of reaching the high earlier than the solar comes up. Be certain to deliver loads of water, and you’ll be rewarded with undeniably lovely dawn views of the desert and Dead Sea from the high of the mountain.

If it’s historical past and Israeli tradition you’re after, it’s attainable to go to the park throughout the day and take the cable automotive up and down the mountain as an alternative. Most excursions to this location from Jerusalem or Tel Aviv additionally embody visiting Ein-Gedi Natural Reserve and taking a dip in the Dead Sea.

By Barbora from Often Out of Office

The Dead Sea | Israel & Jordan

The Dead Sea, an emerald green body of water with a scalloped shoreline of white sand.
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When you float in the Dead Sea, it feels such as you’re floating in outer area. The lowest physique of water on Earth sits in a stupendous desert surroundings and has a salt content material virtually 10 occasions increased than common seawater. This makes it so dense that our our bodies develop into buoyant and simply float.

The Dead Sea is so salty that there isn’t any life current exterior of algae and microorganisms. However, that doesn’t imply the pure phenomenon doesn’t have any well being advantages. Due to its elevation, the Dead Sea is about eight % richer in oxygen than at sea degree. The water and pure mud additionally reduces pores and skin impurities and detoxifies the physique as a result of its excessive mineral content material.

It’s straightforward so as to add this otherworldly spa vacation spot to your Israel or Jordan itinerary because it lies on the border between the two nations. When searching for a seaside to go to, be sure it’s one with entry to pure mud on the seafloor. At some seashores you received’t discover any pure mud in the water and must buy it by the pack from distributors as an alternative.

Kalia Beach is one among the high seashores to go to and will be performed as a day journey from Jerusalem. At this seaside, you may simply scoop up black mud from the seafloor and make your self a cleaning physique masks. There is an entrance payment of 60 NIS per particular person, however it consists of good services and entry to the ‘lowest bar in the world’.

By Cecily from Groovy Mashed Potatoes

Hormuz Island | Iran

Colourful rock formations on Hormuz Island, Iran.
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Hormuz Island in Iran, also called the ‘Bloody Island’ and the ‘Rainbow Island of Iran’, is one among the most vibrant, distinctive and exquisite islands not solely in the Middle East, however in the world.

This epic gem is located in the province of Hormozgan at the southernmost finish of Iran. Travelling on this tiny little island appears like exploring one other planet as a personality of a magical sci-fi fantasy. Hormuz doesn’t even have vehicles – you may solely transfer round the island on foot, by bike, bike or tuk-tuk (rickshaw).

The island boasts good and vibrant seashores, mountains, valleys and caves. The two most gorgeous locations are the Red Beach and the Rainbow Mountains.

Read more: 32 Best places to visit in the Middle East in 2022

The Red Beach, so-called as a result of the sand on the seaside is actually pink, is the most iconic landmark of Hormuz Island. The sand colors the sea water a type of pinkish-reddish. The second most well-known sight on the island is the Rainbow Mountain. An countless flood of shades and hues of terrain makes this mountain distinctive.

If the panorama on Hormuz doesn’t blow your thoughts, the native gastronomy will. Fish stew – as pink as the Red Beach itself as a result of it’s flavoured with soil – is the hottest meal. Would you strive it?

By Diana from The Globetrotting Detective

Siwa Oasis | Egypt

Rattan chairs sit on the edge of a blue pool at the gorgeous Siwa Oasis in Egypt.
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Siwa Oasis in Egypt’s Western Desert is one among the most unforgettable locations to go to in the Middle East, particularly in case you’re searching for an genuine, off-the-beaten-path expertise.

Located simply 50 kilometres from the border with Libya, the solely method to attain Siwa is to drive or to take a 10-hour coach journey from Cairo. It’s a protracted, scorching slog alongside a bumpy desert street filled with potholes, however it’s value it to discover this gorgeous historic oasis city with its distinctive Amazigh tradition.

Once referred to as ‘Palm Land’, Siwa has 10 occasions extra palm timber than folks (33,000 timber in whole), heat oasis swimming pools to wash in, and an enormous salt lake that’s merely the greatest place to look at the sundown.

There’s a stunning variety of issues to do in Siwa. You will most likely be tempted to climb the Mountain of the Dead, which dates again to the time of the Romans who settled in Siwa after Cleopatra died, and also you’ll wish to see the Temple of Si-Amun whilst you’re there. A visit to the medieval Shali (or ‘City of Mud’) is unmissable.

One of the highlights of a go to to Siwa is a visit into the desert to strive a sand bathtub or sandboarding and take a dip in a desert pool. Stay in a single day on a desert safari and huddle round a campfire, swapping tales and watching the brightest stars you’ve ever seen.

Siwa is a deal with and it’s certain to work its magic on you. Stay in an eco-lodge or tiny boutique lodge to make the most of your journey.

By Coralie from Grey Globetrotters

Byblos | Lebanon

Boats docked in the harbour at Byblos, Lebanon, one of the most beautiful historic towns in the Middle East.
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Located solely 30 kilometres from the capital of Lebanon, Beirut, Byblos is a real gem and one among the most attention-grabbing locations in the area. According to historic sources, that is one among the oldest repeatedly inhabited cities in the world, with the first settlers arriving right here between 8000 and 5000 BC.

These days Byblos may seem to be a small, sleepy city, however don’t let that idiot you – there are many points of interest to see. The main landmark is the twelfth century Crusaders Castle. Even if it’s largely in ruins at this time, visiting feels a bit like travelling again in time. Ancient ruins reminiscent of the King’s Well, Royal Tombs and Roman Theatre show you how to think about the grandness of the place at its peak of prosperity.

From the fort, you may as well admire a stupendous vista of Byblos and the Mediterranean coast of Lebanon. The close by souk space is a vibrant deal with for the senses, with winding cobbled lanes, memento outlets, cafes and eating places, and picturesque corners. From there, it’s a brief stroll to the harbour, the previously busy historical port that at this time hosts quite a few fisherman’s boats blended with fancy yachts.

Visiting Byblos may be very straightforward as frequent minibuses join the city with Beirut. The journey takes round one hour.

By Kami from Kami and the Rest of the World

Sheik Zayed Mosque | UAE

The Sheik Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, one of the most beautiful mosques in the Middle East.
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Located in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, the Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque is the greatest and most-visited mosque in the whole nation – and one among the largest mosques in the world.

The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007 and represents the fusion of various Muslim cultures impressed by Turkey, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan. It was designed by British, Italian and Emirati architects to mirror how Islam interacts with the remainder of the world. The result’s mesmerising: The Sheik Zayed Mosque might be the most spectacular mosque constructed in the twentieth century and in addition one among the most welcoming to outsiders.

At the centre of the mosque stands a courtyard with one among the world’s largest marble mosaic flooring. Inside, the mosque options over one thousand columns, 82 marble domes, gold-plated Swarovski chandeliers, and hand-woven carpets.

It’s attainable to go to the Grand Mosque on a day journey from Dubai. There are lots of journey tour brokers that can organise the logistics for you. Women are required to put on a full-body overlaying, together with a scarf. If you guide by means of a tour firm, they normally present appropriate gown.

By Mal from Raw Mal Roams

Doha | Qatar

Traditional architecture at the souk in Doha, Qatar.
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Sitting someplace between Muscat and Dubai on the Middle Eastern cities sliding scale, Qatar’s capital metropolis, Doha, is a wedding of the conventional and the up to date. If you solely have a brief airport layover, in the future in Doha remains to be sufficient time to take in the contrasts and contradictions.

The Museum of Islamic Art, one among the most wonderful items of structure in the area, is a must-visit. Head out the again for a superb view of downtown Doha’s skyscrapers framed by stone arches. The museum is strolling distance from the aromatic Souq Waqif, which charms with its piles of vibrant rugs and miniature dunes made from spices. In the night, don’t miss visiting the close by Falcon Souq and Falcon Hospital, one among Qatar’s most unusual points of interest.

After a self-guided metropolis tour, journey past Doha to Khor Al Adaid, the well-known Inland Sea. One of the few locations on earth the place the sea meets the desert, it’s into consideration to develop into the nation’s second UNESCO World Heritage Site. Day excursions from Doha to Khor Al Adaid are a handy possibility in case you don’t have off-roading expertise.

Dynamic, budget-friendly and one among the most secure cities in the Middle East (and in the whole world for that matter), Doha is the excellent vacation spot for solo feminine travellers or first-time guests to the area. See these Qatar journey suggestions for extra recommendation.

Dubai | UAE

The skyline of Dubai silhouetted against a dusty sky.
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One of the most vibrant cities in the area, Dubai is an final journey vacation spot in the Middle East that has all of it. It has come a great distance from a tiny fishing village to a sprawling metropolitan metropolis.

From glittering skyscrapers to sandy seashores and adventurous desert safaris, this can be a metropolis filled with potentialities. One of the first issues to see in Dubai is in fact the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest constructing. Marvel at unparalleled views of the metropolis from the Sky Lounge and Observation Deck on the constructing’s 148th flooring.

Fair to say that Dubai is a client’s paradise. Adjacent to the Burj Khalifa is the world’s largest mall, The Dubai Mall. Here one can find every kind of stores, cafes and eating places together with an indoor ice rink, an enormous aquarium, and the dazzling Dubai Fountain.

Don’t go away the metropolis with out making a go to to the Dubai Creek and the Al Fahidi Neighbourhood the place you may see the cultural centres, the Dubai Museum, souks and conventional buildings. To finish your journey, sail by means of the seas at the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina on a yacht or a cruise to admire the unimaginable views of the skyline.

By Anjali from Cheerful Trails

Al Fateh Mosque | Bahrain

The dome and minaret of the Al Fateh Mosque, a beautiful place in Bahrain.
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Bahrain is a surprisingly attention-grabbing place to go to in the Middle East for a brief, 3-4 day journey. One of the must-see-places in Bahrain is the Al Fateh Mosque in the capital, Manama.

Built in the Nineteen Eighties, it may well accommodate as much as 7,000 folks for prayer, making it the greatest place of worship in Bahrain. The constructing is constructed from mild colored marble from Italy and the dome that covers the predominant prayer corridor is the greatest fibreglass dome in the world.

Apart from the architectural magnificence, the predominant motive why it’s best to go to the Al Fateh Mosque is the tour they provide for guests. Al Fateh claims to be the first mosque to supply customer’s excursions and it truly is value your time. As a girl, you’ll be given a cloak and scarf to cowl up so you may stroll round the courtyards and the predominant prayer corridor.

Here you may see the Mihrab, the prayer area of interest, surrounded by calligraphy in a really outdated Bahraini model and the enormous, Austrian-made chandelier. You will sit for some time and study rather a lot about Islam and mosques.

Read more: 20 Places To Visit In The Middle East For A Cultural Holiday Experience

The mosque is open from 9am-5pm daily besides throughout prayer occasions. Tours can be found in many languages.

By Eva from Not Scared of the Jetlag

Musandam Fjords | Oman

A dirt road winds through rock formations towards a blue bay in Oman
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Another sudden panorama in the area, Oman’s Musandam Fjords have earned the nickname ‘the Norway of the Middle East’. The 1000’s of serrated khors(ravines) with spectacular drop-offs into the Strait of Hormuz does certainly resemble the majestic facet arms of Scandinavia’s coast – but the colors and ecology makes Musandam past comparability.

Coves and cliffs outline the whole size of the shoreline that wraps round the northern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. The longest fjord, Khor Ash Sham, stretches for some 16 kilometres. The solely method to immerse your self in this larger-than-life panorama is by taking a wood dhow boat cruise. You’ll possible see pods of frolicking dolphins alongside the method.

A well-liked vacationer vacation spot amongst travellers from the UAE (Musandam is an enclave simply reached by Dubai or Abu Dhabi), the lovely seashores, heat waters and coral reefs entice snorkellers and scuba divers as nicely. Don’t miss a cease at Telegraph Island (Jazirat Maqlab), as soon as a British communications outpost.

Rawanduz Valley | Iraqi Kurdistan

A deep canyon with lush foliage in Rawanduz, Iraqi Kurdistan.
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The mountains of the Kurdistan area are one among the most epic elements of Iraq, with lovely inexperienced forests, gushy waterfalls, steep cliffs and winding canyons together with the Canyon of Rawanduz. Being the most spectacular pearl of mountainous Kurdistan, the canyon and valley is one among the most lovely locations to go to in Iraq.

Situated in the rural a part of Erbil Governorate, surrounded by the Zagros Mountain Range, Rawanduz incorporates a snake-like river transferring between dramatic rock formations. You can take pleasure in the canyon each from inside its valley and from above. The mountaineering path inside the Valley of Rawanduz is ideal for journey lovers.

If you wish to see the canyon from above, there are a number of viewpoints in the village of Rawanduz. The greatest method to observe down the viewpoints and to witness the great thing about this place is thru a drive alongside the canyon rim. Chances are that you simply’ve by no means seen something like this earlier than.

Close to Rawanduz Valley, there are different lovely pure marvels you can not miss, reminiscent of the mountains of Soran, the Bekhal Waterfall, and the Geli Ali Beg Waterfall.

By Diana from The Globetrotting Detective

Socotra | Yemen

Distinctive trees dot the landscape on Socotra Island, Yemen, one of the most unique landscapes in the Middle East.
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Nowhere captures the unworldly pure great thing about the Middle East fairly like Socotra. The largest of 4 islands in an archipelago of the identical identify, Socotra is lauded for its ‘alien-like beauty’ and biodiversity, which earned it UNESCO World Heritage standing in 2008.

Socotra is related to dragon timber (Dracaena cinnabari), an endemic species with curious department formations. Beyond its well-known flora, the island is extremely numerous, with a rugged shoreline and inside mountains.

Located in the Arabian Sea, the island was solely accessible by cargo ship up till a couple of many years in the past when an airport was constructed. There is restricted vacationer infrastructure and only a handful of guesthouses. Because of ongoing conflicts in the area, travelling to Socotra island is, sadly, not as straightforward because it as soon as was. Be certain to do your analysis earlier than you begin planning a visit.

Shiraz | Iran

A beautiful garden in Shiraz, one of the most beautiful places in Iran.
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A Silk Road metropolis and one among the oldest settlements related to historical Persia, Shiraz is called the metropolis of poets, literature, fruit timber and manicured gardens. This ought to offer you a clue as to why Shiraz is taken into account by many to be the most lovely metropolis in Iran.

Shiraz’s heritage goes again to no less than 2000 BC. For most of its historical past, it has been a hub for regional commerce, and it stays a preferred vacation spot at this time as the largest metropolis in south-west Fars Province.

The metropolis wears its wealthy historical past proudly on its sleeve: Beautiful gardens together with the Eram Garden and opulent historical mosques, most notably the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque with its iconic tinted glass, make Shiraz a darling of Iran tourism.

Another layer to Shiraz’s character: This is a metropolis of heritage crafts, the place masters have perfected inlaid mosaics, silverware and pile carpets over the course of centuries. Save your purchasing for Shiraz, as a result of that is the greatest place in the nation to seek out an genuine memento.

Baalbek | Lebanon

Roman columns at the ruins of Baalbek in Lebanon.
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If you’re spending time in Lebanon, you’ll want to go to the Roman ruins of Baalbek, referred to as Heliopolis to the Romans. The legendary birthplace of Baal, the Canaanite god of the solar, Baalbek existed lengthy earlier than the Romans conquered the metropolis in 47 BC.

Baalbek is an unlimited web site identified for its historical temple complicated. The Temple of Jupiter, now virtually utterly destroyed, was as soon as the largest temple in historical Rome. A smaller temple devoted to Bacchus, nevertheless, is fantastically preserved and remains to be bigger than the Parthenon in Athens. There are different exceptional ruins to wander by means of at Baalbek and as a plus, the web site is normally quiet, with comparatively few guests.

Baalbek is underneath two hours’ drive from Beirut. You can do an organised day journey from the metropolis or go to your self by taking the public bus – simply hold in thoughts that the journey takes roughly three hours every method and also you’ll must stroll from the closing cease to the historical metropolis.

You should buy tickets at the gate, which is open from 8.30am till sundown. If you’re travelling independently, it could possibly be value hiring an area information. Keep in thoughts that the ruins can get extremely popular in summer season, so chances are you’ll want to go to throughout the cooler months.

By Roxanne from Faraway Worlds

Temple of Edfu | Egypt

The Temple of Edfu in Egypt, viewed at sunset from behind engraved rocks.
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Starting from Luxor, a Nile River Cruise is an effective way to discover the many heritage websites in Upper Egypt together with the temples at Kom Ombo, the Temple of Esna, and the Aswan High Dam.

Edfu is situated round 100 kilometres south of Luxor and is normally the first cease on the journey. The temple was constructed between 237 and 57 BC underneath the Ptolemaic Kingdom. It’s an essential archaeological web site of historical Egypt as a result of it’s one among the best-preserved, with an virtually full pylon and quite a few wall engravings.

This temple is the largest in Egypt devoted to Horus, God of kingship and the sky, and Hathor of Dendera. It is believed that Horus gave energy and recognition to the ruling Pharaoh, Ptolemy VIII, who conquered higher Egypt. Ptolemy XII Auletes, the father of Cleopatra, will be seen engraved on the left of the temple’s Pylon, holding a persist with defeat his enemies with.

Because it’s located on increased floor, the Temple of Edfu escaped the flood harm that ruined many different buildings in the space. In reality, the damage was buried underneath sand for hundreds of years till Napoleon’s French expedition unearthed it in 1798, revealing it to the world in 1860.

By Kenny from Knycx Journeying

Salmiya | Kuwait

Aerial view of Salmiya city in Kuwait.
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Salmiya, Kuwait is a tremendous metropolis 15 kilometres from the capital, Kuwait City. It has many attention-grabbing points of interest the place you may see and study extra about Kuwait’s historical past and tradition. Visit the Tareq Rajab Museum of Islamic Calligraphy that has greater than 30,000 gadgets referring to Islamic manuscripts, calligraphy, carvings, jewelry and extra.

The Sheikh Abdullah Al Salem Cultural Centre has over 1,100 totally different reveals and 22 galleries. With six totally different elements, it’s the largest museum complicated in the world.

Salmiya can be residence to the Salem Al-Mubarak Street purchasing district, one among the largest and oldest purchasing districts in the nation. While you’ll discover that elements of the district are modernised, there are additionally conventional stalls in the facet streets that take you again to outdated Kuwait.

Even although the nation has a low crime price, guests ought to train the identical precautions as they might when travelling in some other metropolis. Visit Salmiya for its mixture of Arab and Indo-Pakistani cultures whereas being surrounded by trendy structure.

By Rasika from Bae Area & Beyond

What did we miss? What is your favorite place in the Middle East?

Find more Best places to travel in the middle east – Indochina Airlines

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