Middle East City Breaks
The region of the Middle East spans a vast majority of countries from the coast of Israel to the deserts of Saudi Arabia, the southern and eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea including the Arabian Peninsula and by some definitions, Iran, North Africa and beyond. This diverse region is bursting with some of the most extraordinary landscapes, cities, unforgettable historical sites and cultures the world has to offer.
Egypt is a country full of exotic places waiting to be visited from the Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the reclining limestone statue of the Sphinx of Giza, to Luxor, Egypt’s open air museum with stunning Mosques and Temples including the Temple of Karnak. In the Valley of the Kings you will find housed over 50 tombs from is rich cultural past. The White Desert in western Egypt is amazingly beautiful, featuring kilometres upon kilometres of unusual, unearthly rock formations formed millions of years ago when the surface of the desert was covered in a layer of chalk. The White Desert is particularly remarkable at night time, when the moonlight and stars lend it an ethereal glow. So when visiting Egypt think exotic, copious amounts of gold, beauty in its cities of Cairo, Aswan, along the Nile Valley to Luxor and the Red Sea resort areas around Sharm el-Sheikh. This country will have you captivated from your arrival into Cairo, its most famous city on the river Nile to its desert adventures, Temples and Mosques and the general history rooted in its culture that permeates the entire country.
Israel is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land and Jerusalem the birth place of the Lord Jesus. Israel has a vibrant history and culture and ties to diversified religions making it an interesting place to visit. The country’s most sacred sites are located in Jerusalem within the Old City. The Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock, one of the world’s holiest sites and a stunning example of Islamic architecture. Inside the Dome is the Foundation Stone, a holy artefact of immense importance to those of both Muslim and Jewish faiths. The historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are also found in the Temple Mount complex. The highly modernised Tel Aviv is the financial hub and is known for its Bauhaus architecture. The country has some of the best beach resorts from Eilat in the south to Tel Aviv and Haifa in the north. The Dead Sea is bordered by Jordan, Palestine and Israel. This saltwater lake is known for being one of the world’s most saline bodies of water as well as one of its most stunning.
Jordan is affectionally known as the "Lawrence of Arabia" and a spectacular destination to visit. The country is overflowing with grand structures and hints of old civilisations including Petra, capital of the Nabatean Kingdom, more commonly referred to as the "Rose City" due to its vibrant sandstone colour. It is one of the world’s most famous archaeological sites and named one of the new Seven Wonders of the World. A photographers dream as you step through the narrow Siq Valley where the massive pillars gradually rise into view, you will know you’re in an extraordinary place. Other major highlights include the Dead Sea, floating in its calm warm waters or diving in Aqaba, relaxing in natural hot springs that sit underneath a waterfall and exploring the world’s lowest altitude nature reserve at Mujib Biosphere Reserve. The modern capital city of Amman has numerous ancient ruins including the historic Citadel, which includes the pillars of the Roman Temple of Hercules and the 8th Century Umayyad Palace complex, known for its grand dome, which sits upon Jabal al- Qala’a hill. Hospitality is an extremely important part of their culture so expect to receive a very warm welcome.
United Arab Emirates is a one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, rich with Emirati culture. The U.A.E. offers, modernity, vast deserts, ancient forts and an ever-expanding infrastructure. Once known for its fishing based economy it is now home to palm shaped islands, glittering malls, traditional souks, theme parks, the world's best galleries and grand architecture. One of the most revered sites is the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, a wonder of contemporary Islamic architecture with its pure white exterior spectacularly reflected in pools of water and the spectacular interior with marble columns inlaid with mother of pearl, Swarovski crystal chandeliers and beautifully woven Persian carpets. Dubai is home to the tallest free standing structure on earth, the Burj Khalifa sitting at more than 828 metres and more than 160 stories. Dubai arguably offers some of the best shopping in the entire world including the Dubai Mall, which houses an aquarium and underwater zoo where you can dive with sharks and stingrays. The dazzling Dubai Fountain puts on an impressive choreographed light and dance show nightly with water erupting to music up to 140 metres. Jumeirah Beach offers fine white sand and azure waters making it an ideal spot for watersport enthusiasts. Set on its own island just off the coast the iconic sail shaped building of the Burj Al Arab sits proudly gleaming over the Arabia Peninsula.