In these challenging times, health and safety should come first at all times. However, as the situation improves, more and more countries will be lifting the restrictions. We all hope that soon we will be able to travel freely again.
In the meantime, as we wait for the world to reopen, it’s time to discover new adventures and new places that should be next on your bucket list. We have curated a list of extraordinary sites in the Middle-East that are totally worth checking out. Discover these kept treasures in the Middle East that showcase the region’s best history, culture, and heritage.
Fayoum Oasis in Egypt
People often think about Egypt as just pyramids, deserts, the Nile River, or the Red Sea. However, there is a hidden gem situated less than two hours southwest of its capital city, Cairo.
Fayoum Oasis is certainly one of Egypt’s most beautiful, yet overlooked hidden treasures. It is made up of a lot of canals and lakes. This large area is a perfect weekend or day trip spot for those avid to escape the bustle of the city.
Wadi El Rayan is Fayoum’s main highlight. It is a sheltered national park with a large stretch of desert with an array of landscapes, fossils and formations. One of the best sites in this area is a waterfall that is noted as the largest waterfall in Egypt. The sprawling park also features a variety of rare wildlife and peculiar scenic attractions that include moving dunes, mountains, natural sulfur springs, and its best-kept secret, Wadi Al Hitan.
Mada’in Saleh in Saudi Arabia
Mada’in Saleh also called Hegra, or al-Hijr in Arabic is an ancient desert city located in the western region of Hejaz, Saudi Arabia. Mystical and undiscovered, Madain Saleh is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Arabian Peninsula.
The archaeological site of Madain Saleh covers a vast area and is the first World Heritage Site to be inscribed in Saudi Arabia. It is the biggest conserved site of the Nabataean civilization and it displays well-preserved tombs with ornate facades dating from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD. The site also shows some 50 inscriptions of the pre-Nabataean period and a few cave drawings.
The site is an impressive example of the Nabataeans’ architectural achievement and has often been compared with Petra, due to its monumental rock tombs. Yet, it differs from Petra in significant ways, because of the highly pleasing climate conditions pointed to by UNESCO
Al-Hajar Mountains in Oman
Many people believe that the Arabian Peninsula is just a desert but it also has stunning mountains, wadis, and coastlines. Oman, in spite of being 75% desert, also has 1,700 km of coastline and striking mountains that reach up to 3,000 m.
Al-Hajar Mountains or The Rocky Mountains in Arabic is a mountain range located in Northern Oman that stretches along the northern coast of Oman to the east of the United Arab Emirates. It expands from the tip of the Musandam Peninsula to the dhow-making town of Sur, in Southern Muscat. This astounding region has become one of Oman’s biggest tourist spots and is now the key to the nation’s heartland: the rough landscapes, great wadis, abandoned villages, and wide hiking trails.
This striking mountain range has a wealth of activities for the daring traveler, such as rock climbing, trekking, canyoning, and off-road adventure. Other than outdoor activities, there are various sites of historic, cultural, and geological interest that can be found in this place.
Wadi Rum in Jordan
Wadi Rum, also known as the Valley of the Moon, is a desert valley located in southern Jordan. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its breathtaking rock formations, camping, star-gazing, multi-day hikes, and remnants of past civilizations.
This stunning red-sand desert is famous for its striking sunsets, which peek through the mountain and rock formations at numerous angles. It creates some of the best photo ops that you’ll ever see and will make you feel like you’re on a different planet.
Wadi Rum has been featured in a number of Hollywood movies such as Lawrence of Arabia, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and The Martian due to its unique terrain with a wide red beach, towering sandstone and granite rock formations.
Wadi Rum’s gorgeous landscape attracts tourists from all around the world. Whether you choose to stay overnight in Bedouin camps or have a tour, Wadi Rum is a place for you to discover.
Qadisha Valley in Lebanon
The Qadisha Valley is one of the most integral Christian monastic settlements in the world and a natural treasure of Lebanon. If you are a history buff, nature lover, and wants serenity and peace, you will find it all condensed in Qadisha Valley.
Many of its monasteries are of a great age, standing in impressive forms in a rough landscape. Nearby the valley are the remnants of the immense cedar forest of Lebanon, which is highly prized in antiquity for its great religious buildings.
Taking its name from the Aramaic word for “holy”, the valley has served as a site for meditation. With heaps of options for hiking, peaceful valley trails, and remote mountain landscapes, Qadisha Valley is the perfect escape to the urban mayhem of Beirut.