Visit the Middle East, North Africa & Greater Arabia
Like the idea of buying gold bars from an ATM in the outrageously wealthy Emirates Palace? Or going dune bashing in Dubai? Intrigued by haunted caves in Oman? This wild and wonderful region is home to some of the oldest populated cities on the planet including the historical gems of Jerusalem and Cairo. The architecture of these cities is testament to their rich cultural heritage, and there’s always a welcome from the throngs of local people. Away from the cities, this part of the world is home to natural wonders such as the River Nile and the Sahara Desert. It’s a land full of contrasts and has something to appeal to all travellers.
Architects’ imaginations run wild in Abu Dhabi. Astonishing pineapple towers spring from the desert. A Frisbee shaped high-rise appears to have landed upright in perfectly formed palm gardens. Home to the world’s largest carpet, the marble clad Grand Mosque morphs in colour with each lunar cycle.
You can rediscover Arabic life pre-oil boom on a desert safari. Get up close and personal with long-lashed camels. Take the ride of your life down monumental sand dunes and recline on woven cushions in a Bedouin camp as dusk settles and the sky burns red. It’s a magic carpet ride of sorts, as the music starts, feasting begins and belly dancers whirl seductively around camp.
Our Picks for Abu Dhabi
Essential Abu Dhabi - 3 days from $436
Off Road Adventure in the Emirates - 5 days from $1879
A trip to Dubai can be much more than a stopover in a glamorous hotel. Of course there are the glitzy shopping malls and phenomenal high-rise buildings that the UAE is renowned for. Beyond the shiny façade is an adventure waiting to be discovered.
There’s a souq for almost everything in Dubai. Locals get their fix of the shiny stuff at the Deira Gold Souq. Sumptuous fabrics and sequined leather shoes sparkle at the Bur Dubai Souq.
If haggling’s not your thing, perhaps a wander through the narrow lanes of the Al Fahidi historic district is for you. The Dubai Museum is inside the Al Fahidi Fort, one of Dubai’s oldest buildings. Here you can get a feel for how Dubai evolved so rapidly from a modest fishing village to hyper-modern global metropolis.
Our Picks for Dubai
Dubai Discovery - 3 days from $565
Dubai Stopover - 4 days from $455
Discover the Emirates - 8 days from $3025
Channel your inner archaeologist and enter the world of the ancient Egyptians. Squeeze your way down lantern lit tunnels at the secretive Pyramid of Meidum to reach an imposing limestone burial chamber. Touch a massive granite sarcophagus, its lid still wedged ajar, left by tomb raiders thousands of years ago.
If you’re keen to escape the crowds, sleep under the stars and taste village life on a Felucca sailing trip along the Nile. Dive into the famous fluorescent coral reefs near Tiran Island and experience the thriving underwater world with sea turtles, eagle rays and luminescent red anemones.
Our Picks for Egypt
Egypt Explorer - 12 days from $1919
Nile Cruising - 5 days from $639
Best of Egypt - 8 days from $879
Oman has maintained the low rise traditions of ancient times, as opposed to the skyscrapers of wealth which have come to adorn many other countries of the Arab world. It provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a traditional Bedouin welcome in a nation with an ancient and proud history. Culture isn’t the only attraction in Oman, with a landscape that encompasses pristine shorelines, natural deserts and awe inspiring mountains.
Our Picks for Oman
Oman & the United Arab Emirates - 10 days from $3012
Fjords of Musandam - 3 days from $1535
Off Road Arabia - 13 days from $8412
Crossing the Empty Quarter - 9 days from $7975
Intoxicating Moroccan place names like Casablanca, Marrakesh and Fes, conjure an exotic mix of mazed medinas, secret spice worlds, and a kaleidoscope of colour. In Marrakesh’s souks, musk and amber perfumes the air. Exquisite Berber silver jewellery is an unexpected delight and colourful carpets with talismanic symbols can be admired whilst sipping fresh mint tea with the locals.
If all this sounds too hectic, you can sooth sore muscles with an argon oil pummelling in a mosaic-tiled hammam (bath house).
After a solid day’s walking in the glorious high Atlas mountains, there’s nothing more rewarding than lifting the ornate lid of a steaming tagine, lovingly cooked on coals by a Berber family. Sleep in a beautifully ochred Kasbah, surrounded by gardens of pomegranate and figs.
Our Picks for Morocco
Atlas Mountain Trek - Sold Out
Climb Mt Tobkal - 7 days from $749
Morocco: Sahara & Beyond - 15 days from $2379
Turkey is a country that is split between two continents, Europe and Asia, although it is also considered to be Middle Eastern. In fact Istanbul is the only city on the planet to have this distinction. This unique existence leads to Turkey having an exotic mix of east and west. Spend a morning shopping in the colourful and noisy bazaars, or party the night away at completely westernised nightclubs. Away from the cities, Turkey has much to offer beach loving visitors, at resorts such as Marmaris and Bodrum, or visit the other-worldy landscapes of Cappadocia.
Our Picks for Turkey
Taurus Mountains Trek - 8 days from $1145
Explore Turkey - 15 days from $2599
The Best of Turkey - 8 days from $1299
Istanbul & Gallipoli - 6 days from $1072