Middle East travel advice, including top 10 Middle East travel experiences, map of the Middle East, guide to Middle Eastern city breaks and where to stay in the
For first-time visitors to the Middle East, the first surprise is the region’s diversity.
Yes, you’ll find some of the world’s greatest desert scenery here, but the area also boasts snow-capped peaks (the highest is Iran’s volcanic Mount Damavand), lush valleys (particularly in Israel, Lebanon and north Jordan), hip cities (try Beirut, Dubai or Tel Aviv on a Friday night) and world-class diving along the Red Sea and Arabian Sea coasts.
The ‘fertile crescent’ arcing from Egypt to Iran is the cradle of civilisation, and brims with historic sites. Most famous are the pyramids and temples of Egypt’s Nile Valley, but equally mesmerising are the Nabataean city of Petra in Jordan, the Persian cities of Shiraz and Isfahan in Iran, and the Roman ruins of Baalbec in Lebanon and Palmyra in Syria.
Biblical landmarks are scattered across restive Israel and Palestine – countries where travel is perfectly possible and hugely rewarding, but inevitably takes on a political dimension.
Further south into Arabia, Dubai and the arid Gulf states may be best-known for oil money and ultra-luxurious hotels, but there is another side too. Oman is fast becoming the Middle East’s adventure capital, offering mountain hikes, dune bashing and Bedouin encounters in the desert.
For well-prepared travellers, turbulent Yemen harbours untouched medieval cities like Shibam and the unique wildlife of Socotra island. Between the two, and spilling into little-visited Saudi Arabia, lie the vast dunes of the Empty Quarter, explored by Wilfred Thesiger in the 1940s.
Safety is a common concern for Middle East travellers. With the exception of Israel, the countries of the Middle East are predominantly Muslim, and as with any other part of the world, you should dress appropriately and familiarise yourself with local customs and etiquette.
In the main, though, you are far more likely to be overwhelmed by welcome than worry. Arab hospitality is no myth, and sitting down and talking with Middle Eastern locals is one of the greatest reasons to visit the region. A sweet tea, a nargileh (water pipe) and a game of backgammon are never far away.
So what are you waiting for? Start planning your Middle Eastern adventure today…
This varied region gets a bad rap, but offers some of the world's greatest travel experiences, from age-old cities to one of the most modern metropolises in the world
Special destinations. Zero crowds. Here are the enlightening experiences in Oman, Palestine, Kenya, Guyana and beyond that haven’t made it on to travellers’ radars - for now... More
Thinking of going on a wildlife adventure in October? We reveal the best places to watch wildlife throughout the month - and find desert elephants, nesting turtles, jaguars and more... More
In your 30s? You don’t have to put your career on hold to go globetrotting. These annual leave-friendly tours include African safaris, Icelandic treks, Middle East desert wanders, and more... More
A finalist at last year’s Wanderlust World Guide Awards, Ashraf Masoud explains why a guide’s work is never done in Egypt – at least not when they keep finding new wonders… More
Invariably beautiful and mostly serene, these centres of faith and pilgrimage are amongst the most breathtaking spots on the planet... More
Oman’s capital has never looked better – or had stronger ambition. Yet this bustling capital combines modernisation with the romance of old Arabia... More
Whether you’re looking for some late summer sunshine, an active holiday or a little bit of R&R to get you through to Christmas, these September adventures could be exactly what you're looking for... More
The UNESCO World Heritage list now features well over 1,000 incredible sites. We've picked six favourites from 2019's newly-inscribed places... More
Bright, sunny and exuding a warm, cosy glow, these golden destinations are guaranteed to bring a little sunshine into your life... More
From rock-hewn cities to Welsh castles; mountaintop temples to island prisons, we celebrate the UNESCO-listed wonders that make the world a more cultured place... More
From the architectural splendour of Isfahan to the arid high Pamir plateau, journeys along the Silk Road are steeped in history, with breathtaking views to match... More
Epic landscapes. Abundant wildlife. And the chance to sleep under canvas with a blanket of starry skies. These Down Under safaris are like their African cousins, but with a distinctly Aussie twist... More
It may be one of the world’s youngest countries, but Timor-Leste is shaking off its troubled past and rewarding visitors with stunning beaches, traditional culture and memorable sights... More
Every country has its rules. Some are more unusual, or much stricter than others. Knowledge is power when it comes to staying on the right side of the law during your trip... More
Long-time Wanderlust reader Nandini shares her experience of trekking the blissfully crowd-free, snow-sprinkled hills of the Kadisha Valley in northern Lebanon... More
Vivid Sydney is the world’s largest festival of light, illuminating the Harbour City with light shows and projections galore. We've pulled together the best in show... More
Bringers of both destruction and life, and steeped in myth and folklore, these winds are both feared and revered in the lands where they blow. Check out the most famous, and where to feel them... More
Whether you’ve retired or just have more time on your hands, travelling in your 60s allows you to travel further and go for longer. Get set for a big adventure… More
Using VFX effects, the makers of Professor Brian Cox's space series transformed the world's rockiest landscapes and deserts into otherworldly planets. Here's an exclusive look at how they did it... More
Whether the mortgage is paid off, or the kids have left home, often there’s time to roam a little further afield when you reach your 50s. Now, you can embark on the adventures you've always dreamed of... More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.
From: £1796.00More …
From: £3104.00More …
From: £2120.00More …
From: £2335.00More …
From: £2608.00More …
From: £1056.00More …
Sign up today for free and be the first to get notified of new articles, new competitions, new events and more!