The desert, the dates or their stories and legends make up corners of great beauty, despite the prejudices unleashed around this corner of the planet. Welcome to the most exotic places in the Middle East, the land of a Thousand and One Nights.
More than exotic, this UNESCO World Heritage site could be considered spatial, dreamlike, almost surreal. Known as “Cotton Castle” by the Turks, this set of natural hot-water pools that stand out as balconies in the Menderes River Valley are due to carbonized minerals from the hot springs that emerge from the earth. On the top of the hill lies the ancient city of Hierapolis.
One of the most visited places in Turkey, whose southwest position in the Denizli region and somewhat further from the big cities make it a recommended place to disconnect and possible to visit at any time of the year. According to legend, the leakage of carbon dioxide filtered between the mountain waters made it the Underworld under legends, since none of those who entered their caves returned alive.
Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Located at the southern tip of the Sinai Peninsula, east of Egypt , Sharm El Sheikh is one of the main tourist destinations in the Middle East and the perfect start to dive into the crystal clear waters of the Red Sea, whether to take a bath, stroll on a yacht or especially, practice snorkeling, a service available in almost every corner.
For those who prefer camel rides from the city, each hotel organizes its own tours and if what you want is nightlife, nothing better than Pacha de Naama Bay among many other discos. The perfect encounter between the West and eastern exoticism in an area that began as a remote fishing village, later an Egyptian port and finally one of the emerging jewels of Egypt.
Wadi Musa, Jordan
To the south of Petra, in Jordan, there is a place whose access is typical to travel by donkey (or camel) and where a mystical silence guides us between its canyons (the Siq) in the direction of the known as “Valley of Moses”, a site where numerous works excavated in the mountains meet.
The Monastery (ad-Deir in Arabic) is the largest steep monument in Petra, with diaphanous interiors that do not exceed the beauty of Do My Assignment facade. The Treasury (al-Khazneh), former Bedouin abode and apparent hiding place of a pharaoh’s treasure. To complement the visit, nothing better than a bath in the nearby Dead Sea or taste a typical kebap in one of its canteens.
Old City of Jerusalem, Israel
The holiest place in the world, Jerusalem, is not only an obligatory destination for religious but also for those with cultural concerns who wish to get lost in places where every year a new piece of history is discovered.
If we immerse ourselves in the Old City of Jerusalem through the Via Dolorosa to the Dome of the Rock (famous golden dome temple), we can visit the Mount of Olives and even the same place where Jesus was crucified and was recently discovered. A donkey ride along the Western Wall or a hummus tasting in a restaurant are some complements to the visit.
One of the great strangers of the Middle East begins to wake up tourism with some of its beautiful resources. The Sultanate of Oman, located in the easternmost part of the Arab Emirates, Muscat, Muscat or Muscat is a city known for its status as a walled city (the fort Aljalali Fort is one of its best-known stretches) and its palace complexes. The Sultan Qaboos Mosque is one of its most majestic monuments along with the Sar Al Alam Palace.
For those who want to go shopping, nothing better than their souks (Mutrah is the most famous), museums such as the Bait Al Zubair and the relaxation of its streets of white houses in the fishing district of Matrah. 100 km south of Muscat is known as Wadi Shab, a valley of emerald waters and crossings between its canyons.
The Middle East is a corner of the planet often undervalued by the masses and that, despite its numerous conflicts, offers interesting destinations. The trick knows how to choose based on our tastes, hire the best services and get carried away by the exoticism of some of the most mystical and millenary places on Earth.