Take your family to the Middle East
By Martha Hales
Children are cherished in the Middle East, and travelling with your offspring in tow is often a delight. Not only do children allow you to see things through fresh eyes, but they also open up unexpected conversations and connections everywhere you go. TravelLocal offers a variety of destinations in the Middle East, each with a unique and enticing roster of attractions perfect for a family adventure. You could find yourself spending a night or two in a desert camp, snorkelling in waters brimming with life, riding a camel through the dunes or investigating ancient monuments. There is so much to inspire young minds in this region, and for the ultimate in memorable holidays, the Middle East can really deliver. We’ve put together a few ideas to inspire and enthuse you and your children.
One of Jordan’s major selling points for a family trip is its size. Distances are very doable, and the major sights are really easily combined into a manageable trip. There are historic attractions all over Jordan, but the one most likely to inspire young minds and transport your children to a bygone era is Petra. The immense monuments hewn from the red rock are likely to persuade even the most sceptical teens to look up from their phones, awestruck. Add in a chance to float on the salty waves of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on earth, and a dip in the Red Sea to explore the submarine life and it's clear that Jordan has a lot to offer for a family trip. Venture into the craggy canyons of Wadi Rum, for a spectacular desert experience, and consider spending a night under the stars in a Bedouin camp for the ultimate family adventure.
An exciting Omani experience can take you from the beach to the mountains via the incredible scenery of the Rub Al Khali - the Empty Quarter. This is a vast and inhospitable desert which is the largest stretch of continuous sand on the planet.
Wahiba sands lies on the edge of the Empty Quarter, and it's a region of breathtaking beauty, with towering sand dunes rippling towards the horizon. An exhilarating dune-bashing adventure in a 4x4 can be combined with desert camel rides and an overnight stay in a Bedouin tented camp for the full desert immersion experience. Exploring the landscape is a crash course in classic Arabian scenery. Away from the desert, Oman is characterised by date plantations, mud brick forts, beautiful bare mountains and sparkling wadis. The capital Muscat has a dramatic setting stretching around a bay backed by rosy peaks which contrast eloquently with the tiled domes of mosques nudging skywards. This magical country also has turtle breeding beaches, souks bursting with fabulous trinkets, super dive sites, plenty of beaches and bucket-loads of charm. All-in-all, it has every ingredient for an unforgettable Arabian adventure.
For a new perspective on Iran, Kish Island fits the bill. It's the place where Iranians come to relax and enjoy the seaside location and the fabulous shopping. Once you have had a few days sightseeing and absorbing the fascinating Persian culture on the mainland, Kish Island invites you to dive into the warm sea, indulge in some retail therapy and entertain the children at the waterpark. It's also interesting to see the more laid back side of Iran, where the strictest of rules are a little more relaxed, and where everybody goes in search of some fun in the sun. Plenty of other aspects of Iran are likely to appeal to children, particularly the snowy peaks of the Alborz mountains, where the resorts of Shemshak and Dizin have ski slopes up to 3,500 metres, all within easy reach of Tehran. Perhaps a desert adventure safari would fire your children’s imagination, exploring the impressive scenery of the Lut desert. Mercantile activity has a venerable history in Iran, home to various threads of the Silk Road, and this is reflected in the ancient bazaars of Tabriz, Isfahan and Tehran, where your children’s eyes will widen with disbelief at the sheer magnificence of the goods on offer, and the incredible displays.
The exotic and enticing Middle East holds myriad charms for family holidays. If you like the sound of introducing your children to a completely different and inspiring culture while having a fun and memorable adventure, click on one of the links above or pop a few details into our enquiry form to get started. If you would like to speak so someone in the TravelLocal office, please call +44 (0) 117 325 7898.