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Middle East And North Africa

Enduring artefacts adorn cities as old as time. Arid landscapes lie basking in the sun, as beautiful as they are formidable.

This region of pilgrimage and spirituality has played host to visitors for thousands of years, and the attractions remain the same now - the chance to see some of humanity's oldest relics, and to delve into the profound, complex history of the region and its cast of Pharaohs, Emperors, Sultans and modern-day despots. Dusty journeys through timeless landscapes uncover scenes of unusual beauty and reveal man’s tenacity in the face of often inhospitable terrain. It makes for a heady mix, and a distinct sense of the exotic.
 

Highlights

The river beds of Petra (Jordan)
Enter a maze of winding, twisting paths that wend their way around the main tombs and temples of Petra. Enjoy the calm away from the crowds as you admire the delicate curves and twists that the rushing water has carved out from the soft sandstone.

Trek Todra (Morocco)
Olive and almond groves, palm trees, pomegranate orchards and Berber villages line Todra Gorge. This cavernous canyon runs through the High Atlas mountains which makes it a perfect spot for hiking and rock climbing.

Esfahan (Iran)
A treat for the senses awaits in this visually awesome Iranian city. The bustling bazaars and peaceful Persian courtyards are the backdrop for some of the most incredible mosaic-clad architecture in the Middle East.

Drink tea with the Bedouin (Jordan)
Discovering a little more about this most hospitable of people provides a fascinating glimpse into a traditional way of life and the origins of much of Jordan's population. No encounter would be complete without plentiful offers of sweet black tea and mountains of dates.

 

When to go

Lowland Morocco is lovely from October to April, becoming rather too hot for comfortable touring during the high summer months of May to September. Coastal Morocco and the Atlas mountains suffer less searing heat and can be enjoyed even in high summer. Conversely the Atlas range can get very cold and snowy during the winter period from December, which hampers trekking plans. Iran can be explored year-round although the summer months (June to August) can be very hot so many visitors choose to visit in the shoulder seasons of March to May and September to November when it is pleasantly warm. The Iranian winter offers excellent skiing in the mountains around Tehran. Jordan can also be considered as a year round destination, although the very best climate will fall in the shoulder seasons, whereas summer (June to September) can be scorching, and winter months are decidedly chilly. Islamic countries observe Ramadan, during which time many shops and businesses will close or operate a much reduced service, so take this into account when planning your trip to the Middle East and North Africa.

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Iran
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