Middle East

Explore exotic lands shrouded in mystery and romance

Our selection of Middle East tours explore exotic lands shrouded in mystery and romance that have lured travellers for centuries.

Explore age-old archaeological wonders and surreal desert landscapes in Jordan, Oman and the United Arab Emirates. These countries also boast cities that proudly combine traditional culture and ancient monuments with sleek, contemporary architecture.

Most visitors to Jordan begin their adventure in Amman, a modern metropolis located less than an hour from Jerash, said to have the best collection of Roman ruins outside of Italy. Travel along the King’s Highway and tour the imposing Crusader castle at Kerak, before walking through the narrow Siq into the famous lost city of Petra. Other must sees in the region include Wadi Rum, for its breathtaking sandstone mountains and surreal rock formations, and the Dead Sea, a unique body of water 422m below sea level.

In Oman, explore the gracious capital of Muscat, with its colourful souks and Portuguese forts, before heading out to the gorgeous Musandam Peninsula. Wonderfully isolated, this mountainous area is often likened to Norway, with plenty of pretty inlets (known as ‘khors’) surrounded by dramatic rocky cliffs.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are perfect options for a stopover en route to Europe or Africa. Their glittering skyscrapers and gleaming shopping malls are marvellous examples of 21st century engineering and commerce, while there are plenty of elegant mosques and vibrant souks for those interested in local culture. You can also venture out into the desert for camel trekking, horseback riding or 4WD safaris.

Best things to do in the Middle East

Muscat & Oman

Offering far more than spectacular desert landscapes, Oman has a proud and ancient culture and a wealth of archaeological wonders. Suffused with the mystery and romance of Arabia, Oman is relatively untouched by modern tourism. The capital Muscat is one of the oldest cities in the Middle East and has a magnificent setting between the Al Hajar Mountains and the Arabian Sea. From Muscat, take day tours to visit ancient stone forts, picturesque fishing villages, rugged mountains, canyons, oases and sand dunes.


The legendary city of Petra is one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world. The spectacular approach to Petra is via a 1.4 km-long rock canyon with steep sides. Built by the Nabataeans in 100 BC it is renowned for its impressive rock cut architecture and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the end of the canyon, the sides become increasingly narrow until the famous ‘Treasury’ is glimpsed through a narrow gap in the rock. Used in the film “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” this astonishing gateway into Petra is just the beginning. Within the city are many tombs, an amphitheatre and a magnificent hilltop monastery.

Jerash in Amman

The Greco-Roman city of Jerash, Jordan

Just outside Jordan’s capital, Amman, is the magnificent ancient city of Jerash. This well-preserved Greco-Roman archaeological site is one of the largest outside Europe. Jerash features a long colonnaded street, plazas, temples dedicated to Artemis and Zeus, a hippodrome, baths, the Triumphal Arch of Hadrian and a grand amphitheatre. Enough structures remain intact for archaeologists and historians, and even the casual visitor, to piece together ancient life under the rule of a Roman emperor. We highly recommend a visit as part of your tour of Jordan.

Oman’s Musandam Peninsula

Oman’s stunningly beautiful Musandam Peninsula is perfect for 4WD mountain safaris and dhow cruises or snorkelling to see the amazing marine life. Dubbed the Norway of the Middle East, the dramatic Musandam Peninsula is characterised by soaring golden cliffs, narrow channels and jagged rocks that resemble glacier-carved fjords without the greenery. The seas are also rich in coral, fish and dolphins. The Peninsula is just two hours by road from Dubai or a short flight from Muscat.

Desert Landscapes of Wadi Rum

The astonishing landscapes of Wadi Rum are home to a number of Bedouin tribes who until recently, still lived a nomadic lifestyle. The desert was made famous by British officer and author T.E. Lawrence – the famous Lawrence of Arabia – who took part in the Arab struggle against the Turks and Germans during the World War I. Spend a night or two in a romantic desert camp and soak up the colours and spectacular rock formations of the unique landscape.

The Dead Sea

Visit the fabled Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth at 422m below sea level. The salts and minerals are considered to provide many health benefits to humans. The Dead Sea is a salt lake bordered by Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River. As its name suggests there is nothing living in the Dead Sea and it is perfectly safe to swim in. The Dead sea is so high in salinity that you can float in it with your arms and legs sticking out of the water. The Dead Sea is also the lowest body of water on the surface of Earth being 400m below sea level.


For most travellers, when they hear about the United Arab Emirates they think Dubai. Which in fairness it true, a bustling city filled with iconic skyscrapers and palm-shaped islands there is plenty to see and do. But there is also more to the U.A.E. Visit traditional buildings along Dubai Creek, view the grand Jumeirah Mosque, and explore the winding alleyways of the spice souk. Relax on the beach or take a sunset excursion by 4WD into the desert dunes for an evening feast under the stars.

The Masada in Israel

Israel – Masada

Explore the stunnig mountain fortress of Masada. Discover 3000 years of history as you explore the many sacred and historical sites of the Holy Land. Israel is at the heart of the world’s three mane monotheistic religions, making it one of the Middle East’s most intriguing countries. Wander the winding streets of old Jerusalem, including the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Ascend the mountain fortress of Masada and float in the saline waters of the Dead Sea. Visit modern Tel Aviv renowned for its Bauhaus architecture and dynamic culinary scene.

Recommended luxury accommodation in the Middle East

Grand Hyatt

The Grand Hyatt is conveniently nearby to many of Amman’s best sites, including the Roman Theatre. Consisting on 327 elegant rooms and suites each room is tastefully designed to offer a truly

Four Seasons Amman

Stay at Luxury Four Seasons Amman in Jordan and explore the Jerash, discover Madaba, Kerak Castle and the city of Petra. Swim in the Dead Sea.

The Chedi

A member of the prestigious ‘Leading Hotels of the World’, The Chedi is only 20 minutes from Muscat located on the beachfront.

Al Bustan Palace

Surrounded by mountains, vast gardens and a private beach this stunning waterfront property is just 25km from Muscat.

Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort

Rising up from the dunes of the largest sand desert in the world, the Empty Quarter, the 206 room resort is an oasis paradise 90 minutes from Abu Dhabi.

Emirates Palace Kempinkski

One of the most lavish hotels in the U.A.E, Emirates Palace offers un-rivalled luxury and is renowned for its excellent Arabian hospitality and service.

Madinat Jumeirah Resort

Consisting of three boutique hotels; Jumeirah Al Qsar, Mina A’Salam and newly opened Al Naseem, the prestigious Madinat Jumeirah Resort is styled to resemble an ancient Arabian citadel.

Burj Al Arab

The iconic, sail-shaped Burj Al Arab dominates the Dubai coastline and has 201 beautifully decorated suites with exquisite living and dining areas.

Middle East FAQ

From lost cities in the desert to the gleaming 21st century skyscrapers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Middle East has something for everyone. Wander the narrow lanes of spice souks or stroll the glitzy arcades of modern shopping malls. This region is a cradle of human civilisation and the crossroads of three major religions.

Summers in Jordan are hot and temperatures between May and October reach 30°-36°C. The rest of the year is warm to mild, and can get quite cold on winter nights. Oman and the UAE are hot for most of the year with temperatures reaching well over 40°C in summer.

Not every country in the Middle East poses the same dangers. The UAE, Morocco, Oman, Irael, Egypt and Jordan are all considered safe places to travel for tourists. Israel has some areas of concern such as the West Bank and of course the Gaza Strip.

Dubai and Abu Dhabi combine well with Jordan or Oman as well as Morocco. The Middle East can also be combined with a safari in Kenya and Tanzania.

Daily flights are available from Australia to Dubai (Emirates) or Abu Dhabi (Etihad).

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