The Middle East, which is known for holding the major cradles of human civilization, as well as the birthplace of the world's three major monotheisms.
A wealth of world-famous attractions, ranging from mediaeval bazaars and historic mosques to untamed deserts and remote oases, survive as stunning reminders of the region's cosmopolitan and history-laden past.
These are the most beautiful places in the Middle East, as chosen by us, ranging from the depths of antiquity to the futuristic skyscrapers of the modern Gulf.
Istanbul is one of the world's great cultural crossroads, situated at the meeting point of Europe and Asia.
Modern Istanbul is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, with the majestic minarets of the Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet mosque discerning the horizon above crowded maze of bazaars and the calm waters of the Bosphorus and Golden Horn, flowing below.
Jerusalem has been a popular travel destination for almost two centuries, making it one of the oldest in the world.
It is famous for having dedicated pilgrimage guidebooks for Europeans, which have were publishing regularly even in the Middle Ages, with the wish lists of saints and shrines to see on the way to the Holy Land.
The visitors of Jerusalem can have a profound experience upon seeing some of the holiest places for Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as the historic city's time-warped streets and bazaars, as well as the Biblical vistas outside.
When it comes to talk about the travel destinations of the Middle East, no one can ever forget their initial impression of Petra.
The Treasury's magnificently carved Greco-Roman façade emerges out of the cliff-face ahead as you approach the site.
You pass through the tiniest of gorges, as if through the eye of some supernatural needle, before emerging into the great lost city of the Nabateans.
That's only one of many exquisite temples and tombs scattered across the hilltops and rugged defiles.
Islamic Cairo, Egypt:
Old Cairo, also referred to as "Islamic Cairo," is a fantastic spot to explore your imagination if you've ever wondered what life was like in mediaeval Arabia.
Explore the medieval labyrinth of the old city, which is always developing and home to historic mosques, breathtaking gates, and lively bazaars.
Getting lost is half the fun, so if you don't find it, go back till you do.
Wadi Rum, Jordan:
Wadi Rum is a camel-filled version of the Grand Canyon of the Middle East, which stretches over the rugged mountains of southern Jordan.
It has been eroded into sheer ochre cliffs in some areas and split into narrow vallies in others. Vast, resounding, and eminently divine, to quote T.E. Lawrence.
The legendary Wadi Rum provided David Lean with the iconic background he needed for his monumental 1962 Lawrence of Arabia movie.
Byblos, which is an antiquated port settled between lovely sea shores and tough mountains on the coast only north of Beirut, is where the Mediterranean meets the Center East.
The exotic location is one of the world's most established constantly possessed urban communities, and history is particularly thick here, with Phoenician sanctuary ruins bumping for space with a Crusader palace.
The old middle age community's Romanesque temples, Mamluk mosques, and provincial ochre houses tumble down to a completely flawless horseshoe harbor.
Mada’in Saleh, Saudi Arabia:
The extraordinary rock-tombs of Mada'in Saleh in Saudi Arabia's remote far north are one of the Middle East's most remarkable - and least known - sights.
There are 131 of these vast mausoleums cut into a series of craggy red sandstone outcrops dotting the Saudi desert sands.
Musandam Peninsula, Oman:
Musandam, being known as the "Norway of Arabia" (despite being much warmer), is considered to be the most scenically spectacular point of the Middle East.
The towering red-rock Hajar Mountains plunge steeply into the Arabian Gulf's still blue waters, creating a labyrinthine landscape of sheer-sided khors (fjords), inlets, and islands.
Burj al Arab, Dubai, UAE:
Arabian beauty may appear to be primarily ancient, but the modern Middle East has its own wonders, as evidenced by the stunningly futuristic skylines of modern Qatar, Abu Dhabi, and, especially, Dubai.
The gigantic Burj al Arab, with the vast sailed-shaped icon that has done more than anything else to put the city on the map is one of the most original, beautifully constructed building to be found anywhere on the planet over the past fifty years.
Cappadocia in Turkey has become one of the most liked tour destination in past few year, with the advancement of social media, the exotic location has created a place in tourists and globe trotters hearts.
The region's unique landscape, with its bizarre collection of outlandish rock pillars, cones, mushrooms, and other bizarre geological formations, has a distinct whiff of enchantment about it.
Troglodyte caves, chapels, and even entire underground villages crisscross the rocks, implying that there's room for a few hobbits as well.
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