1001 Arabian delights
THE MIDDLE EAST IS TEEMING WITH treasures and Lightfoot Travel has a 21-day itinerary that covers many of them, from Jordan through Dubai and ending in Oman. After touring Jordan’s capital, Amman, you move on to explore the rose-red city of Petra, before getting lost in the vastness of the Wadi Rum on a camel safari. Known as the Valley of the Moon, Wadi Rum’s landscapes are some of the most magnificent desert scenery anywhere. Hiking in the Dana Nature Reserve is less well known but another must. You can also go biking and visit ancient copper mines in the massive nature reserve. Other highlights in Jordan feature the Dead Sea and ancient town Jerash: one of the best-preserved Roman provincial towns in the world. Hidden for centuries in sand before being excavated and restored over the past 70 years, Jerash is a prime example of how a Roman town would have looked, with its paved streets, hilltop temples, handsome theatres, public squares and plazas, baths, fountains and city walls dotted with towers and gates. After a few days in Dubai shopping and resting, you then head for the kingdom of Oman. Start with trekking in the canyons of Jabal Akhdar, renowned for their fruit orchards and natural springs before heading back to Muscat. On the way you’ll stop at Wadi Nakher, located in the depths of the country’s deepest canyon, as well as visiting other quaint villages. Diving is particularly excellent in Oman so it is a good idea to leave a few days to discover its underwater sights too. The package starts at US$4,355 per person. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations. The best time to travel to the region is between October and May when the heat is milder.