Middle East Tours & Trips 2020
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Relaxed A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers.
Full on For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included.
Mixed You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included.
Group Tour Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Small Group Tour Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
River Cruise These vessels are smaller than most ocean cruisers, limiting which amenties are available. Passenger counts can vary. One of the biggest advantages of a river cruise is the ability to dock at smaller ports and local villages.
Small Ship Cruise Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Private Guided Private tours give you the undivided attention of a guide, and often involve special access to sites and unique experiences not available to larger groups. This is a great option for families, couples, and small friend groups. Expect to pay a bit more for the extra service.
Self Guided / Independent Tour A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Vacation / Holiday Package Similar to a self guided tour, this usually involves a home base, such as a hotel or resort, with packaged activities and day tours as a part of the stay.
Large Ship Cruise This is the "floating city" experience, with multiple ways to enjoy your vacation aboard the ship as much as on land. Ships are multiple floors, provide several activities, culinary, and shopping options. They often make fewer stops and have less time available for shore excursions.
Camping Typically involves most nights sleeping in tents (sometimes permanent tented sites) or in rustic cabins and lodges.
Basic - 2 star You'll stay in no-frills, but clean and comfortable, hotels or guesthouses. A 'Basic' trip might also involve a few nights of camping.
Value - 3 star Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Premium - 4 star 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Luxury - 5 star The highest level of comfort and service. All accomodations are in four or five star hotels, boutique lodges or high-end homestays.
Very Easy Minimal walking - motor vehicles available for all major parts of trip.
Easy Normal generally flat walking in urban or suburban environments.
Moderate Walking or physical activity half to most of day - no carrying equipment.
Strenuous All or most of day hiking or biking, hills included.
Extreme Very challenging all day hiking and backpacking carrying significant equipment.
Rivers & Seas Visitied
Attractions & Cities Visited
Activities & Interests
Good for Singles Trips that specifically cater to travelers looking to meet other singles.
No Single Supplement Trips where single supplement is usually not required for solo travelers.
Flight & Transport Inclusions
Stride Gives Back Stride Gives Back This trip visits a destination impacted by climate change. When you opt in to the Travelstride Gives Back program, we will donate 10% of our net revenue to organizations that help mitigate climate change in these destinations and across the globe. Learn more
Impacted by Climate Change
- CITY TOUR in Amman
- VISIT the Greco-Roman city at Jerash, the unique ancient city at Petra and the Crusader Fortress at Shobak and Wadi Rum
- VIEW the Roman amphitheatre and Citadel in Amman, Moses' Promised Land on Mount Nebo and the mosaic map of the Holy Land at Madaba
- The Western Wall (Jerusalem)
- Church of Holy Sepulcher (Jerusalem)
- Basilica of the Annunciation (Nazareth)
- Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum)
- Dead Sea
- Mount of Olives (Jerusalem)
- Vibrant Tel Aviv
- Sea of Galilee
- Golan Heights
- Kibbutz Stay
- Eilat Extension, with optional full day excursion to mystical Petra ($249, lunch included)
- Istanbul, arguably one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, comes alive in winter with Salep (creamy beverage made from the root of the wild orchid), mulled wine and steaming bowls of Corba. Visit the city minus the crowds: you wont have to queue and you may just get that perfect shot of the Blue Mosque.
- Visit the otherworldly landscape of Cappadocia, and maybe, just maybe, the fairy chimneys will be covered in a dust of white, the rock cut churches will be empty and the testi kebab can take the chill from your bones.
- Visit Lake Cildir, the second-largest lake in eastern Anatolia. It's frozen for 7 months of the year and is a winter wonderland like no other.
- Jump on the Dogu Express, the overnight train from Ankara to Erzurum and squash your nose against the window as you pass through some of the most beautiful destinations in Turkey.
- Gaze in awe at the towering, wind-swept rock formations at wadi rum on an included 4wd adventure and admire how the colours change as the sun makes its way across the sky.
- Journey through jordan’s desert to a premium bedouin camp and get to know the customs and cultures of this community before spending the night under a starry sky in your traditional accommodation.
- You never forget your first glimpse of the treasury through narrow canyon walls in petra. spend a day taking in its majesty and mystery, and if your dates align, consider booking an unforgettable night experience.
- Immerse yourself in omani cultural history as you wander among the exhibits of muscat's bait zubair museum.
- Stand in awe of gorgeous landscapes and visit centuries-old mountain villages on a journey into the foothills of oman's highest peak, jebel shams.
- Hassan II Mosque (Casablanca)
- Koutobia Minaret (Marrakesh)
- Jemaa El Fna (Marrakesh)
- Essaouira Medina
- Ait Ben Haddou
- Todra Palmeraie Gorge (Erfoud)
- Erg Chebbi Desert
- Camel Ride in the Dunes
- Royal Palace (Rabat)
- Visit the great Pyramids of Giza
- See the great Sphinx of Giza
- Visit the Aswan High Dam and Philae’s Temple of Isis
- See the Ptolemaic Temple for Horus and Sobek
- Visit Temple of Queen Hatshepsut
- Visit the ancient Temples of Karnak and Luxor
- Visit the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities
- Enjoy a walking tour of the colorful Khan El Khalili Bazaar district
- Experience 4-night Greek Island Cruise
- Visit Mykonos, Ephesus and Santorini
- House of Virgin Mary (Ephesus)
- Visit Patmos, Crete and Oia Village
- Explore Olympia, Mycenae and Rhodes
- Discover Parthenon (Athens) and Acropolis (Athens)
- Explore the elegant Blue Mosque
- Visit to the Spice Market, the exotic food market
- Cappadocia Rock Formations
- Enjoys a choice location overlooking Turkey’s fabled Turquoise Coast
- Explore Ephesus considered to be the world’s best-preserved classical city
- Visit to the House of Virgin Mary
- Visit the massive Acropolis, an impressive structure that houses the Temple of Trajan
- See the Dardanelles, a narrow strait connecting the Aegean and Black Sea
- VISIT the Acropolis in Athens, Mykonos, Milos, Oia on Santorini, Heraklion and Kusadasi
- VIEW the Parthenon, the Caldera on Santorini and the windmills on Mykonos
- SEE Hadrian's Arch and the 1896 Olympic Stadium in Athens
- VISIT the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum in Athens, the incredible rock monasteries in Meteora, the home of the Oracle at Delphi, the Olympic Stadium in Olympia and the ancient ruins in Corinth
- VIEW the Parthenon, the Agora, Royal Palace and Temple of Zeus in Athens, the battle site at Thermopylae, the ancient theatre and Sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus
- SEE the Lion Gate, Agamemnon's Palace at Mycenae and the Corinth Canal
- Visit the Church of All Nations, built over the rock on which Our Lord prayed the night before he was crucified.
- Celebrate daily Mass at several significant religious sites.
- Visit the Pools of Bethesda where Jesus healed the paralytic.
- Visit the ancient cities of Nazareth and Bethlehem.
- Follow the Via Dolorosa, walked by Our Lord on the way to his crucifixion.
- Stop at the Garden of Gethsemane, the site of Christ's betrayal by Judas.
- Stop at two monasteries in Meteora and learn about the resident monks.
- See Mars Hill where Paul delivered his "Men of Athens" speech.
- Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture, one of the finest museums of Byzantine art.
- Explore ancient Corinth on a guided tour featuring the Agora.
- Join a local expert exploring the monuments of ancient Athens.
- See the Bema where Paul was brought before the tribunal, as recorded in Acts.
- VISIT the Fortress of Masada and the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, the Mount of Olives and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, the Church of Annunciation in Nazareth, Jesus Boat at the Sea of Galilee, the old Synagogue and the Mount of Beatitudes near Capernaum, the ancient Synagogue and artists' colony at Safed, the underground Crusader City of Acre, and the Roman Amphitheatre at Caesarea, the Greco-Roman city at Jerash, the unique ancient city at Petra, the Crusader Fortress at Shobak and Wadi Rum
- VIEW the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, the Baha'i Shrine from the summit of Mount Carmel in Haifa, the excavations of Solomon's Stables and the Roman Amphitheatre and the aqueduct at Caesarea, the Roman amphitheatre and Citadel in Amman, Moses' Promised Land on Mount Nebo and the mosaic map of the Holy Land at Madaba
- SCENIC CRUISE boat ride on the Sea of Galilee
- VISIT the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Anzac Cove and the War Cemeteries at Gallipoli, the ancient ruins of Troy, the Asclepion Medical Centre at Pergamon, the ancient city at Ephesus, the Cotton Castle Springs in Pamukkale, the Archaeological Museum in Antalya, the home of the Whirling Dervishes at Konya, the underground city of Saratli, Göreme Open Air Museum and the Museum of Anatolian Civilisation at Ankara
- VIEW the Wooden Horse at Troy
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Top Middle East Experiences
Exploring the Pyramids of Giza and Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt.
Visiting the Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace, both stunning examples of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul, Turkey.
Seeing the ancient city of Petra in Jordan.
Bargaining for exotic souvenirs like hand-painted tagines or leather handicrafts in the souks of Marrakech, Morocco
Taking a Nile River Cruise and exploring the surrounding areas.
Riding a camel and camping in a Bedouin tent in the Sahara Desert of Tunisia.
Hiking North Africa’s highest peak, Jebel Toubkal, Morocco’s High Atlas, and along the way meeting the Berber people along the way.
Scuba diving in Ras Mohammed National Park off the coast of Egypt.
Touring the Old City of Jerusalem, where multiple histories, religions, and cultures intersect
Visiting Shiraz, the City of Roses, known for its poetry and vineyards, and the close by ancient city ruins of Persepolis in Iran.
Middle East Trip Reviews
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