Not someone who visits a region, stands in queues at ticket counters, checks out all the popular tourist attractions, clicks a million photos and leaves? You would rather skip the tourist lines and explore the uncharted territories; would rather explore the countryside than the cities, would rather get your adventure quota filled on a fabulous trek into the unknown? Then here are 7 beautiful hiking trails in the marvelous Middle East that’ll get your adrenaline pumping within minutes!
1. Dana to Petra hike, Jordan
Trek Distance: Approximately 75 kilometers
Trek Duration: 6 to 8 days
One of the best hikes in the Middle East, the Dana to Petra trek can be taken up by anybody – from amateurs to experts. Full of dramatic valleys, spectacular mountain tops, diverse ecosystems, picturesque canyons, stunning vistas, hidden springs, unexplored villages and a captivating historical end, this hike was named by National Geographic as one of the fifteen best hikes in the world.
Interested in these awesome Jordan travel packages?!
2. Jebel Shams trek, Oman
Trek Distance: Approximately 11 kilometers
Trek Duration: 1 to 2 days
If you are interested in going on a hiking adventure in Oman, the Jebel Shams trek will suit you just fine. Located in the Western Hajar Mountains, in the quaint Ad Dakhiliyah region, Jebel Shams, which means ‘Mountain of Sun’, is the highest mountain in Oman. Having multiple hiking routes, we recommend you go on the W4 one; it’s comparatively easy. And a word of advice – please carry at least 10 liters of water per person with you, and plenty of food.
3. Lebanon Mountain Trail, Lebanon
Trek Distance: 470 kilometers
Trek Duration: 30 to 45 days
A long-distance hiking trail in Lebanon, the 470 kilometers of this trail have been divided into 27 small sections. You can either undertake the entire trail in one epic hiking trip of almost 45 days or you can take up small sections of the trail that’ll last anywhere between one to three days. Traversing through 76 villages, towns and settlements, the Lebanon Mountain trail is a nature hike that takes you from an elevation of 1,840 feet to an altitude of 6800 feet in a matter of days!
4. Ihlara Valley Trek, Turkey
Trek Distance: 3 kilometers to 14 kilometers
Trek Duration: 1 day
The ethereal Ihlara Valley, fondly called ‘the pearl of Cappadocia’, is a must visit for anyone heading to Turkey, regardless of whether they are a tourist or a trekker. Boasting of a mesmerizing amalgamation of nature and history, the valley gives its visitors a chance to choose from 4 hiking routes, all four equally charismatic. Home to several scenic churches (kilise), the ones you must explore on your hike include the Kokar Kilise, the Egritas Kilise and the Agacalti Kilise.
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5. The Shawka Dam Loop, UAE
Trek Distance: 10 kilometers
Trek Duration: 1 day
A moderately easy hike in UAE, the Shawka Dam Loop is located in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah and is best undertaken during the winter season. If, however, you happen to hike up this trail during the monsoons, you will come across cute shawka pools (natural puddles) that are fun to cross. The best part about this hike is the landscape – amidst a barren scenery, you will find lush green palm trees swaying gently in the breeze.
6. Sinai Trail, Egypt
Trek Distance: 550 kilometers
Trek Duration: 42 days
One of the best places to hike in the Middle East, the Sinai Trail is Egypt’s first long distance hiking trail. Covering 550 kilometers, this hike takes you through the legendary deserts of Sinai and showcases the best of the country’s wilderness. The beauty of the Sinai Trail, however, is the fact that it was conceptualized and built by Bedouin leaders of 8 different tribes just to boost the local communities and provide employment opportunities. Now that sounds like ecotourism at its best!
Check out some mysterious sights in Egypt that’ll leave you spellbound!
7. Agios Theodoros – Asinou trail, Cyprus
Trek Distance: 17 kilometers
Trek Duration: 1 to 2 days
A charming hiking destination, Cyprus surprises visitors with its tranquil hiking and trekking routes that snake through its natural beauty. One of the popular hiking trails in the country is the one between Agios Theodoros and the church of Asinou. An easy one, this hike is a circular walk that takes you through the gorgeousness of the countryside. Peppered with water filling stations, milestones and picnic benches, the trail is possibly one of the best ways to explore Cyprus.
Have you been to any of these wonderful hikes in the Middle East? Share your experience (good or bad!) with us by commenting below. Not a person who enjoys hiking? Maybe these holidays will suit you best then ?