The next time you’re craving for some adventure and adrenaline, skip the regular, conventional adventure capitals, and consider heading to the magnificent Middle East, where the possibilities are literally endless. There are several mesmerising adventure destinations scattered across the Middle East, which offer a perfect combination of unparalleled natural beauty, thrill, and most importantly, a dash of uniqueness.
1. Trekking along the Lebanon Mountain Trail, Lebanon
It may merely be half the size of Wales, but when it comes to trekking, the nation of Lebanon literally shows the rest of the world how it’s done. The Lebanon Mountain Trail stretches along 441 km of the country, weaving through sleepy villages, imposing mountains, spectacular national parks, lonely orchards, verdant forests, lost hamlets, deep valleys, ancient ruins, and quaint towns. Apart from an unforgettable hike, this trail brings you closer to the rich culture, history and heritage of Lebanon.
2. River rafting at Koprulu Canyon National Park, Turkey
The idyllic Koprulu Canyon National Park, located in Antalya, Turkey, is a strikingly beautiful national park and canyon, tucked away amidst virgin forests, rippling waterfalls, canyon ridges and ancient ruins. With lush forested cover on either side of the Koprulu River, rafting here is nothing less than a sheer delight. Camping along the shaded riverbanks is yet another exciting activity one can savour here.
3. Taming sand dunes at Khor Al Adaid, Doha, Qatar
Is it a beach? Is it a desert, maybe? Is it a lake? Or is it the sea? An oasis, perhaps? Yes, Khor Al Udaid located in Doha is a truly marvellous desert wonder that presents to its visitors a beach with a rather baffling twist. Unlike a regular, flat beach that leads to the sea, Khor Al Adaid features rippling desert sand dunes that lead to a magnificent tidal lake, or an ‘inland sea’ – a sight that will leave you astounded! Besides savouring an ideal sunset, dune driving on these enormous sand dunes is something that will set your heart racing. The sparkling blue water, the rolling dunes and the dramatic desert landscape at Khor Al Adaid, Doha, will never leave your memory.
4. Hiking at the Dana Biosphere Reserve, Jordan
An underrated hidden gem, the Dana Biosphere Reserve is Jordan’s largest nature reserve. Replete with breath-taking natural beauty, biodiversity and history, this reserve promises to offer you the closest possible communion with nature. Hike through the dramatic terrain which varies from limestone to granite to sandstone, and witness the diverse, spell-binding flora and fauna of the reserve. Lose yourself in the beauty and remoteness of the mystifying canyons and hiking trails here.
5. Skiing at Ericyes Ski Resort, Turkey
Skip the clichéd, conventional ski resorts, and make your way to Turkey’s Erciyes Ski Resort, and ski your way down the slopes of Mount Erciyes – the highest mountain in Central Anatolia, Turkey. Whether you are a seasoned skier or a first-timer, the fine powder snow of Erciyes will ensure you have a memorable, and exciting skiing experience.
6. Diving and snorkelling at Socotra Island, Yemen
Beyond the headlines, there is a Yemen that is so divine and beautiful, that you’ll be truly amazed. Uncrowded reefs, pristine corals, fascinating wreck diving, colourful schools of myriad fishes, and breath-taking underwater wonders await you at Yemen’s Socotra Island, which stands isolated in the Arabian Sea. Socotra is one of the world’s lesser-known diving destinations, which in turn adds to its beauty!