While places in Europe and North America seem to be more popular vacation spots, the Middle East is an inviting place for adventurous travelers. This expansive region includes a variety of places like Western Asia, Turkey, and Egypt. 

If you’re planning your next vacation, don’t count the Middle East out. If you’re having trouble deciding where to go on your next vacation, here are 5 beautiful places in the Middle East that you need to visit. 

1. Swim in The Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is a saltwater lake bordered by Israel, Palestine, and Jordan. It’s a unique site, as its shores are Earth’s lowest elevation point. And, the Dead Sea is one of the planet’s saltiest bodies of water. Swimming in the Dead Sea is something you won’t be able to experience anywhere else. The saltiness of the lake offers a feeling of true weightlessness.

While the swimming experience is something you won’t want to miss out on, there is also a lot of beauty to take in when you visit the Dead Sea. This lake’s shores are filled with mesmerizing mineral formations and salt deposits that offer a breathtaking contrast to the area’s soft sands and bright blue water.

2. Explore the Rose-Red City

Petra, Jordan is known as the rose-red city because of the color of its sandstone. This city carries rich historical and archaeological significance. It’s known as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World alongside famous sites like the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.

When you visit this site, you can relive its history as the capital of the historic Nabatean Kingdom. While some of Petra has been destroyed over time, it’s still home to many streets, temples, and tombs that allow you to experience its historical impact. 

3. Marvel at the Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza can be found just outside the city of Cairo. One attraction you can find here is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, which is one of the fascinating Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Built around 4,500 years ago, the Pyramids of Giza are impressive feats of architecture that you’ll want to see for yourself. In front of the Pyramids of Giza, you can find the Sphinx, which is a mesmerizing cat-like figure that was carved from just one slab of stone. 

If exploring these extensive pyramids on your own sounds intimidating, there are Egypt Tours available to help you get the most out of your visit to Cairo and the surrounding regions.

4. Visit the Blue Mosque

Located in Istanbul, Turkey, the Blue Mosque is a historic mosque constructed between 1609 and 1616. Today, it serves as both a mosque and tourist attraction. It’s free to enter the Blue Mosque and view its incredible architecture. There are more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles and 200 stained glass windows that line the mosque’s interior. The Blue Mosque is a beautiful religious site that you can visit to immerse yourself in Istanbul’s culture.

5. Catch Some Waves in Taghazout

Taghazout, Morocco has a prominent surfing community that’s home to several surf shops and hip cafes. It’s not as crowded as typical resorts, so you won’t be battling crowds like you would at more popular beach destinations. Plus, you’ll also have access to hiking trails in the region’s Paradise Valley. Along the way, there are unique swimming holes for a way to cool off during your adventures. 

Keep these 5 places in mind the next time you visit the Middle East! Visiting any of these spots will either grant you a history lesson or allow you to experience a sense of beauty that you won’t find anywhere else.