Middle East Tours & Trips

Browse Programs

Home to culture and traditions that go back millenniums, the Middle East is a destination underdog growing in popularity among travelers, adventurists, and naturally: history buffs, who love the fusion of religion, art, ancient tradition, and modern way of life.

Nestled between North Africa, Southern Europe, and Asia, the countries that comprise the “Middle East” have changed over time. Popular countries to visit include Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. With Qatar now ranked as the 30th most peaceful country in the world and Kuwait, UAE, and Oman not far behind, travelers are flocking to the region while it still feels “off the beaten path”.

If you want to visit the area, know that many Middle Eastern countries require more research than your typical weekend vacation. So we’ve created this guide mapping out popular activities and tours in the Middle East and logistics to consider when planning.

Adventure Tours

Trek across an entire country on the Jordan Trail, hike the Zagros mountains in Iran, or visit the ancient Egyptian pyramids and sphinx. The Middle East mixes adventure with intriguing history and UNESCO sites that are picture-perfect and full of thrills. Some of the most popular adventure activities to consider for your trip include sand boarding, camel riding, hiking, and canyoning.

Culture Tours

The Middle East is where you want to be if you are intrigued by ancient civilizations and well-preserved archaeological sites. Search for petroglyphs in Wadi Rum, explore the ancient city of Petra, take photos outside of the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, and stop by the port city of Jaffa. Whether you’re visiting world famous temples or market shopping, touring metropolises, or exploring the prophet Mohammed’s burial site (Al-Masjid an-Nabawi), there is so much culture to learn about.

Food Tours

Adventurous foodies visit the Middle East in droves: once you taste the local fare, you might discover a new favorite food. Sample falafels, shawarma, and hummus throughout many Arab countries, hashi (baby camel), Qatar’s own sweet coffee: Qawha, or traditional baklava right from the experts. Which will you try first?

Sea & River Tours

You can’t make a trip to the Middle East without floating in the Dead Sea or cruising along the Nile River. Mediterranean beach lovers should definitely make a stop in Tel Aviv too, and if you are a fan of diving or snorkeling, the Red Sea, Sea of Oman, or Saudi Arabia’s Farasan Islands offer plenty of marine life to explore.

Planning a trip to any new country isn't easy, let alone a region where countries' rules, visa regulations, levels of safety, and cost differ greatly. Use these tips to help you get organized when planning for your tour of the Middle East.

Best Time To Visit the Middle East

The Middle East is ideal to visit between November and April if you want relief from the summer heat. February is also a great time to catch cultural festivals. Before you finalize dates and book tours though, be sure to check that your visit doesn’t overlap with a religious holiday.

Before you plan a date, also check travel warnings as some countries may issue reciprocal action in response the current executive travel orders implemented by the U.S. government.

What To Look For in a Tour to the Middle East

When booking your tour check that accommodations and transportation (including domestic flights) are included in the package (or inquire about how much it costs to add on). Search for testimonials on reputable travel sites and thoroughly review the tour operator's expedition package and fine print.

Lastly, double check that your passport and booking dates meet any visa prerequisites. Your tour guide is not responsible if you can't get into the country and may not refund your money. Most tour operators recommend your passport be valid for at least one year after your intended tour dates.

Typical Tour Costs

Booking an all-inclusive tour might give you initial sticker shock, but upon review may be quite reasonable in pricing. Longer tours (15-20 days) can cost around $5,000-8,000 while shorter excursions are about $3,000. Remember that most tour prices will be based on double occupancy and won't include gratuity.

Packing Tips & Gear Rental

The Middle East’s desert climate makes packing a little difficult. From blistering hot days to cold nights, you’ll have to rely on layers to keep up with weather. Additionally, because of much of the area’s conservative culture, long pants, long dresses, shoulder coverage, and full-coverage beachwear is appropriate attire. If you have the choice, opt for flowing rather than form-fitting clothing, which will help ventilation on hot days, but cover you up at night or when visiting religious and cultural sites.

Other Tips for Travel in the Middle East

  • Visas: Some destinations may grant visas upon arrival while others will require an extensive visa application process. If visiting Iran, for example, expect to be without a passport for at least 6 months for visa review. Be sure to closely research visa deadlines and requirements for your trip at least one year in advance. Lastly, note that some countries may deny entry if they see a previous passport stamp to Israel or Iraq.
  • Currency & payments: Each country has their own currency. Most areas will have ATMs and accept credit cards. You should carry cash for bottled water, market shopping, and gratuity.
  • Transportation & accommodations: Unless in a metropolis or tourist-friendly town, it is recommended to arrange lodging and transportation with your tour operator. Smaller towns may offer few options for housing and onward travel.

Health

Before your trip to the Middle East, be sure to be up to date on routine vaccinations. The CDC offers in-depth information, organized by country, and can provide the latest vaccine requirements and recommendations for your itinerary.

If you require medication, carry a doctor's note and the original medicine bottles. While more advanced Middle Eastern cities may have good medical care, smaller towns may not even have a pharmacy. If medication is a concern, bring a full supply for the duration of your trip.

Safety

While some countries are deemed more peaceful than others for Westerners, solo travelers, and women, the Middle East is generally much safer than the media portrays -- especially in touristic areas. This does’t ignore the glaring fact that some are still suffering and recovering from war, in low-peace areas, or in the midst of political crisis.

Women should take care to dress conservatively, couples refrain from displaying public affection, and travelers note that no pork and alcohol is allowed in most areas. As long as you stick with your guide and are respectful of local laws, you’ll find it easy to enjoy your time there.

Again, be sure to check travel advisories before planning a trip to the Middle East, as circumstances and regulations may change.

Showing 25 Programs

Egypt
Elder Treks
Starting in Cairo, the Antiquities Museum is the perfect introduction to Egypt's impressive history. Visit the Hanging Church...
Egypt
Egypt Uncovered
Combining the pyramids, sphinx and Egyptian Museum in Cairo with a luxury Nile Cruise is one of the world's classic holidays,...
Egypt
Egypt Uncovered
The Nile has often been described as the lifeblood of Egypt. Along it lie some of the most spectacular monuments in the world...
Egypt
Nomad Africa
Encompassing some of the world’s most famous monuments, Egypt is rich in ancient treasures and civilisations. Colossal pyrami...
Jordan
Experience Jordan
This is an 8-day tour visiting and experiencing some of the unique sites of Jordan and engaging with the people and culture....
Jordan
Experience Jordan
Combine the best of Jordan's sites and hikes during a 10 day adventure tour. Overview: 10 days combining the best of Jordan’s...
Jordan
Adventure Jordan
An Epic Journey through Jordan’s Wildest & Remotest Corners! The Trek to Petra is a unique hike that is focused on hiking and...
Jordan
Terhaal Adventures
This is a fun hiking tour covering the major sites of Jordan. Amazingly diverse trails; ranging from Mediterranean forest to...
Jordan
Adventure Jordan
Our Jordan discovery tour will show you the very best of the country. As part of a small group you'll explore Petra and Wadi...
Jordan
Dive Aqaba
Our packages are designed to help you plan your vacation, they can be used to do courses and training for all levels and spec...
Egypt
Egypt Budget Tours
Explore the best of Egypt's historical and tourist sites in one trip and in budget price with tour see the pyramids, Cairo, L...
Egypt
Encounters Travel
This comprehensive Egypt tour covers Cairo and the Nile Valley as well as the Red Sea at Hurghada. We start with visits to th...
Israel
Encounters Travel
This 8-day Israel tour is the ideal Holy Land tour for faithful travelers or for adventurers looking to unravel the secrets o...
Israel
Funtom Experience & Challenge
We will provide participants with an experience that combine moral values and core IDF values by using a combination of milit...
Israel
Funtom Experience & Challenge
The Dead Sea is an attraction visited by people from all over the world. You will arrive to the lowest point on Earth and und...