35 Day Tour - Middle East Explorer
Weeks 1 - 2
From Istanbul, we head south to the battlefields of Gallipoli and ANZAC Cove. Continuing, we visit legendary Troy before checking out the awesome preserved Roman ruins of Ephesus. At Pamukkale, perhaps enjoy a dip at the calcium mineral pool terraces, before we head south to the Turquoise Coast for some relaxation and chill-out time. Travelling inland, we strike north to Cappadocia, famous for its spectacular porous, volcanic rock sculptures and whole underground cities built by the Christians escaping persecution by the Muslims in the 6th-10th centuries. Our base in the Goreme Valley allows us to chart the area, perhaps hire scooters, horses, go ballooning, shop for Turkish carpets and sample Turkish hospitality. Traversing sandy deserts in Syria, a country with a rich and exotic history, we reach Aleppo, its souks and citadel.
Continuing, we visit the imposing 11th century crusader castle - Crac des Chevaliers and then fabled Palmyra Oasis, an ancient trading post. From Damascus - reputedly the oldest continually inhabited city in the world, opt for a day trip to neighbouring Lebanon and visit the Roman ruins of Baalbek and the capital - Beirut - a cosmopolitan city undergoing an exciting rebirth after its war-torn past. Once the ‘French Riviera of the East’, Beirut is quickly achieving it’s aim of regaining its former status.
Crossing into the Kingdom of Jordan, we can test our buoyancy at the mineral rich Dead Sea. Further south, visit the jewel in Jordan’s crown - the Nabataean rose coloured city of Petra, with its elaborate buildings and temples carved into the rocky walls of a vast red valley. This archaeological dream is approached through a long and incredibly narrow defile known as the Siq. Perhaps barter for a horse and chariot to cart you back at day’s end. Crossing barren desert plains, chart Wadi Rum, once the desert base of Laurence of Arabia. Camels can be hired!
Weeks 4 - 5
In Dahab, on the Red Sea Coast of Egypt, we spend some time relaxing. Aquatic pursuits such as snorkelling and SCUBA diving are available, as are desert trips. Inland, St Katherine’s Monastery is worth a visit. Here, you can climb revered Mt Sinai to witness the sunrise. It was here that Moses received the Ten Commandments. Crossing the Suez Canal where ships seemingly slip through the desert sands, we continue south. Luxor, home of the Valley of the Kings, King Tutankhamen’s tomb and a wealth of monuments offers a fascinating insight of pharaonic life. South to Aswan, opt to visit Abu Simbel, the temple of King Ramses II. We then relax aboard a Nile felucca and cruise up the mighty Nile to Kom Ombo. From here, we travel via Edfu to Luxor. By overnight train, we north to travel to Cairo. Site of the awesome pyramids of Giza and home of the famous Egyptian museum housing King Tutankhamen’s gold funerary mask, our arrival in Cairo marks the end of our expedition.
What You See
Turkey * Syria * Jordan * Egypt * Istanbul & Gallipoli Battlefields * Troy * Roman Ephesus * Pamukkale * Turquoise Coast * Cappadocia * Goreme Valley & underground cities * Aleppo * Crac des Chevaliers * Palmyra Oasis * Damascus * Dead Sea * Rose City of Petra * Wadi Rum * Aqaba * Red Sea Coast & Dahab * Mt Sinai * St Katherine’s Monastery * Luxor Aswan * Kom Ombo & Edfu * Cairo - home of the pyramids
Services of 2 person crew * Transport in fully equipped expedition truck * All camping fees & appropriate equipment * 2 meals a day whilst on the truck (leader, driver) * Felucca cruise - 1 night - Aswan to Kom Ombo * Ferry crossing - Aqaba (Jordan) - Nuweiba (Egypt) * Overnight train - Luxor-Cairo (sitting train) * All road taxes & tolls
£500 GBP per person (Local payment $330 USD - payable in US dollars) - BOOK NOW