11 Amazing Views in the Middle East You Have to Hike to See

Climbing Mount Damavand in Iran | © Ondřej Odcházel/Flickr
Climbing Mount Damavand in Iran | © Ondřej Odcházel/Flickr
Photo of Jessica Harn
21 November 2017

The Middle East has an amazing variety of natural wonders. However you may have to put some effort in to see the best. There are some views that are only truly appreciated by hiking there and experiencing the landscape firsthand. Here are the most amazing views in the Middle East that you just have to hike to see:

Wadi Rum, Jordan

This is one of the most spectacular places to see not only in the Middle East, but in the entire world. And the best way to experience the raw beauty of this vast desert and rock formations is to hike through it – just be sure to bring a guide, plenty of water, and sunscreen as the temperatures during the summer can skyrocket!

Wadi Rum at sunset | ©Lawrence Murray/Flickr

Petra, Jordan

Most tourists visit the ancient structure of Petra by bus or on a tour, but the best way to experience this ancient monument is to hike up to the monastery, Al-Dayr, to get a full panorama view of both Petra and the surrounding beauty of Jordan. Although it can look daunting with its 800 steps up the mountain, it’ll be worth the trek and you can stop to take in both breath-taking views and springs of what the locals have dubbed holy water.

The Monastery – Ad Deir, Jordan

“Jesus Trail”, Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee

A 65-km hiking trail that traces the route that many believe Jesus himself walked, this route will take you from Nazareth to the Horns of Hattin, the Sea of Galilee, and Capernaum. While this trail is popular with Christian pilgrims, anyone can hike it to get a deeply humbling view of the striking beauty of the ancient Holy Land and appreciate the history of the land.

Jebel Shams, Oman

Located in northern Oman, this rocky mountain is the highest in the country, and best experienced by hiking along its dramatic cliffs and trails. Once at the top, you’ll get a grand panoramic view of the surrounding landscape and will experience the wild beauty of the country that draws so many people to this quiet corner of the world.

Be sure to wear sturdy hiking shoes as some of the trails can be a bit crumbling | ©Fabio Achilli/Flickr

Wadi Ghul, Oman

Known as the Arabian Peninsula’s version of the Grand Canyon, Wadi Ghul is an enormous canyon that is part of the Al Hajar mountain range of Oman. To really experience the excitement and wonder of Oman’s natural beauty, see first-hand its ancient rock formations, crumbling trails, and majestic views, you’ll have to strap on your hiking boots and explore this seemingly untouched beauty of the Middle East.

Mount Sinai, Egypt

Considered a holy site by all the Abrahamic religions, Mount Sinai, in the heart of the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, is one of those places that you just have to hike up to the top to really appreciate. The summit of the mountain, at 2,285m, is breathtaking (quite literally) and the view of the surounding mountains is beyond copmpare.

Masuleh Waterfall, Iran

Draped in fog almost all year-long, located in the very northern province of Gilan in Iran, this waterfall lays only 200 meters away from the village of Masuleh, although it will be a bit of a hike to get there. The view of both the waterfall and the hike around the village will stay with you forever. You will feel transported back in time with the grandness of the surrounding mountain range and the beautiful isolation.

Masuleh Village, the starting point for many hikers around the area | ©sunriseOdyssey/Flickr

Mount Damavand, Iran

The highest peak in Iran and the Middle East, Mount Damavand has both hikes up to the summit as well as around the surrounding hills for those who want a simpler hiking experience. The mountain’s snow-covered peaks, bright red flower fields in the surrounding hills, and clean northern air will ensure that the view is always breathtaking and the hike is worth the effort.

Erg Chebbi, Sahara Desert, Morocco

The most famous of Morocco’s Saharan ergs (large seas of sand dunes), Erg Chebbi is the best place to hike into the striking red dunes of the Sahara Desert. With the dunes reaching heights of up to 150 meters in some places and spanning an area of more than 50 kilometers, you’ll feel completely immersed in one of the most spectacular scenes on Earth.

Mount Toubkal Circuit, Morocco

Usually taking around six days to complete, this hiking trail circles through the isolated Mount Toubkal and the surrounding vistas of the Atlas Mountains in Morocco. Although this particular hike is not for the faint of heart, the views are absolutely rewarding as you experience hidden lakes, striking snow-capped peaks, and views from above the clouds in this truly one-of-a-kind hiking trail.

One view from along the Mount Toubkal Circuit trail | ©ActiveSteve/Flickr

Ihlara Gorge, Turkey

Located in the Cappadocia region of Turkey, this gorge has some of the best and most populated hiking trails in the region. With its chimney-shaped rock formations, striking local culture, and grand panoramic views of the surrounding valley, this hiking adventure is a must for anyone in search of some of the world’s most beautiful natural wonders.

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