Although the UAE may be famous for its glittering futuristic cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, many tourists who visit the country don’t explore the UAE’s nature. Besides the desert, there are also ancient fossil beds, natural hot springs, and beautiful oases. Here are 11 of the UAE’s most beautiful natural gems that are totally worth visiting.
A striking red sand dune in the middle of the Al Badayer Desert, just a quick drive from the city of Dubai, Big Red offers some of the best tracks through the desert to hike, bike, or drive through for an exhilarating look at the UAE’s more wild side. This is one of those places that the UAE seems to keep secret, and that only those who truly want to discover the beauty of the desert will uncover!
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1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Known as the “Stairway to Heaven”, Wadi Ghalilah is located in the very north of the UAE, in the middle of the mountains, and is the perfect place to go mountain climbing and hiking. Only discovered 25 years ago by adventurous explorers, Wadi Ghalilah will reward those who make it to the top with spectacular views of the raw beauty of Arabian nature.
A serious of natural lakes, wetlands, salt flats, and fossilized sands and dunes, this wetland 40 km south of Abu Dhabi is a truly magnificent place to go to experience the hidden beauty of UAE nature. With more than 250 species of bird, this is the place for anyone with an interest in Arabian wildlife; the bright pink flamingos are definitely the most popular.
Sir Bani Yas is the perfect getaway to truly feel like you’ve traveled to another world. The enormous and highly popular wildlife park–with giraffes, cheetahs, and gazelles–is only overshadowed by the island’s beautiful thriving coastline and towering salt dome hills in the island’s center.
Al Hayer Forest
Al Hayer Forest is another one of the UAE’s secret gems: a forest of ghaf trees in the middle of the desert. It’s also a popular camp site to those seeking shade from the harsh UAE summer sun. Camp out in this oasis for a striking view of lush green trees amid the scorching red desert of Arabia.
A Dubai secret, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a thriving wetland and home to a colorful array of migratory birds and wildlife. With its famous flamingos, cooling waters, and lush green vegetation, this sanctuary is for those who need to re-appreciate the beauty of nature.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
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