One of the most powerful ways to experience the history and culture of a region is to visit some of their most treasured and famous religious sites, and, arguably, one the religious hotspots of the world in the Middle East.
You only have to look at the sanetraveller for instance, to appreciate the wealth of opportunities you have to take in the culture when you put religion on your agenda for your trip to the Middle East.
A great example of Islamic architecture
If you want to see some stunning examples of Islamic architecture and get a feel for the religious roots that are so entrenched in the way of life in the Middle East, a good starting point would be to visit Salalah.
Top of your agenda there should be a trip to Sumhuram Old City, and the famous frankincense tour along with Nabi Ayoub’s tomb should all provide some major talking points when you discuss your trip.
One of the oldest Islamic monuments in the world
Understandably, Jerusalem is one of the most visited of all the Middle Eastern holy places, but for good reason.
A must-see when you visit Jerusalem is the Dome of the Rock.
It is an important historical and cultural icon and the vibrant blue and gold mosaics that adorn the exterior of the building are very striking.
Don’t forget the Western Wall
Jerusalem is full of amazing sights and learning about the Western Wall and why it is considered the most sacred of all places for Jewish people is an important thing to do if you are going to immerse yourself in the religious heartbeat of the Middle East.
Jews make a pilgrimage to this special place and you should have the Western Wall on your travel itinerary if you can.
The many wonders of Petra
You will soon discover that Petra is a hugely impressive and highly significant religious destination located in western Jordan.
It has a lot of connections with the Old Testament and the magnificent temples and tombs are awe-inspiring as well as truly unique.
A chance to walk through the house of the Virgin Mary
Your next stop is Turkey, and the ruins of Ephesus.
This your chance to travel to the Summit of Mount Bulbul, where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days, plus there is also an opportunity to pay a visit to the Basilica of St John while in the area.
Visit the spot where Jesus delivered his sermon on the mount
There is any number of valid religious reasons why you should pay a trip to the Mount of Beatitudes in Israel, including the truly breathtaking scenery combined with the huge significance of being able to stand in a spot where history was made.
Religious inspiration awaits in Egypt
Mount Sinai in Egypt is yet another hugely important religious destination as it was on this remote peak where Moses received the Ten Commandments from God.
As you expect, this is not an easy summit to traverse but your reward for perseverance is some awe-inspiring views combined with an incredible sense of history.
There are many religious and cultural highlights to enjoy in the Middle East and one trip is unlikely to be enough to see them all.