Egypt is an enigmatic treasure trove of almost unimaginable archaeological and cultural riches, it’s hard not to think of Egypt without imagining the Sphinx, the pyramids at Giza, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and the Nile. As well as being the world’s largest open-air museum, Egypt also offers a slew of luxurious Red Sea resorts, many within reach of spectacular snorkeling, diving and windsurfing. Whether you see it by riverboat, from camelback or from just above the coral, Egypt’s sights are unforgettable.
Jordan has a history stretching back 10,000 years, this Middle Eastern destination is a blast to explore. The stunning archaeological site of Petra, carved into rose-colored sandstone cliffs, has stood for thousands of years. But it’s a relative newcomer compared to many of Jordan’s attractions. The hilltop Citadel has been occupied since the Bronze Age, as has the nearby city of Jerash. Castles built by the Crusaders dot the desert. For a small country, Jordan has a surprisingly varied landscape. Its northern border doesn’t quite reach the Mediterranean, but its cool breezes stir the leaves in the Ajloun Forest Reserve. But the north couldn’t be more different from the rocky stretch of Wadi Rum or the salty shores of the Dead Sea to the south. The chic capital city of Amman will have you on the go every minute, while Aqaba, the country’s only coastal city, is all about kicking back.