Egypt & Red Sea Ports
For thousands of years, Jerusalem has been at the centre of the spiritual world, but it’s not just the towering religious buildings that define this remarkable city. The ancient walls of Jerusalem surround a city which is a beautiful sprawl of massive bazaars and winding city streets, complete with timeless architecture which has stood for over 3,000 years.
From the Dome of the Rock, the gold-plating of which shines brightly in the summertime, to the impressive Wailing Wall, Jerusalem, as the heartland of three huge religions, has magnificent sights waiting around every corner.
Reached via the port of Aqaba, Petra is a lost city which is unbelievably well preserved. Seemingly carved from the sheer slopes of bright red mountainsides, the incredibly detailed facades of Petra’s buildings have been unspoiled for centuries, having been left in a kind of stasis where they were forgotten by the western world.
It took European explorers being guided by Bedouin tribes through the vast deserts outside Jordan in order for their splendour to once again become unearthed. Nowadays, touring Petra is a hugely popular excursion, and is easy to reach from the port of Aqaba. Reaching the site by camel, you’ll come across vast temples residing within the centre of echoing mountain halls. Just to walk around Petra can take a couple of days; such is the absorbing majesty of the ancient ruins and features hidden in the shade of valley.
Haifa has undergone a vast restoration in recent years, transforming from a cargo port into one of the most cosmopolitan destinations of the Red Sea region. Where it used to be just long-haul sailors walking the streets, now you’ll find students, tourists and street vendors as well, adding to the truly cosmopolitan feel of the city. Haifa’s beauty has an underlying influence of the Mediterranean to it, with lush gardens edging towards the waterfronts arrayed on its golden beachheads.
Head inland though, and you’ll find plenty of sights as engaging as the shoreline, from the historical districts of Wadinisnas, to the lively port area which is filled with bars, restaurants and live music venues galore - this is a city unlike anywhere else in Israel.