MIDDLE EAST

The world truly is an amazing place. Experience the natural and the man-made beauty and marvel at our wonderful planet. Beautiful destinations are everywhere. Take your pick and allow us to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you.

Middle East

The Middle East is an extravaganza of grand proportions, the cradle of civilization and home to some of the world’s friendliest, most hospitable people, this is a beautiful and complex area and a definite feast for the senses.

Mountain ranges, relaxing beaches along the sea, spicy bazaars, and some of the oldest history in the world, makes the Middle East one of the most fascinating parts of the world.

Ride a camel into the sunset as you are taken to your Bedouin campsite for a delicious dinner and belly dance show. Dive into the Mediterranean to explore the sunken treasures, including the sunken city of Cleopatra, around Alexandria in Egypt. The New Jordan Trail is now open for the avid hiker.

It is also where the three major world religions began – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, three distinct yet related religions, with many holy sites for those who are more religiously inclined.

The world truly is an amazing place. Experience the natural and the man-made beauty and marvel at our wonderful planet. Beautiful destinations are everywhere. Take your pick and allow us to create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for you.

Middle East

The Middle East is an extravaganza of grand proportions, the cradle of civilization and home to some of the world’s friendliest, most hospitable people, this is a beautiful and complex area and a definite feast for the senses.

Mountain ranges, relaxing beaches along the sea, spicy bazaars, and some of the oldest history in the world, makes the Middle East one of the most fascinating parts of the world.

Ride a camel into the sunset as you are taken to your Bedouin campsite for a delicious dinner and belly dance show. Dive into the Mediterranean to explore the sunken treasures, including the sunken city of Cleopatra, around Alexandria in Egypt. The New Jordan Trail is now open for the avid hiker.

It is also where the three major world religions began – Judaism, Christianity and Islam, three distinct yet related religions, with many holy sites for those who are more religiously inclined.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT DO I BRING?

The Middle East is mostly dry and the temperature and varies between hot days and mild nights in the summer months, to warm days and cool nights in the winter. In desert areas it is very hot during the day but the temperature drops dramatically at night. Lightweight cottons and linens are recommended for the summer with some warmer clothing needed for winter.

DO WOMEN NEED TO WEAR HEAD COVERINGS?

No. In most places you do not need to cover your head, except when entering religious buildings (Iran is the exception where women must always cover). However, modest dress and respect for local culture is the best way to go. Wear clothes covering shoulders and knees at a minimum. In most places it is fine to wear bikinis poolside and at beaches, as long as they are tourist areas (but always check). Again, the exception is Iran.

IS IT OK TO DISCUSS RELIGION?

You’re likely to be asked what your religion is; this is not considered impolite and is asked out of genuine interest. It’s usually easy to explain that you are Christian or, in some circumstances, Jewish. Most Muslims won’t bat an eyelid and may even welcome the opportunity to talk about the common origins that Islam, Christianity, and Judaism share. Traditionally, Christians and Jews were respected as ‘people of the book’ who share the same God. There are synagogues and many churches in operation throughout the Middle East, and some people are surprised to see this considering what they are fed on mainstream news.
If you are an atheist, it’s best just to say that you are still seeking. You’ll probably get a nod and a talk about Islam, in a genuinely honest attempt to help you. Just be polite and say thank you.

WHAT TYPE OF BEHAVIOUR SHOLD I AVOID?

Avoid public displays of affection, criticism of the country you’re travelling in, and losing your patience, and don’t take photographs of anyone, especially women.

GAY AND LESBIAN TRAVELLERS

In places like Egypt and Jordan, the criminal code doesn’t forbid homosexual acts, however, laws regarding public decency have been used to prosecute gays, so be careful of behaviour in public. In the Jordanian capital Amman, and some limited places in Egypt, you will find a couple of gay-friendly spots. Homosexuality is illegal in Lebanon, although Beirut has a more liberal approach with a small but vibrant gay scene. Homosexuality is illegal in Iran.

DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?

Many people often ask “Do I really need travel insurance?” It’s something travel agents hear a lot. This specific type of insurance is not something to skimp out on, especially when you are paying large amounts for your travel. The few extra dollars could be not only money-saving but also life-saving.

There are many benefits to travel insurance. It will offer you:
· Coverage in cases of unforeseen events when travelling
· It can not only save you tens of thousands for medical emergencies but help with emergency accommodation and vehicle accidents
· Dental insurance
· Assistance with lost or stolen luggage, handbags, backpacks and other items
· Assistance when your flight has been cancelled or rescheduled – this can wreak havoc on your travel plans.

Many Aussies mistakenly believe that their Australian health insurance will cover them in other countries. This is not the case, and any trip to a doctor’s clinic or a hospital, especially the latter, can end up costing thousands, even tens of thousands.

Even within Australia, if you happen to be travelling in an area that is more remote and there is a sudden medical emergency, you may have to be airlifted out to a bigger city.

Things such as weather, strikes, or technical issues can result in people missing a connecting flight or even leaving on the one they are scheduled to be on. In such cases, the last thing people want is to be left out of pocket for something that was unavoidable and not their fault.

It is also important to mention that banks and credit card companies are now offering insurance for travel, however, this insurance is often not comprehensive travel insurance and many people find out too late, that it was not worth what they paid for it. Travel insurance companies are experts in travel and therefore have the expertise and the coverage that is necessary for people travelling overseas or domestically.

So, when travelling, whether it be domestic or overseas, travel insurance is a must and should never be overlooked. Always check the terms and conditions. Touchdown Tours only works with reputable travel insurance companies that can have you covered for every unforeseen event.

MORE BEAUTIFUL DESTINATIONS : MIDDLE EAST

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