Monday 20 September 2010

Peregrine Explores the Empty Quarter and Beyond: New 2011 Middle East Adventures

The lands fringing the eastern Mediterranean and extending into the Arabian Peninsula have been the crossroads of the world for millennia. Peregrine's new 2011 Middle East adventures weave together the threads of a multifaceted history and cultural diversity into a series of journeys designed to give travellers a deeper understanding of the region's complexity.

Peregrine has a range of new, shorter tours, but the 26-day Grand Middle East Adventure is the programme's most comprehensive insight into the eastern Mediterranean, taking in Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Israel and Egypt, with flights in between, to maximise time on the ground.

It begins in Istanbul, with the Blue Mosque and Aya Sophia and visits the ancient ruins of Ephesus (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world) and Troy, before sailing across the Dardanelles to the war graves of Gallipoli.

Damascus, capital of Syria, is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, and the Greco-Roman ruins at Palmyra, in Syria's northern desert, are among the most impressive in the region. Another historical chapter is revealed in the crusader castle of Crak des Chevalier, described by Lawrence of Arabia as 'the finest castle in the world'.

In Jordan, the tour includes a jeep safari though the red granite and sandstone landscape of Wadi Rum (where much of Lawrence of Arabia was filmed), as well as a full day exploring the astounding archaeology and architecture of Petra. Driving into Israel, the tour visits Jerusalem, as well as Bethlehem, Jericho, Masada and the Dead Sea, before flying to Cairo.

The Egyptian leg of the journey takes in the Pyramids, the Cairo Museum, Aswan, Abu Simbel and a leisurely cruise down the Nile to Luxor and the Valley of the Kings. The Grand Middle East Adventure ends in Cairo and costs $8495 per person, twin share, including accommodation, internal flights, transport, Peregrine leaders and some meals. It departs Istanbul monthly, year-round.

Peregrine has also introduced adventures in Oman and the Empty Quarter, with a seven-day Taste of Oman trip that can be expanded to become the 16-day Oman and Jordan Adventure.

Oman is an ancient country in the midst of a renaissance, a place that has risen from difficult times to take its place at the top table of Arabian success stories. A world away from the brash developments of other Arabian cities, Muscat, the capital, boasts fine Islamic architecture in its many museums, mosques and souks, while beyond the city lies the Arabian Desert. The Wahiba Sands epitomise the mythical image of golden desert dunes and date palm oases. The group stays overnight in a Bedouin camp among the dunes, beneath inky skies, enjoying the unfailingly gracious hospitality of these nomadic tribes people.

The trip then includes a flight to Amman, the capital of Jordan. Over nine days, the group visits the highlights of another ancient country, including Petra, imposing Crusader castles, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea and the former Roman city of Jerash. Last stop is Jordan's Red Sea Riviera: Aqaba, where pellucid waters shelter some of the Red Sea's finest dives and best corals.

The Oman and Jordan Adventure ends in Amman and costs $4700 per person, twin share, including all transport, internal flights, accommodation, Peregrine leaders, entry fees and some meals. It departs monthly, year-round.

For more information contact your travel agent or Peregrine Adventures on 1300 854 500 or visit

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