Landscapes in Middle East
In an effort to make travel easier in the Kurdistan region in early 20th century, the local government wanted a road built. The problem is, the area stretching from the regional capital of Erbil north to the Iranian border is rather remote and very mountainous. The locals simply did not have the expertise to take on such a project themselves. Enter New Zealander A. M. Hamilton. While the techniques and statistics associated with the road (built between 1928 and 1932) are somewhat interesting, it is instead the setting of the road that is of interest to modern day travellers. To use words like spectacular or breathtaking simply do not do it justice. Carving its way through valleys and ravines with the backdrop of waterfalls and snowcapped mountains, the road (known as the Hamilton Road) is without question the most beautiful journey, not only in Iraq, but in the entire region.
A bit overhyped, but nevertheless, a lovely and diverse nature reserve with rocky mountain slopes with scrubs and real trees (not something you see much of in Jordan). By staying at the fifteen century ottoman village of Dana right on the edge of the mountain plateau you have a splendid view over the valley. To fully appreciate the reserve you probably need to see and experience it from different angles, whether it's from a trekking trail or from another view point on the mountain ridge.
This is a stunning desert setting with red sand dunes and amazing pink rock formations raising straight up from the valley floor. Throw in several sites with ancient rock carvings and a few newer historical sites from the time when the British officer T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia) passed through (in early 20th-century) and you have one of Jordan major attractions. The area is inhabited by friendly Bedouin tribes, who runs the adventure tours into the desert. Most sites can be reached with a four-wheel drive within a full day, but stay overnight at a "Bedouin camp" and enjoy the clearest night sky you might ever experience. If you fancy a camel ride (and a sore bum) or want some trekking add an extra day, the serene scenery only becomes better in a slow pace.
It's a gorge, but a very deep one. The view from the top is... well, breathtaking. You need a four-wheel drive to get to up there, which is at the base of Jebel shams (3000 m), the country's highest mountain. Keep an eye on the dirt track for there is nothing to stop you going over the edge.
There is not much Costa-del-Sol-like beaches in Oman, but that is probably also why you want to come here - to see something different. Part of Oman's coastline consists of jagged pinkish mountains breaking off at the sea with long almost-deserted beaches below, and Yiti beach is just one of these. Here, the sandy inlet extends out to the nearby rocks at low tide, attracting not only wading waterbirds, but also local families who jump from dry spot to dry spot in their burkas and thawbs (the traditional white dress for men).