If summer is your soul month, do consider taking a trip to a desert area so that you can enjoy the warm weather and winter for as long as you can.
During the summer, all of the desert cities on this list are scorching hot, but the winter months bring cooler temperatures between September and March, making them the ideal travel destinations.
Here is a selection of 9 desert destinations and travel subjects that will spice up your vacation.
- Abu Dhabi
Al Khatim Desert, Abu Dhabi's famed desert, is a desert en-route to Al Ain from Abu Dhabi and is a wonderful site for off-road riding experiences in the United Arab Emirates.
Local tour operators who run 4x4 tours from Abu Dhabi have created a number of fantastic routes that meander between untouched sand dunes, winding through valleys that naturally occur where water from the Omani mountains flows in the direction of Abu Dhabi city. The tranquil, rolling scenery, virgin dunes, and openness of the desert are what make this place so beautiful.
Travel tip: Keep in mind to be cautious that the youngsters are safe from activities like dune bashing, as well as harmful plants and reptiles. Avoid eating a heavy meal right before doing dune bashing.
The Empty Quarter is a prominent landmark in Liwa, which is located in the United Arab Emirates. "It was exceedingly silent, with the silence which we have driven from our world," noted explorer Sir Wilfred Thesiger of the world's largest uninterrupted sand pile. The magnificent Rub' al Khali (Empty Quarter), which Thesiger visited with his Emirati and Omani colleagues in the 1940s, still offers the same tranquil silence, with fine golden and crimson sands changing with the breezes to build dunes hundreds of feet high and visible as far as the eye can reach.
This ever-changing expanse of desert houses one of the world's most exquisite hotels: the majestic Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort by Anantara, which is beautiful by day and starry by night.
Travel tip: If you enjoy driving, the road to Tal Moreeb runs through a series of sand dunes that will make you want to stop at each one. You do not actually require a 4WD, but some areas of the road may be buried in sand due to the wind, so drive carefully. To reach the peak of Tal Moreeb, you will need a very skilled 4x4 Liwa safari guide.
Bidiya is Muscat's most famous desert. A town in Oman's Wilayah Bidiyyah, it is around 233 kilometers (145 miles) from Muscat, the capital city. Al Muntarib, Al Gabbi, Shahik, Al Rakah, Al Hawiyah, Al Shariq, Al Wasil, and Al Dhahir are among the fifteen settlements. Famous for its golden sand dunes, which draw visitors from both within and outside of Oman. The Al Muntarib Fort, which was praised by the Ministry of Culture, is one of the old forts scattered around Bidiyah. Wadi Bani Khalid is also about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from town via car. There are numerous private camps in this area, making it an excellent opportunity to get a taste of the desert.
Traveler tip: The Bidiyah Challenge, as well as horse and camel racing, are held at Bidiyah. Every February, the Bidiyah Challenge is held. It was very recently added to the sporting calendar of the Persian Gulf region. The goal of the race is to scale sand dunes in the shortest amount of time possible while driving a four-wheel-drive vehicle, primarily Jeeps and one-door Nissan Patrols. During Eid days and national day celebrations, horse and camel races are held. There is also a yearly festival that consists of a series of horse and camel races that are overseen by Royal Court Affairs. Every year, Bidiyah hosts one of these races.
The Sahara Desert is the world's largest desert, covering Tunisia, Morocco, Egypt, and Algeria. The vast sandscapes, as well as the classical remains, old villages, and delightfully ambient oasis cities, are popular with visitors. The most accessible part of the Sahara is in southeastern Morocco. The Draa Valley, a breathtaking landscape of palm groves, earth-red kasbahs (fortified dwellings), and Berber towns, was the customary starting place for trans-Saharan camel caravans to Timbuktu, which took 50 days. Camels are now the primary mode of transportation to the Erg Chebbi dunes in Merzouga, which many tourists consider to be the best sight in Morocco.
Most journeys into the Sahara begin in gateway cities. These oases are worth visiting because they are the epicenters of Saharan culture, which has not altered much in hundreds of years.
The Namibian desert is a fantastic vacation spot for adventure enthusiasts. Its beautiful Sossusvlei sand dunes, the world's second-largest, are perfect for sandboarding, and hot air balloon tours provide some of the best desert views available.
Travel tip: Climb the 325m 'Big Daddy' sand dune for views of the surreal landscape of Dead Vlei, a white pan filled with the dark fossils of camel thorn trees.
The majority of Dubai's vacation experiences revolve around luxury, and the desert is no exception. Adventurers will enjoy hot air balloon excursions, quad riding adventures, camel treks, and adrenaline-pumping Jeep safaris across the sand dunes. There are a variety of posh hotels and glamping resorts dotting the landscape if you are looking for something a little more relaxing.
Travel tip: Since the desert is so close to the city, you may be able to see iconic buildings, big malls, and Bedouin feasts all on the same day.
The UNESCO-listed 'Inland Sea,' or Khor Al Adaid, is located to the south of the city and is one of the few spots on the planet where the sea meets the desert. Nothing beats a camel ride over the gentle dunes before embarking on an adventurous desert safari through the dunes to Khor Al Adaid, which is only accessible by 4x4 vehicles, for a truly authentic Qatar desert experience. Feeling like a fish out of water as a surfer? Sandboarding across the dunes is a unique experience, as is riding a quad bike, ATV, or dune buggy through the dunes. Do you prefer a bird's eye perspective? Kitesurfing, paragliding, and other activities are widely available.
Travel tip: Visitors can enjoy midday, evening, or overnight camping adventures in the desert through one of the numerous firms that operate Bedouin-style camps (with all the modern conveniences). Turtles, flamingos, dugongs, Arabian oryx, camels, and other creatures can be found in the reserve's fauna, marine life, and vegetation.
The Atacama is undoubtedly the best desert tourism destination in the world. Some of the experiences are remarkable, from the El Tatio geysers and Miscanti hot springs to watching the sunset over Moon Valley. Hiking, horseback riding, stargazing, and safaris are just a few of the activities available.
Travel tip: San Pedro de Atacama, a quaint frontier town, is a fantastic place to start exploring because many of the natural sites described above are close by.
The Thar Desert, which is largely located within the Indian state of Rajasthan, is the world's most densely populated desert. There are numerous camel and 4X4 safaris available, but the town of Jaisalmer is the highlight for visitors. Its magnificent yellow sandstone fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it overlooks one of India's most beautiful landscapes.
Travel tip: Luxury glamping locations offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to camp beneath the stars among the sand dunes.