04 May

5 Epic Hikes in the Region

When the view is worth the climb

Written By Amina Kaabi

From the UAE’s futuristic cityscapes to Tunisia’s Mediterranean breeze, the Arab world is full of popular tourist destinations. But the region has more to offer than beachy escapes and some of the world’s tallest buildings.

 

With its diverse landscape, the Arab world is actually a hub for all kinds of outdoorsy adventures, with hiking trails spanning hundreds of kilometers and mountain peaks with some of the most beautiful views.

 

If you happen to be visiting, or just looking for a weekend escapade—we rounded up some of the most epic hikes from Morocco to Oman.

 

Mount Toubkal, Morocco

Courtesy of Mohamed Temimi

 

Less than 100 kilometers away from Marrakesh, Mount Toubkal stands as North Africa’s highest mountain at 4,167 metres. The site is well known to expert climbers, who have been trekking through the Atlas peak since the 1920s.

 

But while that might sound intimidating, climbing to the top isn’t actually that difficult for most people as it doesn’t necessarily require any elite-level fitness.

 

The hike does require a certain level of determination though, as it can take 2 to 3 days to get all the way through, but the final view of the red city of Marrakech is totally worth it.

 

Wadi Tayyibah, UAE

 

This route is less of challenge than Toubkal, so if you’re looking for something chill to do—hiking through Wadi Tayyibah is the way to go. The trail—which used to connect Dubai to the east coast—is a one-way hike that takes you from the desert all the way to Fujairah’s greenery.

 

The hike is scenic, with plenty of natural pools that you can swim in as you walk through.

 

Djebel Zaghouan, Tunisia

Courtesy of Mohamed Temimi

 

Djebel Zaghouan is probably the lesser known of the list—so it’s perfect for those looking for a low-key hike in a mostly still wild mountain.

 

The mountain offers two sets of trails, you can either start at ‘Temple des Eaux’— an ancient Roman water temple (and the largest) that once provided Carthage with its water supply—or go through the side facing the village of Sidi Medien.

 

Local organization Tunisian Campers recommends the latter route, which is admittedly more challenging but offers a look into the local wild life, with some old mines and mineral deposits along the way.

 

Once at the peak, called Ras El Gaasa, you’ll enjoy the beautiful views of Zaghouan’s plentiful hills and mountains.

 

Jordan Trail, Jordan

 

The new Jordan trail, which was officially opened April of last year, is one of the Middle East’s longest trails—spanning 400 kilometers running through the country from Umm Quais in the North to the Red Sea.

 

This route is definitely for the more determined, as it takes a whopping 40 days to complete. But those looking to have a shorter stay, you’re not out of luck. The trail is divided in sections and you can choose which path to take according to your preference.

 

The trail is run by The Jordan Trail Association, and their website lays out all the routes you can take – from day to weekend-long hikes.

 

Al Hajar Mountain Range, Oman

Courtesy of omantripper.com

 

Al-Hajar Mountain is the Arabian peninsula’s highest mountain range, and trekking through it has long been a popular activity for both international and regional climbing enthusiasts. It’s actually one of Oman’s most popular tourist destinations.

 

The mountain offers some of the region’s most epic scenery. To get a real feel though, most recommend an extended stay of two to three days so you’re able to explore everything it has to offer.

 

Jebel Shems, one of the Al Hajar Moutains is Oman’s highest peak, and is known as the region’s Grand Canyon. The rocky mountain offers a number of well-maintained hiking trails- and if you’re not up for a long stay, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s possible to get through the hike in a day.