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5 top destinations for a desert trek

The unique magic of an adventure in the desert is made even more memorable by the treasures to be found within them. Delve into these out-of-this-worl... Read more
5 top destinations for a desert trek

The unique magic of an adventure in the desert is made even more memorable by the treasures to be found within them. Delve into these out-of-this-world destinations to discover ancient cultures, explore dramatic mountain ranges, and get lost in some of the starriest skies you'll ever see...




When you hear the word desert, it's likely the dramatic Lawrence of Arabia landscapes of Jordan which first appear into your mind. Think red-ochre sandstone and rolling sands, with winding camel caravans and sprinkled Bedouin camps interrupting an otherwise out-of-this-world landscape. This is certainly the case, but there's even more to be found in the treasure chest of Jordan's vast sands. 
For a dose of culture, tick a visit to the rock-hewn, 'Rose-Red City' of Petra, one of the world's New 7 Wonders, off your bucket list. The site is popular and can be full of tourists, but this doesn't mean you should miss out - our Dana to Petra trek is a unique to KE journey which takes you on the Jordan Trail and delivers you through the 'back door' of the lost city, meaning you'll see the most famous sites away from the busloads of visitors. If you want to experience the desert but can't get enough of the mountains too, you need to pay a visit to see the lunar landscapes of Wadi Rum. Also known as the Valley of the Moon, towering rock formations and deep crevasses interrupt the endless sands, where you'll be able to explore and camp under Um Adaami, Jordan's highest peak.
If you're feeling even more up for a challenge, see it all by riding from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea on a mountain biking epic. Jordan is also a fantastic place for a family holiday, offering the perfect blend of adventure, activities and culture, with everything from snorkelling in the Red Sea to visiting the home of Roman chariot racing.


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Morocco - home to one the world's largest hot deserts, the epic lands of the Sahara. Its legend precedes it and it's something every traveller should see at least once. A trek through the Sahara will offer you creamy dunes, glowing sunrises and fiery sunsets, with Morocco's rich culture evident in Berber camps and the chance to visit holy shrines. One of the most remarkable things about a Saharan desert trek? The nightly show. As one of the world's largest dark sky reserves, you'll be able to lie back at night and feast your eyes on a vast and beautiful clear sky, studded with more stars than you could imagine. 

Trek along the Edge of the Sahara to immerse yourself in its wilderness, and enjoy the chance to stay at a traditional Berber camp. Explore further on a cycling holiday in Morocco's desert world, Jebel Sahro, the rocky desert mountains in the south of Morocco, or take the family - desert trekking, exploring Marrakech, camping out and joining a traditional camel caravan can be enjoyed by anyone, no matter their age.

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Oman is an incredible adventure destination, not least as it offers you the chance to combine feasting your eyes on magnificent desert landscapes with some spectacular mountain trekking. Oman is actually a desert state - more than 80% of the Omani territory is covered in sand. This secret jewel of the Middle East is home to the Al Hajar mountains, a stunning rugged coastline, picturesque mountain villages and terraced fields. A visit to Oman will truly be like no place you've ever visited. 

Trek along the ridges of the Al Hajar range, and enjoy the year-round sunshine as you follow Oman's famous 'Balcony Trail'. There are some challenging sections, but they're well worth the effort as you complete an adventure few back home will have experienced. Oman is also home to some fascinating wildlife; explore on a cultural and discovery adventure by experiencing the desert and dunes of Wadi Shab and Wadi Bani Khalid, before taking a dolphin-spotting trip and seeing turtles on the beach. Younger ones will be equally delighted by these treats - they'll never forget a family holiday snorkelling and dolphin-spotting in the Gulf of Oman. 


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Yep, you heard us. The Canaries. 

 Lanzarote may be a beach pilgrimage for many holidaymakers, but for the adventurous traveller, you'll find a rich and varied terrain beyond the resorts which includes desert landscapes. The Rubicon Plain is an impressive lava field on the south-west coast of the island, where breakers crash ashore and mountains lie in the distance. It's also home to a different kind of desert setting, the sandy fields of the Central Desert. 

 A walking holiday on the Island of Eternal Spring will show you the wonders these sands hold and more. Follow the GR131 long-distance path which flows across Lanzarote, taking in wonders such as the desert plains, volcanic peaks, pretty flora and the Timanfaya National Park, home to the Fire Mountains. Alternatively discover a Saharan-style desert landscape of sand dunes, oases and the spectacular volcanic knives of Fuerteventura, declared a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve in 2009. Or test your road cycling amongst the desert canyons and barrancos of Gran Canaria on 'Serenity' (9 miles of hairpins) or on the 'Dragon's Tail' in the island's wild west.


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Home to the Atacama desert, a 1000km long plateau known as the dryest place on Earth. One of the most beautiful regions on the planet, the desert holds within its plains the volcano of Licancabur, a holy mountain of the Atacameno people. The landscape is almost entirely without vegetation or habitation, meaning an exploration into its peaks and troughs is a unique experience into an extreme environment of salt flats, sand dunes, rocky peaks and active volcanos, a guaranteed insight into the sense of true wilderness South America can provide.
Chile is nature on a grand scale - take on a challenge and trek through the Atacama before completing an ascent of Licancabur (5920m) in Bolivia. You'll see flamingo-filled lagoons, geysers and towering peaks on this otherworldly journey, and be able to finish off your epic adventure with a soak in hot springs at the geysers of El Tatio. Due to its sheer size, the Atacama also offers the chance to see more of South America by following it south to Patagonia. Join a walking and discovery adventure and see not just the spectacular desert, but the Torres del Paine National Park and snow-capped volcanoes of Chile's Lake District, whilst exploring Santiago, Puerto Varas and San Pedro.


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