Of all the regions and all the continents, the Middle East has to be one of the most colorful and intriguing places to visit. Birthplace and burial ground of a myriad of ancient civilizations, the fascinating present of this historic region offers a bounty of attractions to please even the pickiest of palates. Visitors can stand among holy relics and visit booming nightclubs in Jerusalem, admire the engineering of the great Pyramids of Giza and sail down the lush and storied Nile, or pray in ancient temples and experience fine dining in Damascus. And this list barely brushes the surface of a region with such a mind-blowing array of people and cities, all found under the heavy Near-Eastern sun. While characterized more recently by its wars and revolutions, a trip to most of the region’s countries is exceedingly memorable, if nothing else. So whether it’s the shores of the Red Sea, the dunes of the Sahara, or the storied mountains of Israel, after experiencing all this beauty and wonder in the Middle East, you won’t be able to resist the urge to come back.