Iran: The view from the streets'

Iran may suffer bad press in the West, yet more of us are travelling to this fascinating destination than ever before. Sarah Barrell finds out why

On The Road: Sink or swim on the Sinai peninsula

Nothing beats sharing a pot of Bedouin tea between scuba dives. Sitting cross-legged at a low table by one of Dahab's best-loved dive sites, I was given enough of a recharge by the syrupy, warm tea to turn down a kofta sandwich with chips

Trail of the Unexpected: Greenery and grandeur in Oman

We must be in the wrong place. This was the immediate conclusion I arrived at as our guide, Mahad, pulled off to the side of the road and killed the engine. While he pottered about in the boot for the picnic, laying out a blanket and several bowls of exotic-looking food, I held a quick internal debate about whether or not I should believe my eyes.

48 Hours In: Dubai

Getting there is easy and room rates are reasonable, so now's the time to enjoy some desert sunshine in this ultra-modern Arabian metropolis.

Oman: An authentic taste of Arabia

Talk about a holiday in the Gulf and everyone thinks of Dubai – understandably so, for the Emirate is by far the most popular destination in the region. But if you want to see real Arabia, as opposed to a mass of shopping malls and luxury hotels, there is a far better option: Oman.

Small steps through Oman's mountains

This trendy holiday spot isn't all about the beach. Amar Grover headed on foot into the interior – with his young family

Five luxury Gulf shore getaways

Dubai or not Dubai? That's the question posed by these Middle-Eastern marvels.

The Complete Guide To: Petra

Retrace the footsteps of Roman generals, nomads and Indiana Jones as you explore the ancientmonuments of Jordan's desert.

Egypt uncovered: A Nile cruise through history

Rory Ross sets sail from Aswan to Luxor on a luxury cruise fit for a pharaoh, stopping off en route to marvel at Egypt's grandest sites – and pay his respects to Tutankhamen

The Complete Guide To: Byzantium

Be inspired by the treasures in the Royal Academy show, and visit the surviving wonders of this extraordinary empire in situ, from Istanbul to Skopje, Sinai to Ravenna.

The Complete Guide to: The Gulf states

Souks, spices, sand and soaring skylines – the countries of Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are an alluring option for a winter break, says Cathy Packe

Ode to Damascus: The Syrian capital reveals its secrets

There are treats at every turn in Damascus, from colourful souqs to dramatic architecture. Christina Patterson indulges her sweet tooth

Family travel: 'Where's best for baby-friendly winter sun?'

Q My husband and I are looking for a winter sun destination for us and our two-month-old baby in early December. We are desperate for a beachside activity-based holiday, with watersports, tennis and golf (if possible). However, I am struggling to find a crèche that will take a baby that young. Surely there are other young mums like myself out there who are keen to line up a postnatal activity break? Can you suggest some hot, baby-friendly beach and activity destinations? L Cameron, via email

Iraq's new venture: Holidays in the Garden of Eden

Iraq is trying to lure visitors to the land of Babylon with the slogan 'tourism not terrorism'. There is no shortage of ancient attractions, says Kim Sengupta

Traveller's Guide: Lebanon

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