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Many visitors to Namibia start their adventure in Windhoek, the capital and largest city of this South African country. Nama, Herero, German, Afrikaans, and British cultures have influenced the growth and development of Windhoek. Visit the statue of Hosea Kutako, a nationalist hero, in the gardens surrounding the Tintenpalast, the seat of the Namibian legislature, or chow down on ostrich kebab or zebra steak at Joe’s Beerhouse before leaving on a safari into the Namibian wilderness.
The Luxor in Las Vegas : the actual CITY of Luxor, Egypt : marshmallow fluff : fois gras. (We’re sure you knew that. We just enjoy analogies.) Sure, the hotel/casino in Vegas might have a beam of light visible from space, but we bet you'll find a hot-air balloon ride over the Valley of Kings much more illuminating. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
Stunning coral reefs and turquoise waters perfect for windsurfing have made Hurghada, on Egypt's Red Sea Coast, a busy resort town. Within easy reach of the stunning Giftun Islands and the Eastern Arabian Desert, Hurghada has seen enormous amounts of development in the past decade—and yes, it does seem overrun with tourists at times. But it’s a relatively easy beach escape for Europeans, and some of the world's best diving and snorkeling sites are just offshore. Walk or catch a cab to explore the old quarter, El Dahar.
Cairo’s an ancient city that also happens to be a modern metropolis—it’s one of the biggest cities in the Middle East and has the traffic and noise issues to prove it. But as long as you’re not looking for solitude, Cairo—the City of the Thousand Minarets—is a splendid place to explore Egyptian history and culture. (Editor's note: Our list was compiled before political unrest prompted many countries to issue travel warnings for Egypt. If you're currently planning a trip to Egypt, please consider the risks and monitor your government's travel alerts.)
Atmospheric backstreets paint a very different picture to first impressions of Abu Dhabi. The often slick and modern capital of the U.A.E. presents a fascinating mixture of tradition and progression. Tracing its rich history back to around 3000 B.C., Abu Dhabi maintains a more distinctly Arabian ambiance than glitzy Dubai. Taxis are a safe, reliable way to get around sites such as The Corniche Park, the White Fort, the Heritage Village, which offers glimpses into Bedouin life, and the Women's Craft Centre.
Surrounded by water on three sides, Agios Nikolaos combines the sleepy feel of a seaside resort with all the amenities of a cosmopolitan port. Villas and tavernas spill over the town’s three hills to meet a harbour dotted with both mega-yachts and fishing boats.
Dubai is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure with world-class shopping and entertainment. Catch a show at the Dubai Opera, see downtown from atop the Burj Khalifa and spend an afternoon along Dubai Creek exploring the gold, textile and spice souks. If you’re looking for thrills, you can float above the desert dunes in a hot air balloon, climb aboard a high-speed ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure or skydive over the Palm Jumeirah.
Founded by the Berbers in the 2nd millennium BCE, the city of Tunis has been controlled by Phoenicians, Romans, Arab Muslims, the Ottomans, the Spanish, the French and the Germans, finally achieving independence as the capital of Tunisia in 1956. This history has made Tunis a mélange of ancient and modern cultures. The medina is a network of narrow alleyways, mosques, mausoleums, palaces and a souq where shoppers haggle over the price of everything from filigreed gold to inexpensive souvenirs.