Climate and tourism guides today? The Roman city of Jerash, 49km (30mi) north of Amman, retains its grandeur even in ruins, with ceremonial gates, colonnaded streets and theatres. The Temple of Artemis is one of the most striking sights with its stately Corinthian columns that would once have dominated the city from its hilltop setting. It was built between 150 and 170 CE and dedicated to Artemis, the revered goddess of hunting and fertility. Keep your eyes down in this 19th-century Greek Orthodox church, where the oldest known map of the Holy Land is assembled on the floor with more than a million mosaic pieces. The map was constructed in the 6th century CE and was originally between 15 and 25m (49 and 82ft) wide, made of more than two million pieces. Less than a third has survived but this artistic masterpiece is still a remarkable sight to behold. See more info at Define Places.
Built in 1565 by the Saadians, the Medersa (madrassa – Islamic school of learning) of Ben Youssef is the largest theological college in Morocco. The warrens of rooms (with student cells that once were home to 900 pupils) are clustered around small internal courtyards in typical Islamic architecture style, but the main internal courtyard is the real highlight here. The fine zellige tiling, stalactite ceilings, cedar-wood detailing, and Kufic inscriptions used as decoration across the courtyard’s interior make this medersa one of Morocco’s most beautiful buildings and a star medina attraction.
The Bastakia Quarter (also known as the Al-Fahidi neighborhood) was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles and were lured to Dubai because of the tax-free trading and access to Dubai Creek. Bastakia occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek, and the coral and limestone buildings here, many with walls topped with wind-towers, have been excellently preserved. Wind-towers provided the homes here with an early form of air conditioning — the wind trapped in the towers was funneled down into the houses. Persian merchants likely transplanted this architectural element (common in Iranian coastal houses) from their home country to the Gulf. Lined with distinct Arabian architecture, the narrow lanes are highly evocative of a bygone, and much slower, age in Dubai’s history. Inside the district, you’ll find the Majlis Gallery, with its collection of traditional Arab ceramics and furniture (housed in a wind-tower) and the Al Serkal Cultural Foundation, with a shop, cafe, and rotating art exhibitions (located in one of the historic buildings)
Mondello is an overgrown fishing village flipped into a 19th-century Liberty resort for Palermo’s elite. Imagine Nice, served with a frutti di mare side. A wide arc of beach is backed by more foodie treats. Like mobile carts selling lemon granitas and arancina (fried rice balls). Alicudi is the Sicilian island that Instagram forgot. Irregular ferries and passing yachts call ciaoto the island’s 100 inhabitants. Islanders share a pastoral diet of wild figs and prickly pears served alongside a sustainable daily catch. That’s good news, because this tiny island has no shops, no ATM and no problems.
Near the village of modern Akrotiri, 12 kilometers southwest of Fira, the ancient Minoan settlement of Akrotiri was buried below lava following the 16th-century BC volcanic explosion that created the caldera. At the Akrotiri Archaeological Site, visitors can walk on pathways through the debris of the town to see remains of the clay buildings of this once thriving town. It is so well preserved that it’s often compared to Pompeii. The site has remnants of multi-level buildings, pottery, and drainage systems, proving that Santorini was a flourishing and prosperous island before the eruption and probably lived from shipping and trading. Santorini’s connections with North Africa can be deduced from the outstanding frescoes (most of which are now in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens) that decorated its houses. The site of the Akrotiri ruins reopened to the public in 2012, following several years of closure.
Of course, you can also do the 3-night adventure starting in Panama City and also returning to Panama City. This is a great option if you don’t plan on visiting Colombia (although you should!) You can book this 4 day San Blas Island tour from Panama City (back to Panama City) with the company San Blas Adventures (who I did my tour with.) However, if you’re just reading about the islands now or you’re short on time, you can actually do day trips and overnight tours from Panama City. This way you won’t miss out on your taste of paradise. This specific day tour takes you to visit 4 islands in one day from Panama City. With that said, I will warn you it involves just over 6 hours of driving and the tour lasts for 14 hours! Instead, I would highly suggest doing an overnight tour like this one. They’re not much more expensive and you’ll only do 3 hours of driving each day and spend way more time enjoying the stunning islands.