If you’re looking to go on a vacation off the beaten track this year, why not consider travelling to one of these amazing destinations in the Muslim World?
For the intrepid traveler, a holiday in the Muslim world offers many rewards. You will visit places which benefit from the influence of a religion over 1,400 years old, which has almost as many diverse cultural forms as there are practitioners.
We have the Muslim world to thank for inventions that revolutionized the world, such as coffee, surgery, universities- and even the toothbrush! Visiting a location in the Muslim world allows a traveler to encounter this fertile cultural legacy, and can take you across locations from Europe to Africa, the Middle-East, and South-East Asia. If you’re seeking a voyage halal, a visit to the Muslim world means you don’t have to look any further.
Here we break down some of the most amazing and diverse destinations in the Muslim world. Prepare to be surprised!
- Fez, Morocco
One fascinating aspect of Fez is that it’sthe world’s largest urban area without any cars. As it would have been in medieval times, donkeys still carry the goods around narrow cobbled streets. This makes for quite the pleasant surprise, so get ready to lose yourself in Fez’s winding streets.
Fez is the home of the Al Qaraouyine, the world’s oldest university, which is still awarding degrees. The Ancient Medina of Fez is a world heritage site, and you can walk among the stunning medieval architecture, full of fine examples of Islamic art, dating from as early as the 9th century.
Enjoy the local delicacies, such as fragrant lamb dishes- and if you dare, try camel!
- Pristina, Kosovo
The capital of Kosovo, Pristina, may not be on the top of everyone’s to-visit list, but it’s certainly becoming a more popular destination. As a state, Kosovo only recently gained democratic recognition in the U.N.- but don’t let that put you off.
People who get a taste for Pristina don’t just like it- they love it. It’s a city that’s known for its café culture and its jazz; expect to find many jazz bars in the city. Enjoy some culture and visit during the city’s international film festival, or its international jazz festival.
Since the 2008 financial crash, Kosovo has bucked the trend, and its finances get healthier year on year. Pristina is a city that’s growing (expect to see cranes rising everywhere), and it has both a strong youthful energy and a real buzz about it. Go now, and set a future travel trend.
- Lombok, Indonesia
If you’re looking for a break in a paradiseaway from the hubbub of urban centers, consider Lombok in Indonesia. Lombok boasts miles of long beaches of white sands and lush vegetation. The island even has its own volcano of dazzling beauty.
Off the coast are some islands called the Gili islands, which are motor-free. There you can enjoy surfing, and snorkeling off some very impressive reefs, without ever seeing a car. There’s even a sea-turtle hatchery!
Inland you’ll find many impressive Mosques, showcasing the areas Muslim heritage. Lombok is a real treasure.
- Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The most iconic image of Mostar is the 16th century Stari Most bridge. The bridge is built in an impressive Ottoman style, and arches across the Neretva river. The original bridge was sadly destroyed during the Balkan war, but it was painstakingly reconstructed in 2004. Take a walk across this beautiful bridge and admire the flowing river underneath.
The city is brimming with quaint stone buildings and cobbled streets. The Koski Mehmed Paša Mosque is a real treasure among them, and worth a visit. From its roof you can see the rest of the beautiful city and lush surrounding countryside.
If all that isn’t enough to persuade you, Bosnian food is to die for. It’s a true unification of the best of all Mediterranean cooking, combining all the richness of Italian food with the fragrant spices of Turkish!
- Baku, Azerbajan
Baku is quite the refreshing city. Nestled in its heart is the IcheriSeher, the walled medieval city, and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Get lost among the ancient architecture and purchase some beautiful handicrafts, like home-made carpets and jewelry.
The ancient center contrasts magnificently with the highly futuristic city. Be bowled over by the Flame towers, a trio of skyscrapers that imitate the shape of a burning candle.
Pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art, an impressive museum which has over 900 works of art in its collection, and boasts holdings by some of the best contemporary artists the region has to offer. A real eye-opener.