1. Explore the enigmatic 'lost city' of Petra

The treasured Unesco Heritage Site of Petra is the must-see ultimate experience on our list. Once nearly lost to the outside world, the sandstone city is now one of the most loved places on the planet, voted in as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World by popular ballot in 2007. Spread over some 102 sq miles (264 sq km), Petra was constructed by the ancient Nabataeans, a civilisation of crafters and merchants, and made for a grand trade route stop-off between Arabian oases. But generations later, after the city was abandoned, it was known only to the Bedouin who made the caves their home. The iconic Treasury, looming 128ft (39m) high is most visitors’ first sight of the city, reached after a winding journey through a narrow water-etched slot canyon. Rediscover the city’s eternal air of mystery in the early morning or the hours before closing when it’s at its most atmospheric.