Welcome to the cradle of Mediterranean civilisations – the Middle East and North Africa is beautiful, complex and utterly beguiling. Archaeological sites are scattered here like seeds, including the walls of Jericho and the ruins of Carthage, the palace of Queen Zenobia and the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem. This is a land that knows how to treat its visitors – hotels are dripping in luxury with seamless service to match. Action abounds too during North Africa and Middle East holidays, from island pit-stops on Djerba la Douce, to hikes in Wadi Rum and sunrise kite surfing sessions in the hippie town of Essaouira. Feeling hungry? Pull up a pew in one of Marrakech’s riads for flavour-packed dishes with a fresh touch.