The One Thousand and One Nights are a collection of classic tales of love and adventure with genies, magical lamps, villains, and heroes. These stories were compiled over centuries and span many countries like India and Egypt, mostly in the Middle East and Asia. Aladdin, Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, and Sinbad the Sailor are all stories that have lasted through the ages and have inspired Ker & Downey to compile a list of some of the places that are featured in these time honored tales.
Places Inspired by One Thousand and One Nights
Many of the stories find their source in ancient Persia. The original tale starts with Scheherazade, who went to a king and told him stories every night, in hopes that he would spare her life. One thousand and one nights later, he made her his queen. Today the written word is still celebrated in Iran and the beauty of this country has inspired writers and poets like Hafez, whose tomb in Shiraz is still frequently visited by people wanting inspiration from his words about love and the divine.
The land of the Pharaohs has frequently served as a muse for writers, and this is where a 9th century papyrus containing fragments of the Arabian Nights stories was found. In Cairo, visit the narrow lanes of the Khan al-Khalili market, dating back to the 14th century, where gold merchants and copper smiths sell their wares. This might be the place to find Aladdin’s enchanted lamp.
The Three Princes and the Princess Nouronnihar is a story set in India about a sultan with three sons who wanted to marry a princess. India has a rich history of royalty and opulent palaces, some of which have been converted into hotels. Visit the Taj Lake Palace in Udaipur, where guests can live like a king for the duration of their stay.
Sinbad the Sailor’s sixth voyage takes him to Sri Lanka where he said there were “diamonds in the rivers and pearls in the valleys.” This is a treasure trove of immeasurable natural beauty, from its lush tropical jungles and peaks, to its wildlife reserves filled with elephants, leopards, and birds.
Grand Bazaars, soaring domed places of worship, and glittering palaces once inhabited by sultans will all take you back in time. It is easy to imagine the colorful characters of One Thousand and One Nights living in the beautiful city of Istanbul.
There are only a small handful of surviving manuscripts of these stories, and they are all written in a Maghribi script that originated in North Africa. Morocco is a place of spices, Moorish architecture, and magical cities like Marrakesh and Fez. It is easy to imagine how the bustling and colorful souks, brilliant mosaic-covered buildings, and mysterious sands here inspired the writers to tell their tales.
Contact the luxury travel experts at Ker & Downey to plan your travel to the places inspired by One Thousand and One Nights.