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Our exciting new tour of Saudi Arabia includes all the major sights alongside some extra-special highlights, from cosmopolitan cities and bullet trains to ancient villages and mesmerising landscapes.
Fly to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's dynamic capital city. Transfer to the hotel ahead of this evening's welcome dinner.
Head to the outskirts of Riyadh to visit Diriyah, the original capital of the Saudi dynasty. Uncover the secrets of its UNESCO-listed At-Turaif district, known for its mesmerising maze of traditional Najdi mudbrick architecture. The citadel here was the centre of power for the House of Saud in the 18th and early 19th centuries; this emirate was the first unifying power in the Arabian Peninsula. Pay a visit to the National Museum to learn more about the rich tapestry of Saudi history before exploring the nineteenth-century Masmak Fort. Finally, explore the alleyways of the Souq Al-Zal, one of Riyadh's oldest traditional markets.
Depart Riyadh and drive north to the captivating Ushaiger Heritage Village, a labyrinth of charming side streets, palm groves and historic Najdi buildings that evoke the essence of old-world Saudi Arabia. Visitors may enter any house with an open doorway. Continue to Buraidah and check in at your hotel.
Head to Buraidah to experience the hustle and bustle of the world's largest camel market – a truly immersive experience, where prized Arabian camels command astounding prices at auction. Continue to Ha'il, stopping en route to see the archaeological remains of the oasis city of Fayd, once an important stop on the Hajj route from Baghdad to Mecca. Admire Hutaymah Crater before checking in at your hotel in Ha'il.
Explore the historical treasures of Ha'il. Stop for a photo at the formidable Qishlah Fortress before driving through the red sands of the Great Nefud Desert to visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Jubbah. Discover its rich variety of rock art dating back some ten thousand years, with petroglyphs depicting camels, archers, chariots, kings and more. Continue to your accommodation in AlUla, home for the next two nights.
Explore the wonders of AlUla, once a crossroads of ancient civilisations. The region offered rest for merchants on the caravan routes between Egypt and Arabia. Begin with an exploration of AlUla's atmospheric Old Town, and feel the vivid history of a once-thriving settlement. Later, join a a two-hour 'hop-on' coach tour of Hegra, Saudi's answer to Petra in Jordan. Founded by the Nabatean Arabs in the first century AD, Hegra was built to protect the Nabateans' long-distance caravans, which brought precious goods from southern Arabia to Petra in Jordan. Marvel at the grandeur of the site’s rock-hewn tombs, dating back two thousand years. Dozens of well-preserved tombs stand amid the stunning desert landscape, carved into its dramatic cliffs and rock formations. This evening, stop to enjoy sunset at Elephant Rock, a monolithic sandstone formation standing 52 metres high. As the sun sets, the sandstone turns a beautiful shade of red.
Spend the morning driving through a landscape of desert and mountains to reach Medina, the second holiest city in Islam. While non-Muslims cannot enter the mosques, visitors can now explore some of the previously forbidden central area for the first time. See the battlefield site of Jabal Uhud and admire the façade of the Prophet's Mosque. Visit Medina's attractive Ottoman railway station and see the Hijaz Railway memorabilia. Finally, experience the sleek Haramain Railway. Board the bullet train from Medina to the vibrant city of Jeddah on the shores of the Red Sea. This modern, air-conditioned train travels at 186 mph, covering the 260 miles to Jeddah in less than two hours.
Known as 'the Bride of the Red Sea', the coastal city of Jeddah has been the port for Mecca for centuries. Begin at the House of Islamic Art, housing a vast collection of beautiful artistic items. Later, take a drive along the spectacular Corniche and admire the gleaming façade of the Floating Mosque, built on stilts over the waves of the Red Sea. This afternoon, discover Jeddah's UNESCO-listed Old Quarter, Al Balad, home to ornate houses built of coral stone. Look out for the beautiful roshan-style bay windows, overlaid with intricate wooden latticework. Finally, settle down to a farewell dinner with a local host and her family and enjoy an insight into modern family dynamics in Jeddah. Your host, a female entrepreneur, will be pleased to talk about her life as a Saudi businesswoman after dinner.
Transfer to the airport in accordance with the time of your onward flight. Should you wish, this tour can usually be combined with a departure of our popular Journey through Jordan tour - please ask your reservations consultant for details.
Places Visited: Riyadh (2N) – Buraidah (1N) – Ha'il (1N) – AlUla (2N) – Medina - Jeddah (2N)
All of our tour departures include international flights and taxes in the price. If the dates we have available for this tour don't suit your needs, or you are not sure travelling as part of a group is for you, maybe a Private Tour would be more ideal. If your tour departs in less than 30 days, please call our travel experts to book.
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Departures for Solo travellers only are available for this tour on selected
In addition to being for solos only these departures feature smaller group sizes, free airport lounge access and complimentary cocktails on arrival.
There are no dedicated Solo departures for this year. You can enjoy any of our tours with no Single Supplement on our Happy to Share option or explore the solo departures in other years.
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