Riyadh – Live the modern life to its fullest
In the ever-growing and flourishing city of Riyadh, you will discover the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with its historical treasures hidden in the old palaces that witnessed the founding of the kingdom. It is a destination for tourists from all over the globe who wish to discover a world of shopping, entertainment and business. The malls offer the most exciting shopping experience, and the sand dunes combined with the brightest stars in the sky present the most magical experience in nature. It is an environment full of a natural variety and unique characteristics that are intriguing for explorers. On the other side of the bustling city, you can enjoy a variety of experiences in luxurious restaurants that offer their special services, and their elaborate international dishes. Simultaneously, the local Riyadh restaurants will tempt you with their authentic flavors and blend of spices originating from Saudi culture. Everyone is happy in the city of Riyadh where the biggest cultural events are always celebrated. Endless entertainment destinations are always emerging, for the city’s visitors to have intriguing and renewing experiences.
Jeddah – A seaside city filled with beauty
When you visit Jeddah, you will have the opportunity to witness a rich heritage celebrated by UNESCO. From “Historical Jeddah” to the antique designs of balconies, stone walkways and ancient sidewalks, this destination unearths secrets that have inspired artists, writers and visitors alike for hundreds of years. Here, you will have a chance to see magnificent sunsets shimmering off the divine Red Sea shores as well as having magical diving experiences featuring colorful coral reefs. Whether on land or under the sea, you won’t soon forget Jeddah’s many year-round splendors.
AlUla – Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site
There are few places in the world where you can still feel like a true explorer charting the unknown. In many historic destinations, the illusion of discovery is promptly shattered by a jungle of selfie sticks. But in AlUla, which is home to Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, deep in the desert in the northwestern region of the country, you might still be able to play out your fantasy of being an intrepid archaeologist for a day. Despite all the makings of a bucket list-topping global destination — ancient tombs that remain as the legacy of 7,000 years of human civilisation, stunning natural rock formations and canyons, a plethora of adventure sports options and cutting-edge art installations — AlUla remains largely off the global tourism radar, giving you plenty of space and time for reflection with the monumentality of its beautiful desert landscapes.
Al-Madinah – The first Islamic Capital
Historically known as Yathrib, Madinah was established in the 6th century BC and is the first Islamic Capital and one of the most important places of the revelation of the Prophet (PBUH). He immigrated to Yathrib in 622 AD and built Al Masjid an Nabawi – the 2nd holiest place on earth for Muslims – where his grave lies after he lived his last days there. Madinah is rich with Islamic heritage and includes the Quba Mosque which is the 1st mosque built in Islam, and tens of other historical mosques and eternal ruins. Yathrib gained its importance a long time ago because of its geographical location, as it lies on the road for Hajj and trade, and has a unique land, with mountains, plains, oases, and gold, silver and copper mines.
Madinah receives millions of Muslims longing to visit it from all around the world, as it is an important religious destination. The Prophet’s sanctuary is restricted for Muslims only, whereas the rest of Madinah welcomes Muslims and non-Muslims to explore its historical heritage and observe its culture and museums, and enjoy its gardens and entertainment destinations.
The city of Hail – Surrounded and full of history
Nestled between Mount Shammer to the north and Mount Salma to the south, the city of Hail was once the capital of all the Arabian Desert and home to legends like Hatim Al Tai, the Arabian poet whose altruism earned him spots in stories like “One Thousand and One Nights” (also known as “Arabian Nights”). Today it’s the capital of the north-central region of Saudi Arabia bearing the same name and a popular stop during the pilgrimage to Makkah. The city of Hail is also known for hosting international events, including a Desert Festival celebrating the area’s culture and the Hail International Rally, where rally cars, quads and motorcycles race through the Nafud Desert and through Hail, Baqaa, Al Ghazalah and the village of Umm Al Qulban. If you’re seeking a dose of history, culture and adventure, set your sights on Hail.
9-night accommodation in chosen category
15 meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 3 dinners
Arrival and departure transfers
Activities as per itinerary
Coordinator / local leader (from 8 pax and more)
Private transportation with English-speaking drivers
Local English-speaking private guides during the visits
International airfare – Gratuities to guides, drivers, and hotel staff – City tax and visa fees when applicable – Travel insurances – Optional excursions – Meals other than mentioned in the inclusions – Personal expenses – Beverages
DAY 1 ARRIVAL TO RIYADH
Welcome to Riyadh, the birthplace of modern Saudi Arabia, where old world charm meets 21st-century vision. Riyadh Province – also known as Al-Wosta – is home to the country’s capital: a modern metropolis with a thriving financial and business center and a growing cultural scene. It’s a city rich in history, boasting myriad forts, palaces and museums, and some of the country’s most colorful souks.
Meetup notes: Meeting each member of the group is at the lobby - coffee shop - at 9.30 am the next day.
On arrival each traveler will be meeting his designated driver holding his name. We will share the contact the emergency contact.
Accommodation : Riyadh for 2 nights
DAY 2 RIYADH CITY TOUR
Outline of visits:
Lunch at Najd Village (included)
(the order of visits are subject to change)
First visit is Ad Diriyah , northwest of the city and the original capital of the first Saudi state is a must-see. Its Al Turaif quarter, a carefully restored mud-brick district that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, offers a glimpse into the country’s extraordinary heritage.
Next we will start our day with a historical brief about the capital of Saudi, in the National Museum you will be discovering Saudi Arabia’s rich past, an amazing journey that would bring you along thousands of kilometers around the whole Kingdom. An easier way to have an insight of Saudi Arabia’s rich history is to visit the King Abdulaziz Historical Center in Riyadh where artifacts from all periods are exhibited and with explanations about their historical significance.
Then we will be heading to lunch in one of the famous traditional restaurants at Qaria Najdya.
After lunch, we will go see some by ourselves checking out Al Masmak Fortress, surrounded by sand, this squat fortification was built around 1865 and is like a scene out of the movies: a big fortress representing an empire. It was the site of a daring 1902 raid by Ibn Saud, during which a spear was hurled at the main entrance door with such force that the head is still lodged in the doorway. Highlights among the exhibits include maps and fascinating photographs of Saudi Arabia dating from 1912 to 1937, in galleries converted from diwans (living rooms). The roofs are covered with painted palm-tree, ceramic and ethel wood and exude an old-world charm that evokes an Arabian painting. Inside, the information panels and short, chest-thumping films on the storming of the fortress and the ‘reunification’ of Saudi Arabia are reverential towards the Al Sauds but worth watching nonetheless.
In the same area and only in walking distance we will visit the Souq Al-Zal which is one of the oldest traditional markets.
At the end of the tour today, we will go to check out the view of the sunset from the Kingdom Centre which is a 99-story, 302.3 m skyscraper. It will give you a panoramic view over the modern city of Riaydh.
Meals : Breakfast
DAY 3 MUD TOWNS VISITS
9 am meet up at lobby
Drive for 2.5 hours to Ushaiger town and walk around
Drive to Buraydah for 2 hours
Check in at the hotel and dinner at traditional restaurant (at your own expense)
Today we will be driving to Buraydah, the capital of Al-Qassim Region in northcentral Saudi Arabia in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula.
The road to Buraydah will be around 3 hours and a half however the plan is to make a stop on the way to see Ushaiger which is going to be on the way. Both towns, now small cities are a reflection of what old cities look like. We will will visit one of these towns, usually the smaller one Ushaiger which is hidden in the heart of the Najd, an oasis-dotted region 200km northwest of Riyadh, Ushaiger Heritage Village provides a glimpse of a slow-paced Saudi society of old.
During our visit we will wonder around the old town which preserved its old mud town houses where many families started from here before they moved to Riyadh. The narrow route in between the houses, the doors, and the ruins makes the place photogenetic and interesting to wonder around.
We will visit one of the house displaying the interior of the houses and how life used to be back then. A local museum where we can visit and have a break for tea.
Once we are done we will pass by a restaurant for lunch then we will drive to Buraydah City
BACKGROUND ON THE MUD TOWNS
Bedouins first settled here 1,500 years ago and Ushaiger quickly became a popular stopping point for pilgrims crossing to Makkah, thanks to its springs and low-brimmed olive and palm groves. But far from being a dusty, deserted museum piece, Ushaiger – which, in a naming quirk, means ‘little blonde’ to reflect the nearby red mountain that looms over the yellow mud houses – still has a small community of residents, making use of its schools, shops and mosques. To walk its narrow lanes is to enter a living museum, draped with traces of an ancient way of life.
Meals : Breakfast
Accommodation : Buraydah for 1 night
DAY 4 HAIL TOUR - CAMEL MARKET AND ART ROCK
8 am - Depart to visit the camel market
Drive for 3 hours to Hail
Visit Juba site (UNESCO) which is 90 min drive each way.
Dinner on route
Check in hotel estimated 9 pm
**This day is long**
Before we head to Hail, we will make a stop early morning around 8 am to the largest camel market where auction takes place, a very authentic experience to see how bargaining works in the camel market and how locals value camels and negotiate pricing. Camels remain valuable to own and trade in Saudi.
Next will drive for about 3 hours to Hail.
Once we arrive, we start our trip right away heading to Jubbah which is 1 hour 20 min from Hail.
We will be visiting Jubbah, this worldwide famous site contains some of the oldest and most outstanding carvings of the Arabian Peninsula. It was recognized in 2015 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Jubbah is host of the two most emblematic carvings in Saudi Arabia. The first one is a character dominating another smaller one. Locals say that it is the representation of an ancient king handing out justice.
The second one is a chariot pulled by two horses which was for decades the only known example but similar ones were later found in Hail and Tabuk Provinces.
As surprising as it sounds the people trading frankincense, spices, and other precious goods coming from southern Arabian Peninsula did cross regularly the 350 km of sand dunes between these two main trade cities. The numerous so-called Thamudic inscriptions (more than 5000) testify of this intense frequentation by travellers.
Meals : Breakfast
Accommodation : Hail for 1 night
DAY 5 FREE DAY IN ALULA
Depart at 8:30 (estimated arrival at 2 to 3 pm)
Today we will be driving from Hail to Al Ula, the road will take us over 4 hours and a half.
Once we arrive will visit our serviced camp base and settle.
Today is a free day in Al Ula where we can enjoy the landscape by hiking one of many trails, visiting the old town or going to one of the view points
Hail to Al Ula : 428 KM / 4 hr 43 min
With breaks on route we estimate the drive to be 6 hours. This is the longest drive so far. The road is flat with few stops for breaks but the facilities are not up to standard.
Once we arrive to AlUla, we will stop for lunch which is included in the program.
After we finish our tour we will take you to the Elephant Rock, also known as Jabal AlFil, one of AlUla’s many geological marvels. Unlike the ornate, hand-carved facades of nearby Hegra’s Nabataean tombs, the “trunk” and “body” of this monolithic red sandstone beast were hewn by natural forces millions of years of wind and water erosion. The beauty of the unrefined structure is enhanced by its surroundings of a fine-sand sea studded with rocky outcrops, many of which are equally impressive in size and have interesting shapes and figures.
The area has very nice atmosphere with a cafe and restaurant, the seating area are build underground filled with magical lights that its just wonderful to witness the sunset.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation : AlUla for 2 nights
DAY 6 DISSAH VALLEY DAY TRIP
The day trip starts from 9 am.
Driving is 2.5 to 3 hours depending on stops and group size.
Arrival between 12 pm to 1 pm
2 to 3 hours driving through, walking and photo stops including picnic lunch
Departing the site between 3 to 4 pm
Expected arrival 6 to 7: 30 pm
Dinner is included
Our trip is going to be to Wadi Al Dissa near Tabuk, our drive will be around 2 hours and a half to 3 hours. An SUV will
arrive at the camp to collect guests and start the day trip tour. This excursion will include lunch box so don’t worry about it.
We will take you on a walking tour inside this gorgeous valley and explore Wadi Dissah which is a 15 kilometer long canyon running through the Jebel Qaraqir, a sandstone massif lying about 80 kilometers south of the city of Tabuk.
This natural wonder was for a long time a well-kept secret among explorers, before the road leading to the nearby city of Dissah was built and satellite images were available to the public, which made it quite difficult to find and reach. Let us tell you a little bit about this valley before we start our hike so you prepare yourself and to get astonished! The first striking feature of this wadi is its dimensions: at the eastern entrance of the canyon the side cliffs are already higher than 100 meters, but at the western entrance the gap between the bottom of the wadi and the tallest cliffs reaches as high as 500 meters! It is there, from the massive rocky peaks, standing on both sides of the canyon, that one can admire the most dramatic scenery of this magical place.
The second and most unexpected amazing feature of Wadi Qaraqir is a water stream that runs through the western part of the canyon towards the city of Dissah. While you are exploring Wadi Qaraqir from the eastern entrance, you will find abundant palm trees growing naturally along the wadi bed. But once half-way through the canyon underground water tops up all year long. As a result, lush vegetation made of 3 meters high grass, numerous palm trees and bushes, flourishes in between the majestic cliffs of the canyon! We head back to Tabuk but with a final stop on our way to have the last look on one of the beautiful view points and then continue to Tabuk.
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
DAY 7 ALULA TOUR
Hegra tour ( the tomb ) : timing is subject to the time slot assigned to this tour by Alula Authority. We will do our best to make it in the morning.
The importance of Madain Saleh is ostensibly displayed by its 111 monumental tombs, among which 94 were decorated with majestic facades on the sandstone massifs of the area, especially the Jibal Ithlib. The smallest tomb is barely 2,7 meters tall but the biggest reaches an impressive 21,5 meters! Madain Saleh was the second largest city of the Nabatean kingdom whose capital was Petra (in today’s Jordan) where the Nabatean people created more than 600 tombs. What most people dont know that there are many other fascinating archeological sites attest to the thousands of years of human occupation of the area thanks to the underground water available for millennia. Dont worry we are showing everything you need to see !
Please note that Hegra is guided tour by Bus and last from 2 to 3 hours max. These tours are done by AlUla Tourism Board which is a third party and as such sometimes the inclusions of these tours or and timeline changes by the operator. In such incidents we will do our best to inform you about these changes as much as we can during daily brief.
Check out, then lunch and drive to Madinah (estimated drive is 4 hours with no stops or 5 hours with some stops for breaks).
Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation : Madinah for 1 night
DAY 8 MADINAH CITY TOUR AND OVERNIGHT IN JEDDAH
Will star the tour at 9 am by visiting the main site Prophet Mosque where Prophet Mohammed was living and this is the second holiest site in Islam. Then we will stop for a phot stop at Hijaz Railway. Another stop would be the Qiba Mosque which is the first Mosque in Islam, followed by a lunch stop in one of the Arabic restaurants. After lunch, we will visit one of the dates factory or farms in case you are interested to purchase the dates that are produced locally. We will then do one final stop at the Dar Al Madinah Museum before departing to the train station for 6 pm or after (depends on the availability) to arrive at Jeddah. The train takes 2 hours. We will check in at hotel. Dinner is included.
Meals : Breakfast
Accommodation : Madinah for 1 night
DAY 9 DRIVE TO JEDDAH – BRIEF CITY TOUR - AL BALAD TOUR (JEDDAH HISTORICAL CITY)
Cornish visit 9.30 am
House of Islamic Art
Old town + 30 min free time for shopping
King Fahad Fountain - 20 min stop
** This day is long usually ends at 9.30 pm **
The tour will start at 9 am - We will first stop at the Cornish, a famous Jeddah sign for a photo stop, another favorite stop further on the road to enjoy a free walk along the red sea. Many coffees are around.
11 am - We will be moving to Tybbat Museum which is a 3 story building used to be a house and his owner was collecting several items till it was turned into museum. During the visit we will focus on some interesting section about the history of the country.
Lunch break at one of the indoor malls so you can pick your suitable place to eat and break for the sun heat.
After lunch we will visit another museum, the Museum of Islamic Art. From the far countries of China and India to the farthest countries of the Maghreb and Andalusia of various arts, the museum contains more than a thousand pieces of art representing 15 centuries of the history of Islamic art from all countries of the Islamic world.
At 4 pm to 4: 30 pm
We will start our tour in Al Balad as local call it which means “the town” as reference to the base of Jeddah. Al-Balad was founded in the 7th century and historically served as the center of Jeddah. Al-Balad’s defensive walls were torn down in the 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Jeddah began to become wealthier due to the oil boom, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad Al Balad is registered as a world heritage UNISCO site and since then the old buildings with its unique window designs and doors are being preserved along with its unique buildings which some have been built using sea shells and stones! The old buildings once housed the famous Jeddah families and hosted the founder the late King Abdulaziz when first entered Jeddah. Our tour will go through the history of these building including going inside one of the buildings to see the interior designs, furniture and life back then, we will also explain the historical importance of some sites and locations while we wonder around the narrow streets to explain how merchants used to sell their goods and how pilgrims used to get their supplies of cloth and food before they head to Makkah through the Makkah Gate in Al Balad.
After the old town tour we will stop at King Fahd Fountain which is the tallest fountain in the world (sometimes due to weather, the fountain might not be functioning). Farewell dinner and return to hotel.
Meals : Breakfast
Accommodation : Jeddah for 1 night
DAY 10 DEPARTURE
Meals : Breakfast
Rates in CA$, per person, starting from
|Daily departures until December 20th, 2023||3* package||Mix of 3*, 4* and 5* hotels|
|Single occupation supplement (with minimum 2 pax traveling)||+1330||+1330|
**Prices in this document are for information only; they were issued at press time, for the current year. Please note that due to exchange rates and temporary promotions, they can increase or decrease at any time. Contact your travel agent for the price and promotion of the moment The prices indicated exclude the contribution to the Customer Compensation Fund of $3.50 per $1,000 of tourism product or service purchased from a travel agent in Quebec.