What you get
Ready to look beyond common stereotypes? We are opening one of the most closed countries in the world!
- Feel like you're on the edge of the world as you stand on top of the Jebel Fihrayn cliff
- Walk between the Mada’in Salih temples, carved into huge limestone boulders called Saudi Petra
- Explore the ancient adobe villages and Masmak Fortress
- Enjoy the wild beaches of the Red Sea on Farasan Island
- Discover Abha, cool even in summer, with its traditional stone houses
The price of the trip includes:
- Three domestic flights
- All transportation along the route
- Accommodation throughout the trip
- Entrance fees to all attractions
- Local guide services
- Dinner and breakfast in the tent camp.
What is NOT included:
- Flight to Riyadh and from Jizan back home. (Let us know if you need help finding the best deals)
- Travel insurance (mandatory).
We arrive in the capital Riyadh and check into a hotel. After some rest we drive to the outskirts of the city to visit the historic district of Ed-Diriyah. In the 15th century, this settlement was founded by the ancestors of the Saudis, a dynasty that soon conquered the entire country and made ed-Diriyah its capital. We will walk along narrow streets among orange gingerbread houses, which miraculously survived after the siege of the city by the Turks and Egyptians in 1818.
We leave for the Masmak fortress. This adobe citadel was built in 1865, and in 1902 it played an important role in the history of the country. It was here that the Battle of Riyadh took place between the Al Saud and Al Rashid dynasties. We walk through the local bazaar, examining the workshops of folk crafts, spices, incense, traditional Arab clothing, antiques and carpets.
In the evening we go up to the 99th floor of the main skyscraper in Riyadh - Burj Al-Mamlaka to admire the views of the city. We will have dinner at a local restaurant. The main dish - kabsa consists of basmati rice, meat, cashews, raisins and carrots. Another must-have is coffee with cardamom and dates and unsweetened yogurt.
In the morning we will drive to Jebel Fihrain - an incredible cliff known as the End of the World. A few hours by off-road vehicles - and we are on the edge of a huge sheer cliff. We stand on the edge of a lifeless abyss, as on the edge of the world. Below is the endless desert, mercilessly scorched by the sun.
In ancient times, in these places, in the shade of the rocks, caravan routes to the oasis passed. The beds of dried up rivers are clearly visible. Is it a mirage, or true, but the figures of camels are visible far ahead... We dine, walk along the rocks. In the evening we head to Riyadh airport and fly to the city of Tabuk in the north-west of the country.
In the morning we leave for Al-Ulu, a small town on the old Incense Route. In this oasis, caravans stopped, carrying incense, myrrh and African spices from the south of the Arabian Peninsula to the Mediterranean Sea. Most of the locals still live in traditional clay houses.
And outside the town we will see, perhaps, the most stunning monument of the Nabataean civilization - the rock structures of Mada’in Salih, carved into huge blocks of limestone. Yes, these are the same Nabataeans - nomads who, more than two thousand years ago, created the famous Petra in Jordan. This creation of theirs is no less impressive!
We will drive through the surroundings, admiring the limestone rocks, from which the wind and rain have carved phantasmagoric objects. The most famous of them is a huge rock that resembles an elephant. We will spend the night in a tent camp in the middle of the desert.
In the morning, we will board the SUVs and head to Wadi al-Disah (approximately 3 hours on the way). "Wadi" is the Arabic name for river valleys in the rocks. Indeed, we found ourselves in a real oasis, which is closed on all sides by sheer cliffs. We walk along the bottom of the river bed past small natural pools and enjoy the coolness and sounds of palm trees, and birdsong...
Here we can see how papyrus grows which ancient people used for making paper. It turns out it's a plant! Also, we will see henna plant, which is used for making henna, and wild basil. We dine and drink traditional Arabic coffee in this paradise, feeling like a tired caravan on vacation. In the evening we will return to Tabuk town and fly to Jeddah.
Jeddah is not only the most modern, but also the most beautiful city in Saudi Arabia. And it is not just words. For centuries, it was the sea gateway for pilgrims who came to worship the Kaaba, the main Muslim holy site in neighboring Mecca.
We walk through the historic quarters of Al-Balad, admiring the merchant houses of the 19th century. The previous owners left these buildings long ago, but now they are being actively restored, turning them into cozy coffee shops, restaurants of local cuisine and museums.
In the evening we walk along the sea front, where locals like to stroll. This place is also known for the tallest fountains in the world - the King Fahad`s fountain. Let`s take in the evening breeze and observe large Saudi families on their evening walk. Then we go to the airport and fly to Abha, where we check into a hotel.
If you thought that Saudi Arabia was just a hot desert, then today you will be very surprised. The city of Abha is located in the middle of the mountains, and even in summer it can be cool here. The Saudis love to come here on vacation. In the morning we take a walk around the city of Abha - see the historical buildings, and visit the local museum to learn more about the people, whose life is very different from that of the Arabs of the desert.
After lunch, we will leave the city and visit another historic village that has become a museum -Rijal Alma. It is built of stone and is not at all like the villages that we have seen before.
Our day will end at the al-Souda mountain, where we will get by cable car. It offers an incredible view of a deep gorge, through which - right under your feet - clouds float. We are over 3000 meters above sea level! In the evening we return to Abha and spend the night at the hotel.
We leave for another large Saudi city - Jizan. It is located on the shores of the Red Sea and is famous for its fruits - mango, papaya and figs are grown here. We check into a hotel and begin a journey along the mountain serpentines to the Wadi Lajab oasis (an hour and a half on the way).
For about an hour we will walk along the canyon of the river, taking in views of the rocks, climbing the stones and wading mountain streams. The desert here seems like a distant memory - birds sing around us, curious monkeys scurry between the trees, and fish splash in the pools.
We reach a huge natural pool with cool water. Great opportunity to freshen up! Tired and filled with new impressions, we return to Jizan and spend the night at the hotel.
Day 8 - 9
In the morning we take a ferry to Farasan Island. Here we will have a four-hour boat trip through the mangrove forests and swim on wild beaches in the clear waters of the Red Sea.
After lunch of freshly caught fish we set off to explore the historical heritage of the island: ancient mosques and mansions of the local nobility. We will spend the night on the Farasan island.
In the morning we return to the mainland by ferry and from Jizan fly back home.
Is this trip for you?
Citizens of many countries can apply for a tourist visa on the Internet.
From August 1, 2021, only vaccinated tourists are allowed to enter the country.
We provide free visa consultations.
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