Discover Saudi Arabia
Small Group Holiday
Visit a country that for centuries has been inaccessible to Westerners. Starting in Riyadh we make our way into the desert of the interior and to Ushaiger Heritage Village to admire some of the traditional Najdi architecture. We visit the largest camel market in the world, the Buraydah’s camel market, and continue through ever-changing desert landscapes, via Jubbah, to our desert camp in AlUla, an ancient oasis. The surrounding area is home to spectacular rock-carved monuments dating back two millennia to the time of the frankincense trade road. One of the highlights is Hegra, built by the same civilization that carved out Petra in Jordan, and home to some 130 decorated Nabatean funeral monuments.
In Medina, Islam’s second holiest city and a major pilgrimage site, we view several mosques from a distance, including the green dome of the the vast Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (Prophet's Mosque), housing the tomb of the prophet Mohammed.
We journey by high-speed train to Jeddah where we visit the Abdul Raouf Khalil Heritage Museum and enjoy a guided walk around the old town.
From jeddah we drive into the Sarawat Mountains, the range that straddles the entire west coast of the Arabian Peninsula, passing beautiful views and eventually reaching laid-back Taif.
Next up is the forested Al Bahah Region and the well-preserved Marble Village of Dhee Ayn. We spend a day looking around the area, stopping at amazing viewpoints, oases and traditional villages.
During the final few days of the tour we fly to Dammam on the Persian Gulf, from where we explore the old sea port of Al Uqayr, Al Ahsa Oasis, one of the many UNESCO World Heritage Sites the Saudi Arabia offers. Millions of palm trees cover an enormous area and we visit the Ibrahim Fort, its mosque, and the Jebel Qarah, with its caves and canyons.
Lastly we travel by high speed train to Riyadh where we enjoy a city tour before flying home.
Activity / Theme
Leisurely / Moderate
a/c bus, high speed train, domestic flight
11 nights hotels, 2 nights tented style desert resort with en suite bathrooms and air-conditioning.
Months of Operation
January, February, March, April, September, October, November, December
Adventure Coordinators Insider Tip
Now is the time to explore a country that has been off the radar for many years. The best time to visit Saudi Arabia is from November to February
DAY 1 Join tour in Riyadh
DAY 2 Ushaiger Village and Al Qassim; travel to Buraydah
DAY 3 Visit camel market; to Hail via Faid and Al-Hutaymah Crater
DAY 4 Rock Art of Jubbah, to AlUla
DAY 5 Explore Dadan & Old AlUla
DAY 6 Visit ancient Hegra, to Medina
DAY 7 Get an overview of Medina. Train to Jeddah
DAY 8 Tour Jeddah
DAY 9 To Taif in the Sarawat Mountains
DAY 10 Explore Al Bahah
DAY 11 Visit Sheda Village
DAY 12 Fly Damman; to Al Ahsa Oasis
DAY 13 Discover Hofuf and Al Ahsa Oasis
DAY 14 Train to Riyadh, city tour, tour ends
The tour was great although a bit tiring. Explore describes the pace as "full on" and that is accurate. long drives and packed itinerary. All entrances were paid so no extra money needed for that. The hotels were probably consistently the best quality I have had on a tour. Saudi Arabia has an official plan called Vision 2030 where the king wants to diversify the country’s economy away from oil and develop tourism as a major industry. Tourism is in its infancy which makes it fairly authentic. It is an interesting country, so we’ll see how that goes. The cities like Riyadh, Medina, and Jeddah are huge and very modern. Then there are ancient sites with stone carvings and tombs carved in the mountains like Petra in Jordan. Our bus got stuck only once in the sand (overnight near our tent camp) which meant we converted to a convoy pof 4WDs to get to Medina. We went through one sandstorm and a thunderstorm of biblical proportions that caused flooding in Jeddah. That’s why it’s called adventure travel.
Chirs - Toronto, ON
All breakfasts, and 2 dinners
All accommodation (except final night in Riyadh)
All transport and listed activities
Tour leader throughout
Sample tour. Itinerary, accommodation, transportation, inclusions and prices are correct at the time of publication but may change without prior notice. Please inquire.
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