Saudi Arabia North Route

Duration

8 days

Guaranteed

2 travellers

Group size

16 travellers

Price

From AUD $ 4,878

WHAT TO EXPECT

See the world’s tallest fountain and try some famous local tea in Jeddah. Visit the historic mosques of Madinah and sample the delicious dishes at a traditional open-air market. Enjoy a home cooked meal and an overnight stay at a farm guest house, surrounded by an oasis of palm trees and mud houses. Witness the geological marvel of Elephant Rock at Al Ula. Walk through a beautiful sandstone valley and follow in the footsteps of ancient explorers.

Itinerary

Welcome to Saudi Arabia! Your guide will welcome you upon arrival at Jeddah airport. Transfer to your hotel. Remaining day is at leisure. Overnight in Jeddah.
Today we will start our tour with The Tayebat Museum for a fascinating look into Jeddah’s long and cosmopolitan past. Take an informative tour through the Tayebat Museum for a superbly curated representation of the city’s 2,500-year history. Located in the Al Faisaliyah district, the museum is housed in a multiroom complex that re-creates the traditional Hijazi architecture of the old city, with bay windows overlaid with intricate wooden lattice work and ornate coral masonry. With several floors of in-depth exhibits, the museum offers a living history lesson on the foundation of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and the wider Arabian Peninsula. There is also an entire floor dedicated to the city’s rich Islamic heritage. Before we move to the next stop we will have lunch (not incl) in one of the nice local restaurants in Jeddah serving famous traditional dishes. After lunch we will start cruising around the city and make short stops in the most famous monuments like the world tallest flag pole, the world tallest fountain and the open air museum. Afterwards take a walk at the beach to see the floating mosque and Jeddah waterfront before we proceed to the Jeddah Historical City “Al-Balad”. 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 due to the oil boom Jeddah began to become wealthier, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad. Since Al-Balad’s registration as a world heritage UNESCO site, the old buildings are being preserved along with its unique window designs and doors. The old buildings once housed the famous Jeddah families and hosted the founder, the late King Abdulaziz when first entering Jeddah. Our tour will go through the history of these buildings including entering one of the buildings to see the interior designs, furniture and life back then. You`´ will get insights into the historical importance of some locations while we wander around the narrow streets. Learn how merchants used to sell their goods and how pilgrims used to get their supplies of cloth and food before they headed to Makkah through the Makkah Gate in Al-Balad. The old Mosques are another tourist attraction. Some were founded over 300 years ago and are still functional as a mosque. We will pass by some famous vendors known to offer the best local snacks such as the local drink “ Sobia” or a snack made of beans and pickles called “Balilah”. Try some famous local tea mixed with milk and herbs in one of the local coffee open air places! Overnight in Jeddah.

Meals included:
  • Breakfast

  • Insider Experiences:
  • Visit of the Tayebat Museum
  • Visit of the Jeddah’s main attractions
  • Visit of Jeddah Historical City “Al-Balad”
  • After breakfast we will take a train to Madinah ( in case train tickets can not be provided, a transfer will be offered alternatively). Upon our arrival we will start the tour with the Madinah museum which houses historical artefacts such as the old railway that used to transport the people all the way from Damascus to Madinah. Will visit an open market called ” Chief’s Market” where several restaurants serve seafood , lamb and meat local dishes. Afterwards we will take a walk on Qiba street towards the landmark of Madinah – the Prophet’s mosque. We will walk around the area as non-Muslims are not allowed to enter inside, but the atmosphere and the crowd will give you a feeling of the place. We will end the tour on Qiba Street which connects two Mosques – the Grand Mosque and Qiba Mosque, both having significant importance in Islamic history. Overnight in Madinah.

    Meals included:
  • Breakfast

  • Insider Experiences:
  • Visit of Madinah museum
  • Taste – Visit of an open market called ” Chief’s Market”
  • Walk on Qiba street towards Madinah – the Prophet’s mosque
  • Walk to the Grand Mosque and Qiba Mosque
  • In the morning transfer to Al Ula (approximately 4h). Upon arrival we will be heading to the selected farm guest houses that are located in the heart of Al Ula. We will do some relaxing activities to experience the place: Old town tour. In the 12th century, Al Ula Old Town became an essential settlement along the pilgrimage route from Damascus to Makkah. The city gradually replaced Qurh, to the south of Al Ula, and is favourably mentioned by travellers from the 12th to the 20th centuries, when modern Al Ula was constructed nearby. The houses were designed to be attached to one another, providing fortification, which hints to defence being a priority for the city’s early inhabitants. At one point, the city was accessed by 14 gates, which were opened in the morning to welcome travellers, pilgrims and other visitors, and closed each evening. The ancient city’s recent occupation has enabled researchers to begin to gather oral histories, painting a picture of what life was like inside its walls. These stories will one day be available to visitors who can look forward to tapping into Al Ula Old Town’s living memory. After our tour we will have lunch in the middle of the local farm surrounded by palms trees. Lunch will be homecooked meals showcasing the local dishes in this region. Hiking Al Ula Oasis Trail 3KM. This is a nice trail that can last for 2 hours suitable for anyone to enjoy the palms, mud houses and the surrounding oasis. Check in at Farm Guest House.

    Meals included:
  • Breakfast

  • Insider Experiences:
  • Al Ula Old Town tour
  • Taste – Homecooked local lunch in a farm surrounded by palms trees
  • Hike the Al Ula Oasis Trail (3km)
  • Unique – Overnight camp in the desert
  • Today we will do 2 guided tours, then end the tour with visiting the elephant rock to relax.
    Tour 1: Hegra tour ( the tomb ) and Hejaz Railway. The importance of Hegra, also known as 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. Afterwards we will visit the Hejaz Railway. In the early 19th century CE the Ottomans built a railway station at Madain Saleh that was along the Hejaz Railway linking Damascus to the holy city of Makkah. You will have the chance to see the triclinium (or diwan in Arabic) that were once dedicated to banquets and rituals. They are composed of three benches where people used to sit while musicians were playing. At least six of them were found in Madain Saleh with the names of their owners.
    Tour 2 : Dedan is also of great interest, not only for the extent of the remains of this ancient oasis city , but also because its history is much older than the neighbouring Madain Saleh. The most famous oasis of the 1st millennium BCE is the oasis of Dedan, where excavations on extensive archaeological sites have revealed the existence of large fortified cities. These kingdoms developed their own culture including a specific language and alphabet, that resulted in a mix of Arabian traditions and strong influences from the surrounding empires. Before we head to our last stop, we will pass by the Elephant Rock, also known as Jabal AlFil, one of Al Ula’s many geological marvels. This is a seating area with nice coffee to relax and enjoy the scenery. Please note that Hegra and Dedan/Ikma mountain are guided tours by Bus and last each 2 to 3 hours max.

    Meals included:
  • Breakfast

  • Insider Experiences:
  • Unique – Visit of Hegra, also known as Madain Saleh
  • Visit of the Hejaz Railway
  • Visit of Dedan
  • Stop at the Elephant Rock, also known as Jabal AlFil
  • Morning transfer to Wadi Al Dissah (approximately 2.5-3h). Upon arrival, enjoy a delicious traditional meal. After lunch we will take you on a walking tour inside this gorgeous valley which is a 15 kilometre long canyon running through the Jebel Qaraqir, a sandstone massif lying about 80 kilometres 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. 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 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 meter high grass, numerous palm trees and bushes, flourishes in between the majestic cliffs of the canyon! We head back to Tabuk with a stop en route to have a last look from one of the beautiful viewpoints. Overnight in Tabuk.

    Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

  • Insider Experiences:
  • Walking tour of Wadi Al Dissah
  • Views of the scenic landscape
  • After breakfast transfer to Madian or as they call it now Al Bad’. Stop en route at Ship Mountain, which actually is a mountain being shaped like a ship and a small local museum. Continue to Madian. After lunch we will start our journey in Madian or Al-Bad’ which is a small province located 2,5 hours from Tabuk region. There we will have a closer historical look at the Jethro’s cave in the land of Madian or in Arabic “maghayer shu’aib”. A lot of people know Al-Ula but not everyone knows about this collection of Nabatean tombs in Al Bad’. Being carved into the rocks, these tombs are decorated in an artistic way similar to the Nabatean tombs found in Madain Saleh and Petra in Jordan. It is definitely an undiscovered gem hidden here in Saudi Arabia and absolutely worth visiting. Our next stop will be Maqna city where we will visit The Well Of Moses and you will find out later why it is called like that. The final stop for today’s tour will be at Tayyeb. It is believed that when later Moses brought the people out of Egypt through the Red Sea they reached the land of Madyan at Tayeb Al-Ism, the reason why it is also called the Valley of Moses. We will be having a walking tour in one of the magical natural wonders of Saudi Arabia that takes visitors by surprise. This incredible natural feature of Tabuk Province is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, just 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna. When approaching by the road that runs along the turquoise waters and white beaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, what strikes people first is the imposing shape of the 600-meter-high granite massif of the Tayeb Al-Ism, whose sharp edges fall into the Gulf of Aqaba. While getting closer to a nice little palm grove ornamenting the bottom of the cliffs, the mountain side that looks towards the Gulf suddenly reveals the stunningly high edges of a narrow canyon whose entrance is just few dozen meters from the sea. There the granite massif looks like it’s been torn in two by a supranatural force, the gravel of the first hundred meters of the canyon can be driven by car but some boulders don’t let cars get very far. A wooden bridge spanning the rocks allows pedestrians to carry on deeper into the meanders of this massive breach through the mountain. From the bridge the Tayeb Ism visitors see another marvel, a small stream of crystal clear water that runs through the gravel all year long. As a result, the wadi hosts numerous palm trees and reeds that create little oases surrounding by the vertiginous sides of the canyon. We will have a chance to see the sunset at this gorgeous valley before we head to have dinner and then off to Tabuk. Departure to Jeddah and overnight in Jeddah.

    Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

  • Insider Experiences:
  • Stop at the Ship Mountain
  • Visit of the Jethro’s cave
  • Unique – Visit of Nabatean tombs in Al Bad’
  • Visit of The Well Of Moses in Maqna city
  • Stop at Tayyeb
  • Enjoy a scenic sunset
  • After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

    Meals included:
  • Breakfast
  • Inclusions

    • Insider Experiences

      Taste - Visit of an open market called " Chief's Market”
      Taste - Homecooked local lunch in a farm surrounded by palms trees
      Unique - Visit of Hegra, also known as Madain Saleh
      Unique - Overnight camp in the desert
      Unique - Visit of Nabatean tombs in Al Bad’

    • Accommodation

      5 nights in 3-4 star hotels
      2 nights in a Camp (fully equipped)

    • Meals

      Daily breakfast
      2 local lunches

    • Transport

      Airport transfer on arrival and departure
      Air-conditioned vehicle

    • Touring

      English speaking tour guide
      All entrance fees

    Departure dates & rates

    Please contact us directly to inquire about 2023 and 2024 departure dates and rates

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