Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital, is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Once a walled, mud-brick way station along desert trading routes, it is now a modern metropolis that is changing at a rapid rate. Overnight at the Ritz Carlton, Riyadh.
Visit heritage-listed Diriyah, a historic site said to be the birthplace of the first Saudi and the current home of the royal family. Visit the beautiful old town before exploring the Dirah Souq, a market famed for colourful textiles from silk to luxurious pashminas. This afternoon, be guided through the National Museum, composed of eight galleries that tell the complete story of Arabian history – from the creation of the universe to the modern era. Overnight at the Ritz Carlton, Riyadh.
Channel your inner childhood archaeologist and journey into the desert before reaching Saudi’s hidden gem, AlUla. Few places in the world seem frozen in time, and this historical masterpiece certainly is one of these.
Spend your morning exploring the wonders of World Heritage-listed Hegra. The southernmost settlement of the Nabatean kingdom, it was known as 'Al Hijr' and was once a stopover on the very prosperous trade route. Visit Harrat Uairedh, the town's highest point with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Drink in the sunset from this spectacular vantage point over a cup of Arabic coffee or tea and delicious local dates.
Spend the day exploring the wonders of World Heritage-listed Dadan and Jabal Ikmah. Jabal Ikmah has been described as a huge open-air library, home to the highest concentration of, and most varied, inscriptions in AlUla. After lunch visit the Oasis then head over to Maraya, a stunning piece of art set in the desert canyon of Ashar Valley. Designed to blend into the surrounding landscape, it rises from the sand like a mirage.
Embark on an afternoon trip to Deise Valley, also known as Wadi Deise – a mountainous region and one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Saudi Arabia. The valley’s name of Al Disah translates to “The Valley of Palm Trees” because of the surrounding sandstone cliffs that are perfect for exploring. Keep an eye out for camels roaming, as well as the local farmer herding his goats from one spot to another. Overnight at Millenium Hotel, Tabuk.
Meet your driver to transfer to the Durra Border Crossing into Jordan towards Wadi Rum. This two-hour drive allows you to take in the enroute scenery which is nothing short of spectacular, with bold, red sand deserts and prolific rock formations.
Spend some time enjoying the activities at the camp before transferring to Petra to view the rose-red city by candlelight.
Walk from the main gate of Petra to the entrance of the old city before continuing on foot along the 'Siq' to visit the ancient city in all its glory, carved out of craggy rocks in an area which was virtually inaccessible. Lost to the world until 1812, it was re-discovered by the Swiss explorer Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. Today Petra is Jordan's number one tourist attraction, known as the 'rose-red city half as old as time'.
Enjoy a visit to Little Petra before transferring onto the Dead Sea. Hidden away in the centre of a mountain, this miniature version of Petra contains several notable tombs as well as a collection of stairs leading up to higher viewpoints. Like Petra, it is believed the site here dates to the first century. Archaeologists believe this to have been a suburb of the larger city, perhaps where merchants lived. Continue on to the Dead Sea.
Enjoy the sea and top facilities at the hotel with a relaxing day at leisure.
Settle into your next hotel before a guided tour of Amman, including the Citadel, the Archaeological Museum, the Roman Theatre, and the Folklore Museum. The Citadel is the site of ancient Rabbath-Ammon and excavations here have revealed numerous Roman, Byzantine and early Islamic remains. Soak in its epic history with knowledgeable guides at your side.
Drive to the Greco-Roman city of Jerash for a half-day visit. This ancient city is remarkable for its long chain of human occupation. Here, remains from Neolithic times have been found, as well as Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Umayyad and others. Today it is acknowledged as one of the best-preserved province cities of the Roman Empire.