Land in Saudi Arabia’s buzzing capital Riyadh to a warm A&K welcome and transfer to your luxurious hotel. Freshen up before a tour briefing with your resident tour director and fellow travellers, followed by a delicious welcome dinner. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital, is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It’s hard to believe that this rapidly changing modern metropolis was once a walled, mud-brick way station along desert trading routes.
Start your day by visiting Diriyyah, a historic site, which is said to be the birthplace of the first Saudi state and is the current home of the royal family. Continue to the old quarter to visit 19th-century Musmak Fort. Explore the famed Dirah Souq before stopping for lunch. This afternoon, enjoy a guided tour through the National Museum. Continue to Murabba Palace, built by King Abdul Aziz in 1937. Afterwards, enjoy some retail therapy at the Kingdom Tower shopping mall. This evening, meet a special guest from within the antiquities, finance or creative sectors.
This morning, board your flight to intriguing and historic Hail. Transfer by road to Jubbah, where magnificent rock carvings and petroglyphs adorn sandstone outcrops. Learn about the importance of camels in Saudi culture as you sit down to a traditional lunch at a local farm. Return to Hail and pay a visit to Qeshla Palace before exploring the ancient A’arif Fort. Next, meet with Fraih Al Shummari, a local guide, and his family, who will treat you to a Thamudic script written demonstration. Afterwards, travel by road to your hotel for dinner with your group.
This morning, visit the intriguing Hail Local Heritage Museum. Peruse the eclectic collection housed in a traditional Najd residence. After your explorations, drive to AlUla (approximately five hours) and enjoy lunch with your fellow travellers. Nestled in a spectacular valley, AlUla was an important trading hub for the ancient Lihyanites and is the gateway to Saudi Arabia's very own 'Petra', Madain Saleh ('Al-Hijr'). Spend your afternoon discovering the UNESCO-listed site, which includes the Nabatean Well, Qasr Al Bint, Diwan Tomb, and Al Farid Palace, as well as the preserved railway station. Return to your tented camp for dinner.
Start the day with a desert adventure to Al Ragasat and its rose-coloured sandstone mountains, known as ‘The Dancers’. After your mountain explorations, drive back to AlUla for a traditional lunch. After refuelling, visit the iconic ‘Elephant Rock’ and a nearby mudbrick village. Drive onwards to Harrat Uairedh, the town’s highest point with stunning panoramic views. Drink in the sunset over a cup of Arabic coffee, or tea, with dates. This evening, you may like to undertake an exhilarating helicopter ride, taking in breathtaking aerial views of AlUla (additional cost). Return to camp for dinner.
This morning, explore the Heritage Oasis Trail. This lush haven in the midst of the windswept Saudi Arabian desert has provided life to AlUla’s residents, weary travellers, flora and fauna for thousands of years. Learn firsthand about the landscape from local farmers whose crop is native to Saudi Arabia.
This evening it’s off to the iconic ‘Elephant Rock’. Have dinner and drinks basking in the golden sunset from this spectacular vantage point. Far from city lights, vast open spaces in remote desert lands create some of the world’s most enviable dark skies, making AlUla an idyllic locale for star watching. A local expert guide will lead your stargazing experience, regaling you with Saudi stories of the night sky.
This morning, fly to Jeddah, the main gateway to the holy city of Mecca. Your first stop in this cosmopolitan city is the open-air museum on the Corniche, where you can admire an extraordinary array of modern sculpture. Afterwards, gaze upon the ‘floating mosque’ which appears to drift on the water’s surface. Next, discover King Fahd’s Fountain, also known as Jeddah Fountain, which is the tallest of its type anywhere in the world. Then, admire the city’s World Heritage Red Sea architecture, explore the bustling souk, the laid-back coastline that’s home to fantastic dive sites, and a diverse, world-class culinary scene.
This morning, discover Ottoman architecture, constructed from coral and reinforced with wooden beams, including the famed Nasif House.
This afternoon, select one of these Design Your Day activities:
Admire spectacular art and architecture
Photograph geological wonders
Private beach experience
Return to the hotel for your farewell dinner, accompanied by a mesmerising traditional dance performance.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.