Tour of Saudi Arabia

14 Day Tour to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia February 9 – 22, 2014

$7625* pp/do, land only

Single Supplement: $1115

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Sun Feb 9: Arrival in Riyadh

On arrival in Riyadh you will be met and assisted, then transfer to our hotel. Get settled and relax. Ladies will receive an abaya set on arrival. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (D)

Mon Feb 10: Riyadh

After breakfast we begin our tour of Riyadh, the administrative capital of Saudi Arabia. It has grown into a modern, shining city in the middle of the desert and its unique architecture makes for a spectacular skyline. We will visit the local camel market and Kingdom Tower and the Faisaliah Tower.  Next we will visit the Masmak Fortress, captured in 1902 in King Abdul Aziz’s battle to regain control of the city, his ancestral home. At the entrance to this mud citadel we will see a spear tip broken off and embedded in the door lintel of the old fort, and preserved that way as a reminder of the battle for the city. Afterwards we will visit the Heritage Souq near the fortress for some shopping – antiques and gold can be found here. We will end our morning sightseeing at the King Abdul Aziz Museum, then have lunch at Al Mazzrah Restaurant. After lunch we will head out to Themama Desert for sightseeing. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Riyadh. (B/L/D)

Tues Feb 11: Riyadh / Najran

After breakfast we check out and visit the historic site of Dirayeh, the home of the Saud family.  Afterwards we transfer to the airport and have lunch at an airport restaurant before our flight to Najran. Upon arrival in Najran we will transfer to the hotel for overnight. (B/L/D)

Weds Feb 12: Najran

Today we will have a full day of sightseeing in and around Najran. Najran is very close to the border with Yemen and at one time was considered part of Yemen. It was on the main frankincense caravan route that ran from southern Arabia to Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. Najran’s most prosperous trading time was during the first and second centuries BC when it was known as Al-Ukhdood. We will start our sightseeing at Al Ukhdood Museum, Al Ukhdood Site, “the Massacre of Trench”, Raoum Castle, Najran Gigantic Dam, the local souk, and the Emarat Historical Palace. Lunch will be at our hotel. After lunch we will visit Hema where we will see ancient rock carvings, and enjoy the sunset before heading back to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Najran. (B/L/D)

Thurs Feb 13: Najran – Abha

After breakfast we check out and drive to Abha. Along the way we will have stops at Dhahran Al Janoub and Al Haraja to visit the old city. We will also stop for a panoramic view of Farrshah from the Tehama mountains. Once we arrive in Abha we will check in to the hotel and have lunch. In the afternoon we visit the mountainside village of Al Habala. Al Habala village is 2000 meters above sea level, is no longer inhabited but is a destination for visitors. The terraced village is sometimes called the hanging village because it virtually hangs on the side of the steep mountain. The inhabitants used ropes to climb from one place to another. Visit the souk then return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Fri Feb 14: Abha

This morning we will enjoy the natural beauty of this region with a visit to one of many parks in the area, Al Soodah Park. The area is mountainous and the climate really varies from top to bottom. We will see terraced mountainsides, and green vegetation like nowhere else in Saudi Arabia. We will also take a cable car ride to see the picturesque mountain village of Rijal Al Maa and to view Sarawat Mountain. After lunch at the hotel we will go to visit Asir National Park, home to Saudi Arabia’s highest mountain peak, and Bin Himsan Cultural Village and Museum. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Sat Feb 15: Abha – Jouf

We will have an early check out and departure from the hotel and transfer to the airport for our flight to Jouf, via Riyadh. We will have breakfast at the airport in Riyadh in between flights. On arrival in Jouf we will transfer to the hotel to check in and refresh ourselves and have lunch. After lunch we will visit Al Rajajeel and enjoy the sand dunes until sunset. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Jouf. (B/L/D)

Sun Feb 16: Jouf

After breakfast at the hotel we will depart for a visit of Sakaka and the Bir Saisra (well), Jouf Lake, Qasr Marid, Omar Mosque and Museum. We will break for lunch then continue our sightseeing with a visit to Qasr Za’abal and Burnes Hill, Dumat al Jandal and other sights at Al Jouf. We will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Mon Feb 17: Jouf – Jubbah – Hail

We will check out after breakfast and head for Jubbah to see the magnificent rock carvings and archaeology sites.  For centuries, Hail was seen as the “key to the desert” because it was the main transit point for pilgrims heading for the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah and for traders traveling north or south in the Arabian Peninsula. When, towards the end of the Abbasid Caliphate, Muslim scholars of Hail took it upon themselves to protect and promulgate Arabic in its purest form. As a result the city became an important center of scholarship and learning. We will enjoy lunch at one of the museum cafes, then go to visit the Qalat Aar and Al Qishia Barrack site. Continue to Hail for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Tues Feb 18: Hail – Al Ula

After breakfast we will check out and head for Al Ula with stops on the way. Arrive in Al Ula and check in to our hotel, relax and have lunch, then we will go by 4WD to visit the Nabatean ruins at Mada’in Saleh (Al Hijir Archeological Site/World Heritage Site). The Nabateans are the same people that created Petra and ruled in much of region from modern-day Jordan, northern Saudi Arabia, and part of Syria. We will explore the area until sunset then return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Weds Feb 19: Al Ula

Today we will spend the day visiting Al Ula. Our tour will start with a visit to the ruins of the old city of Al Ula and the Al Ula Museum. We will also see the Islamic Castle and the Old Railway Station then visit the ancient tombs cut out of the mountainside at Al Khuraibah. After lunch we will visit the Hejaz Railway Station No. 21, then continue to see Mammoth Rock and Harra Hill. Enjoy another sunset over the desert and then dinner and overnight at the hotel. (B/L/D)

Thurs Feb 20: Al Ula – Taima – Tabuk

After breakfast depart for Tabuk with a stop at Taima. Taima was part of the ancient kingdom of Midian and was home for the last Neo-Babylonian king, Nabonidus, who moved there in the seventh century B.C. One important archaeological find in Taima is Taima Stone, inscribed with a religious text in ancient Aramaic and was discovered there in 1888. It is now in the Louvre. It was found near the great well Ain Haddaj which has been in use since Nabonidus’ time and which, until diesel pumps were installed, required up to 60 camels at a time to draw water. Continue on to Tobuk for dinner and overnight. (B/L/D)

Fri Feb 21: Tabuk – Jeddah

Breakfast and check out, then we proceed to see Jebel Al Lawz, which means mountain of almonds. Many scholars also believe that this is the true site of the biblical Mount Sinai. It is located very close to the border with Jordan and the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba. We will sightsee in the area, enjoying the natural rugged beauty of this region, then return to Tabuk and fly to Jeddah, the Red Sea port and commercial center of Saudi Arabia. It is also the main gateway for Muslims arriving from around the world for Hajj or Umrah. The city is said to be the burial place of Eve, thus the name Jeddah, which is grandmother in Arabic.  Dinner and overnight in Jeddah. (B/L/D)

Sat Feb 22: Jeddah

After breakfast we will start our sightseeing Jeddah with a visit to the historic Nasif House, which is an excellent example of Arabian and Islamic architecture, and is now a museum. We will walk through the old city see other examples of older restored homes and buildings before going to the Alawi Souq for jewelry, perfumes, fabrics, incense, coffee, and more. We will also visit the gold souk and the Camel Market. We will break for lunch (and check out from the hotel for evening departures) then visit the Abdul Raouf Khalil Al Tayabet Museum, followed by a boat ride at Al Ahlam Beach Resort. Enjoy the sunset over the Red Sea, and dinner will be at Al Nakheel Restaurant, a popular restaurant with local Saudi families. After dinner transfer to the airport for departure. (B/L/D)

End of services.

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Included:

  • Accommodations on double occupancy basis, full board (all meals)
  • Group visa authorization
  • Arrival and departure airport transfers
  • Group transfers in air conditioned motor coach
  • Domestic flights in Saudi Arabia as listed on itinerary
  • All sightseeing as listed in itinerary with
  • English speaking guides throughout

Not Included:

  • International Air fare (call us for flight details and pricing)
  • Saudi visa processing fees
  • Items of a personal nature such as phone/fax calls, room service, laundry, etc.
  • Tips for guides (about $8) and drivers (about $4) per person, per day
  • Optional tours and activities not listed on the itinerary
  • Additional hotel nights for early arrival or late departure
  • Trip insurance
  • Please note that airline schedules and itinerary can change without notice and for reasons beyond our control.

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*Please note: Pricing above is for a group of 9 or more travelers. If the group is 6-8 people then the price will be $8590, and 4 – 5 people it will be $9865 per person, double occupancy.*