Riyadh – Live the modern life to its fullest
In the ever-growing and flourishing city of Riyadh, you will discover the birthplace of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, along with its historical treasures hidden in the old palaces that witnessed the founding of the kingdom. It is a destination for tourists from all over the globe who wish to discover a world of shopping, entertainment and business. The malls offer the most exciting shopping experience, and the sand dunes combined with the brightest stars in the sky present the most magical experience in nature. It is an environment full of a natural variety and unique characteristics that are intriguing for explorers. On the other side of the bustling city, you can enjoy a variety of experiences in luxurious restaurants that offer their special services, and their elaborate international dishes. Simultaneously, the local Riyadh restaurants will tempt you with their authentic flavors and blend of spices originating from Saudi culture. Everyone is happy in the city of Riyadh where the biggest cultural events are always celebrated. Endless entertainment destinations are always emerging, for the city’s visitors to have intriguing and renewing experiences.
Jeddah – A seaside city filled with beauty
When you visit Jeddah, you will have the opportunity to witness a rich heritage celebrated by UNESCO. From “Historical Jeddah” to the antique designs of balconies, stone walkways and ancient sidewalks, this destination unearths secrets that have inspired artists, writers and visitors alike for hundreds of years. Here, you will have a chance to see magnificent sunsets shimmering off the divine Red Sea shores as well as having magical diving experiences featuring colorful coral reefs. Whether on land or under the sea, you won’t soon forget Jeddah’s many year-round splendors.
AlUla – Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site
There are few places in the world where you can still feel like a true explorer charting the unknown. In many historic destinations, the illusion of discovery is promptly shattered by a jungle of selfie sticks. But in AlUla, which is home to Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, deep in the desert in the northwestern region of the country, you might still be able to play out your fantasy of being an intrepid archaeologist for a day. Despite all the makings of a bucket list-topping global destination — ancient tombs that remain as the legacy of 7,000 years of human civilisation, stunning natural rock formations and canyons, a plethora of adventure sports options and cutting-edge art installations — AlUla remains largely off the global tourism radar, giving you plenty of space and time for reflection with the monumentality of its beautiful desert landscapes.
Al-Madinah – The first Islamic Capital
Historically known as Yathrib, Madinah was established in the 6th century BC and is the first Islamic Capital and one of the most important places of the revelation of the Prophet (PBUH). He immigrated to Yathrib in 622 AD and built Al Masjid an Nabawi – the 2nd holiest place on earth for Muslims – where his grave lies after he lived his last days there. Madinah is rich with Islamic heritage and includes the Quba Mosque which is the 1st mosque built in Islam, and tens of other historical mosques and eternal ruins. Yathrib gained its importance a long time ago because of its geographical location, as it lies on the road for Hajj and trade, and has a unique land, with mountains, plains, oases, and gold, silver and copper mines.
Madinah receives millions of Muslims longing to visit it from all around the world, as it is an important religious destination. The Prophet’s sanctuary is restricted for Muslims only, whereas the rest of Madinah welcomes Muslims and non-Muslims to explore its historical heritage and observe its culture and museums, and enjoy its gardens and entertainment destinations.
6-night accommodation in 3* and 4* hotels (AlUla accommodation in Sahary resort upon availability HB)
8 meals: 6 breakfasts, 2 dinners
Arrival and departure transfers
Activities as per itinerary
Tickets and entry fees
2 domestic flights
Local English-speaking guide
Private transportation in SUV
International airfare – Gratuities to guides, drivers, and hotel staff – City tax and visa fees when applicable – Travel insurances – Optional excursions – Meals other than mentioned in the inclusions – Personal expenses – Beverages
DAY 1 ARRIVAL TO RIYADH
Welcome to Riyadh, the birthplace of modern Saudi Arabia, where old-world charm meets 21st-century vision. Riyadh Province – also known as Al-Wosta – is home to the country’s capital: a modern metropolis with a thriving financial and business center, and a growing cultural scene. It’s a city rich in history, boasting myriad forts, palaces and museums, and some of the country’s most colorful souks.
Accommodation : Riyadh for 2 nights
DAY 2 RIYADH CITY TOUR
First visit is Ad Diriyah, northwest of the city and the original capital of the first Saudi state is a must-see. Its Al Turaif quarter, a carefully restored mud-brick district that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, offers a glimpse into the country’s extraordinary heritage.
PLEASE NOTE that this site is closed for development and the visit will be from the outside however we will do our best and apply for a permit and request for access.
We will start our day with a historical brief about the capital of Saudi. In the National Museum you will be discovering Saudi Arabia’s rich past, an amazing journey that would bring you along thousands of kilometers around the whole Kingdom. An easier way to have an insight of Saudi Arabia’s rich History is to visit the King Abdulaziz Historical Center in Riyadh where artifacts from all periods are exhibited and with explanations about their historical significance.
For lunch, we suggest Al Qaria Al Najdya for traditional cuisine.
After our historical brief we will go see some by ourselves checking out Al Masmak Fortress. Surrounded by sand, this squat fortification was built around 1865 and is like a scene out of the movies: a big fortress representing an empire. It was the site of a daring 1902 raid by Ibn Saud, during which a spear was hurled at the main entrance door with such force that the head is still lodged in the doorway. Highlights among the exhibits include maps and fascinating photographs of Saudi Arabia dating from 1912 to 1937, in galleries converted from diwans (living rooms). The roofs are covered with painted palm-tree, ceramic and ethel wood and exude an old-world charm that evokes an Arabian painting. Inside, the information panels and short, chest-thumping films on the storming of the fortress and the ‘reunification’ of Saudi Arabia are reverential towards the Al Sauds but worth watching nonetheless.
In the same area and only in walking distance we will find ourselves in Souq Al-Zal which is one of the oldest traditional markets. They sell traditional dresses, antiques, Oud “ Arabic perfume” and jewelry.
Our last stop Kingdom Tower which is a 99-story, 302.3 m skyscraper. When completed in 2002, it overtook the 267-meter Faisaliyah Tower as the tallest tower in Saudi Arabia. It has since been surpassed and is now the fifth-tallest skyscraper in the country. It is the world’s third-tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center.
Meals : Breakfast
DAY 3 FLY TO AL ULA
Today early morning we will visit the old town of Al Ula.
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 defense 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.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation : Al Ula for 2 nights
DAY 4 Al ULA TOUR
Today we will do 2 guided tours then end the tour with visiting the elephant rock to relax.
Tour 1: Hegra tour (the tomb)
The importance of 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. What most people don’t know that there are many other fascinating archeological sites attest to the thousands of years of human occupation of the area thanks to the underground water available for millennia. Don’t worry we are showing everything you need to see!
Tour 2: Dedan, is also of great interest, not only for the extent of the remains of this ancient oasis city that once thrived there, but also because its history is much older than the neighboring Madain Saleh. The most famous oasis of the 1st millennium BCE the oasis of Dedan, where excavations on extensive archeological 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. Best time to visit is usually from 4 to 5 PM with the sunset.
Please note that Hegra and Dedan/Ikma mountain are guided tours by bus and last each 2 to 3 hours max. These tours are done by Al Ula Tourism Board which is a third party and as such sometimes the inclusions of these tours or timeline are changed by the operator.
Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
DAY 5 FLY TO JEDDAH AND TOUR
Today we will explore and understand the country through its diverse and rich culture of food and people.
We will start our tour in Al Balad as local call it which means “the town” as reference to the base of Jeddah. 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 Jeddah began to become wealthier due to the oil boom, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad. Al Balad is registered as a world heritage UNISCO site and since then the old buildings with its unique window designs and doors are being preserved along with its unique buildings which some have been built using sea shells and stones! The old buildings once housed the famous Jeddah families and hosted the founder the late King Abdulaziz when first entered Jeddah. Our tour will go through the history of these buildings including going inside one of the buildings to see the interior designs, furniture, and life back then we will also explain the historical importance of some sites and locations while we wonder around the narrow streets to explain how merchants used to sell their goods and how pilgrims used to get their supplies of cloth and food before they head to Makkah through the Makkah Gate in Al Balad.
The old Mosques is another tourist attraction where some were founded over 300 years ago and still functional as a mosque. The main attraction in this tour is the food and snacks of Al Balad where we will pass by some famous vendors known to offer the best local snacks such as the local drink made of bread “Sobia” and the old bakery which its famous for its fresh bread. Another local snack is fresh chickpeas and pickles “Balilah”. We will stop to rest in one of the local open-air coffee shops and try the famous local tea mixed with milk and herbs. We will move to visit the center of Al Balad to see the first hotel built in Jeddah influenced by Italian architecture then pass by the first school built in Saudi. We will also visit one of the art houses and museum offering its unique local art collection and antiques.
Meals : Breakfast
Accommodation : Jeddah for 2 nights
DAY 6 FREE TIME AND OPTIONAL TOURS
1. Taif Day Trip
2. Madinah Day Trip
3. Boat Trip or Beach Day
Meals : Breakfast
DAY 7 DEPARTURE
Meals : Breakfast
HOTEL OPTIONS OR SIMILAR
Hyatt Palace 4*
Hyatt House 4*
Serviced Guest rooms in farms or camp
Rates in CA$, per person, starting from
|Departures until December 20th, 2023||Double occupancy|
|Single occupation supplement (with minimum 2 pax traveling)||+995|
|Supplement for an escort guide throughout the itinerary (in addition to local guide in each destination)||+2740 (per booking)|
**Prices in this document are for information only; they were issued at press time, for the current year. Please note that due to exchange rates and temporary promotions, they can increase or decrease at any time. Contact your travel agent for the price and promotion of the moment The prices indicated exclude the contribution to the Customer Compensation Fund of $3.50 per $1,000 of tourism product or service purchased from a travel agent in Quebec.