RIYADH 70ºF - 70ºF
Welcome to Saudi Arabia, a country of contrasts that will leave you with unforgettable souvenirs! Transfer to the hotel. In the evening, we will include a transfer with entrance ticket to Boulevard Ryadh, the largest park in the kingdom, which will surprise you with its animation and life. The park has curious attractions, numerous restaurants with specialties from many different countries, live shows and, above all, a fountains eye-catching show with colored water. Free time to stroll around, enjoy the place and dine in one of its restaurants. Return to the hotel.
RIYADH 70ºF - 70ºF
Today (the order of activities may vary depending on the time of year) we will visit the impressive capital of Saudi Arabia. We will include the climb to the tower of just over 300 m high, the "Kingdom Centre", with its beautiful design and its "bridge-shaped" viewpoint that offers spectacular views over the city. We will also visit, surrounded by a beautiful park, the National Museum, the largest museum in the country, where we will learn about the history, culture, and art of the Kingdom. After that we will visit the Masmak Fortress, the ancient fortress of the city, whose interior allows us to understand the incredible change that took place in this city during the last century. Afterwards, we will have time to stroll through the neighborhood, with its souks and commercial life. Lunch included. In the afternoon we will move to the district of Al Turaif DIRIYA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place - on the outskirts of Riyadh - was formerly the first capital of the Saudi dynasty, which we will be able to discover thanks to the vestiges of its numerous palaces and the urban complex at the edge of the oasis of Ad-Diriya. At the end of the day, we will visit the Al Rajhi Mosque, the largest mosque in Riyadh with its Andalusian style architecture, where we will witness a prayer and have an introduction to Islam that will surely make us learn something about this religion. Return to hotel.
RIYADH 70ºF - 70ºF - AL QASAB 57ºF - 57ºF - SHAQRA - USHAIQER - BURAIDAH 50ºF - 50ºF
Today we follow the ancient route of pilgrims traveling from Iraq to Mecca, with its many historic towns in small oases. AL QASAB was known since ancient times for its salt and wheat production, also for its poets. We will visit the walled city and the small salt ponds where 200,000 tons of salt are still produced each year. Desert landscapes of dunes lead us to SHAQRA, a city that is growing along with its university. We visit the well-fortified ancient city, with its picturesque old market and adobe alleys. Continue to USHAIQER. Lunch included before transferring to Ushaiqer Heritage Village, a village that was an important stop for pilgrims because of its springs and the beauty of its oasis. We will also visit its small museum and its Najdi architecture houses with its carved wooden doors, its beautiful windows and triangular roofs. Continuation to BURAYDAH, capital of the province of El Kasim with more than 600 000 inhabitants located in a large oasis. Arrival in the late afternoon and free time.
BURAIDAH 50ºF - 50ºF - MEDINA 59ºF - 59ºF
Early in the morning we will visit the largest Camel Market in the world, located in Buraydah - a city that also houses a camel hospital. The city´s economy is also based on agriculture of oasis products (dates, lemons, oranges, wheat), and annually, around August, holds a huge date market that attracts many people from different places to buy their date annual requirement. We will visit "the city of dates" -more or less active depending on the time of the year- and we will be able to taste this sweet fruit of the palm tree. Afterwards, we will have time to stroll through the city center, with its vegetable market, its great mosque, its jewelry souks and its activity. Lunch included. In the afternoon, we continue our route by an excellent highway through the desert. Arrival in the evening to the holy city of MEDINA, "the luminous city". We find ourselves in an outstanding historical and religious destination as it is one of the two most sacred cities of Islam. Medina is visited by millions of pilgrims every year and has been forbidden to non-Muslims until very recently. Respect its inhabitants and beliefs and remember to use the required mode of dress. In the evening, we will go to see - today from outside - the Al Masjid Mosque, built by the prophet himself and the place where he is buried. We will be touched to see the thousands of people who enter at prayer time. Dinner included.
MEDINA 59ºF - 59ºF - AL ULA
Note: The Al-’Ula region is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, however its hotel infrastructure is extremely limited. On some occasions we will spend two nights in Medina (visiting in this case in the afternoon the Al Madinah Museum) leaving very early for Al-’Ula on Tuesday.We will explore Medina. We will walk around the immense Prophet´s Mosque (Al Masjid an Nabawi), an amazing and luminous mosque of ten minarets with a capacity for one million visitors.. On the hill of UHUD, an important pilgrimage site, where the prophet´s forces clashed with Meccan troops. You can walk through its vast esplanade and climb the hill but remember to do so in silence and respecting the hundreds of pilgrims surrounding us at any given time. At the Mosque of Quba, in the year 622, the prophet and his followers laid the first stone of what was to be the first mosque in history, although the present building is more recent. We will also stroll through the nearby market where you can find dates, perfumes, and other local specialties. Lunch included. After lunch we will have some free time in the city center to stroll around the shopping areas or -if you wish- visit the Hejaz Railway Museum (in the former Ottoman railway station).In the afternoon we travel to one of the most spectacular places in the world: The region and oasis of AL-’ULA: an authentic open-air museum surrounded by nature, where you will find rock formations, canyons and ravines that compete with the majestic treasures carved by its ancient inhabitants. After arrival we will go to The Elephant Rock, "Jabal Al Fil" an impressive geomorphological phenomenon, a 52 meters high rock in the shape of an Elephant. Dinner included.
AL ULA - TABUK 81ºF - 81ºF
In the region of Al-’Ula we will visit the enclosure of HEGRA (Madain Saleh), declared World Heritage by UNESCO, of Nabataean culture "the Other Petra" amazes us with its tombs excavated in the rock in a desert environment full of mystery. Lunch included. We will have free time in "Al-’Ula Heritage Village", the old Al-’Ula, magnificently restored with its pleasant restaurants and shops. We will also have some time to walk in the magnificent Oasis. In the middle of the afternoon, we will leave for TABUK. Dinner included.
TABUK 81ºF - 81ºF - PETRA 43ºF - 43ºF
We visit Tabuk, a city over half a million inhabitants, active provincial capital and one of the oldest cities in the country. We will visit the castle whose origin is 3500 years before Christ, and inside it, a museum tells the history of the castle and the city, from the great explorers who visited it, such as Ibn Battuta, to the pilgrims who stopped to drink from the fountains on their way to Mecca or Medina. After the castle we walk through the active commercial area of the center and we reach the old train station, today a museum that preserves the steam machines that connected Damascus with Medina. Only 100 km separate us from JORDAN. Border procedures and continuation to WADI MUSA (town created around Petra), we will visit the Spring of Moses, where allegedly Moses hit the rock with his rod and the water gushed out, and the Petra Museum, an excellent sample that allows us to understand the history of the Nabataeans and get to know magnificent pieces found in the area. Dinner included. Travelers who wish to do so can go in their free time to an old Turkish bath or get to see the lights and sounds show in Petra.
PETRA 43ºF - 43ºF - WADI RUM
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Petra archeological site. Wadi Rum dessert trip on 4x4 vehicles. Nabatean temple ruins. Camel ride through the desert. Khazali ruins. Lunch and dinner included, accommodation in a camp in the desert.Today we have the most exciting day of the trip: First, we visit the impressive archaeological site of PETRA, which is accessed through a narrow canyon, and discover the temples and tombs excavated on the cliffs in this city that was founded 300 years before Christ. After lunch (included) we leave for the impressive desert of WADI RUM. At the Visitor Centre we board 4x4 vehicles to visit some of the most impressive landscapes. We stop in the town of RUM to visit the ruins of the Nabatean temple. We include a 45-minute camel ride through the desert. We will also visit the Khazali Canyon. In this spectacular place, we will see the engravings that reveal the origins of the Arabic language. Dinner and accommodation included in a desert camp.
WADI RUM - AQABA 57ºF - 57ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT: Visit Aqaba. Free time to relax in the resort and enjoy the Red Sea.After breakfast we will leave for AQABA, Jordan’s second city. We will visit Jordan’s second city, a modern, commercial port city. Afternoon free to enjoy the hotel-resort and the warm waters of the Red Sea!
AQABA 57ºF - 57ºF - AMMAN 41ºF - 45ºF
After breakfast we will take the "desert road" to AMMAN. Arrival at noon and free time to visit the capital of the kingdom.NOTE: Depending on the number of travelers, the trip from Aqaba to Amman can be made by regular VIP coach service.
AMMAN 41ºF - 45ºF - JERASH 48ºF - 48ºF - AMMAN 41ºF - 45ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Ajlun Fortress, Church of Saint Sergius, Jerash.After breakfast, we travel to the north of Jordan. In the mountains, we discover the AJLUN FORTRESS, a mighty castle from the 12th Century. Muslims and Orthodox Christians have always lived in this area. We will visit the old CHURCH OF SAINT SERGIUS. Shall we all pray for peace? Lunch is included. We continue to JERASH, and visit its impressive Roman archaeological site. Return to AMMAN. Arrival and accommodation.
AMMAN 41ºF - 45ºF - MADABA 41ºF - 46ºF - AMMAN 41ºF - 45ºF
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Castles of the Desert, Madaba Archaeological Park, Mount Nebo.We will depart towards the CASTLES OF THE DESERT, built between the 7th and 8th centuries. We will visit QASR KHARANA, with its imposing structure of thick walls and the QUSAYR AMRA World Heritage Site, notable for its remarkable frescoes. Then, we travel to MADABA, lunch is included. We will visit the Madaba Archaeological Park, which we cross via an ancient Roman road, and the Church of St. George, with its fantastic 6th Century mosaic representing the oldest known map of the Holy Land. We continue to MOUNT NEBO, where Moses stopped to look over the Promised Land. Return to Amman. Arrival and free time.
AMMAN 41ºF - 45ºF
After breakfast, end of our services.
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