DUBAI 73ºF - 73ºF
Welcome to Emirates! Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel. At the end of the afternoon, we will be transferred to visit the impressive city of DUBAI that shines in the night. We will go to witness the show of "Dubai Fountain", where the water dances to the rhythm of music and light; we are at the foot of Burj Khalifa which with its 828 meters is the tallest tower in the world; free time to walk and dine (dinner not included) in the immense Dubai Mall. Return to the hotel.
DUBAI 73ºF - 73ºF
Today we have a spectacular day getting to know Dubai. We will have a panoramic tour in which we will pass in front of the great mosque of Jumeirah, afterwards we continue passing by Burj Al Arab, a spectacular hotel in the form of a sail; the island of "Palm Jumeirah" in the shape of a palm tree. We will take the very modern monorail. A walk through the area of The Marina. We then have free time next to the most popular and active beach in Dubai: JBR beach. If you wish you can bathe in the warm waters of the Persian Gulf, or if you prefer you can stroll through its several luxury shops. Time to bathe or rest and have lunch (not included). In the afternoon we will have time in Madinat Jumeirah, which offers us a contemporary version of a traditional Arab village with its souk, its canals, and its colorful villas.
DUBAI 73ºF - 73ºF - ABU DHABI 77ºF - 77ºF
We still have all morning to get to know Dubai. We include going up the spectacular tower "Dubai Frame" with its spectacular bridge shape and its view at 150 meters high. Afterwards we go to the old part of Dubai, a walk through the souk of Bur Dubai and the spice souk. We will take an Abra (traditional boat of the Emirates) to move to the historic neighborhood of Al Fahidi and the center for cultural understanding (with its motto "open minds, open doors"), in this area we will include in a traditional building, a typical meal of the country; if the group is more than 15 travelers they will give us an explanation to get to know better the gastronomy of the Emirates. After lunch we will continue our route to ABU DHABI, the most important Emirate and capital of the country. Before entering the city, we will stop at Ferrari World, a theme park dedicated to Ferrari racing cars (stop to see outdoor areas). After that we visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a beautiful white mosque, the largest in the Emirates, with an area of more than 12 hectares, a point that seeks the encounter with other cultures and people of other religions. We will pass in front of Capital Gate, a 160-meter-high building known for being the steepest skyscraper in the world. From the beautiful "Corniche", by the sea, we will get a great panoramic view of the city. Already, after dark we will go to The Founders Memorial, built in memory of Zayed, the first sultan of the Emirates; The Constellation stands out, with its magnificent night lighting.
ABU DHABI 77ºF - 77ºF - AL DHANNAH CITY
In the morning we continue our visit of the city. We will visit (entrance included) the Heritage Village, this place allows us to understand the traditional life in the Emirates, we enjoy its views, we can buy in its craft shops and visit its small museums that illustrate us about the history of the Emirates. After that we include a visit and entry into Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace of the Emirates, magnificent construction of white granite profusely decorated, highlights its dome of 37 meters and its chandelier lamp of 350,000 pieces of glass.After that we go to the "cultural district" where there are several museums, highlights The Louvre, with its spectacular architecture by the sea and an incredible collection. You have the opportunity if you wish to visit one of the museums or enjoy your free time in the area. Lunch included.In the afternoon we continue our route, we cross oil-producing regions to DHANNAH CITY. We will be staying in a nice hotel-resort next to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. Dinner included.
AL DHANNAH CITY - AL HOFUF
Free time to relax in the hotel, you can enjoy its white sand beach, its pool or snorkel in the waters of the Persian Gulf. Lunch included. After lunch we enter a country that until very recently has been closed to tourism. Only 130 km separate us from the border of SAUDI ARABIA (Al Batha). Border procedures and continuation of our route through the desert to the oasis of AL-AHSA, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrival at AL-HOFUF, the main city of the oasis. We will take a night walk through the King Abdullah Park, a pleasant park where its artificial lake and the fountains that dance to the rhythm of the music stand out.
AL HOFUF - RIYADH 64ºF - 64ºF
We visit the Oasis of AL-AHSA, with its gardens, canals, wells. Inhabited since the Neolithic; it is considered the largest oasis in the world with its almost 3 million date palms. In the center of Al-Hofuf we visit the Ibrahim Palace, historical fortress (World Heritage Site) dominated by its white mosque, built in 1556 by the Ottomans. After that we visit the "House of Allegiance" that shows us a small palace characteristic of the oasis. Later we travel through the oasis, we go to AL QARA , a spectacular landscape area, labyrinth of mini-gorges-caves in the mountain, and a historical site; it will seem that "you penetrate the mountain", all year round the temperature is around 25 degrees. We also visit its museum "land of civilizations" that describes the history of the area. Lunch included. Note: At the time of writing this itinerary, the Ibrahim Palace was closed for restoration. During the period when it is closed, the palace will be visited from the outside and time will be given to the Qaisariah souk.In the afternoon we take a modern high-speed train, in two hours and 20 minutes we travel almost 350 kilometers of desert that separate us from Riyadh.- RIYADH, arrival. To end the day we will include transfer and entrance to the Boulevard Riyadh, you will be surprised by its life and activity, the attractions, the numerous restaurants with specialties from numerous countries, its live shows, and -above all- the spectacle of colorful fountains. Time to stroll, dine (dinner not included) and enjoy this place. Return to the hotel.
RIYADH 64ºF - 64ºF
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 64ºF - 64ºF - AL QASAB 64ºF - 64ºF - SHAQRA - USHAIQER - BURAIDAH 57ºF - 57ºF
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 57ºF - 57ºF - MEDINA 68ºF - 68ºF
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 68ºF - 68ºF - 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 48ºF - 48ºF
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 48ºF - 48ºF - 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 59ºF - 59ºF
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 59ºF - 59ºF - AMMAN 41ºF - 50ºF
After breakfast we will depart via “the desert road” to the AMMANNote: Depending on the number of travellers, the trip from Aqaba to Amman may be made by regular VIP coach.
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