RIYADH 61ºF - 61ºF
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 61ºF - 61ºF
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.Free time for lunch in a shopping center- Mall- where you can choose from the various restaurants and types of food offered there.In the afternoon we will also visit 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 61ºF - 61ºF - AL QASAB 64ºF - 66ºF - SHAQRA - USHAIQER - BURAIDAH 66ºF - 66ºF
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 66ºF - 66ºF - MEDINA 77ºF - 77ºF
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. We will visit the Al Oqilat Museum that tells us about the traditions of Arabia and the customs of the region. Free time for lunch.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 77ºF - 77ºF - 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. From here, we will walk to the nearby garden and well of Ethiq where the different tribes of the place went out to drink water and greet the Prophet and his companions recently arrived in Medina after their persecution in Mecca. Afterwards 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 77ºF - 77ºF
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 to stroll and enjoy its comercial streets, and its magnificent Oasis. In the middle of the afternoon, we will leave for TABUK. Dinner included.
TABUK 77ºF - 77ºF - PETRA 54ºF - 54ºF
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 visit, we will enter the Mud House Museum, a recreation of the interior of an adobe house where we will learn what traditional life was like in the past in this type of housing. Subsequently we walk through the active commercial area of the city 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 54ºF - 54ºF - WADI RUM
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 68ºF - 68ºF - EILAT 68ºF - 68ºF - SAINT CATHERINE 79ºF - 79ºF
***VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the warlike situation in Israel, while the conflict is ongoing, the passage through EILAT will be eliminated from the stage. The stage will be carried out by crossing by direct ferry from Aqaba, Jordan, to Taba, Egypt, thus avoiding passing through Israel.After breakfast, we leave for AQABA, Jordan’s second city, lying on the banks of the Red Sea. We walk through the center before continuing to the border of ISRAEL, EILAT and arrive in this modern and tourist city with its excellent beaches. There’s time to relax, have lunch and stroll around. Are you tempted to have a swim? We then continue towards the EGYPT border, and into Sinai. On the way, there’s chance to take photographs of the Pharaoh’s Island with the powerful fortress of Saladin. Continue to SAINT CATHERINE. Arrival, accommodation and dinner included.FEES: At the border crossing from Jordan to Israel and from Israel to Egypt, every traveler must pay an entry/exit fee for the different countries. Jordan: $15 (exit fees), Israel: $32 (exit fee), Egypt: $45 (entry visa, which is actually $25 visa + $20.Approximate rates and subject to change without prior notice by the authorities of the country.Drones and cameras with a 5,5 mtr zoom are prohibited as well as other types of professional equipment cameras ( Europamundo is not responsiblefor objects that may be seized at borders by the authorities of the countries)IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to exceptional circumstances or due to a small number of participants, it may happen that we will cross directly from Jordan to Egypt by boat, taking the AQABA- TABA FERRY with a duration of just over two hours. During the ferry crossing, there will be no assistance from any guide.
SAINT CATHERINE 79ºF - 79ºF - MOSES WELL - CAIRO 70ºF - 70ºF
At the foot of Mount Sinai, we visit the impressive walled monastery of SAINT CATHERINE. According to tradition, this is where Moses saw “the Burning Bush that burned without being consumed”. The monastery, which is a sacred place for Jews, Christians and Muslims, belongs to the Orthodox Church and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We then continue on through the Sinai Desert’s picturesque landscapes. Lunch included in route. Stop at the WELL OF MOSES, a biblical site that looks like a small oasis. We will leave Sinai through the tunnel under the SUEZ CANAL. Arrival in CAIRO at the end of the afternoon. Accommodation.
CAIRO 70ºF - 70ºF
Full day visit where we explore the famous Pyramids of Cheops, Kefren and Micerinos (tickets to go inside the pyramids are not included), and also the impressive Sphinx, which is sculpted from rock. Visit to the Egyptian Museum with its ancient art and where the treasure of the Lost Tomb of Tutankhamen is kept. Lunch included. Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque. We will take a walk through the Coptic neighborhood where we visit the Hanging Church built above a Roman fortress.
CAIRO 70ºF - 70ºF - MEIDUM - FAIYUM OASIS - WADI EL RAYAN - WADI AL HITAN - MINYA 45ºF - 45ºF
We will leave Cairo early, we will get to know an Egypt that you probably had never imagined: a country of great lakes in the middle of the desert! Stop (entrance included) at the PYRAMID OF MEIDUM, considered as the first pyramid that the ancient Egyptians tried to build, 2600 years before Christ, we are surprised by its stepped structure. We can climb to the door that gives access to the burial chamber (after descending 75 meters) and see the large mastabas that house the tombs of some relatives of the pharaoh.After that we visit the Oasis of Al Faiyum, we outline the great QARUM LAKE that allows the irrigation of the entire oasis making this area "the garden of Egypt". The shores of the lake have numerous leisure points for Egyptians. Al Fayoum is also known for "the Al Fayoum portraits", the oldest portraits in the world (today we can see them in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). We will stop and have lunch at TUNIS village, a nice place with great ceramic crafts, lunch included. Afterwards we enter among magnificent desert landscapes, we stop at WADI RAYYAN, a saltwater lake where rare species of birds and gazelles live, an area declared a National Park. Time for a walk next to the small falls. We continue entering the desert, we travel to the enclosure of WADI AL HITTAN -the valley of the whales-, declared by Unesco a World Heritage Site. The number, concentration, and quality of the fossils, as well as their location in a protected landscape of great beauty, make the site an exceptional place. We get to visit the museum with fossilized whales (where we get to see their skeletons) and get to know about climate change.Continue to MENIA, a city of 300,000 inhabitants by the Nile, active and pleasant walk along the river. Dinner included.
MINYA 45ºF - 45ºF - BENI HASSAN 59ºF - 59ºF - MALLAWI 63ºF - 63ºF - DEIR EL MUHARRAQ - MEER GRAVES - ASYUT 64ºF - 64ºF
We start another exciting day in the center of the Nile Valley. Leaving Menia we stop at ZAWIYYET SULTAN, place of the dead, at the foot of a small pharaonic necropolis an immense cemetery with a very peculiar architecture of vaulted adobe mausoleums leads us to feel "in another world". After that we visit BENI HASSAN, the necropolis stands on cliffs above the Nile valley, 39 tombs (four are visited) dating from 2125 to 1795 years before Christ and offer us a fascinating idea of the daily life of that time. Lunch included.Following the Nile valley we stop at the TOMBS OF MIR, with its nine tombs of the Old and Middle Kingdom open to the visit. The solitude of the place is impressive (practically without tourism). Next to the tombs we visit DEIR AL MUHARRAQ, monastery and place of Coptic pilgrimage, the monks indicate that Mary and Jesus inhabited a cave in this place for six months after fleeing from Herod; according to tradition the church was built around the year 60 "the oldest Christian church in the world".Continuation to ASSIUT, provincial capital. Dinner included.
ASYUT 64ºF - 64ºF - SUHAQ - ABYDOS - LUXOR 63ºF - 63ºF
We leave Assiut for SOHAG, we are in one of the main Coptic areas of Egypt. We visit the WHITE MONASTERY, built in the fourth century (several times destroyed) and powerfully walled, in its construction stone was used that came from pharaonic temples and some blocks still show ancient Gods and hieroglyphics, at the time housed the largest library in Egypt. After that we visit the RED MONASTERY, one of the most impressive Christian buildings in Egypt, its ancient chapel of the fourth century, have most of its surface covered with frescoes (restored) that give us an idea of what religious buildings were like at the end of antiquity. We continue our route to ABYDOS, lunch included, the most important place of worship of Osiris -God of the dead-, was a place of pilgrimage and necropolis for over 4500 years (from years 4000 BC to 600 AD), there are still many tombs unexcavated. The impressive temple of Seti stands out, one of the most complete and beautiful in Egypt.Continuation to LUXOR. Arrival at the end of the day.
LUXOR 63ºF - 63ºF
During our stay in Luxor we will get to know one of the most impressive ancient cities on the planet. Early, from our hotel we will take a private boat to cross the Nile River, with its peace and breathtaking views early in the morning, we pass to the west bank. We visit the "Valley of the Artisans" Deir el-Medina, a place that is not visited often, here lived and are currently located the tombs of great builders and craftsmen who built and decorated the royal tombs of ancient Egypt; we will visit three tombs, their paintings show scenes of daily life of that time. Subsequently, transfer to the ship, boarding procedures on the cruise and accommodation. Full board on the ship. In the afternoon, visit to the impressive temple complex of Luxor and Karnark. Accommodation on board.
LUXOR 63ºF - 63ºF - ESNA 68ºF - 68ºF
Today you will be able to admire the Necropolis of Thebes, visiting the famous VALLEY OF THE KINGS, where are hidden the tombs of the main pharaohs. Composed of several rooms and corridors that lead to the burial chambers, are among others, Ramses III, Seti I and Amenhotep II. You will also visit the Colossae of Memnon, two impressive statues of Amenophis II, as well as the Temple of Queen Hatsepsut (Deir el Bahari) and the Temple of Medinet Habu. During this day we can enjoy the beauty of the Nile riverbanks. You could do different activities on the boat and at evening enjoy the music at the disco. Full board. Night on board, navigating to ESNA.
ESNA 68ºF - 68ºF - EDFU - KOM OMBO 70ºF - 70ºF - ASWAN 70ºF - 70ºF
Arrival to EDFU and visit the Temple of Horus (God represented by a Falcon), which in the past was partially covered by lime during the periodic flooding of the river Nile. The rescue and restoration work complete, we now have one of the most beautiful temples of Ptolemaic times, in an exceptional state of preservation. Navigation to KOM OMBO. Visit the Temple of Kom Ombo, the only temple dedicated to two gods, Sobek and Haroesis, where we find a Nilometer (former system for measuring the level of the Nile River) and a mummified crocodile. During the evening you will be able to enjoy the Chilaba’s party, local typical outfit (on route you could economically acquire them at local markets). Full board. Accommodation on board, navigating to ASWAN.
ASWAN 70ºF - 70ºF
Arrival to ASWAN. Possibility of getting the optional tour to Abu Simbel (visit NOT included in the itinerary), located two hundred and eighty kilometers from Aswam, visit the western desert and the temples carved on the cliff by Ramses II during the twelfth century BC, with 20 meters high statues, dedicated to the god Amon Ra, and the Temple of Nefertari, dedicated to the goddess Hathor. Visit the Red Granite quarry where is the famous 41 meters high Unfinished Obelisk. We will also visit the Aswan Dam, one of the largest in the world, which created Lake Nasser with a length of more than 500 km. We will visit the beautiful Temple of Philae dedicated to the goddess Isis and located on a small island that can only be accessed by boat. In the afternoon, a felucca cruise on the Nile, typical sailing boats in the area, heading to the island of Kitchener where the Botanical Garden is located. Full board. Accommodation on board.
ASWAN 70ºF - 70ºF
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and end of our services.
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