The Story of Saudi Arabia

Journey to the birthplace of Islam - Saudi Arabia, a hermit kingdom that has long shielded itself from the rest of the world. Discover the secrets and gems with some of the most fascinating culture, heritage and legacies of the Nabateans as we uncover colorful markets, desert landscapes, imposing fortresses and unique architecture on this once-in-a-lifetime journey. 

HIGHLIGHTS

Experience the once-elusive gems of Saudi Arabia with its rich heritage

Discover a mixture of Nabatean, pre-Islam ancient sites 

Experience the changing way of life and be among the first to taste it

Stay in the best collection of hotels in the Saudi Kingdom

UPDATES:

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has proudly announced the revolutionary e-VISA allowing citizens of 49 countries to visit the once hermit country that is rapidly changing and opening to the world. Nevertheless, important pilgrimage sites of Muslim worship are still forbidden to non-Muslim such as Mecca and Madinah. The jaw-dropping ancient site of Madain Saleh is currently closed till Oct 2020 where it is currently undergoing developments, tourism training to prepare for the first wave of international travelers. 

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE JEDDAH

Arrive at Jeddah King Abdulaziz Intl Airport where we begin a city tour of the historic heart of Jeddah. Visit the Al Balad area renowned as the “Old Town” adorned with old buildings a traditional souk and many restaurants, where visitors get to walk amid the old streets and experience the traditional landscape of the old town. Admire the Beit Nassif, one of the prominent renovated structures in the old city, which dates back to the mid 1800's. The five-story building provides a rare opportunity for the visitors to experience the blend of traditional architecture with modernity. Thereafter, enjoy a stroll along the Jeddah Corniche, the shore of the Red Sea, where the corniche features a coastal road, recreation areas, pavilions and large-scale civic sculptures. Finally, we visit the Floating Mosque, a single-domed architectural marvel that sits literally on the sea, symbolizes Jeddah’s bold storm into the modern age. Sitting on an enviable location, the mosque’s courtyard offers unencumbered views of the Red Sea. We then transfer to The Ritz Carlton Jeddah where we will spend the night.
 

Overnight: The Ritz Carlton, Jeddah

Meals: NIL

DAY 2: JEDDAH / AL BAHA

We leave Jeddah today for a 4.5hrs drive to the medieval Marble Village of Dhee Ayn. Named after a spring that runs through the heart of the village, the building construction provides a stacked appearance and include mosques, houses and farmyards that once witnessed the battles between the Ottomans and its inhabitants. We explore the 49 dwellings comprising of multiple floors and get insights into its unique architecture. Later, we will arrive at the Swiss International Park Hotel Baljurashi where we spend the night.  

Overnight: Swiss International Park Hotel Baljurashi, Al Baha

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3: AL BAHA / RIJAL ALMA / ABHA

Our journey continues south today passing changing landscapes. A 4.5hrs drive arrives us at the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rijal Alma Village in the Aseer Province, part of the corridor linking nomads from Yemen and the Levant to Mecca and Madinah, making it an essential pit stop and regional commercial center. The village consists of about 60 palaces built from natural stone, clay and wood, and the palaces consists of several floors where we explore in depth its unique appearance and historical detail. Thereafter, continue to Abha – capital of the Aseer Province, renowned for being the highest city in Saudi Arabia at over 2,200m. We begin our tour of Abha visiting the Shada Palace, built in 1927 originally as the headquarters of the Amara and Abha province. Worth a visit as well is the colourful Mufthaha Art Village, which after years of neglect has transformed into a heaven for street art and galleries. Wrapping up the day, we transfer to the Abha Palace Hotel where we spend the night.

Overnight: Abha Palace Hotel

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4: ABHA / AL ULA

A We transfer to Abha Intl Airport today for our flight via Riyadh to Al Ula. On arrival at Al Ula Prince Abdul Majeed bin Abdulaziz Airport, we drive to our luxury camp where we will spend the next 2 evenings enjoying an incredible experience in one of the most fascinating ancient sites in the world. We visit the old mud houses, the Lion Tombs of Dedan, built during the Lihyanite Period in the 5th Century BC. Thereafter, marvel at the captivating Elephant Rock, with an imposing height of 52m, a stunning monolith that resembles an elephant with a ground-bound trunk, that has taken millions of years of erosion and weathering to occur.

Overnight: Luxury Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5: AL ULA (EXCURSION OF MADAIN SALEH)

We dedicate the day for the exploration of the archaeological site of Madain Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage site, known as “Al Hijir” in ancient times and the second-largest Nabatean city that thrived along the ancient spice route, playing an important role in building a trade empire. Featuring over 130 massive rock-cut tombs with decorated facades, many with Nabatean epigraphs spreading over 13.4km, Madain Saleh is truly a fascinating and remarkable example of the Nabateans’ architectural accomplishment and expertise. We marvel at features such as the Nabatean Well, Qasr al Bint, Diwan Tomb and the Al Farid Palace for an unforgettable experience.

Overnight: Luxury Camp

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6: AL ULA / KHAYBAR FORTRESS / MADINAH / RIYADH

Today, we leave Al Ula for a scenic drive to the Khaybar Fortress, uniquely surrounded by ancient volcanoes and fertile lava fields that gave birth to its agricultural heritage, solidifying its status as the largest and most successful pre-Islam Jewish settlement. Perched on a hill overlooking the oasis, learn about the Battle of Khaybar during the Muslim invasion, an important post town along the incense trade route from Yemen to the Levant. Later, we continue to Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Intl Airport where we embark on our short flight to Riyadh. On arrival, we transfer to The Ritz Carlton Riyadh where we spend the next 2 nights.

Overnight: The Ritz Carlton, Riyadh

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 7: RIYADH

Begin the day exploring Riyadh with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed historic ruins of Diriyah, capital of the first Saudi state from 1744 to 1818 before it was besieged in the Ottoman-Saudi war. Thereafter, continue to the 19th Century Masmak Fort, a pivotal fortress that played a central role in the recapture of Riyadh led by the Al Saud family culminating in the rapid rise of the new kingdom and the founding of the Saudi nation we know today. Take a step back in time to learn about the fascinating exhibits in the museum and trace the storied history of Saudi Arabia. Then, enjoy some time for a stroll along the Al Zal Souq, the perfect marketplace for traditional handicrafts, jewelry, spices and more. Worth a visit as well is the Kingdom Tower, a 99 storey skyscraper in Riyadh that is one of the most symbolic buildings in modern Riyadh. Consider a walk of the Sky Bridge for some of the most inspiring panoramas of Riyadh.

Overnight: The Ritz Carlton, Riyadh

Meals: Breakfast & Lunch

DAY 8: DEPARTURE RIYADH

Today, you will be transferred to Riyadh King Khalid Intl Airport for your flight return home.

Meals: Breakfast

HOTELS

Along Saudi Arabia’s western coast overlooking the Red Sea, The Ritz-Carlton, Jeddah carries on the tradition of this former palace by welcoming guests with attentive service and luxurious amenities. Addressing the wishes of both international and regional travelers, the hotel offers sea-view guest rooms and suites; restaurants highlighting local and global cuisines; a gentlemen’s spa and the largest convention space in Jeddah. 

The Ritz Carlton, Jeddah

Swiss International Park Hotel offers it's guests five star luxury in a four star hotel. Housing a variety of rooms & suites, exquisite facilities, outstanding meeting spaces & all day dining options. Swiss International Park Hotel is one of it's kind in the region.

Swiss International Park Hotel Baljurashi, Al Baha

Abha Palace is the ultimate combination of hospitality and world-class luxury directly linked to Jebel Zerrah and Abu Khayal by two cable car routes. Situated in the Aseer Region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, nestled between the coastal waters of the Red Sea and the fertile land of the Sarawat Mountains, is one of the most luxurious retreats, 

Abha Palace Hotel, Abha

Luxury Camp, Al Ula

Enjoy an unforgettable stay in the heart of Al Ula, close to the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage site of Madain Saleh in a luxury camp with all the comfort, hospitality and service that will inspire you in Saudi Arabia's most important ancient site. 

The Ritz Carlton, Riyadh

Lush with 600-year-old olive trees, landscaped gardens and swaying palms, The Ritz-Carlton, Riyadh is one of those Saudi Arabia luxury hotels that completely envelopes its discerning guests in majestic surroundings and discreet, attentive service. Discover an elegant oasis where spacious suites, a world-class spa, a stunning indoor pool, lavish wedding and event spaces and exceptional dining options provide the most unforgettable memories.

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