Arabia Felix

Trip description

Take a day-long stroll through the intriguing and little-known city of Riyadh and its old town. Then, explore Ha'il, an oasis at the crossroads of several pilgrimage routes. A day and a half will be devoted to the AlUla desert and its thousand-year-old historical sites, out of time and out of the world. The program would not be complete without the Red Sea and its emblematic cities including Jeddah and Taif will surprise you at the end of the trip. This trip includes a stopover further north, in the province of El Jawf, at the crossroads of Bedouins from the north of the country.

Discover the agency :
Stars Sky Travel

10 days

From : €4,095*


Day 1: Arrival to Riyadh

Day 2: Riyadh, flight to Sakaka

Day 3: Sakaka

Day 4: Sakaka, Ha Il

Day 5: Ha Il, AlUla

Day 6: Madain Salih (Hegra), Dadan

Day 7: AlUla, flight to Jeddah

Day 8: Jeddah

Day 9: Excursion to Taif

Day 10: Departure

Day 1 : Arrival to Riyadh

Reception at the airport by our team and transfer to the hotel.

Overnight in Riyadh.

Day 2 : Riyadh, flight to Sakaka

Welcome to Riyadh - « the garden », capital city of Saoudi Arabia. 

Discover Darya and its historical centre Al-Turaif (UNEXCO), cradle of the Al Saoud dynasty.

Lunch at restaurant.

Visit of Fort Al Masmak, dating from the end of the 19th century. Located in the heart of the ancient city, this adobe fortress, whose color and curves recall those of desert dunes, is made up of four watchtowers as well as a mosque and a water well.

The fort now houses the national museum, whose collections retrace the history of the country from before its creation until the beginning of the 20th century.

Dinner and overnight in Riyadh.

Day 3 : Sakaka

Located in the north-west of the country, the region of Al Jawf remains today a point of meeting and exchange for the Bedouin tribes of the north of the country. Visit of Qasr Za’Abal, a 19th century desert fortress located on a rocky outcrop, then stop at the rock carvings of Jabal Burnous dating from the Neolithic era.

Lunch during the visit.

Visit of Al Rajajil, the dating of which would be estimated around the 5th or 6th millennium, and the standing stones would belong to a burial place. Visit of the oasis of Dumat Al-Djandal, a major commercial crossroads between Mesopotamia, the southern Levant and the Hejaz in pre-Islamic times. Stop at the Omar Al-Khattab Mosque (exterior visit) whose 13-meter high pyramidal minaret is the very first in Islam.

Dinner and overnight in Sakaka.

Day 4 : Sakaka, Ha Il

In the morning, drive to Ha'il (4 hours drive). Passage through the Jebel Umm Sinman, to discover Jubbah, an emblematic rock site of the country listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Indeed, the rock engravings are dated between 7000 and 9000 years, represent among others animal and human figures, but also weapons and clothing of the time. Lunch at the restaurant. With its geographical location and its many wells, Ha'Il was once the capital of the Arabian desert, and, as such, protected by three fortresses. Visit of two of them: the A'arif fortress, the oldest (17th century) located on a rocky promontory with a remarkable view of the city; the fortress of Qishlah, more recent (1940) at the initiative of Prince Abdelaziz Ibn Séoud.

Dinner and overnight in Ha'il.

Day 5 : Ha Il, AlUla

Departure for AlUla by road (4h drive).

Arrival and lunch with the locals.

Then walk in the streets of the old village of AlUla, abandoned since the beginning of the 20th century. Built in mud bricks, the lower part was once used as a warehouse and the upper floor as a living space. At least, have a beautiful vue on the top of Musa Ibn Nusayr's fort.

Dinner and overnight in AlUla.

Day 6 : Madain Salih (Hegra), Dadan

Dedicated morning to Madaîn Salih (Hegra). First saoudi site listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site for its "outstanding universal value" considered as the "Little Petra".

Then go to Dadan (Al-Khuraybah), ancient capital city of Lihyan kingdom (IInd century BC) related in the Bible.

Lunch in an oasis.

Afternoon, discover the Mayara cultural center,  5000 m² covered with relfective panels. This gigantic square blends in perfectly with its natural environment and reflects it according to the meteorology.

Dinner and overnight in AlUla.

Day 7 : AlUla, flight to Jeddah

In the morning 4x4 excursion in the desert (3 hours).

Lunch in a bedouin tent.

In the afternoon, visit Jabal Hikmah, open air library of multi-langages inscriptions (Aramaic, Dadanic, Thamudic and Nabataean). Then make a stop at Jabal Al-Feel, the « elephant rock » carved by erosion, 50 meters high.

Flight to Jeddah.

Dinner and overnight in Jeddah.

Day 8 : Jeddah

The economic capital of the country and the most dynamic city in the country, with its large port on the Red Sea, Jeddah is the maritime gateway to Mecca. The tour starts in the old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site: Nassif House was once the home of the former Governor of Jeddah. It is here that Prince Abdelaziz Ibn Saud will take up temporary residence when he enters Jeddah in 1925. Now transformed into a museum, it houses a fine collection of Arabic calligraphy.

Then, time will be dedicated to strolling through the historic center and its markets, the most famous of which is the fish market.

Lunch in a restaurant near the ledge.

The day will continue with a stroll along the ledge, frequented by the Saudi population with its restaurants and picnic areas: the Al Rahman floating mosque (exterior visit) was built on the water, so that at high tide it seems to float; the King Fahd fountain has the world's tallest water jet visible from across the city.

Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum houses a large collection of art objects retracing the history of the different eras of the kingdom. The day will end with a panoramic city tour.

Dinner and overnight in Jeddah.

Day 9 : Excursion to Taif

In the morning, on the way to Taif (4 hours round trip), stop to see the remains of the Al Arfaa fortress which dominates a site of rock carvings representing the figures of animals and humans as well as writings describing their way of life.

Then we will reach downtown Taif for lunch.

In the afternoon, visit the Shobra Palace (1905), former summer residence of Prince Abdulaziz Al-Saud, which traces the history of the city of Taif. The city of Taif is famous for the cultivation of the thirty-petalled Damascus rose, probably imported from the Balkans by the Ottomans. Visit of a rose grower's farm.

On the way back, stop at the Samallagi dam, dating from the pre-Islamic period.

Dinner and overnight in Jeddah.

Day 10 : Departure

Transfer to the airport for the return flight.

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