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Riyadh - Tabuk - Al Ula - Jeddah
Max 12 people
Welcome to Riyadh, the birthplace of modern Saudi Arabia, where old-world charm meets 21st-century vision. Riyadh Province – also known as Al-Wosta – is home to the country’s capital: a modern metropolis with a thriving financial and business centre, and a growing cultural scene. It’s a city rich in history, boasting myriad forts, palaces and museums, and some of the country’s most colorful souks.
Today we will be welcoming you at the airport as our guide will be waiting for you holding a sign with 88Destinations on it , we will betaking you to your hotel where you can rest for a bit.
After your little break we will be taking on a small trip to introduce you to Riyadh and Saudi in general, we will be visiting the Kingdom Centre which is a 99-story, 302.3 m skyscraper. When completed in 2002, it overtook the 267-meter Faisaliyah Tower as the tallest tower in Saudi Arabia. It has since been surpassed and is now the fifth-tallest skyscraper in the country, It is the world's third-tallest building with a hole after the Shanghai World Financial Center and the 85 Sky Tower in Taiwan. The mixed-use tower was developed by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal and designed by the team of Ellerbe Becket and Omrania, who were selected through an international design competition. It is situated on a 100,000–square-metre site and houses the 57,000-square-meter Al-Mamlaka shopping mall, offices, and luxury apartments. There is a 65m skybridge atop the skyscraper. The upper third of the tower features an inverted parabolic arch topped by a public sky bridge.
We will go back to the hotel and have good rest to prepare for our real journey by tomorrow.
will start our day with a visit Al Diriyah , northwest of the city and the original capital of the first Saudi state is a must-see. Its Al Turaif quarter, a carefully restored mud-brick district that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, offers a glimpse into the country’s extraordinary heritage.
then we will be heading to Al Bujairy district which is a perfect place for a lunch break, this place is great for families, with its twisting lanes, restaurants and cafés.
We will have our lunch here in Al Bujairy in one of the most famous traditional restaurants that is decorated in a very traditional way and serves the yummiest food.
After our lunch be prepared for a two hours long drive to see the Edge Of The World, The Edge of the World is aptly named. Reached through winding desert trails that run along a ridge of the Tuwaiq escarpment, this spectacular spot offers uninterrupted views across the barren valley floor and to the horizon, from the edge of a sheer precipice.
These starkly dramatic views earned the site its nickname, and have helped turn it into one of Riyadh’s most popular tourist destinations.
We will have our tent and camp ready for us after enjoying the sunset in this breathtaking scenery, We will be having our welcome dinner here in a super traditional way that still exists till this day as the young generation is still following this tradition all over Saudi to enjoy their gathering and late night chats while the food is cooking on the fire.
will start our day in the National museum where you will be discovering Saudi Arabia's rich past is an amazing journey that would bring you along thousands of kilometers around the whole Kingdom. An easier way to have an insight of Saudi Arabia's rich History is to visit the King Abdulaziz Historical Center in Riyadh where artifacts from all periods are exhibited and with explanations about their historical significance.
After our historical brief we will go see some by ourselves checking out Al Masmak Fortress ,Surrounded by sand, this squat fortification was built around 1865 and is like a scene out of the movies: a big fortress representing an empire. It was the site of a daring 1902 raid by Ibn Saud, during which a spear was hurled at the main entrance door with such force that the head is still lodged in the doorway. Highlights among the exhibits include maps and fascinating photographs of Saudi Arabia dating from 1912 to 1937, in galleries converted from diwans (living rooms). The roofs are covered with painted palm-tree, taramic and ethel wood and exude an old-world charm that evokes an Arabian painting. Inside, the information panels and short, chest-thumping films on the storming of the fortress and the ‘reunification’ of Saudi Arabia are reverential towards the Al Sauds but worth watching nonetheless.
We will go back to our hotel to pack your bags to go to the airport and head to Tabuk where will be spending our night.
We hope you had a good sleep because our day is packed with awesomeness .
Our journey with a visit to Al-Bad' which is a small province located 2,5 hours away from Tabuk region, there we will have a closer historical look at the Jethro's cave in the land of Madyan or in Arabic "maghayer shu'aib" .a lot of people know Al-Ula but not everyone knows about this collection of Nabatean tombs in Al Bad', These tombs are carved into the rocks, decorated in an artistic way similar to the Nabatean tombs found in Mada'in Saleh and Petra in Jordan, its an undiscovered gem hidden here in Saudi Arabia that we absolutely recommend visiting.
Our next visit is Tayyeb,it is one of the magical natural wonders of Saudi Arabia that takes visitors by surprise. This incredible natural feature of Tabuk Province is located on the Gulf of Aqaba, just 15 kilometers north of the coastal town of Maqna. When approaching by the road that runs along the turquoise waters and white beaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, what strikes people first is the imposing shape of the 600-meter-high granite massif of the Tayeb Al-Ism, whose sharp edges fall into the Gulf of Aqaba. While getting closer to a nice little palm grove ornamenting the bottom of the cliffs, the mountain side that looks towards the Gulf suddenly reveals the stunningly high edges of a narrow canyon whose entrance is just few dozen meters from the sea. There the granite massif looks like it's been torn in two by a supranatural force, the gravel of the first hundred meters of the canyon can be driven by car but some boulders don’t let cars get very far. A wooden bridge spanning the rocks allows pedestrians to carry on deeper into the meanders of this massive breach through the mountain. From the bridge the Tayeb Al-Ism visitors see another marvel, a small stream of crystal clear water than runs through the gravel all year long. As a result, the wadi hosts numerous palm trees and reeds that create little oases surrounding by the vertiginous sides of the canyon.
It is believed that when later Moses brought the people out of Egypt through the Red Sea they reached the land of Madyan at Tayeb Al-Ism, the reason why it is also called the Valley of Moses. For the same reason the wells of the nearby town of Maqna are called the Wells of Moses.
Lets get ready for another adventure in The large bay on the south west has a peculiar sight, the wreckage of a PBY-5A Catalina, an American military seaplane from the 1930s. It has laid on the beach since 22nd March 1960, when the retired American businessman Thomas Kendall landed near the Ras Al-Sheikh Hameed for a stopover during this trip around the world with his children and his secretary. They spent the night there but the next afternoon they were attacked with machine guns and automatic firearms by Bedouins who believed it was an actual military attack! Mr Kendall tried to start the Catalina but only succeeded to move it over about a kilometer where it ran aground on a coral reef. After more than 30 minutes of intense shooting (300 shots hit the aircraft!) and about 4000 liters of fuel poured into the Red Sea, the whole crew was captured by the Bedouins.
To end our day with something light lets enjoy a light snack and a refreshing juice on the beaches of the Ras Al-Sheikh Hameed, they are not only beautiful by themselves but they also offer stunning viewpoints on the Sinai Mountains of Egypt that are just 10 kilometers to the west. From the Ras Al-Sheikh Hameed the sunsets above the edges of the Sinai that fall into the Red Sea are particularly stunning.
We will start our beautiful day on the Gulf of Aqabah offers stunning views along the 170 kilometers it stretches from Ras Alsheikh Hameed in the south to the city of Aqabah in the north. On both sides, turquoise waters host vibrant marine life, colorful corals and ornate white sandy beaches that lay at the foot of imposing mountains which is a perfect location for us to enjoy diving and snorkeling in that area as we can't mess out on such a perfect location ! In some areas of this beautiful beach the mountains fall directly into the sea like at Tayyeb Isim. From the Saudi side the peaks of the Sinai Mountains in Egypt are just 25 kilometers away and their impressive sharp silhouette is clearly visible here.
But 50 kilometers south of the city of Haql, a unexpected manmade feature lays on the coral reef near the beach - a shipwreck whose front still protrudes from the water. Its name 'Georgios G' can nearly be distinguished on the side of the wreck from the shore, but it is also known among locals as the Saudi Titanic. There are many stories about the 'Georgios G' but here is what we know as fact: this vessel was built in England after the end of the Second World War and it was launched in 1958 as a cargo liner, It remains unclear what caused its unfortunate fate.
After packing our bags where we will be taking them with us, we will go to explore Wadi Dissah which is a 15 kilometer long canyon running through the Jebel Qaraqir, a sandstone massif lying about 80 kilometers south of the city of Tabuk. This natural wonder was for a long time a well-kept secret among explorers, before the road leading to the nearby city of Dissah was built and satellite images were available to the public, which made it quite difficult to find and reach.
Let us tell you a little bit about this valley before we start our hike so you prepare your self and to get astonished !
The first striking feature of this wadi is its dimensions: at the eastern entrance of the canyon the side cliffs are already higher than 100 meters,but at the western entrance the gap between the bottom of the wadi and the tallest cliffs reaches as high as 500 meters! It is there, from the massive rocky peaks, standing on both sides of the canyon, that one can admire the most dramatic scenery of this magical place.
The second - and most unexpected - amazing feature of Wadi Qaraqir is a water stream that runs through the western part of the canyon towards the city of Dissah. While you are exploring Wadi Qaraqir from the eastern entrance will find abundant palm trees growing naturally along the wadi bed. But once half-way through the canyon underground water tops up all year long. As a result, lush vegetation made of 3 meter high grass, numerous palm trees and bushes, flourishes in between the majestic cliffs of the canyon!
After our well spent day, we will have our lunch in a locally owned farm and have a real interaction with locals of this region, its always great to support local communities!
Its about time to take off to Al Ula, we hope your excited as much as we are, Al Ula is only three hours drive from where we are, We know how tired you are by now, we are going to rest in our luxury camp resort that features accommodation with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool and a 24-hour front desk for your convenience.
Today we are starting with the most popular historical site in Saudi Arabia, Madain Saleh is the most iconic historical site of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the first to be listed as a UNESCO Word Heritage, Madain Saleh means the "cities of Saleh" after the name of the Prophet Saleh who tried to convert the ancient people of Thamud to Islam. But this name started to be used only during the Ottoman occupation of the Hejaz, whereas the people who built this city, the Nabateans, called it Hijra.
The importance of Madain Saleh is ostensibly displayed by its 111 monumental tombs, among which 94 were decorated with majestic facades on the sandstone massifs of the area, especially the Jibal Ithlib. The smallest tomb is barely 2,7 meters tall but the biggest reaches an impressive 21,5 meters! Madain Saleh was the second largest city of the Nabatean kingdom whose capital was Petra (in today's Jordan) where the Nabatean people created more than 600 tombs.
What most people dont know that there are many other fascinating archeological sites attest to the thousands of years of human occupation of the area thanks to the underground water available for millennia.
Dont worry we are showing everything you need to see !
We will visit the Hejaz Railway, In the early 19th century CE the Ottomans built a railway station at Madain Saleh that was along the Hejaz Railway linking Damascus to the holy city of Makkah.
You will have the chance to see the triclinium (or diwan in Arabic) that were once dedicated to banquets and rituals. They are composed of three benches where people used to seat while musicians were playing. At least six of them were found in Madain Saleh with the names of owners.
If Madain Saleh does not have as many tombs as Petra it has a special feature with the numerous inscriptions written on the monumental tombs. And of course we are going to check them out together.
Before we head to our last stop, we will pass by the Elephant Rock, also known as Jabal AlFil, one of AlUla’s many geological marvels. Unlike the ornate, hand-carved facades of nearby Hegra’s Nabataean tombs, the "trunk" and "body" of this monolithic red sandstone beast were hewn by natural forces — millions of years of wind and water erosion.
The beauty of the unrefined structure is enhanced by its surroundings of a fine-sand sea studded with rocky outcrops, many of which are equally impressive in size and have interesting shapes and figures.
We will finish our tour in the Heritage village of Al-Ula also known as Ad-Deerah, is the traditional Arabian village where people of the oasis moved some 8 centuries ago and inhabited until the 20th century. It was built on a higher part of the valley in order to be clear from the floods that can occur during the raining season. At its maximum expansion the town contained over 1 000 houses that were built adjacent to one another thereby forming a wall around the town to defend the population.
While Madain Saleh is finally meeting the fame it deserves, a nearby archeological site located 25 kilometers to the south, Dedan, is also of great interest, not only for the extent of the remains of this ancient oasis city that once thrived there, but also because its history is much older than the neighboring Madain Saleh.
We hope you're ready to be blown out by this beautiful journey as we will start with The most famous oases of the 1st millennium BCE the oasis of Dedan, where excavations on extensive archeological sites have revealed the existence of large fortified cities.
These kingdoms developed their own culture including a specific language and alphabet, that resulted in a mix of Arabian traditions and strong influences from the surrounding empires.
In the ancient oasis Dedan, close to today's city of Al-Ula in Madinah Province, a kingdom flourished from at least the 6th century until the 2nd century BCE.
Will now dig a little deeper to discover The proud iconic figures of the ancient kingdoms of Dedan (The lion tombs of Dedan), In their capital Dedan some remains of these brilliant kingdoms have been excavated, including an impressive necropolis whose tombs were dug into the side of Jebel Dedan that overlooks the city on the east.
About 1 kilometer south of the main excavation site of Dedan are two exceptional tombs located some 50 meters above the wadi where the ancient oasis was centred. Those are the only tombs that are decorated with two carved lions each, showing the importance of their owners, being governors or influential people.
These sculptures of lions that are an outstanding example of the Mesopotamian influence, and are the proud iconic figures of this ancient oasis.
After much an adventure its about time to rest and relax 88Destinations style with a family atmosphere, where we can both support the locals for the sake of sustainable tourism, this local farm is beyond beautiful, we will be having dinner and spending our night together with the family where you can actually interact with the people who has been living here for ages generation after generation, no better way to know more about Al-Ula other than this.
After our arrival we will head to our hotel to check in and have a little rest before we start our tour in Al Balad historical area.
At noon we will go to Al-Balad, we are sure you all heard about this place, it’s a UNESCO world heritage site and of most visited historical areas in Jeddah.
Our tour will be a great mix of culture and food !! we will be combining the experience of trying traditional street food along away with visiting all important site seeings in the Balad area , this is a very typical day for locals to enjoy this area so enjoy being a local today ! we will be visiting Naseef’s house then the old market and all the famous shopping shops the Hijaz area.
Later that day, we will be passing by the world tallest flagpole heading to the world tallest fountain, what a genius record day in Jeddah !!! We will head back to the hotel as you will get some rest and prepare yourself for the next day.
Abdulraouf Khalil Museum is going to be our first destination to visit in Jeddah. Its the the most visited museum in Jeddah for its Islamic heritage that goes back up to 2500 years ago. After such a historical experience.
We are stopping for lunch at Alnakheel, which is one of the most famous Saudi cuisine restaurant in Jeddah. Moving on to Angawi house ( Mekkiyah ) which is built and designed in traditional Hejaz style, Al Makkiyah has more in common with the dilapidated coral houses of Jeddah’s old town than the affluent whitewashed suburbs. Angawi’s family home was designed and built around his al mizan philosophy, and uses a mixture of modern and traditional materials and techniques.
Its unusual form is immediately notable. The house is wider in the north than the south to catch the northerly wind in every room. The wind is drawn in through the roshan, wooden window boxes, which also act as screens to provide privacy.
Ending the first day with the modern side on the city and visit one of the youth famous coffee places. Ending the day with a lovey visit to Jeddah Waterfront with its long stretches of sandy beaches and cool walkways, Jeddah Corniche has always been one of the city’s main draws. Following a major revamp in 2017, which added three new swimming bays, a winding pier and lush parklands, the area is now a must-see destination, blending seamlessly with Jeddah’s cosmopolitan appeal.
We will spend our day in Taif which is located in a valley on the eastern side of the Hejaz mountains. The millennia old city lays at the crossroads of two of the most important historical roads of the Arabian Peninsula: the frankincense road that originated in Yemen more than 3000 years ago, and the pilgrimage road to Makkah whose Ka'aba was already a place of worshiping before the advent of Islam and which hosts today the largest pilgrimage in the world.
Nowadays the smell of incense no longer perfumes the street of Taif but another scent has ensured the continued celebrity of the region.
Indeed, a unique specie of rose, the Rosa damascena trigintipetala that grows in the valley around Taif is the fame of the region. Its fragrance is used as ingredient for the finest perfumes by prestigious brands such as Ormonde Jayne Perfumery, Perris, Chanel, and Guerlain, so a visit to those farms is a must and if your lucky enough you get the chance to attend the Rose Festival of Taif !
Taif is also a favorite summer destination for Saudis looking for the pleasant weather offered by the altitude while most of the Arabian Peninsula endures suffocating heat. For its cooler climate and fertile land the region earned its title of "Garden of the Hejaz” whose beauty can be admired in the Al-Hada natural reserve and the village of Ash-Shafa perched at 2200 above sea level. Taif's highest point, the Jebel Daka is even the fifth highest peak of Saudi Arabia.High mountains around Taif have also become a favorite place for climbers who can practice their favorite sport.
lets head now a little glimpse of the history and have a look at the ancient human presence in Taif is attested by rock art engraved in a site about 40 kilometers north of Taif close to the old Okaz souq which is a famous pre-Islamic gathering place was a scene for annual social, political and commercial gatherings, but also the location of competitive recitation of poetry and prose. The building’s remains include prominent outlines of walls of basaltic stones but the main attraction is the 10 700 square meters of iconic patterned membrane of the Souk Okaz Public Theatre where a festival revives since 2008 the local tradition of public art.
After our great day in Taif we will be heading back for some rest in our hotel in Jeddah.
Jeddah is known to have one of the best corals around the world. For the last day, we will be spending the day on a boat cruising around the beach. Doing all water activities like snorkeling, diving, swimming, tanning and having a light lunch on the boat. Moving on, our major lunch would be at Al-ANBARIYA. Which is one of the most famous seafood restaurants in Jeddah.
Today where we say goodbye to beautiful jeddah , we will be dropping you off to the airport according to your flight schedule .
if you wish to extend your stay after finishing this tour to go on a camping experience in an unforgettable place , we can arrange a camping trip to Al Wahbah crater is located in middle of an otherwise flat, barren desert, the Al Wahbah Crater is a natural anomaly that would be wondrous enough on its own, but it hides its own salt field in its bowl.The giant crater was long thought to have been created by an ancient meteor strike, but has been found to have appeared thanks to volcanic activity. It is thought that the crater appeared after a massive underground steam explosion that was caused when a magma flow ran into a subterranean source of water. The resulting eruption would have launched a colossal amount of earth into the air, leaving behind the crater that exists today. At 1.2 miles across and over 800 feet deep, it is an impressive pock mark on the planet.