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Travel to Saudi Arabia. Individual, customized tour with Pyala Travel.
Saudi Arabia Explorer
Riyadh - Ushaiger - Hail - Sakak - Al Ulla - Madaen Saleh - Medinah - Jeddah - Abha - Jazan
This varied journey throughout Saudi Arabia takes you through the desert from Riyadh to Tabuk and through endlessly enchanting landscapes and ancient excavations. This 16-days journey will end in the colourful city of Jeddah.
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Day 2 Riyadh / City TourWe will start our day with a historical brief about the capital of Saudi, In the National museum 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 artefacts 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.
In the same area and only in walking distance we will find our self in Souq Al-Zal which is one of the oldest traditional market.
Then we will be heading to our lunch break in one of the famous traditional restaurants at Ad 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.
After our lunch break we will go to check out the view of the sunset from 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.
Day 3 Riyadh - Buraidah via Edge of the World, UshaigerToday we will be taking you for an hour and a half road trip to reach the Edge of The World.
The Edge of the World (its real name is Jebel Fihrayn), one of Saudi’s most popular tourist destinations, got its nickname from the uninterrupted view of the horizon it offers atop its 300-meter-high cliffs, which overlook the surrounding plain. It’s part of the much longer Tuwaiq escarpment, and drops down roughly 305 meters into an ancient ocean bed. From the top of the cliffs, you’ll spot dried rivers weaving across the land and may even see camels moving far below — an ancient caravan route once passed through these grounds.
The cliffs are the result of tectonic movement of the Arabian plate toward the northeast caused by the spread of the Red Sea rift 1,000 kilometers to the west of the Tuwaiq escarpment. The clear cut it carved reveals the layers of sediments that accumulated there when the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula was a shallow tropical sea during the Jurassic period (150 million years ago). As you walk along the path, keep an eye out for fossils, a vestige of when the region was part of an ocean bed. As you’re capturing the views around you, take pictures of any fossils you may come upon, as you will not be allowed to take these artifacts out of the area.
After our tour here we will continue to Ushaiger. Hidden in the heart of the Najd, an oasis-dotted region 200km northwest of Riyadh, Ushaiger Heritage Village provides a
glimpse of a slow-paced Saudi society of old.
Bedouins first settled here 1,500 years ago and Ushaiger quickly became a popular stopping point for pilgrims crossing to Makkah, thanks to its springs and low-brimmed olive and palm groves. But far from being a dusty, deserted museum piece, Ushaiger – which, in a naming quirk, means ‘little blonde’ to reflect the nearby red mountain that looms over the yellow mud houses – still has a small community of residents, making use of its schools, shops and mosques. To walk its narrow lanes is to enter a living museum, draped with traces of an ancient way of life.
Encased in thick walls, Ushaiger is a labyrinth of winding alleyways, shaded pathways and timber-framed walkways, crossing between hundreds of mud houses. The village is divided into districts and bisected by groves of palm trees, and includes a cluster of beautifully renovated houses. These offer a stunning example of Najdi architecture, with its distinctive triangular windows and roofs, and ornately carved wooden doors. Some still bear the names of the families who lived there.
Once we arrive to Buraidah we will go to our hotel to check in then we will visit Al Qassim Museum, The museum’s design was inspired by the region’s historical urban architecture, The architect is keen to emphasize the architectural heritage of Al-Qassim through the museum’s façade and interior, in addition to using local materials for the finishes.
Day 4 Buraidah - HailHail is located in the centre north of the country, is a land where the dream landscapes of Arabia are the theatre of the 1001 Nights.
Once we arrive we will check in in our hotel and start our trip right away heading to Jubbah. we will be visiting Jubbah, This worldwide famous site contains some of the oldest and most outstanding carvings of the Arabian Peninsula. It was recognized in 2015 as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Jubbah is host of the two most emblematic carvings in Saudi Arabia. The first one is a character dominating another smaller one. Locals say that it is the representation of an ancient king handing out justice.
The second one is a chariot pulled by two horses which was for decades the only known example but similar ones were later found in Hail and Tabuk Provinces.
As surprising as it sounds the people trading frankincense, spices, and other precious goods coming from southern Arabian Peninsula did cross regularly the 350 km of sand dunes between these two main trade cities. The numerous so-called Thamudic inscriptions (more than 5000) testify of this intense frequentation by travellers.
After our tour in Jubbah, we will visit Castle of Al-Qishlah, built in the 1940s during the principality of prince Abdul-Aziz bin Musa'ad Al Saud of Ha'il province. It is a two-floor mud palace, with long walls that stretch over 140 meters and are 8.5m tall, and it has eight watch-towers along in the walls with two main gates, east and west.
Day 5 Hail - SkakaThere are tourist places in Sakaka that you can never miss when you are in Sakaka so in our tours we will be discovering some great locations.
We will visit Zaabal Castle is located on the top of a mountain in the northwestern corner of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Al-Jouf region The most famous tourist place in Sakaka. The castle is an ancient structure of clay and stone, but it is more than just a mud castle, it is located on top of a well that feeds all Sakaka has been around for centuries.
Marid palace is a castle in the ancient city of Dumat Al-Jandal located in the Al Jawf Province, 37 km away from Sakaka. Its historical value and unique architecture attract, this castle built before 272 CE (2700 years ago).
Next we will check The Rajajel Columns is one of the strangest tourist attractions that you will ever see in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Sometimes there are in the name of permanent stones which are fifty man-made stone pillars. These columns are carved into groups and each group contains up to four or seven columns and all of these columns are tilted outward at random angles of different sizes and the length of one column up to three meters, which makes it very huge compared with regular rocks, and it is believed that these stones were established more than six thousand years ago by unknown people and for purposes unknown, archaeologists have not found an actual reason for making such columns in this manner, but it is believed that they were made for astronomical purposes no one knows about it, but this explanation in the end is nothing more than a guess, so the pillars of Rajajeel are still to this day. It is a mystery that only a few have heard of.
After out tour finishes we will be heading to our hotel to get some rest.
Day 6 Skaka - Tabuk via Jethro's Tombe, Maqna, Tayeb IsmToday we will leave Skaka early morning and head to Tabuk and as soon as we arrive we will check-in in our hotel and start our tour right away to cover as much as we can on this adventure today.
Our first stop will be the Ship Mountain where you will get to see the famous mountain that is shaped exactly like a ship.
We will go to out next stop which is a small local museum on our way, then we keep going till we reach Al Bad', we will have our lunch there.
After lunch we will start our journey in Madian or 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 Madian 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 Madain Saleh and Petra in Jordan, its an undiscovered gem hidden here in Saudi Arabia that we absolutely recommend visiting. Our next stop will be in Maqna city where we will visit The Well Of Moses and you will find out later why its called that. The final stop for today's tour will be at Tayyeb, 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.
We will be having a walking tour in 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 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.
We will have a chance to see the sunset at this gorgeous valley before we head to have dinner and then off to Tabuk.
Day 7 Tabuk - Al Ulla via Neom's Edge, Wadi DissahToday our trip is going to be to Wadi Al Dissa, our first stop on the way will be a short one to take pictures of the Lion Mountain.
After that we will make another stop to see Alshaq Canyon (NEOM Edge), were we will be at an amazing view point at the edge that looks over the mountains then we will continue our way to Wadi Al Dissah. As we reach the valley we will have our lunch there where our team will be preparing you traditional delicious food. After lunch we will take you on a walking tour inside this gorgeous valley and 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! We head back to Tabuk but with a final stop on our way to have the last look on one of the beautiful view point and then continue to Tabuk.
Once we finish our tour we will be heading straight to Al Ula to our camp there which is located in one of the local palms farms. December 15
Day 8 Al Ulla / Maidan Saleh, Hejaz RailwayToday 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 its one of Saudi Arabia tours that is a must do, it is 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 manygeological 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.
Day 9 Al Ulla / Dadan / beduin tentIkma mountain or Jabal Ikmah, a mountain near to the ancient city of Dadan, the capital of Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms, has been described as a huge open-air library. There is no such site that is more significant, than Jabal Ikmah, home to the highest concentration of, and most varied inscriptions, in AlUla.
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.
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.
Jabal Ikmah, a mountain near to the ancient city of Dadan, the capital of Dadanite and Lihyanite Kingdoms, has been described as a huge open-air library.
Once we finish our tour we will be heading to one of our favorite parts of this trip, we will be heading to our Beduin tent set up where you will get to try the real Arabic coffee and tea that are made on the wood, we will get to enjoy riding the camels in the heart of Al Ula just like how we used to do it back then.
Day 10 Al Ulla - Jeddah via MedinaToday after breakfast we will drive to Madinah which is around 4 hours.
After our arrival we will start with our tour in here, this city is considered as break on they way to Al Ula.
The first place visited is the Madinah museum that contains the old railway that used to take the people all the way from Damascus to Madinah.
Then we will go to Mount Uhud, it is the largest mountain in Medina and a major pilgrimage site, Mount Uhud commemorates the famous battle between Muslim and Meccan forces in 625 CE. Climb a small hill to observe the site of the battlefield, and see the burial places of the Prophet Muhammad's 50 companions who perished, most notably his uncle Hamza. A mosque also stands on site. The mount rises 1,077 m (3,533 ft)
We will have a short coffee and snack break on one of the mountains that has a great view point where you can see the entire city from the top.
Will end the tour in Qiba Street which connect two Mosques , the grand Mosque and Qiba Mosque which both have significant importance in Islamic history in which the first was the house that prophet Mohammed lived and eventually it’s his grave visited by . The second was the first Mosque ever built. you will have a general overview how the city was built and shaped throughout the 1400 years.
In the same street which is a nice pedestrian street for walking , there are many traditional food shops and snacks where you can taste the unique cuisine in Madinah such as “Kabli: a rice and lamb “
After our tour in the city, we will take a train to Jeddah which is one hour and 50 minutes.
Day 11 JeddahThe first half of the day will be for you to rest and later around 5 PM we will explore and understand the country through its diverse and rich culture of food and people.
We will start our tour in Al Balad as local call it which means “ the town” as reference to the base of Jeddah. Al-Balad was founded in the 7th century and historically served as the centre of Jeddah. Al-Balad's defensive walls were torn down in the 1940s. In the 1970s and 1980s, when Jeddah began to become wealthier due to the oil boom, many Jeddawis moved north, away from Al-Balad Al Balad is registered as a world heritage UNISCO site and since then the old buildings with its unique window designs and doors are being preserved along with its unique buildings which some have been built using sea shells and stones !. The old buildings once housed the famous Jeddah families and hosted the founder the late King Abdulaziz when first entered Jeddah. Our tour will go through the history of these building including going inside one of the buildings to see the interior designs , furniture and life back then Will also explain the historical importance of some sites and locations while we wonder around the narrow streets to explain how merchants used to sell their goods and how pilgrims used to get their supplies of cloth and food before they head to Makkah through the Makkah Gate in Al Balad.
The old Mosques is another tourist attraction where some were founded over 300 years ago and still functional as a mosque. The main attraction in this tour is the food and snacks of Al Balad where we will pass by some famous vendors known to offer the best local snacks such as the local drink made of bread “ Sobia” and the old bakery which its famous for its fresh bread. Another local snack that consist of Bean and pickles “ Balilah”. We will stop for rest in one of the local coffee open air places and try famous local tea mixed with milk and herbs We will move to visit the center of Al Balad to see the first hotel built in Jeddah influenced by Italian architecture then pass by the first school built in Saudi. We will also visit one of the art houses and museum offering its unique local art collection and antiques.
During this tour you will pass by many shops where they offer different merchandise such as perfumes, cloth, jewelry , antiques and souvenirs where you can buy and bargain ! we will also introduce you to some local shops to see some crafts being made such as the local sandals , perfumes and gold jewelry crafts. You will pass by different local communities within Al Balad which each community gather for tea and chat , kids playing around and street cats strolling for food !
Finally at the end we will visit one of the local restaurants for dinner and try the famous local dishes such as Kabab , fish or liver with bread !
Day 12 Flight Jeddah - AbhaToday we will take an early flight to Abha, one we arrive we will check-in in our hotel then start our tour in this beautiful city.
Abha is the capital of Aseer Province and has the 6th largest population in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is famous for being the highest large city of Saudi Arabia at over 2 200 meters, some parts of the city being even around 2 400 meters. With such an altitude it is not surprising that Abha benefits from milder climatic conditions that most the rest of the country.
We will start our day with an introduction to the most popular and historical site here in Abha, we will begin with Aseer Regional Museum that tells the long history of Abha and Aseer Province and exhibits some of the province’s traditional handicrafts, along with antiquities of Aseer Province, A few hundred meters from the Regional Museum is Al-Muftaha Village, a cultural center built according to the standards of Aseer traditional architecture. It hosts a hall of plastic arts and shops where the handcrafts are sold.
After our lunch break, we will be heading to the place that everyone comes to Abha waits for it, Rejal Alma’a !! For its exceptional features Rijal Alma’ is today on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage.
The kingdom of Saudi Arabia is famous for its typical Arabian traditional architecture that can be found throughout the whole country, each region having its own specificities. But when it comes to Saudi traditional architecture the first image that comes to mind is the charming and colorful houses of Rijal Alma’. The fame of this village isn’t only due to the stunning sceneries it offers but also to the important role it played in the history of the region.
The dressed stone square towers, patterned with gleaming lumps of sugar-white quartz, that comprise the original village are typical of the culture of the area. They tell the story of a culture with ingenuity and skills that allowed them to capitalize of the materials to hand and were surprisingly sophisticated in their use of dressed stone to make complex structures.
The solidly built houses double as mini-fortresses and comfortable habitation. They speak of items of great value passing through, a culture immersed in trade, one that picked up trade goods and elements of foreign culture from travelers as they passed through.
But the most striking surprise of Rijal is hidden inside its walls. After penetrating through the sculpted doors, each dark stone building turns out to be the jewelry box containing of a treasure of painted by skilled and patient artisans. Today the vibrant colors of these fascinating patchworks still decorates the walls of Rijal Alma’a. we will head back to our hotel in Abha.
Day 13 Abha - Jazan via Wadi LajbOnce we arrive to the borders of Jazan we will shortly arrive to Wadi Lajb in Jazan then after our visit to this canyon we will head to the city of Jazan. Wadi Lajb is a huge and massive canyon from which freshwater streams flow along Al Reeth Mountains of Al Tihamah valleys southwest of Saudi Arabia. It is distinguished by its high altitude that reaches 800 meters, its narrow width which does not exceed 6 meters, and its extreme depth that the sunlight does not touch but only slightly, with vast green spaces covering its rough slopes. This majestic valley is one of the most important attractions in Jazan because it includes a globally rare canyon, with a mixture of rock formations of various types. It also includes "The Hanging Garden", which is the most beautiful and strange park of its kind in the Wadi Lajb in Jizan. The garden consists of a group of young trees growing at heights ranging from 200 to 400 meters.
Next we will have a tour to visit Fayfa Mountains. They are also known as Fayfa and Faifa Mountains are said to be a “neighbor of the moon” and a “heaven on earth.” The peaks go up to 11,000 feet above sea level and are the highest in the region. there are many ancient fortresses built along the mountainsides to protect the area from invaders. Fayfa Mountains are also wrapped around each other, making them look like a single mountain pyramid from a distance, It includes many types of plants, flowers and herbs. Once we finish are tours in Jazan we will head to our hotel.
Day 14 Jazan - JeddahYou will fly to Jeddah.
Easy day to enjoy Jeddah. In Arabic, Jeddah means grandmother, a name that owes the city to the belief that Eve would be buried there. Jeddah is the commercial heart of Saudi Arabia and traditionally the port where pilgrims from all over the Islamic world arrive on their way to Mecca and Medina. Enjoy the Red Sea corniche, along the boulevard are various statues of famous artists such as Miró, Baldaccini and Moore.
Day 15 Jeddah / boat tour and snorkelingJeddah 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 one of the famous and well known sea food restaurants.
Day 16 Jeddah / depart
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