Example Itinerary

Classic Saudi Arabia

Duration
7 days / 6 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Heritage
Destinations
Saudi Arabia

Experience the highlights of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on a luxury 7-day classic journey with exclusive private touring and stays at the most ultra-luxe hotels in the country. Begin in the capital of Riyadh, where gleaming postmodern skyscrapers juxtapose with traditional souqs, and the birthplace of the Kingdom and the Edge of the World lies just beyond the city limits. Then head to the spectacular Al Ula, a place of extraordinary human and natural heritage. Explore this living museum of preserved tombs, sandstone outcrops historic dwellings, and monuments that tell of Saudi Arabia’s deep history as a place at the crossroads of ancient civilizations. Finally arrive at the seaside city of Jeddah. Known as the principal gateway to Mecca, Jeddah is coming into its own right as an emerging modern city with a burgeoning arts scene, embracing film festivals, book fairs, and varied museums. Its proximity to the Red Sea lends a a seafaring culture and cool coastal vibe, particularly along its Corniche which is the heart of Jeddah’s social life. Soak up the culture, history, and landscape of this amazing country on a trip that is nothing less than quintessential Saudi Arabia.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Dramatic Landscapes: From the striking rock formations across Al Ula’s desert landscape to the uninterrupted panoramas at the Edge of the World to views of the Riyadh’s gleaming metropolis atop the Sky Bridge, take in some of the kingdom’s most dramatic vistas across the land.
  • Preserved Old Towns: Though modern day has ushered in towering postmodern buildings, glittering strips, and highways across the kingdom, Saudi Arabia’s traditional mud-brick buildings of the past have stuck around and are here to stay. Today these old villages are actively preserved and protected, serving as a window to the past and can be found as the historical districts of cities and towns such as Riyadh, Jeddah, and Al Ula. 
  • The Red Sea: Saudi Arabia is blessed with both a dynamic landscape as well as extensive coastlines on the Persian Gulf and Red Sea. While the Persian Gulf provides the Kingdom with its oil reserves, the Red Sea is a pristine leisure destination ripe for snorkeling, diving, fishing and water sports, all experienced in a day’s excursion conveniently just off of Jeddah.
  • Ancient Nabataen Civilization: While Petra is known worldwide, its little sister Hegra is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site that is no less interesting - and without the crowds. Left practically undisturbed for almost 2,000 years, Hegra’s ancient monumental tombs, water wells, inscriptions and cave drawings are remarkably well-preserved and offer insight to its enigmatic past. 

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Map

Riyadh »

Your introduction to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia begins in the capital, Riyadh. Upon touching down at King Khalid International Airport, meet your guide and driver for a private transfer by luxury car to your hotel. After freshening up, step back outside and begin your exploration. The first stop is Ad Diriyah Old Town located on the outskirts of the city. This historic site was the birthplace of the first Saudi state and the initial seat of the government.  Currently under renovation is At-Turaif, the town’s main quarter which was designated a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2010. Stroll the town’s other quarters and admire the distinctive mud-brick buildings decorated with geometric patterns and heavy wooden doors, and enjoy the street-side demonstrations of traditional crafts such as weaving and calligraphy.  Also visit the Al Bujairi Heritage Park, just adjacent to Ad Diriyah. This recreational area is a popular leisure destination for locals, with family-friendly attractions including different rides for children, food stalls, a market, painting and different crafts workshops. At night, the area is beautifully illuminated with scheduled projection shows shown against the walls of the palace. 

Hotel Options

Day 2

Map

Riyadh »

Your second day in Riyadh begins with a historical brief about the capital of Saudi at the National Museum where you can discover the kingdom's rich history through the various artifacts displayed. Then, visit Al Masmak Fortress, a squat fortification built of mud-brick and clay. In 1902  King Abdulaziz captured the fortress and took control of Riyadh, his ancestral home, after having lived in exile in Kuwait. It was here that he unified the different provinces and kingdoms into Saudi Arabia. Nearby, visit the Souq Al Zal, the biggest and oldest artisan market in Riyadh which specializes in traditional goods such as handmade carpets, swords, daggers, and perfumes. Get a taste of traditional Saudi cuisine for lunch before ascending the Kingdom Tower for sky-high views of the city. Finally, head out to the 'Edge of the World.' Locally known as Jebel Fihrayn, the trek atop this 300-meter-high rocky prominence rewards visitors with epic uninterrupted views of the horizon across the stretch of barren desert landscape. Enjoy the unparalleled sunset views before returning to Riyadh.

Riyadh
Riyadh

Day 3

Map

Al Ula »

Continue on with your journey as you fly to Al Ula in the northwest.  Upon arrival, head to discover the ancient town of Dadan where you can see the Lion Tombs, original dwellings, and wells that trace back to the ancient Dadanite Kingdom in the 6th century BC. Nearby, visit Jabal Ikmah, a mountain that features more than 450 early Arabic inscriptions upon its cliff faces, giving it the moniker the “open library.” It is said that Dadan was a caravan way station for many travelers who left inscriptions on Jabal Ikmah enroute through Al Ula.  Then, head into the desertscape for an up-close look at the dramatic rock formations that dot the area. Here amongst the hundreds of rock monoliths, you will find the iconic Elephant Rock, a natural formation that looks like an elephant with its trunk to the ground. Spend the night at a hotel in the area.

Hotel Options

Day 4

Map

Al Ula »

This morning, enjoy a stroll along the scenic two-mile long Heritage Oasis Trail lined with tall palms, mud brick homes, and lush green farms. Feel free to stop at a stall selling fresh-squeezed juice and simply enjoy the beautiful scenery. For lunch today you will enjoy a home-cooked meal at a local farm. You can also walk around the farm and learn about the typical local produce from Al Ula. In the afternoon, jump into a vintage Land Rover and head to Madin Saleh, also known as Hegra. It is an ancient Nabataen city similar to its more famous sister site of Petra, a few hundred miles to the north in Jordan. Hegra, a designated UNESCO Heritage Site, was once a thriving international trade hub that had been left practically undisturbed for almost 2,000 years. Explore the remnants of this mysterious almost-forgotten ancient civilization, from its iconic tombs to its sacred places carved into the sandstone rocks. Finally, detour by Harrat Awairth Mountain and ascend to the viewpoint at the top. From here you can survey Al Ula old town and its surrounds.

Al Ula
Al Ula

Day 5

Map

Jeddah »

Leave Al Ula behind this morning for Jeddah, a quick flight away. After checking in and having lunch, begin your exploration of this seaside city at its historical core, the UNESCO-listed Al Balad (Old City). The town was formed as an ancient trading port and acted as the primary gateway to Mecca. Stroll the narrow alleyways packed with coral-stone merchant’s houses, spice-scented souqs, and traditional bakeries and coffee houses. Many buildings have been carefully restored in recent years, including the grand 106-room Nasseef House where Abdulaziz Ibn Saud stayed in 1925 before becoming king of a unified Saudi Arabia. In this quarter, you can admire the evocative architecture, see Jeddah’s oldest mosque, taste fresh bread, enjoy coffee or tea at a cafe, and soak in the buzzing atmosphere.

Hotel Options

Day 6

Map

Jeddah »

Today you’re in for a treat: this morning you’ll take a private boat out on the Red Sea for some ocean fun, including snorkeling and fishing around the crystal clear waters. You’ll head to various snorkeling sites to admire the gorgeous coral reefs and watch colorful fish and sea creatures in their natural habitat. You will also have the opportunity to visit a ship wreckage site. Enjoy a seafood lunch onboard before returning to land. Spend the rest of the day along Jeddah’s lovely corniche which stretches just over 2.5 miles along the coast, dotted with piers, swimming bays, restaurants, landscaped walking and cycle paths, and sculptures. For many locals, this is the prime spot to enjoy the sunset and watching the impressive King Fahd’s Fountain spout a great jet of water that can been seen across the city. 

Jeddah
Jeddah

Day 7

Map

Departure

Enjoy your final morning in Jeddah, whether with a leisurely breakfast or shopping for last-minute souvenirs at trendy boutiques or old-time souqs. When ready, a private transfer will take you to the airport for your onward journey home. 

Why Remote Lands?

Exclusively Asia

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, in the continent that our north American founders Catherine and Jay have adored and explored for decades, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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