Example Itinerary

Cross Country Saudi Arabia: Riyadh to Abha

Duration
13 days / 12 nights
Price Per Person
Enquire for price.
Interests
Heritage, Amazing Landscapes, Open Spaces
Destinations
Saudi Arabia

The fascinating Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has much to offer those that make time to explore it. Go beyond the highlights on this 13-day journey that explores the vast country’s varied landscapes, uncovering cultural and historic gems along the way. Start in the capital of Riyadh where you can hike to the Edge of the World and learn about the origins of the first Saudi state. Then journey to Hail and see its famed UNESCO World Heritage petroglyphs, before following south to Al Ula, home to another UNESCO site Hegra. After, head towards the Red Sea’s coast to Jeddah,  a modern coastal city with an evocative historical core. Finally, travel further south along the coast to Jazan which dazzles with its natural gems including Wadi Lajab and the Faifa mountains.

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

  • Dine with Locals: What better way to get to know the people than by breaking bread, literally. Be invited to share a home-cooked meal at a local home and get a glimpse of authentic local life.
  • Hiking the Great Heights: Get close to nature with ample hiking opportunities throughout the trip, from staring out across a vast desertscape at the Edge of the World, to short hikes through lush wadis and ochre canyons.
  • Desert Oasis Splendor: The desert oasis is an evocative scene of lush clusters of palm trees and shrubbery surrounding an underground spring that appears in the middle of an arid, harsh landscape. As beautiful as they are vital to the ecosystem, these oases provide the means to live in this terrain. The Arabian kingdom is home to a number of oases, including the picturesque Wadi Lajab in the south. 

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Riyadh

Upon touching down at King Khalid International Airport, meet your guide and driver for a private transfer by luxury car to your hotel. Relax and rest up for your journey ahead.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Elegant Spaces: Aesthetic touches and nuances like steel and gilded trimmings, marble bathrooms, modern artwork, and plush bedroom furnishings are present in all accommodations.

Culinary Variety: Guests at the Four Seasons in Riyadh will find all of their fine dining desires met within the confines of the hotel, with multiple lounges, bars, and restaurants at their disposal.

An Urban Retreat: Given the hotel’s location in central Riyadh, luxury travelers will find themselves ideally positioned to take advantage of the capital’s opportunities for shopping, dining, and cultural exploration

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Four Seasons Riyadh Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Luxurious Rooms: Lavish yet tasteful, the 330 rooms and suites make for a comfortable urban oasis perched above and away from the city’s frenetic energy.

Location: A defining structure in Riyadh’s skyline, the Al Faisaliah is located on Olaya Street near King Fahad Road within a world-class retail and entertainment complex including the lavish Mode Al Faisaliah Mall.

Culinary Options: Offering some of the capital’s top gourmet restaurants, Al Faisaliah’s wealth of exceptional dining experiences make it a culinary destination for all occasions.

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Mandarin Oriental Al Faisaliah Riyadh Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Distinguished Clientele: This esteemed hotel is known to attract distinguished guests and VIPs including foreign dignitaries, local elites, royalty, and past US presidents.

Palatial Design: Set on a sprawling 52-acre property with palm groves, manicured gardens, and fountains, the palatial hotel is every bit as luxurious inside as it is out.

Impeccable Service: The Ritz-Carlton brand’s signature service is not remiss here at the Riyadh property where staff are attentive and discreet, anticipating each guests’ needs.

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Ritz-Carlton Riyadh Preferred Hotel

Day 2

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

Hail

Have a leisurely breakfast before your flight onward to Hail. Touchdown and have lunch before commencing touring. The Hail region is best known for its rock art which are primarily found in two areas, Jubbah to the northeast of of the city and at Jacal Al-Manjor and Jabal Raat to the south. The rock art at these sites have been inscribed on the UNESCO List of World Heritage Sites for their range of techniques to creating "visually stunning expressions of the human creative genius" and for providing a testimony of life across almost 10,000 years of history within the locale. Explore the area and see some of the most acclaimed carvings. Tonight, enjoy a hosted dinner at a local home. The host will also show you how to write your name in Thamudic inscription, like you had seen today.

Hotel Options
About

The premier luxury hotel in Hail, the Millennium Hotel offers guests a comfortable stay with outstanding service in the heart of the city, just steps away from a plethora of restaurants, shopping malls, and entertainment. The 191 smartly-dressed rooms and suites are equipped with modern amenities, a walk-in wardrobe, spacious bathroom, and large windows with views of either the garden or city.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 4

Al Ula

Begin the day with a short visit to A'arif Fort, located on the highest peak of a mountain overlooking the city, where you can enjoy the views. Then, drive onward to Al Ula. Upon arrival, check in and refresh before spending the rest of the day at Al Jajidah district, a new vibrant pedestrian-friendly space with restaurants, shops, and entertainment. Al Jajidah is comprised of five distinct Squares, each catering to different themes such as art, leisure space with live music, and food trucks.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Luxury hotel group Aman has announced its plans to open three properties in Saudi Arabia in 2023. There will be a tented camp and two resorts, all in the Al Ula region, granting guests sublime access to this extraordinary area and its UNESCO Heritage Site.

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Why We Love This Hotel

Sense of Place: Banyan Tree AlUla makes sure to remind guests of its locale within Ashar Valley, with the beauty of the desert, extraordinary rock formations, and Bedouin and Nabataean culture and heritage found ubiquitously within its designs and curated experiences.

Exclusive: There are only 47 keys at this all-villa property.

Wellbeing: A pillar of the Banyan Tree brand, wellbeing and living well is well-folded into the AlUla property from its dining menus, to yoga sessions, and outdoor treatments.

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Banyan Tree AlULa Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Eco-Friendly: The Habitas brand is founded on a sustainability-driven ethos and this resort was built with the intention of blending into the environs with as minimal lasting impact as possible.

Service: The international staff bring a wealth of experience and global flair to this remote desert setting. Attentive, discreet, and warm, the level of service here is impeccable.

Wellness: Another pillar of the Habitas ethos, wellness plays a big part at this hotel. From signature treatments utilizing local ingredients like rose, date oil and moringa oil, to sound therapy treatment, to a large deck for meditation and yoga practices, guests are invited to relax and rejuvenate at this tranquil oasis in the rugged desert.

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Habitas AlUla Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

The much-anticipated Sharaan Resort is slated to open in 2024, elevating the standard of luxury accommodation and tourism infrastructure in the Al Ula region. Designed by French star architect Jean Nouvel, the resort is envisioned to be a modern architectural masterpiece while also celebrating and drawing from the “lines and the genius of the Nabateans.

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Sharaan Resort Preferred Hotel

Day 5

Al Ula

This morning, enjoy a stroll along the scenic almost 2-mile long Heritage Oasis Trail which stretches from the Dadan Visitor Center to the Orange path lined with tall pamls, 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 6

Al Ula

After breakfast, explore Al Ula's Old Town. In its heyday, this oasis town was a bustling settlement and an essential stop along the pilgrimage route from Damascus to Mecca. At one point, the walled city had 14 gates which were open during the day to admit pilgrims and traders. Much of the abandoned city's traditional mudbrick homes still stand and visitors can tour the maze-like town and enjoy views of AlUla Castle. Take a break from the afternoon heat at your hotel. After nightfall, you will be led out to the desert for stargazing. Far from city lights, the vast open space of the desert and its dark skies makes for one of the best star watching settings.

Day 7

Medina

Early this morning, drive onward to your next destination: Medina, the second holiest city in Islam affter Mecca. The city is home to three prominent mosques - al-Masjid an-Nabawi, Masjid Quba'a, and Masjid al-Qiblatayn.  Though the city's sacred core where these mosques stand are off limits to non-uslims, it is possible to admire the mosques from the outside. You will also visit the International Fair and Museum of the Prophet's Biography and Islamic Civilization, opened in 2021, which uses modern curation techniques to narrate the history of Prophet Mohammed's life.

Hotel Options
About

The Taiba Madinah Hotel is a contemporary high-end property conveniently located nearby local attractions. There are a total of 166 rooms, each offering bright natural light, a city-view from floor-to-ceiling windows, and modern fittings such as TV, minibar, and complimentary WiFi.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 8

Jeddah

Leave Medina behind for Jeddah, a quick train ride 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 traditional architecture, see Jeddah’s oldest mosque, taste fresh bread, enjoy coffee or tea at a cafe, and soak in the buzzing atmosphere. 

  

 

 

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Opulence by Design: In grand Ritz-Carlton style, its opulence is fit for royalty: massive crystal chandeliers, impeccably polished marble floors, lush gardens, majestic arches, an impressive fountain, and all paired with genial Saudi Arabian hospitality.

Club Lounge: Exclusive to club room guests, the Club Lounge offers a secluded space for relaxation and special amenities such as in-lounge check-in/check-out, breakfast, afternoon tea, sundowners, and business center services.

Location: The centrally-located Ritz-Carlton is within a 15-minute drive of Jeddah Mall and Thalia Street, and 45-minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport.

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Ritz-Carlton Jeddah Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Seaside Address: Where the desert meets the sea is where the striking ultra-modern Rosewood Riyadh stands at the heart of the Corniche, the capital’s most impressive and fashionable coastal resort area. Guests in select rooms can enjoy views of the Red Sea from their private balconies.

Rooftop Pool: Cool off from the day’s heat with a cooling plunge into the rooftop pool which boasts a wonderful sea breeze and outstanding sunset view.

24-Hour Personal Butler Service: A signature of its unparalleled service, the Rosewood is the first hotel in Jeddah to offer a personal butler who is on call 24 hours a day to meet every guest need no matter the time.

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Rosewood Jeddah Preferred Hotel
Jeddah
Jeddah

Day 9

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 exotic 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.

Day 10

Jazan

Fly south to the coastal city of Jazan. Today you will be exploring the the Faifa mountains, a steep jagged rock formation that have been terraformed by local tribes into impressive agricultural terraces that grow coffee and maize. The lush slopes also grow a wide variety of plants, flowers, herbs, and honey. There are about 20 tribes that inhabit these mountains and are known to wear floral outfits, silver belts, and colorful hair bands. The terraced hillsides are also dotted with beautiful homes, many with the distinct local architectural style, as well as Jazan’s largest museum which houses a collection of weapons, ropes, bags, tools, and fire lanterns. Lunch will be hosted at a local farm where you can try the fresh produce and learn about coffee bean production. Afterwards, stop by a panoramic viewpoint before heading to your hotel.

Hotel Options
About

A premier resort located along the seafront, the Grand Millennium offers a comfortable stay in Gizan for leisure and business travelers alike. Its expansive exterior was inspired by the shape and color of traditional Saudi castles, particularly the historical Al-Dossaria Castle.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 11

Jazan

Today's adventure takes you to the beautiful Wadi Lajab, one of Jazan's natural gems. This majestic valley is characterized by its lush vegetation - its steep sides are covered by a green blanket of creepers and moss, resembling a hanging garden. Also prominent is its abundant supply of fresh water which runs at the bottom of the canyon and creates waterfalls and freshwater pools fit for a refreshing swim.

Jazan
Jazan

Day 12

Jeddah

Spend your morning at leisure until your flight back to Jeddah. The rest of the day is yours, whether you'd like to relax at the hotel, go shopping, or take a stroll along the corniche.

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Opulence by Design: In grand Ritz-Carlton style, its opulence is fit for royalty: massive crystal chandeliers, impeccably polished marble floors, lush gardens, majestic arches, an impressive fountain, and all paired with genial Saudi Arabian hospitality.

Club Lounge: Exclusive to club room guests, the Club Lounge offers a secluded space for relaxation and special amenities such as in-lounge check-in/check-out, breakfast, afternoon tea, sundowners, and business center services.

Location: The centrally-located Ritz-Carlton is within a 15-minute drive of Jeddah Mall and Thalia Street, and 45-minutes from King Abdulaziz International Airport.

See Hotel
Ritz-Carlton Jeddah Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Seaside Address: Where the desert meets the sea is where the striking ultra-modern Rosewood Riyadh stands at the heart of the Corniche, the capital’s most impressive and fashionable coastal resort area. Guests in select rooms can enjoy views of the Red Sea from their private balconies.

Rooftop Pool: Cool off from the day’s heat with a cooling plunge into the rooftop pool which boasts a wonderful sea breeze and outstanding sunset view.

24-Hour Personal Butler Service: A signature of its unparalleled service, the Rosewood is the first hotel in Jeddah to offer a personal butler who is on call 24 hours a day to meet every guest need no matter the time.

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Rosewood Jeddah Preferred Hotel

Day 13

Departure

After your final breakfast in the Kingdom, spend your time at leisure. When you are 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.

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