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The First Capital-

Madain Saleh

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9 DAYS CLASSIC SAUDI ARABIA

Ideal for anyone who loves nature and fine hikes, this itinerary takes you from the romantic capital of Ljubljana through stunning mountains and lakes of the Slovenian Alps while tackling trails of low technical difficulty, sample local produce and staying in comfortable lodging along the way. Wrap up your journey in wine country where you'll get a chance to sample pours from some of the country's best vineyards.

ITINERARY DAY-TO-DAY

1

DAY

DAMMAM / AL QATIF / AL AHSA

Drive south to Hofuf. Visit the Asfar Lake and Jawatha Mosque, the earliest known mosque built in Eastern Arabia. Continue to the UNESCO-listed Al Ahsa Oasis. Explore the cave complex inside Al Qarah Mountain and the naturally-occurring springs. Discover the Royal School and Ibrahim Palace, once a Turkish military barracks during the Ottoman period. Stroll through the bustling Souq Al Qaisariya in the historic port city. 

2

DAY

AL AHSA / RIYADH 

Drive to Riyadh, the capital city of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Visit the Murabba Palace and the Masmak Fortress and step back in time and explore Saudi Arabia’s roots. Explore the Deira Souq and learn about the history of the Kingdom at the National Museum of Saudi Arabia.

3

DAY

RIYADH / DIRIYAH / EDGE OF THE WORLD / RIYADH

Take a tour to Diriyah the first capital of the Saudi Dynasty.  Visit Al Turaif district, the area’s citadel-marked primary quarter and original seat of power for the Kingdom’s Al Saud family. Explore the heritage sites of Diriyah Museum, a former palace and the restored Al Zawihra Mosque. Continue on Makkah Road towards the old Camel Caravan Trail. After lunch, continue on to the Edge of the World.

Optional Extension: 3 Days Empty Quarters

4

DAY

RIYADH / HA’IL / JUBBAH / HA’IL 

Fly to Ha’il, gateway to the extensive rock art site at Jubbah, and designated UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring carvings that are possibly 10,000 years old. Visit the Rock Art Sites at Jabal Umm Sinman at Jubbah and the Jabal al-Manjor and Raat at Shuwaymis. Return to the city and check out the Qishlah Castle sitting in the heart of the old town.

Optional Extension: 3 Days Ushaiger and Buraydah

5

DAY

HA’IL / AL ULA

Drive to Al Ula, the birthplace of two ancient Arabian kingdoms, Dedan and Lihyan, that ruled over the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula. The Al-Ula Heritage Village, also known as Ad-Deerah, is a traditional Arabian village which housed over 1,000 houses that were built adjacent to one another thereby forming a wall around the town to defend the population. Visit the small Musa Ibn Nusayr Fort still stands in the middle of the village.

6

DAY

AL ULA / MADAIN SALEH / AL ULA

Visit the most iconic historical site of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the first to be listed as a UNESCO Word Heritage Site – Madain Saleh. Under the rule of the Nabatean king Aretas IV Philopatris, Madain Saleh was the kingdom's first capital, before Petra, located 500km to the north. Explore the remains of the early-19th century BC Hejaz Railway built by the Ottomans at Madain Saleh whose station was along the Hejaz Railway linking Damascus to the holy city of Medina.

Optional Extension: 5 Days Tabuk and Abha

7

DAY

AL ULA / AL BAHA 

Transfer to the airport for your flights to Al Baha via Riyadh or Jeddah. A journey to Al Baha is a journey to a different Saudi Arabia. In a kingdom that’s often characterized by ochre desert, this high-altitude city is a place of ancient towers, lush forests and winding valleys.

8

DAY

AL BAHA / DHEE AYN / JEDDAH

Start with a visit to the Marble Village of Dhee Ayn, or Aqabat al-Baha as it’s also known. Abandoned around 30 to 40 years ago, the village dates back about 400 years. Drive to Raghadan Forest Park, a natural wild forest that was developed by the municipality of Al Baha region with a paved trail up into forested hills populated by impish baboons. Drive to Jeddah.

9

DAY

JEDDAH

Visit some of Jeddah’s most captivating old Ottoman-era houses in the Al Balad old quarter and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Nasif house is one of the few historic buildings that have been restored and now serve as a museum. Stroll further through the old town and visit the Al Alawi Souq. Visit the art collection of collectors Abdulraouf Khalil is exhibited in the Al Tayebat museum. The museum includes items from the pre-Islamic period, furniture and traditional clothing from different regions of the country. 

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