Riyadh: 2 Nights Holiday Inn Al Qasr or Similar
Ahsa: 1 Night Al Ahsa Grand or Similar
Dammam: 1 Night Wyndham Garden or Similar
- Riyadh National Museum
- Murabba Palace
- Passing the famous Kingdom Tower
- Explore Masmak Fort
- Visit Dira Souq
- Explore old city of Dirriyyah (*Construction)
- Explore Wadi Hanifa
- Visit Edge of the World – Tuwaiq
- Visit the traditional village “Sadus of the Najd”
- Drive through Empty Quarter (Rub Al Khali desert)
- Visit Al-Ahsa Oasis
- Visit Ibrahim Fort, Cara Caves & Al Ahsa museum
Travel to Saudi. Upon arrival at King Khalid International Airport and after visa and immigration formalities, you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel by deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoach. Overnight in Riyadh.
Start your day with breakfast at your hotel before heading out on a tour of enchanting Riyadh. We will first visit the National Museum and become acquainted firsthand with Saudi national heritage and culture. The Museum is a place of learning and discovery, offering an overview of Arabian civilization from prehistory to the modern era. Next, we will continue on to Murabba Palace one the city's most historic structures. Savor lunch in a typical local Saudi restaurant. Then, our tour continues with a visit of Masmak Fort and its museum that shares the history of the conquest of Arabia by the Al-Saud family. The palace was built during the reign of Abdullah bin Rashid in the year 1895 A.D. to serve as a military garrison for the Abdullah bin Rashid army. His Majesty King Abdulaziz, the father of the nation today, captured the fort in 1902, making this fort the birthplace of the 3rd Saudi Kingdom. Next, visit the Dira Souq famous for buying antique carpets and other Saudi heritage mementos. We will finish our tour with a stunning viewpoint from one of the famous landmarks of Riyadh, the Kingdom Tower and the Faisaliah Tower, both great architectural achievements. At the end of the afternoon, head back to your hotel. This evening, enjoy an included dinner and overnight at your hotel in Riyadh. Optional: Access to Skybridge on Kingdom tower.
Have breakfast at you at your hotel this morning and then depart for the old city of Diriyah, the capital of the high plateau of Central Arabia that was called the Najd in the 19th century. Diriyah, was built in the 15th century on the banks of Wadi Hanifa, a valley located in the eastern part of the Najd. It is one of the most important historical sites of Saudi Arabia as it is where the conquest of the Arabian Peninsula took place by the Al Saud family whose ancestors, known as the Bani Hanifa, settled in Diriyah some five centuries ago. Savor an included lunch in the city before heading out to the Edge of The World, located along the 1000km long Tuwaiq escarpment. Here, you will enjoy dramatic views from the top of the 300-meter-high cliffs. Once at Edge of the World hike along the majestic cliffs and take in the breathtaking vistas. A traditional meal under the stars sheltered by traditional Arabian tent will be exquisitely prepared for us by local Bedouins who will share the secrets of their culture around coffee and tea. After dinner, head back to your hotel for your overnight stay in Riyadh.
After breakfast at your hotel, we will take the train to Al-Hofuf, the main city of the Al-Ahsa a region in the Eastern Province of Saudi. Al-Ahsa is the largest oasis in the world with an area of around 85.4 km2 (33.0 sq mi). Here, more than 2.5 million palm trees are watered via a massive underground aquifer that makes year-round agriculture possible in this region that is otherwise a desert. Al-Ahsa also hosts an ancient secret: the Greek geographer Strabo described an ancient Arab kingdom whose capital Gerrha had "fancy tools made out of gold and silver, such as the family gold, right triangles, and their drinking glass, let alone their large homes which have their doors, walls, roofs filled with colors, gold, silver, and holy stones." While the site Gerrha described has not yet been found, it is thought that one of the candidates is the modern city of Al-Hofuf where we will start our exploration of Al-Ahsa. There we will visit the Ibrahim Fort and its mosque, and then the Jebel Qarah, a limestone outcrop with caves and canyons that offers an overlooking viewpoint on the huge palm tree cultivations. We will finish this first day in Al-Ahsa at the historical mosque of Jawatha. This evening, delight in an included dinner and overnight stay in Al-Hofuf. (B, L, D)
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel and then head out to explore the desert of Al-Ahsa. Take in the stunning view of one of the lakes located just a few kilometers east of Al-Hofuf where you can see the vast water resources of Al-Ahsa. It is called the Yellow Lake because of the color of the surrounding dunes. This landscape, made of flat grounds rich with water in between dunes is typical of the Eastern Province and is called sabkha. After Yellow Lake, we will go for a drive through those dunes and sabkhas. In the afternoon head to the Arabian Sea at the old port of Uqair, situated on beautiful Half-Moon Bay. This old port, originally built by the Ottomans in the 17th century, has recently undergone a partial renovation. Next, it’s on to Dammam, the modern capital of the Eastern Province where we will share in a special farewell dinner. Overnight in Dammam. (B, L, D)
Have breakfast at your hotel and then transfer to Dammam airport for your flight home. (B)