Join our first-ever official tourist group to the notoriously hard to access Saudi Arabia!
Our tour starts in the capital city, Riyadh, and you explore the modern centre of the KSA as well as its ancient history in and around, from the Al Masmak fort to the Edge of the World.
From Riyadh you catch the train to Qassim. Saudi Arabia does not lack sand, and you will watch the sun set over the huge dunes around Qassim. Another train ride later and you will reach the ancient city of Ha’il where you will visit Jubbah town and explore the forts and mosques of this famous city.
Then you’ll fly to Jeddah, and explore the stunningly beautiful, labyrinthine al Balad old town and its coral houses and souqs as well walking the famous corniche, and spend a night in the mountains around Ta’if, famous for its rose farm and its funfair. The trip will end with the chance to go snorkeling in the Red Sea!
We are used to hearing that Saudi is opening up to tourism and to find that tourist visas are still impossible to obtain. But this tour is part of a test program for tourist visas approved by the KSA government.
Make this trip the ultimate Arabian experience and witness the wealth of black gold in our follow-up tour to Kuwait
So the good news is that it is open to female as well as male travelers, but the bad news is that tourist visas are only possible for people travelling on passports from the USA, UK, Switzerland, New Zealand and Japan. If you are NOT from one of these countries please get in touch for the options on how to join this trip.
At this point we are not certain if tourist visas will roll out in full after the March test run or if they will once again be very difficult to get, and we recommend coming with YPT on this first official tour to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!
Arrival into Riyadh with YPT able to help with airport transfer to our centrally located hotel
Meet your YPT guide at the lobby of our hotel at 6pm for a quick pre-tour meeting before we go for dinner
Overnight in Riyadh
Sunday 17th March – Riyadh
After breakfast we head straight to Al Masmak, the clay and mud brick fort in Riyadh city centre. Probably the most iconic part of Saudi today this part of the old town played centre stage in the restoration of the House of Saud
Visit the Grand Mosque, Deira Souq and the Dukhanah and Athomairy Gate
After lunch head to the National Museum including the Al Muraba Palace and mosque
Stroll through the museum gardens and take in the atmosphere
We head to Riyadh’s highest tower and mall to see how Saudi’s spend their money
Dinner and overnight in Riyadh
Monday 18th March – Riyadh and around
Get up early to head out to the Edge of the World – a ‘window’ in the Tuwaiq Escarpment cliff face looking over an acacia valley. This place is one of Riyadh local’s most popular vacation spots and gives amazing views over the plains below
After lunch we head to where it all began at Al Diriyah, Saudi Arabia’s first capital and the original home of the royal family, now a UNESCO heritage site
Drive back to Riyadh
Dinner and overnight in Riyadh
Tuesday 19th March – Qassim
Set off for the train station and we board the 9am train to Qassim, arriving at 12 noon
Grab lunch and then we explore this historic city, renowned as one of the most conservative parts of the whole of the kingdom
Our first stop is the al Mithnab mud village. Then head to the heritage museum and a palm tree farm
At the end of the afternoon we’ll watch the sun set over an expanse of sand dunes. Optional extras – camel ride, quad biking or microlight flight
Dinner and overnight at the Qassim desert camp
Wednesday 20th March – Ha’il
After breakfast we’ll explore the local souq and the nationally famous date market
Catch the 12:06 train to Ha’il arriving at 2pm
Ha’il is an oasis town famous for its natural beauty and we first drive out to Joubbah town via the Sanman mountain with its 10,000-year-old rock carvings
Visit the Al Qashlah Fort and Earf Castel as well as the local souk
Dinner and overnight in Ha’il
Thursday 21st March – Jeddah
Up early for the 6:30am flight to Jeddah, the second largest city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a port city on the Red Sea
After we check in to our hotel we go straight out to explore Jeddah, taking in the city centre and old Jeddah – al Balad. See the old city gates and traditional markets (souqs) in this labyrinthine part of the city. This is where traders from all over Arabia and Africa live and work in a surprisingly colourful world
The most famous architecture are Jeddah’s coral houses, that still stand in various states of disrepair.
Stroll along the beach and view the ‘floating’ mosque, before a walk along the Jeddah Corniche for great views of the Red Sea
Seafood dinner in one of the cities famous seafood restaurants
Overnight in Jeddah
Friday 22nd March – Ta’if
In the morning we drive to Ta’if, in the Mecca region and one of the oldest towns in the KSA, famous for its rose production, and the rose season will have just started
Stop at Al Katib and Kaaki House, the Bin Abbas Mosque and visit the local souq
Lunch in Ta’il
Head to the Al Gadee Factory where roses are distilled to produce rose water and oil and see the Al Koaa Mosque and Dam
Drive out to the Al Shafa mountains and visit a local rose farm
Bin Abbas Mosque and city centre souk
Overnight in Ta’if
Saturday 23rd March – Jeddah
Early morning drive back to Jeddah
Optional extra – snorkeling in the Red Sea!
Enjoy a late lunch in Jeddah to celebrate our time in the country
End of tour, YPT can arrange airport transfer and onward flights from Jeddah
Those who follow us to Kuwait will be on the 15:25 flight arriving in Kuwait City at 17:35.
• Hotel accommodation
• Breakfasts and lunches
• All excursions & transfers with experienced driver and local guide
• All transport to complete the tour including train journeys and domestic flight
• Entrances fees
• Visa support