Charms of Arabia, Petra and Wadi Rum

Duration

12 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Jeddah

Available

April 2023 / March 2024

Cities to visit: Jeddah; Medina; Al Ula; Tabuk; Petra; Wadi Rum; Al Aqaba; Amman; Jerash; Madaba

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is part of our flexible coach touring range, guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people. Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

This tour is guided in English only. Please note if English speaking attendance numbers are low, the tour can become bilingual either accompanied by two tour leaders, one for each language, or a single tour leader providing explanations in both languages.

The tour offers flexibility, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. By clicking 'Quote or Book,' you will have the choice to select your desired start and end dates and destinations within the tour's defined parameters. Given this flexibility, it's important to note that the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day
Welcome to SAUDI ARABIA! ....a country of contrasts that will leave you with surprising memories! Transfer to your hotel. Arrival at JEDDAH, the second city in the country, with four million inhabitants, on the shore of the Red Sea. Transfer to your hotel and free time.
Full day in Jeddah, with our local guide we will visit the city. We will be surprised by its contrasts, currently a large part of the city is being rebuilt to make it a great world megalopolis, highlights the construction of the Jeddah Tower that will be the tallest building in the world with over a thousand meters high. We will follow the Corniche, with its beautiful views, its mosques by the sea and its recreational areas; we will contemplate the Fountain of King Fahd, the highest of its kind in the world, its jets reach more than 300 meters high. We will stop at the active and picturesque fish market. We will include the entrance to "Tabeyat International city" very interesting museum of history and ethnography in an architectural ensemble of great beauty. Free time for lunch in a shopping center- Mall- where you can choose from the various restaurants and types of food offered there.
In the afternoon, we will take a walk through its historic center, better known as Al-Balad, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, with its impressive set of medieval alleys and its houses made with coral and wooden balconies. We will visit inside the elegant house of Beit Sallum, today converted into a museum.
Early transfer to the high-speed train station. Saudi Arabia has an excellent train that crosses the desert. In less than two hours we travel the 400 kilometers that separate us from MEDINA, the holy city, "the luminous city". We are in an imposing historical destination, one of the two most sacred cities of Islam, a destination to which millions of pilgrims arrive every year and a city forbidden for non-Muslims until very recently. Respect for its inhabitants and beliefs and proper dress code is required.
Arrival and lunch included. In the afternoon we will visit the Al Madinah Museum that allows us to understand a little the history of the city. At the end of the afternoon, we will go to see -from outside- the Al Masjid mosque, built by the prophet himself and place where he is buried, we will not be able to avoid feeling a surge of emotions when we observe the thousands of people who enter at the time of prayer. Dinner included.
Note: The Al-’Ula region is one of the most beautiful areas in the world, however its hotel infrastructure is extremely limited. On some occasions we will spend two nights in Medina (visiting in this case in the afternoon the Al Madinah Museum) leaving very early for Al-’Ula on Tuesday.
We will explore Medina. We will walk around the immense Prophet´s Mosque (Al Masjid an Nabawi), an amazing and luminous mosque of ten minarets with a capacity for one million visitors.. On the hill of UHUD, an important pilgrimage site, where the prophet´s forces clashed with Meccan troops. You can walk through its vast esplanade and climb the hill but remember to do so in silence and respecting the hundreds of pilgrims surrounding us at any given time. At the Mosque of Quba, in the year 622, the prophet and his followers laid the first stone of what was to be the first mosque in history, although the present building is more recent. From here, we will walk to the nearby garden and well of Ethiq where the different tribes of the place went out to drink water and greet the Prophet and his companions recently arrived in Medina after their persecution in Mecca. Afterwards we will have some free time in the city center to stroll around the shopping areas or -if you wish- visit the Hejaz Railway Museum (in the former Ottoman railway station).
In the afternoon we travel to one of the most spectacular places in the world: The region and oasis of AL-’ULA: an authentic open-air museum surrounded by nature, where you will find rock formations, canyons and ravines that compete with the majestic treasures carved by its ancient inhabitants. After arrival we will go to The Elephant Rock, "Jabal Al Fil" an impressive geomorphological phenomenon, a 52 meters high rock in the shape of an Elephant. Dinner included.

In the region of Al-’Ula we will visit the enclosure of HEGRA (Madain Saleh), declared World Heritage by UNESCO, of Nabataean culture "the Other Petra" amazes us with its tombs excavated in the rock in a desert environment full of mystery. Lunch included. We will have free time to stroll and enjoy its comercial streets, and its magnificent Oasis. In the middle of the afternoon, we will leave for TABUK. Dinner included.
We visit Tabuk, a city over half a million inhabitants, active provincial capital and one of the oldest cities in the country. We will visit the castle whose origin is 3500 years before Christ, and inside it, a museum tells the history of the castle and the city, from the great explorers who visited it, such as Ibn Battuta, to the pilgrims who stopped to drink from the fountains on their way to Mecca or Medina. After the visit, we will enter the Mud House Museum, a recreation of the interior of an adobe house where we will learn what traditional life was like in the past in this type of housing. Subsequently we walk through the active commercial area of the city center and we reach the old train station, today a museum that preserves the steam machines that connected Damascus with Medina.
Only 100 km separate us from JORDAN. Border procedures and continuation to WADI MUSA (town created around Petra), we will visit the Spring of Moses, where allegedly Moses hit the rock with his rod and the water gushed out, and the Petra Museum, an excellent sample that allows us to understand the history of the Nabataeans and get to know magnificent pieces found in the area. Dinner included. Travelers who wish to do so can go in their free time to an old Turkish bath or get to see the lights and sounds show in Petra.
Today we have the most exciting day of the trip: First, we visit the impressive archaeological site of PETRA, which is accessed through a narrow canyon, and discover the temples and tombs excavated on the cliffs in this city that was founded 300 years before Christ. After lunch (included) we leave for the impressive desert of WADI RUM . At the Visitor Centre we board 4x4 vehicles to visit some of the most impressive landscapes. We stop in the town of RUM to visit the ruins of the Nabatean temple. We include a 45-minute camel ride through the desert. We will also visit the Khazali Canyon . In this spectacular place, we will see the engravings that reveal the origins of the Arabic language. Dinner and accommodation included in a desert camp.
After breakfast we will leave for AQABA , Jordan’s second city. We will visit Jordan’s second city, a modern, commercial port city. Afternoon free to enjoy the hotel-resort and the warm waters of the Red Sea!
After breakfast we will take the "desert road" to AMMAN. Arrival at noon and free time to visit the capital of the kingdom.
NOTE: Depending on the number of travelers, the trip from Aqaba to Amman can be made by regular VIP coach service.
After breakfast, we travel to the north of Jordan. In the mountains, we discover the AJLUN FORTRESS , a mighty castle from the 12th Century. Muslims and Orthodox Christians have always lived in this area. We will visit the old CHURCH OF SAINT SERGIUS . Shall we all pray for peace? Lunch is included. We continue to JERASH, and visit its impressive Roman archaeological site. Return to AMMAN . Arrival and accommodation.
We will depart towards the CASTLES OF THE DESERT, built between the 7th and 8th centuries. We will visit QASR KHARANA, with its imposing structure of thick walls and the QUSAYR AMRA World Heritage Site, notable for its remarkable frescoes. Then, we travel to MADABA, lunch is included . We will visit the Madaba Archaeological Park, which we cross via an ancient Roman road, and the Church of St. George, with its fantastic 6th Century mosaic representing the oldest known map of the Holy Land. We continue to MOUNT NEBO , where Moses stopped to look over the Promised Land. Return to Amman . Arrival and free time.
After breakfast, end of our services.

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From AUD 4,328