Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Sinai and Cairo

Duration

19 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Dubai

Available

April 2023 / March 2024

Cities to visit: Dubai; Sarja; Khor Fakkan; Al Badiyah; Fujairah; Al Hayl; Al Ain; Abu Dhabi; Al Dhannah City; Al Hofuf; Riyadh; Al Qasab; Shaqra; Ushaiqer; Buraidah; Medina; Al Ula; Tabuk; Petra; Wadi Rum; Al Aqaba; Eilat; Santa Catalina; Moses Well; El Cairo

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 Emirates! Arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.
At the end of the afternoon, we will be transferred to visit the impressive city of DUBAI that shines in the night. We will go to witness the show of "Dubai Fountain", where the water dances to the rhythm of music and light; we are at the foot of Burj Khalifa which with its 828 meters is the tallest tower in the world; free time to walk and dine (dinner not included) in the immense Dubai Mall. Return to the hotel.
Today we have a spectacular day getting to know Dubai. We will make a panoramic visit in which we will pass in front of the great mosque of Jumeirah. We include going up the spectacular tower "Dubai Frame" with its spectacular bridge shape and its view at 150 meters high. Afterwards we continue passing by Burj Al Arab, a spectacular hotel in the form of a sail; the island of "Palm Jumeirah" in the shape of a palm tree. We will take the very modern monorail. After that we go to the old part of Dubai, a walk through the souk of Bur Dubai and the spice souk. We will take an Abra (traditional boat of the Emirates) to move to the historic neighborhood of Al Fahidi and the center for cultural understanding (with its motto "open minds, open doors"), in this area we will include in a traditional building, a typical meal of the country; if the group is more than 15 travelers they will give us an explanation to get to know better the gastronomy of the Emirates.
In the afternoon we will have time in Madinat Jumeirah, which offers us a contemporary version of a traditional Arab village with its souk, its canals, and its colorful villas. Later in the afternoon we have free time next to the most popular and active beach in Dubai: JBR beach. You can stroll along the beach or have a drink in one of its many restaurants and cafes.
We will leave for the neighboring EMIRATE OF SHARJAH, its capital has been named by UNESCO as "Cultural Capital of the Arab World". In a magnificent location, next to the lagoon, we stop at the mosque of Al Noor , considered the most beautiful of the 600 mosques that exist in Sharjah; from the outside we admire its architecture of Ottoman design, walking around it we photograph (without entering) the green island of Al Noor which is accessed by bridge. Later we visit (entrance included) the Fort of Sharjah, an interesting fortress that today is a museum about the sovereign family. We cross the colorful bird market. We will then visit the Museum of Islamic Civilization, an excellent museum that offers us an insight about the religion and culture of the Arab and Islamic world. After the museum, and before leaving the city, we will discover the "Rain Room", inside which we walk through artificial rain without getting wet!
We then travel to the Gulf of Oman, with beautiful mountain landscapes. KHOR FAKKAN is a very nice city. We will have a relaxing time on the beach where you can have lunch in one of its pleasant restaurants and -if you wish- bathe in the warm Gulf Sea (dressing rooms and showers available). Already in the afternoon we will stop next to the ruins of the old Portuguese castle, we will walk next to the artificial waterfall that will refresh us and we will be able to photograph the immense amphitheater built overlooking at the sea.
In the middle of the afternoon, we will leave for BADIYAH, a short distance from Khor Fakkan, the oldest mosque in the country -from the fifteenth century-, built in adobe at the foot of a fortress overlooking the sea.
We continue our route to the EMIRATE OF FUJAIRA. Dinner included and accommodation.
In the morning we will visit FUJAIRAH, capital of the Emirate very close to the border with Oman. The great Sheik Zayed mosque, the second largest in the country with its 100 meters high minarets; its adobe fortress, and the Fujairah Museum that tells us about the origin of the city. A time to stroll before taking our lunch (included); in the afternoon we leave for the fortress of Al Hayl, next to a small oasis in a valley between mountains. We continue our route to the fantastic oasis of AL AIN, declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. Entering the city we meet Qasr de Al Muwaiji, fortress/museum where Sheikh Zayed was born, the first president of the Emirates (who died in 2022). Dinner included.

We continue to visit Al Ain, undoubtedly the city with the greatest historical heritage of the Emirates. First thing in the morning we go to the Camel Market, we will be surprised by its activity (it is a cattle market in general, sheep, goats, horses, but above all camels). Later we visit the fortress of Al Jhaili, considered one of the most representative adobe fortifications in the world. The museum of Sheik Zayed allows us to appreciate what life was like a century ago in this city. After that, we enter the great Oasis of Al Ain, a world heritage site, we include a ride in small electric vehicles that allow us to appreciate its gardens, palm plantations, its irrigation systems. Lunch included.
After lunch we will continue our route to ABU DHABI, the most important Emirate and capital of the country. Before entering the city, we will stop at Ferrari World, a theme park dedicated to Ferrari racing cars (stop to see outdoor areas). After that we visit the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, a beautiful white mosque, the largest in the Emirates, with an area of more than 12 hectares, a point that seeks the encounter with other cultures and people of other religions. We will pass in front of Capital Gate, a 160-meter-high building known for being the steepest skyscraper in the world. From the beautiful "Corniche", by the sea, we will get a great panoramic view of the city.
Already, after dark we will go to The Founders Memorial, built in memory of Zayed, the first sultan of the Emirates. The Constellation stands out, with its magnificent night lighting.
In the morning we continue our visit of the city. We will visit (entrance included) the Heritage Village, this place allows us to understand the traditional life in the Emirates, we enjoy its views, we can buy in its craft shops and visit its small museums that illustrate us about the history of the Emirates. After that we include a visit and entry into Qasr Al Watan, the presidential palace of the Emirates, magnificent construction of white granite profusely decorated, highlights its dome of 37 meters and its chandelier lamp of 350,000 pieces of glass.
After that we go to the "cultural district" where there are several museums, highlights The Louvre, with its spectacular architecture by the sea and an incredible collection. You have the opportunity if you wish to visit one of the museums or enjoy your free time in the area. Lunch included.
In the afternoon we continue our route, we cross oil-producing regions to DHANNAH CITY. We will be staying in a nice hotel-resort next to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. Dinner included.

Free time to relax in the hotel, you can enjoy its white sand beach, its pool or snorkel in the waters of the Persian Gulf. Lunch included. After lunch we enter a country that until very recently has been closed to tourism. Only 130 km separate us from the border of SAUDI ARABIA (Al Batha). Border procedures and continuation of our route through the desert to the oasis of AL-AHSA, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Arrival at AL-HOFUF, the main city of the oasis. We will take a night walk through the King Abdullah Park, a pleasant park where its artificial lake and the fountains that dance to the rhythm of the music stand out.
We visit the Oasis of AL-AHSA, with its gardens, canals, wells. Inhabited since the Neolithic; it is considered the largest oasis in the world with its almost 3 million date palms. In the center of Al-Hofuf we visit the Ibrahim Palace, historical fortress (World Heritage Site) dominated by its white mosque, built in 1556 by the Ottomans. After that we visit the "House of Allegiance" that shows us a small palace characteristic of the oasis. We will stroll through the elegant souk of Al Qaisariya, one of the oldest markets in Arabia, reflecting the commercial tradition of the region. We will approach the lively area where the Muhaires Palace stands, with its many restaurants, shops and parks where the local population goes.
Later we travel through the oasis, we go to AL QARA , a spectacular landscape area, labyrinth of mini-gorges-caves in the mountain, and a historical site; it will seem that "you penetrate the mountain", all year round the temperature is around 25 degrees. We also visit its museum "land of civilizations" that describes the history of the area.
Note: At the time of writing this itinerary, the Ibrahim Palace was closed for restoration. During the period when it is closed, the palace will be visited from the outside.
In the afternoon we take a modern high-speed train, in two hours and 20 minutes we travel almost 350 kilometers of desert that separate us from Riyadh.- RIYADH, arrival. To end the day we will include transfer and entrance to the Boulevard Riyadh, you will be surprised by its life and activity, the attractions, the numerous restaurants with specialties from numerous countries, its live shows, and -above all- the spectacle of colorful fountains. Time to stroll, dine (dinner not included) and enjoy this place. Return to the hotel.
Today (the order of activities may vary depending on the time of year) we will visit the impressive capital of Saudi Arabia. We will include the climb to the tower of just over 300 m high, the "Kingdom Centre", with its beautiful design and its "bridge-shaped" viewpoint that offers spectacular views over the city. We will also visit, surrounded by a beautiful park, the National Museum, the largest museum in the country, where we will learn about the history, culture, and art of the Kingdom. After that we will visit the Masmak Fortress, the ancient fortress of the city, whose interior allows us to understand the incredible change that took place in this city during the last century. Afterwards, we will have time to stroll through the neighborhood, with its souks and commercial life.
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 also visit the district of Al Turaif DIRIYA, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This place - on the outskirts of Riyadh - was formerly the first capital of the Saudi dynasty, which we will be able to discover thanks to the vestiges of its numerous palaces and the urban complex at the edge of the oasis of Ad-Diriya.
At the end of the day, we will visit the Al Rajhi Mosque, the largest mosque in Riyadh with its Andalusian style architecture, where we will witness a prayer and have an introduction to Islam that will surely make us learn something about this religion. Return to hotel.
Today we follow the ancient route of pilgrims traveling from Iraq to Mecca, with its many historic towns in small oases. AL QASAB was known since ancient times for its salt and wheat production, also for its poets. We will visit the walled city and the small salt ponds where 200,000 tons of salt are still produced each year.
Desert landscapes of dunes lead us to SHAQRA, a city that is growing along with its university. We visit the well-fortified ancient city, with its picturesque old market and adobe alleys. Continue to USHAIQER. Lunch included before transferring to Ushaiqer Heritage Village, a village that was an important stop for pilgrims because of its springs and the beauty of its oasis. We will also visit its small museum and its Najdi architecture houses with its carved wooden doors, its beautiful windows and triangular roofs. Continuation to BURAYDAH, capital of the province of El Kasim with more than 600 000 inhabitants located in a large oasis. Arrival in the late afternoon and free time.
Early in the morning we will visit the largest Camel Market in the world, located in Buraydah - a city that also houses a camel hospital. The city´s economy is also based on agriculture of oasis products (dates, lemons, oranges, wheat), and annually, around August, holds a huge date market that attracts many people from different places to buy their date annual requirement. We will visit "the city of dates" -more or less active depending on the time of the year- and we will be able to taste this sweet fruit of the palm tree. Afterwards, we will have time to stroll through the city center, with its vegetable market, its great mosque, its jewelry souks and its activity. We will visit the Al Oqilat Museum that tells us about the traditions of Arabia and the customs of the region. Free time for lunch.
In the afternoon, we continue our route by an excellent highway through the desert. Arrival in the evening to the holy city of MEDINA, "the luminous city". We find ourselves in an outstanding historical and religious destination as it is one of the two most sacred cities of Islam. Medina is visited by millions of pilgrims every year and has been forbidden to non-Muslims until very recently. Respect its inhabitants and beliefs and remember to use the required mode of dress. In the evening, we will go to see - today from outside - the Al Masjid Mosque, built by the prophet himself and the place where he is buried. We will be touched to see the thousands of people who enter at prayer time. 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.
***VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the warlike situation in Israel, while the conflict is ongoing, the passage through EILAT will be eliminated from the stage. The stage will be carried out by crossing by direct ferry from Aqaba, Jordan, to Taba, Egypt, thus avoiding passing through Israel.
After breakfast, we leave for AQABA , Jordan’s second city, lying on the banks of the Red Sea. We walk through the center before continuing to the border of ISRAEL, EILAT and arrive in this modern and tourist city with its excellent beaches. There’s time to relax, have lunch and stroll around. Are you tempted to have a swim? We then continue towards the EGYPT border, and into Sinai. On the way, there’s chance to take photographs of the Pharaoh’s Island with the powerful fortress of Saladin. Continue to SAINT CATHERINE . Arrival, accommodation and dinner included .
FEES: At the border crossing from Jordan to Israel and from Israel to Egypt, every traveler must pay an entry/exit fee for the different countries. Jordan: $15 (exit fees), Israel: $32 (exit fee), Egypt: $45 (entry visa, which is actually $25 visa + $20.Approximate rates and subject to change without prior notice by the authorities of the country. Drones and cameras with a 5,5 mtr zoom are prohibited as well as other types of professional equipment cameras ( Europamundo is not responsiblefor objects that may be seized at borders by the authorities of the countries)
IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to exceptional circumstances or due to a small number of participants, it may happen that we will cross directly from Jordan to Egypt by boat, taking the AQABA- TABA FERRY with a duration of just over two hours. During the ferry crossing, there will be no assistance from any guide.
At the foot of Mount Sinai, we visit the impressive walled monastery of SAINT CATHERINE. According to tradition, this is where Moses saw “the Burning Bush that burned without being consumed”. The monastery, which is a sacred place for Jews, Christians and Muslims, belongs to the Orthodox Church and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We then continue on through the Sinai Desert’s picturesque landscapes. Lunch included in route. Stop at the WELL OF MOSES, a biblical site that looks like a small oasis. We will leave Sinai through the tunnel under the SUEZ CANAL . Arrival in CAIRO at the end of the afternoon. Accommodation.
Full day visit where we explore the famous Pyramids of Cheops, Kefren and Micerinos ( tickets to go inside the pyramids are not included), and also the impressive Sphinx, which is sculpted from rock. Visit to the Egyptian Museum with its ancient art and where the treasure of the Lost Tomb of Tutankhamen is kept. Lunch included. Citadel of Saladin and the Alabaster Mosque. We will take a walk through the Coptic neighborhood where we visit the Hanging Church built above a Roman fortress.
After breakfast, end of our services.

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