Saudi has reopened for tourism very recently and despite being the biggest country in the Middle East it’s also one of the most secluded ones, after decades of not receiving any tourists. Now that it’s opening up again, are you going to miss it? This is the perfect itinerary, where we will explore historical sites (Madein Saleh and Al Balad), stunning outdoors (oasis, deserts and the Red Sea) and the diversity of Saudi local culture (Al Ula, Medina, Jeddah). Join us in exploring one of the World’s best kept secrets before it changes forever.
Day 1: Jeddah
- On every Wander Expedition we want to maximize our time exploring. Therefore, you should arrive at least a day early, on November 24th, to Jeddah, so we can leave explore the city early in the morning of our first day, November 25th.
- We’ll check out the Corniche, the World’s biggest Flagpole and World’s biggest fountain and explore in depth the old town, the Unesco WHS of Al Balad.
- Overnight in Jeddah.
Day 2: Yanbu
- Today we will be driving to Yanbu which will take us 3 hours and a half. Once we arrive will get ready for a half day activity in the red sea, we will take a private boat and move around to a nice and well-preserved spot known to have rich coral reeves and colorful fishes. If we are lucky, we could see dolphins as well. The spots that we will visit will be perfect for a swim or snorkel where you will enjoy a crystal-clear view of the under-sea corals.
- This boat trip will include a light lunch and snacks , while you can relax and enjoy the gorgeous Red Sea.
- Overnight in Yanbu.
Day 3: Rock art and Al Ula
- After breakfast today we drive to Al Ula which we will take us around 4 hours. Once we arrive, we will head to the most popular historical site in Saudi Arabia, Madain Saleh, the first to be listed as a UNESCO Word Heritage. Madain Saleh was the second largest city of the Nabatean kingdom whose capital was Petra (Jordan) where the Nabatean people created more than 600 tombs.
- After our tour, we will take you to the Elephant Rock, one of AlUla’s many geological marvels. The beauty of the unrefined structure is enhanced by its surroundings of a fine-sand sea studded with rocky outcrops, many of which are equally impressive in size and have interesting shapes and figures. The area has very nice atmosphere with a cafe and restaurant, the seating area are build underground filled with magical lights that its just wonderful to witness the sunset.
- Overnight in one of Al Ula’s biggest and most beautiful local farms.
Day 4: Dissah Valley
- Today we’ll daytrip to Wadi Al Dissa. When we reach the Oasis, our local crew will be preparing a traditional delicious lunch that we will feast on in the best surroundings. After lunch we will take you on a walking tour inside this gorgeous valley and
explore Wadi Dissah which is a 15 kilometer long canyon running through the Jebel Qaraqir, a sandstone massif lying
about 80 kilometers south of the city of Tabuk. This natural wonder was for a long time a well-kept secret among explorers.
- The first striking feature of this wadi is its dimensions: at the eastern entrance of the canyon the side cliffs are already higher than 100meters,but at the western entrance the gap between the bottom of the wadi and the tallest cliffs reaches as high as 500 meters! It is there, from the massive rocky peaks, standing on both sides of the canyon, that one can admire the most dramatic scenery of this magical place.
- The second – and most unexpected – amazing feature of Wadi Qaraqir is a water stream that runs through the western part
of the canyon towards the city of Dissah. While you are exploring Wadi Qaraqir from the eastern entrance will find abundant
palm trees growing naturally along the wadi bed. But once half-way through the canyon underground water tops up all year
long. As a result, lush vegetation made of 3 meter high grass, numerous palm trees and bushes, flourishes in between the
majestic cliffs of the canyon!
- Overnight in Al Ula.
Day 5: Al Ula
- After breakfast, we make our way to Ikma Mountain and Al Ula’s Old Town.
- For lunch, we will feast on a home cooked meal where we will try the local traditional dishes.
- In the afternoon, we will go up to Harra View Point for the best view of Al Ula’s Valley at sunset.
- Overnight in Al Ula.
Day 6: Medina
- Today after breakfast we will drive to Medina which is around 3 hours. The first place visited is The International Fair and Museum of the Prophet’s Biography and Islamic Civilization which is located right next to the Holy mosque.
- We will have a short lunch break with a view over the mosque and then continue.
- Will end the tour in Qiba Street which connect two Mosques , the grand Mosque and Qiba Mosque which both have significant importance in Islamic history in which the first was the house that prophet Mohammed lived and eventually it’s his grave visited by. The second was the first Mosque ever built. you will have a general overview how the city was built and shaped throughout the 1400 years.
- After our tour in the city, we will go to one of Madinah’s mountains for a picnic like local with some traditional snack.
When we finish our tour we will be going to our hotel to check in.
- Overnight in Medina.
Day 7: Medina and Jeddah
- Today we will be spending a little bit more time in Madinah so you can rest a little and on the other hand it an opportunity to
witness people getting ready and going to the Holy mosque for prayer.
- After that we will be driving to Jeddah, our hotel is located near by the Corniche where you can enjoy an easy walk and
mingle with the local as usually the Corniche is located by the sea and Jaddawis always go there for picnics with their
- Overnight in Jeddah.
Day 8: Goodbye & Fly out
- After breakfast, the saddest moment of any Expedition: saying goodbye!
HotelsShared rooms in 3-4star hotels (when available).
TransportPrivate comfortable van and driver.
Entrance FeesAll entrance fees to sites on your itinerary.
WE Tour LeadEvery Expedition has a Wander Expedition tour leader to ensure the best possible experience, smooth logistics and enhanced group dynamics.
Local GuidesKnowledgeable guides throughout our Expedition.
MealsSome meals mentioned in the itinerary are included, as part of the local immersion and traditional dish tasting activities that we will do.
how to join?
If you want to be one of the fortunate people selected for our Saudi Expedition III:
- Make sure the dates work with you before you start the selection process.
- SAY YES and complete our online application form below.
- Once you’ve applied and signed up to Wander Expedition, we’ll update you as you move on in the selection process. Check your Spam folder regularly in case the automated emails go there!