Behind the curtain of the spiritual Islam: A glance of Saudi Arabia

Behind the curtain of the spiritual Islam: A glance of Saudi Arabia 2190 , 8 Days

Saudi Arabia is one of the most enigmatic places to visit in the Middle East.

On this tour, you will discover some of the greatest treasures, hidden for Western travellers until just a few years ago. Known as the birthplace of Islam, Saudi Arabia is a desert country, stretching through the Arabian Peninsula to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf.

The country’s citizens are required by law to be Muslim and there is ‘religious’ police force to look upon this. Saudi Arabia is home to Islam’s two most sacred mosques: Masjid al-Haram in Mecca - destination of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, and Medina’s Masjid an-Nabawi -  burial site of the prophet Muhammad.

The capital Riyadh on the other hand, has an absolutely modern look – skyscraper-filled metropolis with luxury cars on the streets. Jeddah is a mix of ancient and modern style and hides within an old city, made of coral, while the Red Sea coast offers world-class diving. 

Jeddah - a major port for Indian Ocean trade routes in the 7th century
• Madain Saleh -  the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan 
• The natural rock formation Elephant Rock 


Day 1. Arrival in Jeddah
Arrival in Jeddah and transfer to your hotel for check-in and overnight. -/-/-

Day 2. Jeddah
After breakfast at the hotel, we will start our city tour of the coastal town of Jeddah. Among the places that we will visit is King Fahd's Fountain - the highest fountain in the world, the historical quarter of Jeddah Al-Balad, famous for its old Ottoman houses, mostly constructed from coral and reinforced with wood, the Altaybat Museum (Abdul Rauf Khalil Art Museum), which houses endless collections of arts, ethnography and archaeology artifacts. Overnight in a hotel in Jeddah. B/-/-

Day 3. Jeddah - Medina
After breakfast, we start our drive to Medina, known as the second-holiest place in Islam. Here we will explore some of the most prominent mosques and historic buildings of the city. (It is not allowed for tourists to enter Al Masjid an Nabawi/the Prophet's Mosque. If possible/ we will pass by it.) Overnight in Medina. B/-/-

Day 4. Medina – Al Ula

After breakfast, we will depart for Al Ula. (about 4 hour's drive) to explore its extraordinary human and natural heritage. Today we will visit Elephant Rock formation and explore the Old Town Market area. Overnight in a farm/guest house nearby (shared accommodation). B/-/

Day 5. Al Ula - Madain Saleh - Jabal Ikmah - Dadan - Riyadh
We start our day with a visit to the archaeological site of Al-Hijr (Madain Saleh) -the first World Heritage property to be inscribed in Saudi Arabia. Formerly known as Hegra, it is the largest conserved site of the civilization of the Nabataeans south of Petra in Jordan. It features well-preserved monumental tombs with decorated facades dating back to the period between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. Today you have the option to visit two of the highlights of the region - the Nabataean tombs of Hegra and а combined tour of Dadan and Jabal Ikmah. Late evening flight to Riyadh. Overnight in Riyadh. B/-/-

Day 6. Riyadh
Today we will explore the highlight of the kingdom’s capital - Riyadh. We will visit, among others, the Masmak Fort - a fortress built from clay and mudbrick that played an important part in the battles for the unification of Saudi Arabia at the beginning of the 20th century. In the evening, we will visit the iconic Kingdom Centre, where you will have the option to take the high-speed elevator up to the 99th floor and take a walk on the Sky Bridge (optional activity, paid on the spot). Overnight in a hotel in Riyadh. B/-/-

Day 7. Riyadh/ Day tour to "the Edge of the world"(optional)
Today you have free time to explore Riyadh on your own. Alternatively, you can join a day trip to Jebel Fihrayn, also known as "The edge of the world'. With their height of 300 meters, the towering cliffs offer an astounding view over the surrounding plains. The cliffs are about a 90-minutes drive away from Riyadh and the hike to the top is about 5 kilometers. Here we will have some time to enjoy the breathtaking views, and have some tea and snacks at the campsite before heading back to Riyadh late in the evening. B/-/-

Day 8. Departure
End of service or extension to Bahrain. B/-/-

Bahrain Extension:

Day 8. Riyadh - Dammam - Manama (Bahrain)
A flight from Dammam, from where we take a public bus to Manama along King Fahd Causeway (25 km). Depending on the flight schedule, you might have a few hours of free time in Dammam before taking the bus. The bus journey takes about three hours. Overnight in a hotel in Manama. B/-/-

Day 9. Manama
Today you have free time for sightseeing and exploring Bahrain's capital. B/-/-

Day 10. Departure
Transfer to the airport on own arrangement

Saudi Arabia - the spiritual birthplace of Islam (tips for visiting the country)

Price Includes:
6 nights at 3-4 star hotels with private facilities incl. breakfast
one night in a guest house/farm in Al Ula (shared accommodation)
domestic flight Al Ula - Riyadh
all airport transfers
all ground transport
English-speaking local guides
tour leader from Penguin Travel at 8 people

Not Included:
international flights
tips and personal expenses
visa fee
Jabal Ikmah and Danan Tour - 60 SAR (18-20 USD)
Hegra Tour- 95 SAR (25-27USD)
Sky Bridge in Riyadh - 70 SAR (18-20 USD)
Optional tour to Jebel Fihrayn (The Edge of the world) on day 7- 85 USD

Additional Services:
Bahrain Extension 3 days (includes flight Riyadh-Dammam / transportation Dammam-Manama / two nights at 4**** hotel in Manama incl. breakfast): upon request 360/400 EUR dbl/sgl occupancy


Behind the curtain of the spiritual Islam: A glance of Saudi Arabia (Rated 4.82 / 5 Based on 362 Reviews.)
2190 EUR
8 Days
Single Supplement
350 EUR
Guaranteed departure
2240 EUR
8 Days
Single Supplement
350 EUR
Guaranteed departure

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

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View all» What people say about us

Gunnar Svensson

Tour: Caucasus Explorer
Interesting trip in a different part of the world. with a possibility to learn a lot. Visit to spectacular churches and monastries, museums, wine producers, nature and beautiful cities. This tour is recommended.


Tour: Saudi Arabia
Fantastic trip with Penguin Travel! Loved all the sights we got to see in Saudi Arabia. Abdulaziz and Lyuben were very helpful, kind, and knowledgeable. Would highly recommend for solo and group travelers, especially those wanting an "off the beaten path" experience. Can't wait to travel with Penguin again!

Milosh Kitchovitch

Tour: Balkan Kaleidoscope
Amazing tour! A great overview of eight Balkan countries with the perfect balance of organized activities and free time. Our guide Anton was the best - organized, calm and has great sense of humor. I highly recommend it. This was my first tour with Penguin and I will definitely be booking more tours with Penguin.

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