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

Behind the curtain of the spiritual Islam: A glance of Saudi Arabia 1850 , 8 Days
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Saudi Arabia is one of the most enigmatic and difficult places to visit and that is why this tour is not to miss. Discover some of the greatest treasures, still hidden for the travelers outside the Arab world. Saudi Arabia is a desert country, stretching through the Arabian Peninsula to the Red Sea and Persian Gulf. It is the birthplace of the Islam. 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. 

Highlights:
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 


Itinerary:

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 are headin towards Jeddah's  coastal area, known as New Corniche, known for its numerous recreation areas, pavilions and large-scale civic sculptures. King Fahd's Fountain - the highest fountain in the world is located in the area as well. We will visit the famed floating mosque Al Rahma, built in 1985.
After lunch, we contiune our sightseeing tour with historical quarter of Jeddah Al-Balad. Famous for its old Ottoman houses, mostly constructed from coral and reinforced with wood, the are is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site list since 2014. The most beautiful & well-known house here is the Nasif House, or Baashen House, built during the 1850s by the well-known Nasif Family, one of the most influential trading families in the history of Jeddah. In the 19th and early 20th centuries the house was one of the most important buildings in Jeddah. Afterwards we will visit 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 - Riyadh
This morning you will have some free time to explore Jeddah on your own before we drive to the airport to catch our flight to Ryadh. After arrival in Riyadh, you can join an optional tour to the 99th-floor Sky Bridge Kingdom Centre. Overnight in a hotel in Riyadh. B/-/-

Day 4. Riyadh
We start our way with a morning visit to Masmak Fort  - a fortress built from clay and mudbrick that played an important part in the battles for the unification of Saudi Arabia in the beginnig of the 20th century. Nowadays, the fortress is turned into a museum and is considered one of the most important landmarks of Saudi heritage. Afterwards we will visit the National Museum. The exhibitions in its eight galleries tell the complete story of Arabian History from their myths about the creation of the universe to our modern era. Our next stop is the Murabba Palace (next door to the museum) which was built by King Abdulaziz in 1937 A.D in  the local traditional Najid style. Built to accommodate his family, the palace was composed of a number of a presidential palaces, service buildings and King Abdulaziz Divan. Nowadays the palace serves as a monument to the city’s captivating past. Overnight in a hotel in Riyadh.B/-/-

Day 5. Riyadh - Al Ula
This morning you will have free time to explore the city on your own. In the afternoon we are heading to airport for a  flight to Al Ula. After arrival in Al Ula, we will visit the awe-inspiring rock formation Elephant Rock, also known as Jabal AlFil.  Overnight in a guest house nearby. B/-/-

Day 6. Al Ula - Madain Saleh - Jabal Ikmah - Dadan - Tabuk
We start our day with a visit to the archaeological aite 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 can choose to visit either only Madain Saleh (1,5 hours) or continue the tour with a visit Jabal Ikmah, one of Saudi Arabia’s most significant epigraphic sites, containing hundreds of etched and relief inscriptions and a tour of the ancient city of Dadan (4 hours).
In the afternoon we are heading to Tabuk - 280 km / 3,5 hours. Overnight in a hotel in Tabuk. -/-/-

Day 7. Tabuk
After breakfast we will visit the Tabuk Castle, dating back to 1559. The fort was constructed to protect the water station as well as for security and surveillance purposes. It was also one of the stations on the Levant-Medina Haj pilgrim route Our next stop is the Tabuk Museum, where we will learn more about the history of the region. In the afternoon, you will have some free time to continue exploring the city on your own. Overnight in a hotel in Tabul. B/-/-

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

Bahrain Extension:

Day 8. Tabuk - Dammam - Manama (Bahrain) 
Flight via Ryadh to Dammam. Bus transfer from Damman to Manama along the bridge King Fahd Causeway (25 km)
The bus journey takes about  two hours. Overnight in a hotel in Manama. B/-/-

Day 8-9. Manama
Free time for sightseeing and exploring Bahrain captal. B/-/-

Day 10.Departure
Transfer to the airport for departure.B/-/-

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


Price Includes:
7 overnights (6 nights at 3-4 star hotels incl. breakfast and one night in a guest house in Al Ula)
domestic flights Jeddah-Riyadh-Al Ula
all airport transfers
all ground transport
entrance fees (except in AlUla)
English speaking local guides
local photo and tour permissions
tour leader from Penguin Travel at 8 people

Not Included:
international flights
insurance
tips and personal expenses
visa fee
Madain Saleh pass incl. Jabal Ikmah and Danan 95USD/365SAR
pass Madain Saleh only - 255SAR/70USD
Sky Bridge in Riyadh - 17USD/63SAR
one way ticket Tabuk-Riyadh-80EUR
oneway ticket Tabuk-Jeddah-70EUR

Additional Services:
Bahrain Extension 3 days: 320 EUR; single room supplement 80 EUR
Price includes flight Riyadh-Dammam / private transfer Dammam-Manama / two nights at 4**** hotel in Manama incl. breakfast


Gallery


Behind the curtain of the spiritual Islam: A glance of Saudi Arabia (Rated 4.82 / 5 Based on 332 Reviews.)
Price
1850 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
280 EUR
Status
Guaranteed departure
Price
1850 EUR
Duration
8 Days
Single Supplement
280 EUR
Status
Open for booking

Currency fluctuations might cause correction of price at any time.

Group Size
6-12
Reservation System Code
SARUND
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