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ESCORTED TOUR

Jordan and Saudi Arabia

Desert Empires: Jordan and Saudi Arabia

24 NIGHTS - PRICES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST 

This escorted expedition, the first of its kind, combines the fascinating history and archaeology of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. Tracing the Frankincense trade route of antiquity, you will discover the magnificent highlights of Jordan and then venture overland into the vast remoteness of northern Saudi Arabia in search of ancient ruins and rock art. Escorted throughout by expert archaeologist Dr Iain Shearer Fras, you will enjoy a variety of immersive and utterly unforgettable experiences – from wine tasting in Amman and camping beneath the stars in Wadi Rum to picnicking atop Saudi’s mythical mountains and marvelling at some of the most outstanding rock art on the Arabian Peninsula.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS expand_more

Explore some of the world’s finest archaeological sites, including the Nabataean strongholds of Petra and Hegra and Jerash, one of the most well-preserved Roman cities in existence

Savour the delights of Levantine food and wine in Amman on specially curated culinary experiences

Join a Bedouin tribe under the stars for a traditional campfire meal at Little Petra

Be one of the first to see one of the last unexplored countries on the planet, Saudi Arabia, only recently opened to travellers after decades of isolation

Your Expert Guide

Dr Iain Shearer Fras is an archaeologist who has worked on sites across the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. Iain is the author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Saudi Arabia and the Haj (2010), an author of Lonely Planet’s Guide to Iran (2012) and presenter of Lonely Planet & National Geographic’s ‘Road Less Travelled: Kazakhstan’.

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Desert Empires: Jordan and Saudi Arabia

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TOUR DETAILS

    DAY DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    TRANSFERS

    • Type:
    • Summary:
    • Feature:
    • Rooms:
    • Location:
    • Star rating:
    MEAL BASIS

    DAY 2 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Spend the day exploring Jordan’s capital, a fascinating city of contrasts. On a guided tour, discover the Citadel of the ancient city, the impressive 6,000 sear Roman Theatre (built in the 2nd century), and the Jordan Museum, home to the country’s most important archaeological finds. This afternoon, you can enjoy special access for your group to the Friends of Archaeology and Heritage Association in Amman. The Association actively promotes greater understanding of archaeology and the importance of preservation and conservation of Jordan’s national heritage.

    The House Boutique Suites
    • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
    • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
    • Rooms: 95 suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 3 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Head north through the Jordan’s fertile valleys to Pella, an ancient city that showcases evidence of 6,000 years of continuous settlement – from its Neolithic beginnings, on to Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine Christian and Islamic habitations. Afterwards, visit Ajloun, home to one of Jordan’s most impressive hilltop castles, built by Muslims in 1184 to protect them from Crusader attacks. In the evening, you can enjoy a specially curated wine tasting experience hosted by Jordan River Wines. Viticulture has a long history in Jordan – the Nabateans produced wine as early as the 1st Century CE in Petra – and a history professor will join you to teach you more about this fascinating past.

    The House Boutique Suites
    • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
    • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
    • Rooms: 95 suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch

    DAY 4 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    The group will drive from Amman to Jerash, which remains today as one of the most magnificent and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities in existence. It was founded by the Greeks in the wake of Alexander the Great and has since been one of the region’s most important and prosperous trading centres. Your Expedition Leader will guide you through the city’s colonnaded streets and forums. In the evening, choose from either a guided foodie walking tour of Old Amman or a cookery class at a school run by three Jordanian sisters.

    The House Boutique Suites
    • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
    • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
    • Rooms: 95 suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 5 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    You will head along an ancient Roman highway to explore Jordan’s remarkable desert castles, built between the 7th and 8th Century CE. Outstanding examples of early Islamic architecture, the atmospheric buildings are decorated with beautiful frescoes and carvings depicting life during this time. The most stunning of these is the UNESCO World Heritage site at Qasr Amra, a small, exceptionally well-preserved pleasure palace whose reception hall and hammam are richly decorated with bold murals portraying Byzantine style portraits, hunting scenes and constellations. After lunch at Azraq Lodge, a former British military field hospital, you’ll drive to the imposing fortress of Qasr Kharana, which was used as a military base by Lawrence of Arabia in 1917.

    The House Boutique Suites
    • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
    • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
    • Rooms: 95 suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch

    DAY 6 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Leave Amman behind and head south to the UNESCO-listed Um ar -Rasas, a ruined walled city that houses one of the finest Byzantine mosaics in the Middle East on the floor of the Church of St Stephen. Carry on to Madaba, a centre of early Christianity located on the King’s Highway, where you can explore fascinating Byzantine church remains, ancient buildings and the Institute for Mosaic Art & Restoration in Madaba, an organisation dedicated to training local artists in the production and restoration of mosaics. Then, head to Mount Nebo, where it is said Moses first gazed upon the Promised Land. After taking in the spectacular views of Palestine and Israel from the top, check in to our luxury accommodation located on the shores of the Dead Sea.

    Dead Sea Kempinski Ishtar Resort
    • Summary: A luxury hotel on the northern shores of the Dead Sea
    • Feature: The largest spa in the Middle East offers Dead Sea-inspired treatments
    • Rooms: 345 rooms and suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch

    DAY 7 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Begin your day with a swim (or float!) in the Dead Sea – the lowest spot on earth at 400-metres below sea level – before heading south to explore the 12th-century crusader castle at Karak. This monumental example of medieval military architecture is still imposing even today. It’s vast size and strategic position east of the Dead Sea made it a power centre that controlled Bedouin herders and trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca.

    Movenpick Resort Petra
    • Summary: A five-star hotel with an oriental flair, Middle Eastern design and natural stone
    • Feature: Located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra
    • Rooms: 183 rooms and suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 8 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    The most renowned site in Jordan, the UNESCO-listed Petra is a striking ancient city that was carved from pink sandstone over 2,000 years ago. With your Expedition Leader, explore Petra’s treasury, theatre, tombs, temples and churches, as well as the Al Deir monastery, the city’s largest monument spectacularly carved into the mountainside. After a rest in the hotel this afternoon, we return in the evening to experience Petra by night. We walk in silence along the candle-lit path of the Siq and witness the magical scene of the Treasury lit up by a carpet of hundreds of candles.

    Movenpick Resort Petra
    • Summary: A five-star hotel with an oriental flair, Middle Eastern design and natural stone
    • Feature: Located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra
    • Rooms: 183 rooms and suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast

    DAY 9 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Spend the morning exploring more of Petra at your leisure, before heading to Beidah and Little Petra in the afternoon. Beidah is a major Neolithic archaeological site that dates back 10,000 years, making it one of the earliest settlements in the entire Middle East, whilst Little Petra consists of three open areas connected by a narrow 450-metre long canyon. A suburb of Petra used as a supply post for camel caravans and a lodging area for visiting traders, it was known for many years only to local Bedouin’s. In the evening, join the local Ammarin tribe for an authentic Bedouin meal beneath the stars and beside a campfire.

    Movenpick Resort Petra
    • Summary: A five-star hotel with an oriental flair, Middle Eastern design and natural stone
    • Feature: Located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra
    • Rooms: 183 rooms and suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, dinner

    DAY 10 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Head out towards Wadi Rum by 4WD, driven by local Bedouins, traversing the same desert route that was once undertaken by Lawrence of Arabia as he fought alongside Arab guerrilla forces during WWI. After lunch with the Bedouins, you will arrive at your luxurious desert camp, where the clear roof of the sumptuous tents allows for unforgettable star gazing and sunrise opportunities.

    Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel
    • Summary: A camp of luxury tents in the heart of Wadi Rum
    • Feature: Unique transparent roofed tents allow for amazing stargazing and sunrise views
    • Rooms: 20 domed tents
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 11 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Following an optional camel ride amid the Jordanian desert, you will leave Wadi Rum for Aqaba on the Red Sea coast. Today is free to enjoy some much-needed down time and relaxation at your luxury beachfront resort.

    Aqaba Hyatt Regency Ayla Resort
    • Summary: A scenic retreat nestled amidst mountains, dazzling blue lagoons, an exclusive marina and a golf course
    • Feature: Exceptional facilities include a spa, five eateries and a selection of swimming pools
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch

    DAY 12 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today, it’s time to cross the border into Saudi, where you begin your exploration of this undiscovered Kingdom in the Tabuk Province, home to some of the country’s most majestic natural and historical sites. Following a picnic at Jebel Al-Lawz, a mythical mountain that peaks at 2,549 meters above sea level, explore ancient rock carvings and storied sites in the nearby valleys.

    Royal Tulip Sharma Resort
    • Summary: A luxury hideaway overlooking the Red Sea
    • Feature: The unique architecture blends into the striking Saudi surroundings
    • Rooms: 75 chalets, caves and villas
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 13 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Follow in the footsteps of Moses by visiting Bir Sa’idani, the place where he was set to have met his beautiful wife Sephora. After enjoying the turquoise waters and white beaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, stop by the phenomenal canyon at Tayeb Ism whose edges fall directly into the Red Sea, before exploring Al-Badam home to an ancient city that was named Midian until the Middle Ages. This vast archaeological site dates from the 2nd Century BCE – coins discovered at the site have proven that the city was active during the Hellenistic, Nabatean, Roman, and Islamic periods.

    Desert Camp
    • Summary: A specially created desert camp
    • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
    • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 14 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Jibal Hisma is an extension of Jordan’s Wadi Rum, though across the border into Saudi. Head by 4WD to roam the red dunes and otherworldly landscape, stopping to enjoy ancient rock art sites and carvings. Enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch with some of the region’s most outstanding views.

    The Swiss Inn, Tabuk
    • Summary: A comfortable hotel in Tabuk
    • Feature: An indoor pool and duo of restaurants
    • Rooms: 83 rooms
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 15 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today, you’ll drive to Wadi Qaraqir, known as the most beautiful valley in Arabia. Stop in at a lookout to appreciate the massive scale of the canyon, whose walls reach 500 metres in some places, before descending to the valley floor, where you can take your time to savour this incredible place, exploring the small stream and lush green grasses and palm trees that runs along the wadi bed. As you leave the city, stop at some ancient remains by the oasis city of Dissah, before heading south (past striking volcanoes) to alluring AlUla.

    Shaden Resort
    • Summary: A luxury retreat in the heart of AlUla’s desert
    • Feature: A selection of eateries and great facilities
    • Rooms: 121 rooms and villas
    DAY 16 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    AlUla is easily one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the Middle East. This beautiful oasis valley has over 7000 years of continuous history and was home to a succession of great civilisations including the Dedanites, Lihyanites, Nabataens and the Roman Empire. Begin by exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town (built 800 years ago) before continuing to Dedan, the oldest city of the oasis. After lunch, you will visit nearby Ekma gorge, the so called Lihyan library, where 200 ancient inscriptions carved in the rock give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people of Dedan and Lihyan.

    Shaden Resort
    • Summary: A luxury retreat in the heart of AlUla’s desert
    • Feature: A selection of eateries and great facilities
    • Rooms: 121 rooms and villas
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 17 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    This morning, your Expedition Leader will show you around the UNESCO-listed Hegra, one of most iconic historical remains in all Saudi Arabia. Visit a selection of the most interesting tombs, many with extraordinarily majestic facades cut into the sandstone massifs, and continue discussions on Nabataean culture and architecture. Then, head out of the city into the desert to explore the hidden canyons of Jibal Al-Rukkab, the sacred area of Jibal Ithlib, and the famed Al-Farid tomb, whose surface occupies two thirds of an isolated rock and is a further testament to the outstanding workmanship of the highly skilled Nabataean craftsmen.

    Shaden Resort
    • Summary: A luxury retreat in the heart of AlUla’s desert
    • Feature: A selection of eateries and great facilities
    • Rooms: 121 rooms and villas
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 18 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today, you’ll visit Mahajah, a rocky desert punctuated by beautiful sandstone arches and formations that feature a rich variety of rock art, including carvings of life-sized animals and inscriptions used by Bedouins over 2,000 years ago.

    Desert Camp
    • Summary: A specially created desert camp for the group
    • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
    • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 19 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    The large sand dunes of the Nefud Al-Kebir desert have played a pivotal role in the history of the Arabian Peninsula. In 2018, researchers discovered here an 85,000-year-old human bone that is the oldest directly dated fossil of Homo Sapiens outside of Africa and the Levant. Explore its variable red, yellow and white sands with the expedition teams, before they set up your tents beneath the mountain range of Jibal Misma.

    Desert Camp
    • Summary: A specially created desert camp
    • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
    • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 20 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    A little-known natural feature of Saudi Arabia is its abundance of volcanoes, a consequence of its location on the eastern side of the Red Sea Rift. Today we venture to the centre of one of the country’s most famous lava fields, the awe-inspiring Harrat Khaybar, home to rare white volcanoes. Then, set up camp beneath the Jebel Abiadh volcano.

    Desert Camp
    • Summary: A specially created desert camp
    • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
    • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 21 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Tie up your hiking boots for a trek to the summit of Jebel Abiadh, from which the view is simply out of this world! After lunch at the camp, you’ll drive to the rim of Jebel Bayda for more views of this surreal landscape and then head to the city of Al-Hait. Known in ancient times as Fadak, Al-Hait is mentioned on the Stelae of Nabonidus, an important artefact housed at the British Museum, as one of the six oases conquered by the last king of Babylon in 552 BCE.

    Al Hait Hotel
    • Summary: A base in the heart of Al Hait
    • Feature: Close to the ancient sites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 22 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Today, you’ll visit Shuwaymis, a unique UNESCO World Heritage site containing some of the oldest and most outstanding rock art on the Arabian Peninsula, including numerous representations of human and animal figures of these vivid petroglyphs cover 10,000 years of history. Return to Al-Hait for lunch and take the road towards Hail, the capital of central Arabia during most of the 19th century. En route, you will stop at Al-Shamli to see some more recent well-preserved rock carvings depicting Arabian horses and riders.

    Millennium Hotel Hail
    • Summary: An impressive retreat in the heart of Hail
    • Feature: Delectable dining options and first-class facilities
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY 23 DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    Your final destination is Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s modern seaport metropolis set on the Red Sea. After lunch at a restaurant on the trendy corniche, you’ll visit the historic old town of Al-Balad, which dates to the 7th century. Wander the atmospheric streets of Al -Balad, visit its bustling souks and admire its elegant traditional houses built of mud and coral and adorned with ornate wooden balconies. After an afternoon at leisure, return to the lively corniche for a group farewell dinner at New Jeddah.

    Park Hyatt Jeddah - Marina, Club & Spa
    • Summary: A luxurious resort on the shores of Jeddah's Corniche
    • Feature: Exceptional facilities and an enviable location
    • Rooms: 142 rooms and suites
    MEAL BASIS

    Breakfast, lunch, dinner

    DAY DETAILS ACCOMMODATION

    TRANSFERS

    • Type:
    • Summary:
    • Feature:
    • Rooms:
    • Location:
    • Star rating:
    MEAL BASIS

DAY ACCOMMODATION

TRANSFERS

  • Type:
  • Summary:
  • Feature:
  • Rooms:
  • Location:
  • Star rating:
MEAL BASIS

DAY 2ACCOMMODATION
Amman, Jordan

Spend the day exploring Jordan’s capital, a fascinating city of contrasts. On a guided tour, discover the Citadel of the ancient city, the impressive 6,000 sear Roman Theatre (built in the 2nd century), and the Jordan Museum, home to the country’s most important archaeological finds. This afternoon, you can enjoy special access for your group to the Friends of Archaeology and Heritage Association in Amman. The Association actively promotes greater understanding of archaeology and the importance of preservation and conservation of Jordan’s national heritage.

The House Boutique Suites
  • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
  • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
  • Rooms: 95 suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 3ACCOMMODATION
Pella & Ajloun, Jordan

Head north through the Jordan’s fertile valleys to Pella, an ancient city that showcases evidence of 6,000 years of continuous settlement – from its Neolithic beginnings, on to Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine Christian and Islamic habitations. Afterwards, visit Ajloun, home to one of Jordan’s most impressive hilltop castles, built by Muslims in 1184 to protect them from Crusader attacks. In the evening, you can enjoy a specially curated wine tasting experience hosted by Jordan River Wines. Viticulture has a long history in Jordan – the Nabateans produced wine as early as the 1st Century CE in Petra – and a history professor will join you to teach you more about this fascinating past.

The House Boutique Suites
  • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
  • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
  • Rooms: 95 suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch

DAY 4ACCOMMODATION
Jerash, Jordan

The group will drive from Amman to Jerash, which remains today as one of the most magnificent and well-preserved Greco-Roman cities in existence. It was founded by the Greeks in the wake of Alexander the Great and has since been one of the region’s most important and prosperous trading centres. Your Expedition Leader will guide you through the city’s colonnaded streets and forums. In the evening, choose from either a guided foodie walking tour of Old Amman or a cookery class at a school run by three Jordanian sisters.

The House Boutique Suites
  • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
  • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
  • Rooms: 95 suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 5ACCOMMODATION
Desert Castles, Jordan

You will head along an ancient Roman highway to explore Jordan’s remarkable desert castles, built between the 7th and 8th Century CE. Outstanding examples of early Islamic architecture, the atmospheric buildings are decorated with beautiful frescoes and carvings depicting life during this time. The most stunning of these is the UNESCO World Heritage site at Qasr Amra, a small, exceptionally well-preserved pleasure palace whose reception hall and hammam are richly decorated with bold murals portraying Byzantine style portraits, hunting scenes and constellations. After lunch at Azraq Lodge, a former British military field hospital, you’ll drive to the imposing fortress of Qasr Kharana, which was used as a military base by Lawrence of Arabia in 1917.

The House Boutique Suites
  • Summary: A luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Amman
  • Feature: State-of-the-art facilities promise an outstanding stay
  • Rooms: 95 suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch

DAY 6ACCOMMODATION
Umm ar-Rasas, Madaba, Mount Nebo & Dead Sea, Jordan

Leave Amman behind and head south to the UNESCO-listed Um ar -Rasas, a ruined walled city that houses one of the finest Byzantine mosaics in the Middle East on the floor of the Church of St Stephen. Carry on to Madaba, a centre of early Christianity located on the King’s Highway, where you can explore fascinating Byzantine church remains, ancient buildings and the Institute for Mosaic Art & Restoration in Madaba, an organisation dedicated to training local artists in the production and restoration of mosaics. Then, head to Mount Nebo, where it is said Moses first gazed upon the Promised Land. After taking in the spectacular views of Palestine and Israel from the top, check in to our luxury accommodation located on the shores of the Dead Sea.

Dead Sea Kempinski Ishtar Resort
  • Summary: A luxury hotel on the northern shores of the Dead Sea
  • Feature: The largest spa in the Middle East offers Dead Sea-inspired treatments
  • Rooms: 345 rooms and suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch

DAY 7ACCOMMODATION
Dead Sea & Karak Castel, Jordan

Begin your day with a swim (or float!) in the Dead Sea – the lowest spot on earth at 400-metres below sea level – before heading south to explore the 12th-century crusader castle at Karak. This monumental example of medieval military architecture is still imposing even today. It’s vast size and strategic position east of the Dead Sea made it a power centre that controlled Bedouin herders and trade routes from Damascus to Egypt and Mecca.

Movenpick Resort Petra
  • Summary: A five-star hotel with an oriental flair, Middle Eastern design and natural stone
  • Feature: Located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra
  • Rooms: 183 rooms and suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 8ACCOMMODATION
Petra, Jordan

The most renowned site in Jordan, the UNESCO-listed Petra is a striking ancient city that was carved from pink sandstone over 2,000 years ago. With your Expedition Leader, explore Petra’s treasury, theatre, tombs, temples and churches, as well as the Al Deir monastery, the city’s largest monument spectacularly carved into the mountainside. After a rest in the hotel this afternoon, we return in the evening to experience Petra by night. We walk in silence along the candle-lit path of the Siq and witness the magical scene of the Treasury lit up by a carpet of hundreds of candles.

Movenpick Resort Petra
  • Summary: A five-star hotel with an oriental flair, Middle Eastern design and natural stone
  • Feature: Located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra
  • Rooms: 183 rooms and suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast

DAY 9ACCOMMODATION
Petra, Beidah & Little Petra, Jordan

Spend the morning exploring more of Petra at your leisure, before heading to Beidah and Little Petra in the afternoon. Beidah is a major Neolithic archaeological site that dates back 10,000 years, making it one of the earliest settlements in the entire Middle East, whilst Little Petra consists of three open areas connected by a narrow 450-metre long canyon. A suburb of Petra used as a supply post for camel caravans and a lodging area for visiting traders, it was known for many years only to local Bedouin’s. In the evening, join the local Ammarin tribe for an authentic Bedouin meal beneath the stars and beside a campfire.

Movenpick Resort Petra
  • Summary: A five-star hotel with an oriental flair, Middle Eastern design and natural stone
  • Feature: Located directly at the entrance to the historic Jordanian city of Petra
  • Rooms: 183 rooms and suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, dinner

DAY 10ACCOMMODATION
Wadi Rum, Jordan

Head out towards Wadi Rum by 4WD, driven by local Bedouins, traversing the same desert route that was once undertaken by Lawrence of Arabia as he fought alongside Arab guerrilla forces during WWI. After lunch with the Bedouins, you will arrive at your luxurious desert camp, where the clear roof of the sumptuous tents allows for unforgettable star gazing and sunrise opportunities.

Wadi Rum Bubble Luxotel
  • Summary: A camp of luxury tents in the heart of Wadi Rum
  • Feature: Unique transparent roofed tents allow for amazing stargazing and sunrise views
  • Rooms: 20 domed tents
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 11ACCOMMODATION
Wadi Rum & Aqaba, Jordan

Following an optional camel ride amid the Jordanian desert, you will leave Wadi Rum for Aqaba on the Red Sea coast. Today is free to enjoy some much-needed down time and relaxation at your luxury beachfront resort.

Aqaba Hyatt Regency Ayla Resort
  • Summary: A scenic retreat nestled amidst mountains, dazzling blue lagoons, an exclusive marina and a golf course
  • Feature: Exceptional facilities include a spa, five eateries and a selection of swimming pools
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch

DAY 12ACCOMMODATION
Aqaba, Jordan & Jebel Al-Lawz, Saudi Arabia

Today, it’s time to cross the border into Saudi, where you begin your exploration of this undiscovered Kingdom in the Tabuk Province, home to some of the country’s most majestic natural and historical sites. Following a picnic at Jebel Al-Lawz, a mythical mountain that peaks at 2,549 meters above sea level, explore ancient rock carvings and storied sites in the nearby valleys.

Royal Tulip Sharma Resort
  • Summary: A luxury hideaway overlooking the Red Sea
  • Feature: The unique architecture blends into the striking Saudi surroundings
  • Rooms: 75 chalets, caves and villas
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 13ACCOMMODATION
Ancient Midian, Saudi Arabia

Follow in the footsteps of Moses by visiting Bir Sa’idani, the place where he was set to have met his beautiful wife Sephora. After enjoying the turquoise waters and white beaches of the Gulf of Aqaba, stop by the phenomenal canyon at Tayeb Ism whose edges fall directly into the Red Sea, before exploring Al-Badam home to an ancient city that was named Midian until the Middle Ages. This vast archaeological site dates from the 2nd Century BCE – coins discovered at the site have proven that the city was active during the Hellenistic, Nabatean, Roman, and Islamic periods.

Desert Camp
  • Summary: A specially created desert camp
  • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
  • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 14ACCOMMODATION
Jibal Hisma & Tabuk, Saudi Arabia

Jibal Hisma is an extension of Jordan’s Wadi Rum, though across the border into Saudi. Head by 4WD to roam the red dunes and otherworldly landscape, stopping to enjoy ancient rock art sites and carvings. Enjoy a leisurely picnic lunch with some of the region’s most outstanding views.

The Swiss Inn, Tabuk
  • Summary: A comfortable hotel in Tabuk
  • Feature: An indoor pool and duo of restaurants
  • Rooms: 83 rooms
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 15ACCOMMODATION
Wadi Qaraqir, Saudi Arabia

Today, you’ll drive to Wadi Qaraqir, known as the most beautiful valley in Arabia. Stop in at a lookout to appreciate the massive scale of the canyon, whose walls reach 500 metres in some places, before descending to the valley floor, where you can take your time to savour this incredible place, exploring the small stream and lush green grasses and palm trees that runs along the wadi bed. As you leave the city, stop at some ancient remains by the oasis city of Dissah, before heading south (past striking volcanoes) to alluring AlUla.

Shaden Resort
  • Summary: A luxury retreat in the heart of AlUla’s desert
  • Feature: A selection of eateries and great facilities
  • Rooms: 121 rooms and villas
DAY 16ACCOMMODATION
AlUla (Dedan), Saudi Arabia

AlUla is easily one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the Middle East. This beautiful oasis valley has over 7000 years of continuous history and was home to a succession of great civilisations including the Dedanites, Lihyanites, Nabataens and the Roman Empire. Begin by exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Old Town (built 800 years ago) before continuing to Dedan, the oldest city of the oasis. After lunch, you will visit nearby Ekma gorge, the so called Lihyan library, where 200 ancient inscriptions carved in the rock give a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the people of Dedan and Lihyan.

Shaden Resort
  • Summary: A luxury retreat in the heart of AlUla’s desert
  • Feature: A selection of eateries and great facilities
  • Rooms: 121 rooms and villas
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 17ACCOMMODATION
AlUla (Hegra & Madain Saleh), Saudi Arabia

This morning, your Expedition Leader will show you around the UNESCO-listed Hegra, one of most iconic historical remains in all Saudi Arabia. Visit a selection of the most interesting tombs, many with extraordinarily majestic facades cut into the sandstone massifs, and continue discussions on Nabataean culture and architecture. Then, head out of the city into the desert to explore the hidden canyons of Jibal Al-Rukkab, the sacred area of Jibal Ithlib, and the famed Al-Farid tomb, whose surface occupies two thirds of an isolated rock and is a further testament to the outstanding workmanship of the highly skilled Nabataean craftsmen.

Shaden Resort
  • Summary: A luxury retreat in the heart of AlUla’s desert
  • Feature: A selection of eateries and great facilities
  • Rooms: 121 rooms and villas
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 18ACCOMMODATION
Mahajah, Saudi Arabia

Today, you’ll visit Mahajah, a rocky desert punctuated by beautiful sandstone arches and formations that feature a rich variety of rock art, including carvings of life-sized animals and inscriptions used by Bedouins over 2,000 years ago.

Desert Camp
  • Summary: A specially created desert camp for the group
  • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
  • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 19ACCOMMODATION
Nefud Al-Kebir, Saudi Arabia

The large sand dunes of the Nefud Al-Kebir desert have played a pivotal role in the history of the Arabian Peninsula. In 2018, researchers discovered here an 85,000-year-old human bone that is the oldest directly dated fossil of Homo Sapiens outside of Africa and the Levant. Explore its variable red, yellow and white sands with the expedition teams, before they set up your tents beneath the mountain range of Jibal Misma.

Desert Camp
  • Summary: A specially created desert camp
  • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
  • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 20ACCOMMODATION
Harrat Khaybar, Saudi Arabia

A little-known natural feature of Saudi Arabia is its abundance of volcanoes, a consequence of its location on the eastern side of the Red Sea Rift. Today we venture to the centre of one of the country’s most famous lava fields, the awe-inspiring Harrat Khaybar, home to rare white volcanoes. Then, set up camp beneath the Jebel Abiadh volcano.

Desert Camp
  • Summary: A specially created desert camp
  • Feature: An immersive stay amid the Saudi desert
  • Rooms: Desert tents for the group
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 21ACCOMMODATION
The White Volcanoes & Al-Hait, Saudi Arabia

Tie up your hiking boots for a trek to the summit of Jebel Abiadh, from which the view is simply out of this world! After lunch at the camp, you’ll drive to the rim of Jebel Bayda for more views of this surreal landscape and then head to the city of Al-Hait. Known in ancient times as Fadak, Al-Hait is mentioned on the Stelae of Nabonidus, an important artefact housed at the British Museum, as one of the six oases conquered by the last king of Babylon in 552 BCE.

Al Hait Hotel
  • Summary: A base in the heart of Al Hait
  • Feature: Close to the ancient sites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 22ACCOMMODATION
Shuwaymis, Saudi Arabia

Today, you’ll visit Shuwaymis, a unique UNESCO World Heritage site containing some of the oldest and most outstanding rock art on the Arabian Peninsula, including numerous representations of human and animal figures of these vivid petroglyphs cover 10,000 years of history. Return to Al-Hait for lunch and take the road towards Hail, the capital of central Arabia during most of the 19th century. En route, you will stop at Al-Shamli to see some more recent well-preserved rock carvings depicting Arabian horses and riders.

Millennium Hotel Hail
  • Summary: An impressive retreat in the heart of Hail
  • Feature: Delectable dining options and first-class facilities
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY 23ACCOMMODATION
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Your final destination is Jeddah, Saudi Arabia’s modern seaport metropolis set on the Red Sea. After lunch at a restaurant on the trendy corniche, you’ll visit the historic old town of Al-Balad, which dates to the 7th century. Wander the atmospheric streets of Al -Balad, visit its bustling souks and admire its elegant traditional houses built of mud and coral and adorned with ornate wooden balconies. After an afternoon at leisure, return to the lively corniche for a group farewell dinner at New Jeddah.

Park Hyatt Jeddah - Marina, Club & Spa
  • Summary: A luxurious resort on the shores of Jeddah's Corniche
  • Feature: Exceptional facilities and an enviable location
  • Rooms: 142 rooms and suites
MEAL BASIS

Breakfast, lunch, dinner

DAY ACCOMMODATION

TRANSFERS

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MEAL BASIS

BEST TIME TO TRAVEL

This escorted expedition embarks in November, which is a wonderful time to explore Jordan and Saudi, with pleasant temperatures.

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24 NIGHTS - PRICES AVAILABLE ON REQUEST 

Price based upon economy flights from London, transfers, UK airport lounge passes and meals and excursions as specified.

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