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Saudi Pioneers Landscapes Adventure

Our 8 night Saudi Landscapes Adventure explores the stunning beauty of this incredible land.  A goldmine for geologists, a paradise for photographers or for those with an adventurous spirit, a playground full of undiscovered cultural and historical treasures. 

 

Saudi has only recently opened up to tourists and few have ventured there. It will be unfamiliar territory for most travellers but Marina and her local guides will navigate you through the historical, cultural and physical landscapes to ensure that you return with a lifetime of treasured memories. 

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lava field 2100 x 800 by neil bruce
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al ula 2100 x 800
wadi disah 2100 x 800
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wadi disah reflectr 2100 x 800
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lava field 2100 x 800 by neil bruce
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al ula 2100 x 800
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  • Approx 2000 kms – mainly on backroads with daily offroad forays
  • Estimated 30 hours behind the wheel
  • 3 Nights at a 4 or 5* hotel
  • 1 night at a private villa with exclusive use for our group
  • 4 nights wild camping
  • No previous offroad driving experience is required.
  • Minimum 4 guest cars/8 full price adults (driver/passenger 1)
  • Maximum 8 guest cars/12 full price adults

 

Tour Dates

We can run Saudi Pioneers during the winter, between October and April each year, excluding the Holy Month of Ramadan.

Currently it is being offered upon request, with a charge for a minimum 4 car/8 full paying adult passengers.

 

Travelling to Medina

Our Saudi Pioneers Landscapes Edition starts and finishes in the ancient city of Medina.

Guests who are joining us from overseas can fly from Edinburgh, Manchester, London and also many other European cities with a number of airlines, including Emirates (our favourite) .  There are also daily flights from Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Muscat.

We will give guests who are travelling from the UAE/Oman with their own vehicles, a recommended route with suggested stops and tried and tested accommodation options.  The main road from the UAE to Medina is predominantly highway with speed limits of 120-140kph.

Day One: Meet in Medina
Day One: Meet in Medina
saudi food

Traditional Saudi Food

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Medina, the second most holy city in Islam,

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Our tour starts in Medina where we’ll welcome you with a coffee.  We would like you to reach our selected 5* Hotel between 1400hrs and 1700hrs, in preparation for our short tour of Medina starting at 1730hrs, and culminating with a welcome dinner and pre-trip briefing in a Saudi Restaurant. 

The very modern Port Tower
camel and rocks
Day Two: Yanbu and Umluj
Historical Yanbu

The Very modern Port Tower in a very Historic Yanbu

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Lawrence of Arabia's House, Old Quarter, Yanbu

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Wadi Area near Al Umluj

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Day Two launches our adventure as we leave behind the city lights. We’re off to Yanbu to pay a visit to the home of Lawrence of Arabia which has now been restored. We’ll discover other century old buildings that are undergoing conservation and get a feel for a bygone time in the old quarter. 

We shall have a picnic lunch at a park on the Red Sea coast and you will have a chance to dip your toes in the Arabian Gulf!

We’ll setup camp in the wadi close to Jebel Khayshum and enjoy a camp supper around the campfire. 

driving thru wadi disah by dawn wadsworth
Day Three: Wadi Disah
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Wadi Disah reflections... that puddle's about 35cms deep!

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Slowly wading through Wadi Disah

wadi disah reflection by dawn wadsworth

More Disah reflections

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leafy tunnel in Wadi Disah

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Navigating our way past the wadi oases

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Our journey ventures northwards until we reach the awe-inspiring Wadi Disah, a truly spectacular wadi with high rocky sides, running water, and lush oases.   We will drive approx 7kms up the wadi, through water, up to 40cms deep in some short sections, before setting up a base for our picnic lunch.  For the energetic, there is an hour long walk to explore the upper reaches of the wadi, for which waterproof sandals will be required. Alternatively, you can just sit, relax and enjoy the fantastic scenery.  Mid-afternoon we will move to our campsite, situated on a wide sandy area with acacia trees, and surrounded by huge red rock massifs, before settling down for the night under a dark sky with a cracking campfire.

wadi disah camping
Day Four: Tabuk
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Marvellous mountains on the way to Tabuk

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Stunning roadside landscapes wherever you go

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View near to our Wadi Disah campsite

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Waking up surrounded by imposing red rocks, we will have breakfast then spend some time exploring the rocky outcrops and sandy valleys, before getting back on the tarmac.  Having explored the floor of a canyon yesterday, today we will have lunch at the top of a different one, followed by an easy offroad drive between some stunning rocks. We will overnight in a 4* hotel and have dinner there. 

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Day Five: Hejaz Railway
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Viaduct south of Tabuk

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sunset over a grassy lava field

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View near our camping spot during the golden hour

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Camel grazing near our campsite

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Driving over this old railway bridge is still possible

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The first half of today is all about the Hejaz Railway, a relic from the early 20th century.  Moving south from Tabuk on road, after an hour we join a track which takes us to the old railway track and buildings.  From here we will drive  for a few kilometres along the line (making train sound effects is definitely allowed), passing through cuttings, past wadis and over a hundred year old viaduct which could easily still take the weight a train heading to Medina.   After a picnic lunch, we will re-join the road and continue south towards our camp spot, which is accessed via a rough track.  Now at 1200m above sea level, our tents will be pitched on a grassy area on a lava field. The nights here are dark, revealing the spectacular canopy of the night sky. We’ll need a campfire to keep warm as the sun sinks behind the hills and the mercury begins to fall. 

elephant rock by Dawn Wadsworth
Day 6: Al Ula
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Mushroom Rock

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Al Ula Old Town

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Local traffic

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Backroad to Mushroom Rock

elephant rock by Dawn Wadsworth

Elephant Rock, Al Ula

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After a hearty breakfast we will continue on the track, emerging near the village of Abu Rakah.  A visit to Mushroom Rock is an absolute must, marvelling at the natural forces that shaped this rock and its nearby neighbours. Now heading towards Al Ula, we will visit Al Badr Arch (Rainbow Arch) and hope to be in the city by mid-afternoon, giving you 3-6 hours of leisure time.  We will book our guests on the amazing “After Dark Al Ula Experience” from 6-9pm and then we will gather at our private villa for a candlelit meal of Saudi favourites.

viaduct
Day Seven: Khaybar
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Hudrayamil Viaduct

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Locomotive at Hudrayamil

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More amazing mountains on the back road to Khaybar

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Hudrayamil Viaduct, 100 years after the last train crossed it

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Our Saudi guide will lead us to the ancient oasis area in Al Ula and after a short tour there our journey southwards will continue.

Our first major stop of the day is for a picnic at the Hudrayamil Railway Yard and Viaduct, where you will see an old locomotive and some rolling stock, as well as our favourite bridge.  Our camp spot for the night is a wadi some 100kms away from here, very near to the Al Bint Dam, which is the best preserved of a series of local dams, hinting at a lost land where water flowed and communities thrived. 

 

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Day Eight: White Volcano
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Three camels, three volcanic hills

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"Recent" lava field

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Al Bint (Khaybar) Dam

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White "mountain" hidden behind black volcanoes

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Camels graze near the White Volcano

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Today is the last day of our tour but we stil have some amazing sights to share with you.  Leaving Khaybar early, we will journey to the White Mountain Park, where we will spend some time exploring the black and twisted Lava fields. An easy hike through this amazing volcanic area will give ample opportunity to wonder at the eruption that created such a landscape. 

Before we head back to Medina, we will visit the Al Bint Dam, the best in a series of dams in the Khaybar areal, hinting at a lost land where water flowed and communities thrived. 

Our tour ends in Medina with an overnight stay in the 5* Millenium Airport Hotel, where we will also have dinner.

Citizens of the following countries are eligible for a tourism e-visa.  Residents of any GCC country, regardless of profession, are eligible for a GCC Resident Visa

Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland. France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UK, Ukraine, United States

Important:  Not all Nationalities are granted a tourist e-visa for KSA. Check your eligibility here

Saudi Pioneers Landscapes Accommodation and Catering

Saudi Pioneers Landscapes What's Included

DetailsIncluded
Guide Services by The Desert Diva (Scottish Guide)yes
Guide Services by Saudi Guideyes
Breakfasts, lunch, dinneryes
2 nights hotelyes
four nights wild campingyes
one night hotel apartmentsyes
one night isbah (farmhouse)yes
Campfiresyes
Saudi VisaNo
Flights and transfersNo
SouvenirsNo
PetrolNo
Car HireNo
Snacks outwith mealsNo

Season 2023-2024: Saudi Pioneers Landscapes Edition Prices USD (Payment also possible in GBP, EUR, AED)

DetailsPrice
EARLY BOOKING DISCOUNTS! Reserve your place 90 days before departure for 10% discount, or 60 days before departure for 5% discount
Two Adults in Own 4x4 (sharing a room)4250 USD (equivalent to 2125 USD per person)
1st Child (aged 6 to 12) - in car with 2 adults759 USD (sharing room/bed with 2 adults)
2nd child (aged 6 to 12) in car with 2 adultsDependent on room arrangement/availability in hotels - POA
3rd adult*1480 USD (own room in hotels)
4th adult* 959 USD (sharing twin/double room with adult 4)
*Adults 3 and 4 in a car do not count towards the minimum number of 8 principal adults required for the trip to be confirmed
1 adult in own car (sharing hotel rooms)2644 USD
1 adult in own car with own rooms in Medina, Tabuk3060 USD
Payment OptionsVisa/Mastercard in GBP/EUR/USD/AED. Bank transfer in GBP

Season 2023-2024: Saudi Pioneers Landscapes Edition Prices AED

DetailsPrice
Two Adults in Own 4x415607 AED (equivalent to 6942 AED per person)*
1st Child (aged 6 to 12) - in car with 2 adults 2787 AED
2nd child (aged 6 to 12) in car with 2 adultsDependent on room arrangement/availability in hotels - POA
3rd Adult* in car5435 AED (own room in hotels)
4th Adult* in car3522 AED (sharing a room with 3rd adult)
*Adults 3 and 4 do not count towards the minimum number of principal adults required for the tour to be confirmed
1 adult in own car sharing hotel rooms9709 AED
1 adult in own car own hotel room s in Medina and Tabuk 11236 AED
Payment OptionsVisa/Mastercard in AED/USD/EUR/GBP. Bank transfer in GBP

Empty Quarter Enterprises Ltd T/A Xpedition Arabia, 4 Crown Terrace, Portgordon AB56 5RJ

followus@xpeditionarabia.com

Call/whatsapp us +971509478563   UK number +447565570827

copyright Empty Quarter Enterprises Ltd, T/A Xpedition Arabia  2020

Nissan Patrol crossing the salt flats in Liwa

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