Saudi Arabia

Kingdom at a Crossroads

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Saudi Arabia

Group | 13 Days | Easy Touring
  • Experience the combination of ancient sites, modern cities, mud-brick forts, forests, and red-sand dunes
  • Be some of the first visitors to Wadi Hesma, the "Wadi Rum of Saudi Arabia"
  • Opportunities to dialog with women, a local family, and up-and-coming artisans
  • Access to private homes, museum collections, art galleries, and art collectives
  • Explore stunning UNESCO World Heritage Sites

In the last 40 years Saudi Arabia has shifted from a tribal nomadic desert nation to an ultra-modern land of gleaming towns and cities, all the while guarding its conservative way of life founded on strict Islamic principles. Recently, however, there are signs of a new kind of change, including women being given permission to drive and more fully participating in the workforce. Has the plunge in oil prices since 2015 pushed the kingdom to reevaluate itself? Will social reforms usher in further progressive changes? This GeoEx journey will focus on this beguiling country at a crossroads and give us a fascinating look at this ancient land.


The level of thoughtfulness is why I will always choose GeoEx...You run a tight ship globally, and I know I am always safe and well looked after under GeoEx's umbrella.

– Rathna R.

Arrive in Jeddah and explore, visiting the old port of Al Balad, a private museum, and contemporary art studios  Flying southwest to Abha, see Jebel Sawdah (Saudi Arabia’s highest peak) and houses painted in geometric patterns according to tradition.


A flight whisks us to Riyadh, capital city and modern metropolis  We stroll visit UNESCO-acclaimed Diriyah, family seat of the Al Saud family and former capital of the Emirate.


Exceptional rock art reveals itself at the UNESCO-listed Jubbah cliffs We discover Hail, a major stop on the trade routes that crisscrossed the Arabian Peninsula, then behold Nabataean buildings in Dawmat al Jandal and the mud-brick ruins of one of the kingdom's oldest mosques.


Visit the red dunes of Wadi Hesma in a four-by-four vehicle  We linger at Tabuk's Ottoman fort and its station on the famed Hejaz Railway Fly to Jeddah and depart.


Optional Abu Dhabi Extension: Fly via Jeddah to Abu Dhabi, where you get to know the capital of the United Arab Emirates, home to stunning modern architecture, the sensational Sheikh Zayed Mosque, and the masterpiece-filled Louvre Abu Dhabi.



Bisher Alissa

Originally from Damascus, Bisher has more than 15 years’ experience leading treks and tours throughout the Middle East. He has contributed to guidebooks and advocates for heritage preservation in Syria and the greater Middle East.

GeoEx Saudi Arabia Guide Bisher Alissa

Meet Your Trip Leader

Bill Jones

A British-born, Paris-based explorer, raconteur, and widely respected guide, Bill Jones has led countless tours across the globe over the past four decades. He is deeply knowledgeable, experienced, caring, informative, and fun.

Bill Jones, GeoEx Trip leader

Dates & Prices


11/13/19 – 11/25/19   with leader Bisher Alissa (Extension 11/25-27) – Limited space; please call

2/12/20 – 2/24/20   with leader Bill Jones (Extension 2/24-26)

11/11/20 – 11/23/20   with leader Bill Jones (Extension 11/23-25)


Fall 2019 & Spring 2020 Group Trips:

From $11,665 per person

Abu Dhabi Extension: From $2775 per person


Please check back for Fall 2020 pricing.


  • Expertise of GeoEx’s travel specialists
  • Services of GeoEx’s in-house air reservations team
  • Accommodations and meals as noted in the itinerary
  • All ground transportation, including airport transfers
  • All sightseeing, events, and visits as noted in the itinerary
  • All porterage, entrance fees, service charges, and standard taxes
  • Services of GeoEx trip leader, local guides, drivers, and other staff
  • Gratuities for GeoEx trip leader, local guides, drivers, and other staff
  • Bottled water and soft drinks at included meals and while sightseeing
  • Emergency evacuation services and secondary medical expense insurance

A Journey Built Just For You

Take customization to the next level on a journey fully tailored to you. GeoEx's destination specialists will gladly tailor this existing itinerary—or build one completely from scratch—to suit your style, interests, and time frame. Contact us to see what's possible.

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