Madain Salah & Arabia Deserta: 10 days from £4895 per person
By: Corinthian Travel
Arabia Deserta (the Latin term for the interior of northern Saudi) has been inhabited since pre-historic times as is testified by discoveries in Ha'it, the enigmatic standing stones of Al Rajajil, and the accomplished rock art at Jubbah and Shuwaymis.
Visiting these sites, along with exploring the impressive ruins of the oasis cities that grew up to control lucrative trade routes, reveals the story of the mysterious ancient peoples of Arabia who lived on the periphery of the Middle East's great empires.
As is clearly demonstrated by the accomplished Lion Tombs of ancient Dadan, the advanced urban planning at the early Islamic city of Domat Al Jandal, and the incomparable rock-hewn tombs built by the Nabataeans at Hegra (Madain Saleh); Arabia Deserta was far from the empty sandy waste that it was once thought to be.
To bring the narrative of Saudi Arabia's history up to date, the tour also includes sites from the more recent past. Non-Muslims are not permitted to visit Mecca or the central Medina, but you'll be able to stroll along the pilgrim's trail through the atmospheric lanes of Al Balad in Jeddah.
While at Diriyah, learn about the first Saudi state, and at the Masmak Fortress, see the gates that were forced by Adbulaziz Ibn Saud in 1902, at the start of his campaign to unify Arabia and create the current Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The holiday costs from £4895 per person (two sharing a room). This includes private transportation throughout, sightseeing/
Flights not included (bookable through Corinthian Travel).
Corinthian Travel (020 3583 6089, corinthiantravel.co.uk)
The KSA resumed re-issuing tourist visas on 1 August.
Mick Thompson, Travel Dog PR