There are many different types of travel in the world. You can backpack your way around the globe on a shoestring budget if that’s your preference, but some people like to travel in a little more luxury. Stunning Saudi Arabia is one of the best places to take a more comfortable trip and experience some real elegance.
While this Middle Eastern country is known as a desert region, it is also littered with opulent cities, historical highlights and breathtaking scenery. So, you’ll definitely get to experience a great deal of the country’s history when you travel Saudi Arabia, but in a country that Euromonitor reports as being home to 117,000 millionaires, there’s no shortage of luxury to enjoy, too.
Let’s look at some of the ways to travel Saudi Arabia in style.
Riyadh is right in the centre of the Arabian Desert and is also the capital of Saudi Arabia. What many people don’t know, however, is that Riyadh is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. It’s also a super-modern metropolis, teeming with over 4,000 mosques and a litany of shopping centres, parks, traditional souks, and a diverse population.
Riyadh is also a great place to experience a delightful array of Saudi Arabian food, as there are dining options all over the city. When you need a restaurant in Saudi Arabia, you certainly don’t need to look far, and Riyadh is the perfect example of modern and traditional food coming together.
You’re also spoiled for choice when you need a Saudi Arabia hotel. You’ll find something for every budget, from hostels to breathtaking luxury skyscrapers. It’s important to note that Riyadh isn’t all modern buildings and entertainment. There’s a deep history in the region that should certainly be explored.
There’s no shortage of historical landmarks to check out, including cultural centres such as the National Museum and the Murabba Palace. Weave your way through the city’s marketplaces and seek out some of the beautifully preserved mud-brick architecture from the past.
One of the highlights for all guests travelling to Saudi Arabia is a visit to the Kingdom Centre. At one stage the country’s tallest tower, the Kingdom Centre is 99 storeys of dining, shopping, entertainment, offices, hotels and more. But the real treat for visitors is right at the top, 99 floors above the ground.
It’s here you’ll find the iconic Sky Bridge suspended more than 300 metres above the ground.
After taking the high-speed lift to the top, you’ll be able to look out over the Riyadh skyline and beyond, taking in the impressive cityscape below.
While not quite as glittering as the ultra-modern streets of Riyadh, AlUla offers a unique type of luxury travel you won’t find just anywhere. Firstly, the region is defined by its natural beauty, especially around the ancient Nabataean Kingdom area. With beautiful rock formations, canyons and golden desert sands, there is plenty to explore.
Discover the history of the Nabataean Kingdom, explore ancient tombs and rock art, and even be guided through the area by a ‘rawee’, or storyteller. There are plenty of luxury hotels and resorts in the area too, catering to your every need after a busy day of taking in the breathtaking surroundings.
Another must-see on a trip to AlUla is the historic city of AlUla itself. This city was once at the crossroads of the Silk Road and Incense Routes and is a terrific place to explore. Nearby, the ‘new city’ is a different vibe altogether. Much of the history is still preserved, however it has been melded with modern conveniences and architecture. The result is a mix of ancient alleyways and modern street art.
You’ll also find some amazing modern restaurants, although without the overt glamour of Riyadh. But remember, travelling in luxury isn’t all about expensive hotels. It’s about life-changing experiences, too. Enjoying a drink in the new city of AlUla while the sun bounces off the surrounding cliffs is an experience to cherish.
Most people associate Saudi Arabia with the desert, but let’s not forget that the country also has many coastal regions. One of the most popular and perhaps the most liberal cities in Saudi Arabia is Jeddah, along the Red Sea. It’s the country’s second busiest seaport, partly due to tourism but mostly because it’s the gateway to Mecca, Islam’s most holy city.
Jeddah itself is modernised but still maintains its historical charm. For those who enjoy indoor luxuries, experience a relaxing Saudi Arabia spa or explore some of the bustling marketplaces. However, if you prefer the outdoors, you simply have to check out the Red Sea. You can take cruises there, go snorkelling, or just float in the high-salinity water, which is thought to have therapeutic and relaxation benefits.
As you can see, there’s a lot more to Saudi Arabia than the desert. As one of the world’s wealthiest countries, you can enjoy plenty of luxury as you travel Saudi Arabia. To find out more about our incredible Saudi Arabia experiences, contact the team at Crooked Compass today.
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.