Self Drive – 12 days tour – Mysterious Saudi Arabia

During this 12-day tour you will get acquainted with the middle and the northern parts of Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, Medina and Jeddah you will mainly see the modern side of the country, while in Buraydah and Ha’il you will experience traditional Saudi Arabia. You will also visit the famous Al Ula area, with it’s highlight Maidan Saleh, a very similar sight to the one in Petra (Jordan), but without the tourists.

This tour is a self drive tour. The sights mentioned are suggestions.

CultureRoad Travel
1 person: EUR 4895 4895
2 people: EUR 2795 2795
3 people: EUR 2345 2345
4 people: EUR 1745 1745
Self Drive - 12 days tour - Mysterious Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia tour map

General info

Days12 days / 11 nights
Best travel timeSpring, autumn, winter
DestinationsJeddah, Taif, Medina, Al Ula, Ha’il, Buraydah, Riyadh
Car rental, incl. insurance
ExcludingInternational flights
Entry fees
Lunch & Dinner
Personal expenses
This offer is covered by the STO Garant guarantee. You can find the conditions for this guarantee scheme on STO Garant’s website.


Day 1 – Jeddah

  • Arrival at Jeddah International Airport. Jeddah is Saudi Arabia’s most progressive city, located on the Red Sea.
  • Pick up your car at the airport or in downtown Jeddah.
  • Overnight stay in Jeddah.

Day 2 – Jeddah

  • Visit the Abdul Raouf Khalil Museum to get an idea of the Arabian heritage.
  • Highlight: Walk through old Jeddah (Al Balad), where you can find many old Ottoman houses. Most of these houses are built of coral and reinforced with wood as the beams cross the inner walls.
  • Nasif House and Baashen House, the most famous houses from the Ottoman period.
  • The Mecca Gate and North Gate, these are located on the outskirts of the district.
  • See the old gold market at Gabel Street and the Ukash Mosque.
  • Drive over the Corniche, the street along the Red Sea.
  • Floating Mosque, one of the most famous places of Jeddah.
  • See the King Fahd’s Fountain, the highest fountain in the world.
  • Overnight stay in Jeddah.

Day 3 – Jeddah – Taif

  • We make our way to Taif, this city is right next to Mecca.
  • Drive to the mountains Al Hada and Al Shafa. These two mountains connect Taif with the hinterland. If you like you can take the cable car further up.
  • Highlight: We pay a visit to a rose farm/factory, this is what the area is famous for.
  • Sharif Museum, a private museum with historical artifacts.
  • Enjoy the city and its surroundings.
  • Overnight stay in Taif.

Day 4 – Taif – Al Waba Crater – Medina

  • Highlight: Early departure for our drive to the Al Waba Crater. An incredible crater with a giant salt field in the center. You can walk around the crater or try to hike down into the crater.
  • Drive to Medina, this city only recently opened its doors for non-Muslims and is quite a unique experience. Even though not all sites can be entered, it’s still a very special place to wander around.
  • Highlight: Watch the impressive Al Masjid An Nabawi (Prophet’s Mosque) from outside.
  • See the Masjid al-Qiblatain (Qiblatain Mosque).
  • Walk through the city and see several other highlights of Medina.
  • We’ll make a short walk to Mt. Uhud for an amazing view over the city.
  • Overnight stay in Medina.

Day 5 – Medina – Khaybar – Al Ula

  • Today we’ll start our trip to the ancient city of Al Ula. We’ll follow the tracks of the famous Hijaz Railway.
  • Stops at Buwayr and Muduraj, both are abandoned train stations which are a reminder of the turbulent past of the railways.
  • Visit Khaybar, probably the best preserved oasis in the whole country.
  • Overnight stay in Al Ula.

Day 6 – Al Ula

  • Today we’ll explore the surroundings of the Al Ula area.
  • Explore different rock formations and man-made monoliths along the way.
  • Visit two ancient carving sites.
  • See the old city of Al Ula.
  • Highlight: We visit Dadan, a place where ancient tombs of the Dadanite Kingdom have been found.
  • Visit to Ekma and Abu Aoud.
  • Arrival in Harrat Al Uwayarid for an amazing view.
  • Overnight stay in Al Ula.

Day 7 – Al Ula – Madain Saleh

  • Highlight: We will look around Madain Saleh (also known as Hegra). The most famous landmark in Saudi Arabia. It looks similar to Petra in Jordan, as it was on the same caravan route.
  • See the rock formations of Jibal Al-Rukkab and the Leopard Trail.
  • Visit Jebel Al-Fil (Elephant Rock),
  • Overnight stay in Al Ula.

Day 8 – Al Ula – Jubbah – Ha’il

  • We make our way to the ancient town of Jubbah. Located at an ancient lake, several archaeological sites can be found here.
  • Highlight: See several petroglyphs and inscriptions of the Paleolithic times at Jebel Umm Sanman.
  • We continue our drive while passing through the famous Al Nefud desert (also known as Nefuda Al KIabir).
  • Arrival in Ha’il, Saudi’s city known for its poets and writers.
  • Overnight stay in Ha’il.

Day 9 – Ha’il – Fayd – Buraydah

  • Visit to A’arif Fort, one of the oldest buildings in the city.
  • Walk around the souk (traditional market) and learn about the local delicacies.
  • We make our way towards Buraydah, while passing through the impressive Shammar mountains.
  • Stop at Fayd, a site that used to be a pilgrimage stop, as it’s located halfway between Baghdad and Mecca.
  • Arrival in Buraydah, the capital of the Qassim province. It’s also known as one of the most conservative cities in Saudi Arabia.
  • Overnight stay in Buraydah.

Day 10 – Buraydah – Ushaiger – Riyadh

  • Highlight: After an early start we’ll make our way to the famous Buraydah Camel Market, just outside the city. It’s the biggest in the world and a truly unique experience. Thousands of camels, sheep and goats are traded every day.
  • Visit to the date market.
  • We start our way towards Riyadh, along the way we stop at the villages Mithnab and Al-Ghat before arriving in Ushaiger.
  • Highlight: Walk around Ushaiger, one of the oldest settlements in the region with amazing Najdi architecture.
  • Drive and arrival in the capital Riyadh.
  • Overnight stay in Riyadh.

Day 11 – Riyadh

  • Highlight: National Museum, the most important museum of Saudi Arabia.
  • Murabba Palace, one of the historical spots of the city.
  • See the Kingdom Tower (optional to go to the top).
  • Al Masmak Fort, an old building made of mud and clay. The fort was one of the most important places in the creation of present-day Saudi Arabia.
  • Highlight: Deira Souk, this market is known for its many copper products. You will also find traditional daggers and knives here.
  • Overnight stay in Riyadh.

Day 12 – Riyadh

  • Airport drop off.
  • End of tour.