- Gain an insight into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Visit the spectacular site of Madain Saleh, the largest Nabatean settlement after Petra
- Step into the world of Indiana Jones and explore the once lost city of Petra
Steeped in history, and home to some of the world's earliest settlements, both Saudi Arabia and Jordan are a treasure trove for curious travellers with an interest in ancient cultures. While tourism in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a fledgling enterprise, Jordan has long been a favourite on travellers’ bucket lists. The Dead Sea, Wadi Rum and its most spectacular site, Petra have been magnets for Steppes’ clients for many years.
Both countries have a fascinating history, and were part of the trade routes of ancient Arabia, levying tolls and sheltering caravans laden with Indian spices and silks, African ivory and animal hides. Follow in the footsteps of the Nabateans, with Steppes' expert host, Peter Harrigan, on a fascinating journey between Petra and Madain Saleh.
Madain Saleh - 'The capital of monuments’
Accessed from the oasis town of Al-Ula, no visit to Saudi Arabia is complete without visiting Madain Saleh. With its well preserved, ancient, rock hewn tombs set amongst a dramatic desert back drop, it is easy to see why Madain Saleh was chosen as a World Heritage site. The settlement of the site took place during the 1st century AD, when the Nabateans made Madain Saleh the kingdom's second capital, after Petra in the north. The sense of history at Madain Saleh is palpable in the rock art and sculpture that can be seen all over the site, giving fascinating insight into the lives of the Nabateans over 2,000 years ago.
Petra – ‘The rose City’
Undoubtedly the highlight of any trip to Jordan and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Petra is the legacy of the Nabataeans, an industrious Arab people who settled in Jordan more than 2,000 years ago.
The rose-pink Nabataean city of Petra is no longer the lost city (that was rediscovered by Johann Burckhardt) but is now a bustling tourist centre attracting people from all over the world. Although much has been written about Petra, nothing really prepares you for this amazing place. It must be seen to be believed.
Why should I travel to Saudia Arabia?
There can be few countries that are so misunderstood as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and perhaps no other country is as worthy of a first visit. Although dominated by the rolling sands of the Empty Quarter, in addition you will find beautiful oases and dramatic mountain-tops, ancient cities, beaches and rivers. New hotels are springing up in all the main cities with ever more famous chefs, while excellent restaurants and chic cafes are everywhere.
Long closed to the wider world, Saudi Arabia is slowly starting to allow visitors to explore its wild reaches and cosmopolitan city centres. Travel in Saudi Arabia is still in its infancy and visiting can be daunting given the cultural rules to adhere to, but there are rich rewards for the intrepid traveller.
Why should I travel to Jordan?
Jordan is a remarkably easy and sophisticated country to visit. From the moment you arrive into Amman airport the system works smoothly and effortlessly. Excellent hotels, good roads and charming guides all go to make any holiday in Jordan a memorable experience.
Is this group tour suitable for solo travellers?
Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all of the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Lecturer.
If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.
If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.