Elephant rock in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia Holidays

The proposition that Saudi Arabia has opened up is irresistible.

The birthplace and spiritual home of Islam, Saudi Arabia is as rich in attractions as it is in stirring symbolism.

The Nabatean rock city of Madain Saleh – world-famous Petra’s little-known twin sister – heads a long list of ancient and natural attractions.

The Kingdom has confirmed it is opening its doors to tourists through a new online e-visa portal. Eligible passport holders can now apply for an e-visa via a swift and easy process. Once obtained visas are valid for multiple entries for up to one year, and allow visitors to spend up to 90 days in the country.

Elderly man praying, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia

Why we Love Saudi Arabia

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 though and visiting can be daunting given the cultural rules to adhere to, but there are rich rewards for the intrepid traveller.

Edge of the World, outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Edge of the World, outside Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

What to expect on a holiday to Saudi 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.

Maidain saleh archaeological site
Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia

Jordan and Saudi Arabia

Combine two fascinating Middle Eastern countries, following an ancient Nabatean route and visiting a raft of UNESCO sites, including two of the regions most spectacular: Petra and Madain Saleh.

11 days

from $6,285 pp

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Al Ula Historical City of Madinah, Madain Saleh, Saudi Arabia
Al Ula, Saudi Arabia

Breaking free from the stereotypes

“Khalid has just created a Twitter storm,” was not something that I expected to hear in Saudi Arabia. But then again there was much that I did not expect, there were many images contrary to my expectations of Saudi Arabia. From the lack of investment and shabbiness in the extremities to the colour of some of the houses, from fabulous funerary façades to one of the most topographically stunning regions that I have seen anywhere in the world. There was much that I was to learn and discover.

Continue reading Justin’s blog here

Explore Saudi Arabia

  • Riyadh
  • Jeddah
  • Madain Saleh


A selection of activities and experiences you could consider including in your Saudi Arabia holiday.

Diriyah Old City, Near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Explore the historical UNESCO town of Diriyah, original home of the Saudi royal family.

Arabian house, old Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Old Jeddah

Explore the old city of Jeddah, a waterfront city full of historic houses and traditional markets.

Rock Art Petroglyphs of Saudi Arabia, Justin Wateridge

Jubbah Rock Art

View some fabulous examples of Neolithic rock art.

Asir Mountains, Saudi Arabia

The Asir Mountains

Explore the coastal mountain range which supports a variety of wildlife including baboon, gazelle and leopard.

Mada'in Saleh, Saudi Arabia, Justin Wateridge

Madain Saleh

Explore the carved remains at Madain Saleh which mark the southern end of the Nabatean Empire.

camels in the Rub al Khali or Empty Quarter, Straddling Oman, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Yemen

Buraidah Camel Market

Visit the largest camel market in the world and a special place in Bedouin culture.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Paul Craven

Paul is the Conde Nast Traveller chosen Specialist for Central Asia and the Silk Route.

Being from a family with Army connections I can from an early age remember travelling. From camping in Europe and then later being sent to boarding school when we lived in Germany at the age of eight, complete with shorts, long socks, a cap and my suitcase. In appearance not too dissimilar to the children evacuated to the countryside during the blitz.

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