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AlUla Hegra

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A Day in the Saudi Arabian Desert with Pelorus

A cultural jewel in the Arabian desert, AlUla is a serene oasis of extraordinary natural and human heritage stretching through desert valleys.

 

Words by Pelorus

Saudi Arabia is a collection of desert kingdoms, home to traditional values and awe-inspiring landscapes. The region of AlUla is a vast desert expanse of cultural heritage to discover, including Bronze Age evidences. With the lack of human intervention, it is a truly special place to explore. With Saudi Arabia relaxing particular rules and gradually opening their arms to the world, we can now journey through time and take in all that this land has to offer.

Awaken in the heart of the desert, amongst infinite sand dunes, where uninterrupted panoramas across a desert valley floor await. Beat the heat and embark on a delightful dawn 4 x 4 cruise towards the red hued ‘Dancing Mountains’ where you will explore the labyrinth of the Ragasat Mountain canyons by foot. This is a fantastic way to catch your first glimpse of the vast desert region of secluded solace, before swapping out the 4 x 4 for some high-octane dune buggy fun. Dart through a surreal maze of shaded canyons and propel into the arid expanse under the desert sun.

Following this, is a more relaxing immersion in the landscape. Travel the arid expanse on camel back, catching sight of the diverse array of animals, vistas of sculpted sandstone and the occasional azure desert lake. Or, take in the true scale of the vast planes from above, in your own private helicopter. Hike from Elephant Rock through the desert, visit the Arabian Leopard Initiative to learn and spread awareness about these endangered animals, or if it is history that attracts you, visit the Ikma rocks to unearth the stories carved by the ancient Arabian merchants of the desert, all before settling down for a specially prepared lunch in the desert, organised by Pelorus.

Elephant Rock, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia Dune Buggy fun in the desert, AlUla Saudi
landcover cruise across the desert in AlUla, Saudi Guide sitting on a camel in AlUla, Saudi

Come late afternoon, journey through the history of mankind with an expert local guide at Old Town; once a bustling civilisation in the 10th century, now a ghost town comprised of abandoned ruins and preserved tombs, decaying amongst the arid desert landscape. Further indulge the inquisitive historian amongst you and unearth Arabia’s rich heritage at Hegra; the largest preserved site of the Nabataean Kingdom and Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site, dating back to pre-Islamic times. Elaborate facades cut into more than 100 well preserved tombs alongside historical artifacts and monuments illuminate the culture and beliefs of ancient civilisation. 

A luxury camp awaits your return from an adventure-filled day. A combination of elegance and the wild natural environment, these tented villas are designed to complement the natural surroundings and blend discreetly into the striking landscape of rolling desert and sandstone rocky outcrops. Unwind in the idyllic oasis of the desert surroundings, which offers the perfect chance to meditate and find peace. Sample local delicacies prepared by a locally renowned chef, before cosying up in blankets around the fire pit to stargaze. Due to the region’s low light pollution, this is a truly magical experience to end your day with.

As Saudi Arabia begin to open their doors to tourism, we hope this inspires you to take the opportunity to be one of the first welcomed to unearth this extraordinary nation. With visas currently suspended whilst dealing with Covid-19, this allows us more time to perfect itineraries and secure your safety when travelling. Safety is at the core of any Pelorus plan and with help from our newly acquired resident Infection Prevention Officer, we will ensure you travel safely. Although the nation was set to open up to the world this October, Saudi Arabia is determined in continuing their economic diversification as part of its Vision 2030 programme. By 2035, they are hopeful of 2 million tourists visiting annually.