UNESCO world heritage sites tour
Marvel at the ancient city of Hegra and the Hijaz Railway
Tours are not available 18 Jan - 24 Jan
PLEASE NOTE: FURTHER TO MAINTENANCE AND EXCAVATION WORK, SOME SITES AT HEGRA MIGHT BE CLOSED DURING YOUR VISIT.
GETTING TO HEGRA
Your Journey to Hegra starts at the Winter Park where you board the air-conditioned coach to transfer you to Hegra Heritage Site.
Arrive at Winter Park 40 minute prior to your tour start time to allow time for transportation. Download the bus schedule.
Parking is available at Winter Park free of charge at the designated area near the entrance of the park.
Winter Park which has a visitor center to pick up your guide and map as well as a variety of food trucks to get you fueled up for the tour.
HOW WILL YOU GET AROUND HEGRA?
Once your bus from Winter Park arrives at Hegra Heritage Site, you will be guided to the Hegra Welcome Centre, where you will be greeted by a rawi and offered complimentary Arabic coffee, some local dates and water.
After a short briefing, you will walk outside and visit the Hijaz Railway Station and the buildings of the era and you will be guided to the air-conditioned luxury coach that will transport you around Hegra.
The air-conditioned luxury coaches operate continuously on a circular route around the site. Coaches will be stopping at key points of interest for you to take photos and learn more from the rawi. You will finish your tour back at the Hijaz Railway Station, from where you will take the coach back to Winter Park.
First up is the Hijaz Railway experience, which will deepen your understanding of AlUla as a prominent hub for travel and exploration. The historic station houses an original locomotive from a time when merchants and pilgrims traversed the land. Learn how the construction of the railway, which began in 1900, helped to modernise the way that pilgrims travelled. The railway is currently on the Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition.
Next at Jabal Ithlib, a natural mountain outcrop to the east of Hegra, hone your knowledge of the inner workings of Nabataean society, from how they built their settlements to the ways in which they practiced their religion. Peek inside The Diwan, a rock-cut chamber that was once a venue for sumptuous banquets, and a meeting room for the leaders of the city.
Use the Experience AlUla app to see the hall transformed to its former glory, complete with guests enjoying the feast.
You will also find The Siq here, a natural narrow passageway through the mountains, perfect for a photo.
Next stop is Jabal AlBanat, one of the largest clusters of tombs in Hegra with 29 tombs that have skillfully carved facades on all sides of the sandstone rock. The name of the outcrop Jabal AlBanat refers to the number of tombs owned or commissioned by or for women. There are examples of female owners or commissioners throughout Hegra, as well as references to female relatives within the inscriptions.
Sometimes the craftsperson who carved them were mentioned along with the date they were built and the King who ruled during that time. Many include a legal formula to protect the tomb, threatening punishment to whomever disturbs them or their contents.
Continue your journey of discovery at Jabal AlAhmar, home to 18 tombs, some of which have been recently excavated. The name refers to the unique red colour of the rock.
The last stop of the tour is the monolithic Tomb of Lihyan Son of Kuza, Hegra’s largest tomb, measuring about 72 feet tall. Left unfinished, with rough, unsmoothed chisel marks skirting its lower third, it is at times referred to as Qasr al-Farid by the locals, meaning the “Lonely Castle” in English, because of its distant position in relation to the other tombs.
As your tour comes to an end, you will return to the Hijaz Railway Station, from where you will take the coach back to Winter Park.
UNESCO World Heritage tour in AlUla
The Hegra Tour from when you arrive is approximately 2 hours. With the Transportation from Winter Park and back, please allow up to 3-4 hours for the Hegra Tour. Daily from 9am-5pm. (Last entry is the 3.00pm).
- Arrive at the Winter Park - if driving park your car free of charge at the designated area near the entrance - our staff will guide you to the meeting point to join the shuttle bus to Hegra heritage site.
- Parking is not permitted at any of the heritage sites.
- Please arrive 40 minute prior to your tour start time to allow time for transportation.
- Book tickets in advance and have your printed copy or e-ticket ready when you arrive to check in.
- Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints.
- Hegra is open expanse, and exposed to the elements, we encourge you to take responsibility of your health and saftely and stay hydrated.