Explore the ancient city of Hegra and the Hijaz Railway
Please note: Activities and products marked with a * below are being developed and will be phased in by end of December 2020 They may not be available at the time of your visit.
We are working hard to protect the heritage sites from any accidental or unintended damage in order to preserve them for future generations, this tour does not include entry to the any of the tombs and you can only visit and see them from outside.
Please book online or at the visitor centre at Winter Park before visiting Hegra to avoid disappointment.
Your Journey to Hegra starts 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 bus ride to Hegra Heritage site. Please arrive 40 minute prior to your tour start time to allow time for transportation.
How will you get around?
You can transport yourself around Hegra thanks to the hop-on-hop-off air-conditioned luxury coach that operates continuously on a circular route around the site. It leaves every 30 minutes, stopping at four key points, and is included in your ticket price.
Once you have finished exploring, simply catch the coach back to the Hijaz Railway where you can *grab a bite to eat and a drink and browse the *gift shop for keepsakes before you leave.
Alternatively, you can opt for a relaxing trot around all the major sites in a *horse-drawn carriage. The carriages go from the Hijaz Railway to Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza and Jabal AlBanat during the day. Pre-booking not required. Operated on a first-come, first-served basis.
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, and you can pick up a headset for an immersive audio guide* that will transport you to 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.
*There will be three tented areas offering hands-on activities designed to stimulate all the senses.
- *Make handicrafts under the guidance of local women, learn the steps to traditional dances, and try your hand at milking a camel.
- *Members of the Beidha community will welcome you with hearty homemade dishes, and wise elders will tell their stories.
- *There is also a dedicated performance area where actors recreate a traditional wedding ceremony, inviting you to take part in treasured rituals, such as being adorned with henna art.
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, at Jabal Ithlib, a natural mountain outcrop to the east of Hegra. Take a 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.
Continue your journey of discovery at Jabal AlAhmar. There, a necklace made of date stones was discovered in a tomb that was excavated between 2008 and 2014, revealing this and other evidence of Nabataean burial items and practices.
You can investigate the significance of date jewellery and have a go at making your very own necklace, by joining in the hands-on workshop*. You will also be afforded the unique opportunity to spell your name from the Nabataean alphabet*. Watch as the calligrapher writes your name in beautiful script before presenting it to you as a framed memento.*
Explore Jabal AlBanat, one of the largest clusters of tombs, You will be accompanied by a professional photographer who will snap some pictures of you against the backdrop of captivating sandstone rock.
*Make sure you factor in enough time to watch the play, Tomb of Malkiyun the Diviner (Qasr AlSania), which spotlights the Nabataean society and ways of life. Take the chance to interact with the actors, as the audience becomes part of the narrative. With impressive sets, special effects, and some surprises. thrown in for good measure, this 20-30-minute play is must-see.
UNESCO World Heritage tour in AlUla
- Hegra Tour starting point is at the Winter Park, dedicated buses are available to transfer you to Hegra. transfer to Hegra is included in your ticket price. parkings for personal cars is not permitted at any of the heritage sites.
- The Hegra experience includes full immersion into the Nabataean ways of life at sites including the most iconic, Tomb of Lihyan son of Kuza, plus Jabal Ithlib, The Diwan, Jabal Alhamar and the well.
- We are working hard to protect the heritage sites from any accidental or unintended damage in order to preserve them for future generations, this tour does not include entry to the any of the tombs and you can only visit and see them from outside.
- Hop-on, hop-off transportation stops at seven areas of significance for visitors to explore at their leisure.
- Visitors can download the Experience AlUla app for an immersive location specific digital guide, or have a Rawi (Arabic storyteller) provide a more personal tour of the sites in English or Arabic.
- Please allow approximately 2-4 hours for the complete Hegra day experience. 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.
Coming soon at Hegra
- Visitors can try their hand at making a necklace made of date stones, a replica of a necklace that archaeologists discovered in Hegra in 2015
- A fun and interactive spotlight the Nabataean society and ways of life with the live theatre performance, the Tomb of Malkiyun the Diviner (Qasr AlSania);
- Visitors will be able to get their name beautifully reproduced in the Nabataean script to take home as a framed memento.
- Visitors will have the opportunity to tour the extensive site in a vintage jeep or horse carriage ride.
- The Hegra evening experiences (phased in over the coming months) will run from 8pm-11pm., (From End of January 2021)
Dining & shopping
Refunds & Rebooking
Destination Management Company (DMC) Bookings: Cancellation policies will depend on the DMC’s contract. If you booked your experience through a DMC, please coordinate with them on policies, changes and updates.
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