© Peter Adams / age fotostock
Saudi Arabia provides a limitless expanse of desert with a few modern cities emerging here and there near to small islands of green; imagine a territory bigger than the United Kingdom covered by arid plains and sand, and you will have a good idea of the country.
The major cities in Saudi Arabia are incredibly modern compared with the rest of the state. A powerful city known for its strong trade links, the capital Riyadh is an urban oasis right at the heart of the desert. Medina and Mecca play a major cultural, spiritual and religious role in the country. Jeddah, 45 mi from Mecca, is the second largest city in the state and the most important port along the Red Sea coast of Saudi Arabia.
If ever Saudi Arabia opens up to strangers, it will be an incontestable place for cultural tourism.