I am an AUstralian planning to travel from Abu Dhabi to Paris by car in March 08, I am allowing up to 3 months to see as much as possible en route. I beiieve I can arrange a visa to transit Saudi and have never visited Israel. I would greatly appreciate any advice on the dangers and difficulties of this undertaking and advice on a preferred route and visa hassles etc. All advice greatly appreciated.
Just two general remarks:
Although I have doubts with what you wanted to say with 'i have never visited israel' still this remark:
1. When heading to an islamic country after your visit to Israel, you will be denied entry in those countries, unless you have another pasport without a stamp of Israel. The other way around will be fine, although expect some suspicion at least.
If you ment you are not going to visit Israel and just said because you know you will have problems afterwards, than forget this first remark
2. You can probably only get a transit visa, and only for several days (maybe 3 I guess).
So probably after leaving the UAE you will be in Jordan in about 4 days. From there I would choose the general following route: Aqaba - Wadi Rum - Petra - Jerash and Umm Qais (forget about Amman), than on to Syria and visit Damascus, Palmyra, Aleppo and Crac des Chevaliers. Into Turkey, there are many places in central Antaloia like Konya which are nice to visit, but I am not well travelled over there. Just stay away from coastal areas in Turkey. On to Istanbul.
In Europe a possible route could be to Greece and than by ferry to Italy and up north. Another more interesting route would be to Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Austria and westwards from there to the Alps.
A third alternative could be Greece and than Albania and some former Yugoslavian parts, like Montenegro and Croatia and connect with one of the first two routes I mentioned.
I don't have any experience with car travelling beyond Italy/Slovenia/Hungary by the way, but in European Union countries I doubt you will have any other problems than some potholes in Romania or so
Have fun and cheers! Michael
From what I have read on other travel forums as well as this one, getting a visa of any sort for Saudi Arabia whether it be for transit or tourism is almost impossible for anyone that isn't a muslim. Even if you are a muslim you are required to go to a specific islamic organisation that will ask you many questions to determine that you are a practising muslim and not just faking it to get a visa. Then they will issue a certificate that will then after numerous other forms and authorisation checks done through the Saudi Arabian government authorities will allow you the option to apply. Even with all that done you are still only a chance of getting a visa. Goodluck in getting your visa.
I can recall a couple of years ago one person in a similar situation to yours was issued a transit visa but only for a few days and they could only exit the country at one specific exit and no other. They were doing pretty much the same as you but in the opposite direction from Switzerland-UAE. So pretty much you have to get in and get out as quick as possible through the exit that is stated on your visa if you are one of the very few a year who will get issued a visa.
[ Edit: Edited on Aug 5, 2007, at 1:03 AM by aharrold45 ]