This Summer, Explore The Unexplored Beauty of Saudi Arabia

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Summer is here and it’s time to relax.

 

Breathe this Summer with the beauty of  Saudi Arabia and explore its ancient heritage and unique culture, breathtaking outdoor activities and delicious local food. From Tabuk in the north to Abha in the south there are several mesmerizing adventure destinations scattered across the Saudi Arabia which  offer a perfect combination of unparalleled natural beauty,dramatic landscapes,burring cultures and most importantly, a dash of uniqueness which will make your trip an unforgettable experience.Saudi Arabia boasts of having 3,400 km long charming and serene coastlines along the Red Sea in the west and the Arabian Gulf in the east.Since the launch of the Kingdom’s  ambitious Vision 2030, these coastlines have been accorded great attention with the authorities implementing massive environment and tourism development projects.

The next time you’re craving for some adventure and adrenaline, skip the regular, conventional adventure capitals, and consider heading to unexplored places in the magnificent Saudi Arabia, where the possibilities are literally endless.

Discover the beauty of Saudi Arabia this summer and let me be your guide.

 

King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) – Saudi’s modern city

The vibrant King Abdullah Economic City(KAEC), on the coast 100km north of Jeddah (1hour Drive), is a new city with big ideas and bustling hub for business and leisure alike. Dotted with recreational facilities and leisure destination indoor and outdoor,it is a perfect sanctuary to ahead for a weekend trip. Like much of the Red Sea coast, the area around KAEC is great for waterborne exploration, whether just being out at sea, or snorkeling and diving the shallow reefs not far from the coastline.From the bike-friendly Beach Walk to the soft-sand Yam Beach, and the wide range of water sports,KAEC has a lot to offer.Boats can be hired at the marina for everything from 30-minute cruises to serious full-day fishing adventures.Unwind at Juman Park, a family-friendly public area featuring exciting activities such as a mini golf course, tennis and volleyball courts, children’s playgrounds, a swimming pool, exercise and bicycle stations, expansive lawn areas for picnics and play and an amphitheatre. A motor sports park is being  built which includes Juman Karting, which is a high-speed 700-meter track.

 

 

Taif- Saudi’s Unofficial Summer Capital

For Jeddawis like me,taif is an emotion and thrill, escaping the summer heat of Jeddah to get cooled especially in the beautiful mist-topped mountains of Al Shafa and lush green valleys.Taif is located less than 2 hr drive from Jeddah and  at 1800 meters of altitude, in a valley on the eastern side of the Hejaz mountains. A beautiful serpentine road winds up through the Alhada mountains to the plateau where Taif sits, passing fruit markets, rose farms and deep valleys.Taif is often referred to as the City of Roses, for the famously fragrant flowers that grow in the wadis and mountains around it.Saudi Arabia’s longest cable car runs between the mountaintop and the wadi floor, where there’s an aquamarine water park and toboggan slide at the Hijazi-style Al Kar Tourist Village. Taif’s highest point is the Jebel Daka- where panoramic views and offroad adventures await.The Al Hada mountains offer sunset views spectacular enough to make your trip worthwhile.

 

 

Farasan Island-The Jewel of Red Sea

Located approximately 50km off the coast of the city of Jizan in the Red Sea, the Farasan islands archipelago consists of 84 islands,with only three of the islands being permanently inhabited.It is known for the pristine beaches, its crystal clear waters, coral reefs,diversity of its wild and marine nature,in addition to the rare living creatures that inhabit it.There are many interesting historical places to explore such as an Ottoman fort, historical village, old mosques, pearl merchant’s homes and coral houses. Most of the historical places are located on the main Farasan Island, but the smaller islands accessible with a rented fishing boat have some forts too. The islands can be reached via a free ferry from the port of Jizan twice daily.

 

 

Ash Shuaybah-The titanic of Saudi Arabia

Have you ever seen the Titanic of Saudi Arabia? The pristine lagoon area of Al-Shuaiba in Makkah Province (75 Km from Jeddah) is one of the Kingdom’s main tourism sites.The Titanic of Saudi Arabia is a sunken ship located near Al-Shuaiba beach 90 km south of Makkah. The ship’s original name is Al-Fahad, but it was called Titanic because of its big size and the lifeboats on its sides. The ship has been abandoned for 32 years and it was drowned as a result of hitting coral reefs as Al-Shuaiba is famous for its coral reefs. There’s also two other sunken ships there but Al-Fahad is the biggest one. Al-Shuaiba was the main port of Makkah region in the days of pre-Islam and early Islam before it was changed to Jeddah in 26 AH, and now it is turned into a ship graveyard where the old ships are left to decay and disintegrate.Al-Shuaiba beach not just for its tranquility but also to dive on its magnificent coral reefs.

 

 

Umluj-Maldives of Saudi Arabia

It doesn’t take long to work out why this bleached white-sand atoll coastal town and region is often referred to as the Maldives of Saudi Arabia.Located around 500 KM north Jeddah on the Red Sea coast. It is known for its spoiled islands and untouched beaches.The 104 little islands to the north of the town are all about egg-white sands and ancient swaying palms, and there’s a gentle technicolor world of nudibranchs, turtles and dugongs under the aquarium-like waters. The beach at Umluj is postcard-pretty, but the main attraction is taking a boat to islands like Jabal Hassan, or palm-covered coastal beaches such as Ras Al Shaaban and Doqm. From town, it’s possible to tour nearby mango farms or travel an hour or so inland to Harrat Lunayyir, a curious black lava field of craters and cones, a world away from the dunes and turquoise waters of the coast.

 

 

Al’Ula- Petra of Saudi Arabia

Commanding rock formations, captivating sand dunes, and archeologic ruins including sites that trace a region with over 200,000 years of human history, Al’Ula in Saudi Arabia is a land full of mystery, history and prehistoric landmarks. Al’Ula is known for its uniqueness and it delves into captivating rich history .A thriving civilization dating back to the 1st century BC, this place used to be an important trade and commerce center (just like Petra) before the hands of time took over. Amongst the many relics one can see at Al’Ula, the most famous one is the Madian Saleh a UNESCO World Heritage site known for being the second largest historical Nabatean capital (the largest one being Petra). The city’s most iconic landmark, Elephant Rock is a natural formation that looks like an elephant with a long trunk. It lies 11 kilometres northeast of the province, at a height of 52 metres. It is surrounded by hundreds of other rock monoliths.Al’Ula offers an escape from the daily grind with authentic experiences set in a dramatic location. Exploring ancient volcanoes, secret canyons, undiscovered wonders and desert valleys through camel rides, helicopter tours or by foot are just some of the many ways to discover more of this historic jaw-dropping location.

 

 

AlBaha-Garden of Hejaz

With breathtaking landscapes and great weather throughout the year,come various adventures in the AlBaha region.A journey to Al Baha is a journey to a different Saudi Arabia. An adventure trip to Al Baha Province is all about enjoying the enchanting views, discovering South-Arabian traditional arts and uncovering its heritage buildings. The ancient Ghamid and Zahran tribes forged a unique cultural identity in the area, building 1,001 stone qasbah lookout towers that are only found here, as well as setting up a bustling souq. But the real joy is driving out of the city on hairpin mountain bends, past apricot and pomegranate orchards, into the 40 or so forests that surround the city. The road to the famous marble village of Dhee Ayn — through Tolkienesque valleys and past ruined towers — is almost as spectacular as the site itself.

 

 

Abha-The Capital of Clouds

The southern endpoint of the Red Sea coast, Abha is the culturally rich capital of the Asir region, and a great base for exploring this mountainous part of the kingdom and relishing nature’s vivid hues.Situated at high altitude of 2,270 meters above the sea level, the city enjoys pleasant weather all year round. The city has plenty to explore, from the mountains rising high above the clouds,mud-walled Shada Palace, now a museum, to the lake and amusement park by the five-star Abha Palace Hotel. There are vibrant traditional markets in Abha and sister city Khamis Mushait, and historic neighborhoods like Al Nasb and Al Basta. More broadly, this is a place to get immersed in the unique culture of the Asir region, whether exploring the Al Muftaha art village or learning about the customs of tribes in the spectacular nearby villages of Al Habala and Rijal Almaa. Rijal Almaa is one of the Kingdom’s most prominent cultural and archeological destinations and is considered an architectural icon. The Asir National Park, a 1.1 billion acre (450,000 hectares) of land and sea that was set up in 1976 is one of the major attractions in Abha. It is home to Jabal Saudah, the highest mountain in Saudi Arabia.The cable car in Al-Saudah give mesmerizing experience to have an birdseye view of  misty mountaintops and exquisite beauty of its valleys.

 

 

 

There isn’t a wrong place when you are traveling the roads of Saudi Arabia,because every turn is a destination.It might be scary on travel responsibility,but there are a lot of groups organizing trips from all major cities who can make your exploration an unique and ultimately enjoyable experience.

 

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