Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ten Amazing Places to Visit in Saudi-Arabia

My top ten places to visit in Saudi-Arabia:


1. Madain Saleh
If you visit only one place in Saudi-Arabia, let it be Madain Saleh. The other-worldly scenery, breath taking nature, and rich history make it a destination worth exploring for many days. Madain Saleh is not only the tombs of the ancient Nabatean people, but it offers much more for the tourist to explore. The Hejazy railway built Ottomans runs through it. Nearby the town of Al-Ula boasts a beautiful oasis, museums, an old mud village and ruins and tombs of Khuraibah. More from Madain Saleh here: http://imagesofsaudi.blogspot.com/search/label/Madain%20Saleh




2. Najran
The colorful city of Najran on the Yemeni border offers an unforgettable experience for travelers. Its unique history, architecture and culture blends in with the neighboring Yemen. Najran is the most tourist friendly destination in Saudi-Arabia that pleases even the most experienced traveler. http://imagesofsaudi.blogspot.com/search/label/Najran



3. Farasan Islands
A favorite diving destination of Jacques Cousteau, Farasan Islands have more than just private beaches and sand for every visitor to enjoy. The Islands are a bird watchers paradise and also have mangroves and endemic Gazelle species in addition to the numerous historical sites on the main island. For images of Farasan Islands go here: http://imagesofsaudi.blogspot.com/search/label/Farasan



4. Empty Quarter
It is not empty, it is full of beauty, silence, wildlife and tranquility. 
 5. Al Soudah
The Asir National Park and the Al-Soudah area near Abha are a lush, breezy paradise best visited in the hot summer months. The park offers trekking, camping sites, cable cars, and plenty of other outdoor activities in addition to interesting architecture and friendly people. More pictures here: http://imagesofsaudi.blogspot.com/search/label/Abha

6. Wabha Crater
This volcanic crater lies 700km form Riyadh towards Taif. It has amazing scenery including lava fields, an oasis and salt pans and can easily be explored by foot. The site makes for an unforgettable camp out experience.
7. Al Lith
Al Lith is a small town about 275 km south of Jeddah. It is the port of departure for diving the Farasan Banks eco system.This is Saudi-Arabia's best diving destination, with incredibly clear waters, amazing wrecks and abundant marine life.
8. Edge of the World
One of the most spectacular views in Saudi-Arabia can be experienced from the Edge of the World which is part of the 800km long Jebel Tuwaiq Escarpment. When looking to the horizon from the edge it appears as if the plains continue endlessly.

9. Taif
The mountain city of Taif is famous for its roses and rosewater. In the spring the flowers and the whole area are in full bloom. Taif is an excellent area for trekking and mountain climbing as well.
10. Qassim
The northern towns of Buraidah and Unaizah in the Qassim region offer rich cultural heritage and history. Unaizah has ancient farmlands, beautiful unique mosques, historical sites and an excellent traditional marketplace. More pics here: http://imagesofsaudi.blogspot.com/search/label/Qassim



22 comments:

bosnishmuslima said...

Love the pictures and would like to visit all the places. The deepest impact on me made the picture of the Empty Quarter. I already read a bit about it and am so longing to see it inshaallah...
Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

The only perfume I love is a bottle of Wardh taifi I bought from surrati's. The smell is amazing and it is next to none compared to alcohol-based synthetic perfumes. The smell of roses must have lingered on your hands for days :)

Sireh

Meraj Khattak said...

Very beautiful.

I wish I could visit Wabha Crater, Al Soudah, Najran and Farasan Islands especially along with Asir National Park :) I wonder if Saudia govt allows foreign visitors to these places with ease?

Almost a Muslimah said...

amazing pictures! i loved the one of the carved in stone (?) entrance/gate on Farasan Islands I believe. The pattern is so intricate and it shows beautiful craftsmanship! thanks for sharing :)

Heli said...

Those places look so beautiful and interesting, I'd really, really like to visit them. Is it possible to travel to Saudi-Arabia as a tourist and move around by yourself?

Laylah said...

bosnishmuslima-I hope you get to visit it someday its really another world out there!

Laylah said...

sireh-yes the rosewater perfumes are sooo lovely! That is not me in the pic btw :)

Laylah said...

Meraj-you can visit most places with ease but you will need permission to travel to Madain Saleh (you need police escort at all times because of the 2007 tourist killings),you need to plan and apply for permission for Empty Quarter as well because it has been closed off, and some sites in Najran need permission for foreign visitors.

Laylah said...

Almost a Muslimah-thanks! I loved tatplace too. It's actually the gate to a house on Farasan Island, or its a museum now but closed from public. We were lucky and the owner of the house invited us inside and I cannot praise this place enough, I could've just stared at this place for hours. Inside was even more amazing and colorful!

Laylah said...

*that place*

Laylah said...

Heli-at the moment it's not possible because Saudi-Arabia has halted issuing tourist visas for unknown reasons until further notice, so most of these sites remain accessible for expats living in Saudi or persons on business or visitor visas.

Chick Flick Journal said...

Heyy. Long time! Missed you! Lovely post. I'm loving the new tourism thing that's going on hehe. well done

Anonymous said...

LOL, sorry mysterious Laylah, I thought that lovely lady was you :D

Sireh

Dorothy Explor'r said...

beautiful. i'm enjoying several posts from your blog :)

Farooq said...

happy to say that i have been to two places out of ten in the list. Madain saleh and edge of the world. hoping to go to more places on the list. Would appreciate if tourism would be a lil more easier in saudi.

Anonymous said...

hey what is the best time for tourism in saudia arab

Laylah said...

I wouls say during the winter months oct-dec or then spring time march-april.

Sarfraz Abbasi said...

Winter is coming. Wahba crater and the so called edge of the world is on my list to visit as soon as possible. was really motivated by your other post about the edge of the world. Looking at those pictures, i really wished i was there to capture that.

i do hope to go there on a clear day and the catches would come out good. Thanks for the details of how to get there.

Anonymous said...

hi layla, great photos and description as well. I wish u can suggest few fun places to visit in riyadh besides the edge, its really boring here on weekend and nowere to go but malls and restaurants, ps. I used to work at the finnish embassy here in riyadh on 2009, lovely people I must say :) - zeina

A Free Spirit said...

The crater is at Wahba , not Wabha.
Never common in Arabic the use of word Wahba too. Here just to clarify but was taken by the Good pictures too ..Thanx.
A Saudi.

Rizwan Riyaz said...

Great job writer and uploader. Excellent pics , it would be great if you share details of traveling from Riyadh.
Thanks

yasirimran said...

Quite useful review. I would try to visit some of these place in future.