It was only recently that Saudi Arabia opened its borders for travelers with its new visa scheme. The country also made some relaxations in their strict dress requirements for women visiting. They also made it legal for women to travel solo across the country without a male companion.
So, what does this all mean for us adventurers?! Pack your backpack and get ready to explore a whole new land of adventures. From its coral seas to vast escarpment of lush oases, remote mountain villages and ancient cities swallowed up by the sands, Saudi Arabia has so much to be explored.
If you are worried about getting an affordable fight, then there are plenty of Saudi Arabian Airlines available round the year. Catch the next one that suits your schedule and don’t forget to explore these 5 impressive locations.
The edge of the world (literally!)
Saudi Arabia’s Jebel Fihrayn is popularly known as the ‘The Edge of the World’. This 300m-high escarpment offers one of the most dramatic views of the rocky plains, the valley floor riddled with 150 million years old coral fossils, and many more. It takes only about 30 minutes to hike to the top. Many visitors camp there overnight just to see the breathtaking stary skies.
The oasis of Al-Ahsa
Filled with spanning cities, teeming souks, beautiful springs, rocky mountains, and almost three million date palms, the oasis of Al-Ahsa is the ideal spot to discover and experience the rich history, heritage, and culture of Arabia. The region is incredibly diverse and is believed to be one of the oldest settlements of the Arabian Peninsula. Al-Ahasa also has more than 150 natural springs.
Mada’in Saleh- the ‘Petra’ of Saudi Arabia
We all know Petra, the famous archaeological site in Jordan. Saudi has a similar site with the majority of its remaining dating back from the Nabatean kingdom. Similar to Petra, this region also got absorbed into the Roman Empire. What is left now are mostly 131 rock-carved tombs scattered across the deserts and covered with Aramaic scripts. South to Mada’in Saleh, there is also a ghost town called the ‘old Al-Ula’. It was first built around 2000 years ago and was abandoned under the desert sun for ‘new Al-Ula’.
Ancient rock carvings of Ha’il
Outside the city of Ha’il, ancient rock carving dating almost 10,000 years old can be found. The region may look parched and barren at the moment. However, it was once home to a large lake and Arabia’s earliest inhabitants. The dense collection of petroglyphs details the legacy of the region and the lifestyle that existed years ago.
The old city of Jeddah
Jeddah is both significant for its religious as well as commercial importance. It is the ‘gate to Mecca’ and also a busy commercial center. The ancient streets of this town are filled with many tall, Hijazi-style houses built from coral stones. Nothing much has changed here since it was first built in the seventh century. Museums may have the oldest artifacts, but this region is a living example of the ancient lifestyle.
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