Spread across the Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia is the largest country in the Middle East and also the only one to be sharing coastlines with both — the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. Home to mountains, deserts and beaches, the country boasts of various geographical settings for all kinds of travellers. With a massive potential for offbeat adventures and experiences like never before for its travellers, Saudi Arabia is home to many hidden gems.
Emerging as one of the top tourist destinations, the country and its offerings are capable of catering to travellers from all walks of life.
Several ancient cultures and civilisations blend here and make way for a once in a lifetime experience. One can sweep through history with the earliest traces of human activities, soak themselves in the local cultures and ancient traditions, or simply study centuries old traditions derived from the Arab civilisation. In today’s day and time, the country is an up and coming choice for travellers who plan to see beyond the usual. The country opened up for Indian travellers only in 2019 and has many unexplored places up its sleeve, for those looking for offbeat, unusual and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
Those looking for vivid gastronomical experiences also find plenty of opportunities here. The food here draws inspiration from Turkish, Persian, African and Indian cuisines. One of the most cherished items here is the Arabic coffee, which is also a traditional beverage. If you find yourself in the country, here are 6 experiences that should not miss out on:
Embrace History at AIUIa
One of the oldest cities in the Arabian Peninsula, AIUIa is a marvel in itself. Home to the country’s first Unesco world heritage site — Hegra — AIUIa is any history lover’s dream come true. A desert holding multiple secrets for travellers to uncover, AIUIa is home to a rich legacy of 7,000 years of human civilisation, natural rock formations and canyons as well as spellbinding art installations. Travellers can explore the tombs at Hegra from the Nabataean kingdom, witness the majestic, natural, geological formation, the Elephant Rock or simply marvel at the Maraya Concert Hall, a giant mirrored cube in the middle of the desert.
Experience the coastline
A buzzing, new age and cosmopolitan hub, Jeddah is perfect for the new age traveller. The Red Sea here remains central to all activities, whether it is trade, cherishing the reefs or sampling seafood. One can also engage in various coastal adventure activities, such as scuba diving, here. If you’re still looking for more coast, it gets better at the Farasan Islands. These small coral islands in the Red Sea have recently become a tourist hotspot for the spellbinding beauty. The country’s coastline with relatively less number of tourists makes it a tranquil retreat for anybody who prefers lesser crowds.
Engage in Life Changing Experiences
If you’re the one for life changing experiences then nothing gets better than finding and losing yourself at the same time at the Edge of the World in Saudi Arabia. With an uninterrupted view of the horizon, the Jebel Fihrayn is a geological wonder in the desert of Riyadh. Another memorable experience in the country is stargazing at the Moon mountain. This surreal desert landscape is perfect for overnight stays, treks as well as hikes.
Experience the Adrenaline Rush
Saudi Arabia is not just a hub of history, culture and ancient traditions. For those seeking an adventure of a lifetime there is plenty to do here. Head to the King Abdullah Economic City for a golfing experience, an expansive waterfront area offering a variety of water and adventure sports and a bike friendly beach. Soon travellers will also have a chance to visit a motorsports park which is currently being built. Apart from that Jeddah is also a much sought after destination for diving and discovering underwater life in the Red Sea.
Unwind at Al Ahsa Oasis
More than just vast expanses of desert, Saudi Arabia is also home to the desert oasis, Al Ahsa. Just inland from the Gulf Coast, Al Ahsa is a verdant setting with over 2.5 million date palm trees. Al Ahsa is also the largest self
contained oasis in the world according to the Guinesses Book of World Records. There is no dearth of options here — think panoramic vistas, hot and cold springs, ancient mosques amid other sights.
Step in for leisure activities
In recent years the country has also opened its doors for leisure sports activities such as F1 races, art and cultural extravaganzas such as Winter at Tantora festival and also sports rallies such as Dakar Rally, who’s latest edition was held in Saudi Arabia. The country’s wide ranging activities are now attracting travellers from all walks of life.
Keeping all covid protocols in mind, and ready for an influx of travellers, Saudi Arabia recently also announced the doors of the country open for Indian travellers beginning December 1. If you’re looking forward to a vacation in Saudi Arabia, bookings can be made via Travel Tours, one of the key partners of Saudi Arabia tourism in India. Their holiday experts also provide assistance in terms of recommended experiences and much more. Bookings begin priced at Rs 37,000 per person.
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