7 Unbelievable Experiences to Try in Saudi Arabia for your Next Holiday

1.Spend a Day at Moon Mountain

The Moon Mountain in Arabia offers a perfect combination of otherworldly outcrops, pitted dunes, and the vast solitude of the sands that attract travellers of all stripes. An hour’s drive north of Jeddah, it is the perfect escape from urban bustle in favour of weekend hikes and camping under the stars. You can stretch your legs a bit with a gentle climb up to the 18th century Asfan Fort that was constructed entirely from the basalt rock found in the valley. You can also explore the Martian landscape: black rocks forming mountain peak vistas surrounded by miles of sand disturbed by little other than meandering scarab beetles.

Hiking Adventures

Hiking enthusiasts are most intrigued and delighted with Saudi’s diverse topography as it allows them to explore Edge of the World, Al Ahsa Oasis, and Jabal Abyad. With breath- taking lookout points atop cliffs and an oasis in the desert, Arabia offers plenty of adventures for its travellers to embark upon on foot and enjoy their expedition.

2. Take a picnic at a Desert Lake

Al Kharrarah National Park, located on the outskirts of Riyadh, is a blend of craggy rock formations and sweeping sand dunes. It’s the perfect definition of modern-day city life: sprawling and still. This desert valley is home to Saudi Arabia’s most spectacular natural gems: the beautiful Lake Kharrarah a.k.a. 'Lake of Liquid Light'. The lake is a tranquil place to relax and unwind: you can even swim if the water is deep enough. During the summers, the valley transforms into a lush green pasture that attracts a variety of birds and wildlife. From the highest sand dunes, you can even spot another of the region’s best-known landmarks, the Tuwaiq escarpment.

3. Dive into the Red Sea

The Red Sea coast offers richly varied cultures such as the port city of Jeddah, the fertile mountains of Taif, and the turquoise-fringed coast around Yanbu. The Sea’s natural inhabitants, flora and fauna including rare species such as dugongs and green and hawksbill turtles, lure travellers even more. You can explore the Red Sea in the water while swimming with the bull sharks, or on the water via cruise: a getaway that blends culture, adventure and balmy summer sun. The cruise experience will offer you culinary feasts, elegant spas, and boundless skies, as you slowly drift between islands and sail for the horizon. It’s your portal to a world of wonder, of white sand atolls, lapping waves and shoals of jewel-bright fish.

4. Stay in Umluj - The Maldives of Saudi

Venture out into over a 100 small islands known for their egg-white sands and ancient swaying palms – this is Umluj! It’s also the home to a gentle technicolour world of nudibranchs, turtles and dugongs living in the aquarium-like waters. Umluj’s beautiful views and delicious seafood along with its meandering coast leading to past secluded islands, crystal clear waters will definitely entice you. Umluj contains the most pristine, dream-like beaches in the entire peninsula which makes it a perfect spot for honeymoons.

5. Climb into the Al Wahba crater

Considered one of Saudi’s most dramatic natural wonders, the Al Wahba crater consists of a vast hollow that has an opaque lake at its heart. This lunarlike landscape makes for an otherworldly experience: glorious views over the desert from the crater’s rim. On your way down, you will notice white sodium phosphate crystals in the centre of the bowl creating a glittering crust visible from the sky. Ancient stories about the formation of carter told in a dramatic way by the locals, are the ones to behold.

6. Stand at the Edge of the World

Reaching through winding desert trails running along a ridge of the Tuwaiq escarpment, offers spectacular, uninterrupted views across the entire barren valley floor and to the horizon. It’s one the Riyadh’s most popular tourist destinations as it allows hikers to choose from a range of routes to get to the top. Keep a sharp eye while traversing the path as you might find fossils on the way: a holdover from when the region used to be a part of an ocean bed, and of camels along with the remains of riverbeds crossing the valley below.

7. Dip into history at Sharm Yanbu

A well-developed coast, scenic lake, and the historic area which houses a building where Lawrence of Arabia stayed, Yanbu is packed with experiences made for for fun loving travellers. Yanbu has a fascinating long history about its deep connection to the ancient spice trade route in the Red Sea when it used to be a pitstop for merchants travelling along the caravan route. Yanbu’s parks and public spaces, perfect for summer picnics and refreshing walks are great for a day out. If you’re up for some adventure, head to Radwa, the highest point in the Al Nakhil range, which is widely known for its honey in addition to its wild nature with wolves, lynx, tigers and ibex roaming the landscape.