Al Ula Fortress, Al Ula county
Starting on the 20th of December and running until the 9th of February, Winter at Tantora is promising 8 weekends of a lifetime. The weekends are even named according to the atmosphere and performers: A Celebration of Life and Light, Another World, Vitality and Virtuosity, Jewel of Arabia, A Monumental Talent, Virtually Spectacular, Fursan, and Wonder Awakened.
Here are a couple of things you need to know about the electrifying festival:
1. The music line-up is amazing.
Music at tantora
With huge names on the program like the Lebanese singer with an angel voice, Majida el Roumi, the extraordinary Andrea Bocelli, and a virtual Um Kulthum, cam you think of a more exciting line-up?
2. Al Ula is a UNESCO World heritage site.
Al Ula Tantora
Al Ula county is where the event is happening, and not only is it insanely stunning with its historical caves, rock art, and towns, but also because it’s listed on the celebrated UNESCO World Heritage site.
3. “Tantora” is actually an ancient relic the changing of the seasons.
Sundial from Mada'in Saleh
As the official website explains, it is a sundial located in Al-Ula’s old town. It has been used by the local population for hundreds of years as a marker for the start of the winter planting season, mostly for seed crops such as grains. It is a triangular feature, constructed as the upper part of a wall.
Tantora has, over time, become the focal point of an annual festival marking the start of the winter season. The daylight striking the sundial hits a stone demarcation on the ground in the courtyard in front of it and indicates the first day of the 40-day period of winter.
4. The nearby accommodation and culinary options are phenomenal.
For those who don’t want to fly back on the same day, there are options for nearby hotels that are nothing short of the grandiose of the festival itself:
Winter Camp 'Al Wadi': The camp boasts of 120 luxury rooms and five Winter Villas. With 24-hour room service, butler service, spa facilities and on-site dining, you’ll be enjoying your stay in extravagance and style.
Madakhil Camp: Glamping at its finest. They have something for everyone. There are master bedrooms with bathrooms attached or traditional tents, and the campground has traditional Saudi sitting areas.
Shaden Resort: With a mountain view like no other, Shaden Resort features individual units each equipped with a kitchenette, fireplace, seating area and en suite bathroom.
Sahary Al Ola Camp: To have a true rustic experience, these cabins, situated at the foot of Al-Ula’s towering mountains, are exacty what you need. All of the cabins come with a seating area, en suite bathroom, TV and AC.
5. The event is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia.
In addition to being held in the ancient Al-Ula country, the themed festival is bringing on a new definition to entertainment in the KSA. The visitors will not only be experiencing live performances like no other, but will also including be celebrating the winter planting season, a spectacular Fursan equine, and weekly cultural events.
6. There are 11 touring journeys available to embark on.
Elephant Rock Tantora
Touring like never before! The attractions will be featuring Gharamil mountains, Shelal Farm, Barzan Resort, Elephant Rock, Safari including camel rides and sand car drifting, Al Harrah, Dadan Kingdom, Mada’in Salih, Jabal Ikma, Al-Ula old town, and Tantora.
7. The ticket packages are out of this world, and selling out fast!
There are diamond packages which include premiere rooms, premiere flights options from Jeddah or Riyadh to Al-Ula, diamond concert seating, unlimited excursions, lunch and dinner, and car service that went on sale for $5,700 (SR 21,400), and are already sold out! But don’t worry there are a lot of other options that suit every budget and taste, take a look here.