Some 60 kilometers from the Red Sea and around 100 kilometers from the city of Jizan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most impressive natural landscapes, the Faifa Mountains, also known as Jebel Fayfa, Feyfa, or Faifa. Fondly referred to by people in the region as “The Hanging Gardens of Saudi Arabia,” “Neighbor of the Moon,” and “Heavens of the Earth,” a visit to the location makes it easy to see why. Rising 2,600 meters above sea level, the mountains are home to stunning green terraces that were carved out centuries ago, their purpose to bring agriculture to this fertile but steep land.
Today, Faifa’s hanging terraces see around one million visitors every year, all who come to enjoy its greenery and magnificent peaks, as well as to explore its slopes filled with history and culture. Faifa’s lush landscape means it is home to a wide variety of produce, plants, flowers, and herbs, and it is also known as a producer of highly-sought-after honey. Amongst the agricultural produce that come out of the region are coffee, pomegranates, soursop, maize, tamarind, cocoa, and guava.
In addition, Faifa’s iconic terraced hills are home to beautiful houses, many with a distinct architectural style in the form of cylinders. It is also home to the largest museum of Jizan located in a castle in the mountains. The museum is said to house a sizable collection of weapons, bandoliers, ropes, carriage bags, tools, and fire lanterns.
Not only is Faifa full of stunning green terraces and architecture, it is also known to for its rich, diverse heritage, home to 20 or so clans, each with their own art, poetry, legends, stories, and more. It also offers views of ancient fortresses and various structures that were constructed to protect the area from invaders. Indeed, Faifa Mountains and its hanging gardens offer those looking to do a bit of geological tourism a world of wonder to explore and enjoy!