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Escape To Al-Qandal Forest, A Tropical Paradise in Saudi Arabia

Weekend is right around the corner!

In Saudi Arabia, off the Southwest coast of Jizan, is Farasan Islands, popular for their coral reefs, pristine beaches, and historical sites, making them a hidden gem among adventurous tourists flocking to the Red Sea. But, they are also known for their natural wonders on dry land, especially Al-Qandal Forest. But, what makes it a favorite among tourists?

Al-Qandal Forest is located on the northern part of the Farasan Islands. Take a look at these coastal lines, and you might assume that you're looking at scenery in the Americas or Asia. That is because Al-Qandal Forest is home to the iconic mangrove trees, which give the illusion of stepping into a slice of paradise on Earth. Ideally, the forest can be seen by taking a boat over crystal clear creeks, which complement the picturesque tropical look and feel of the forest. The area also has an assortment of other vegetation thanks to favorable climates, and the island's untouched nature. Naturally, this makes this part of the islands ideal for birds such as hawks, gulls, pelicans, and flamingos, with plenty of Red Sea fish providing nourishment.

Being part of the Red Sea, Al-Qandal Forest is also no stranger to coral reefs, and the parrotfish. During the spring, usually in April and May, festivals are held to commemorate the return of the parrotfish to the islands as they breed in the waters and feed off algae on the coral reefs, helping to keep the ecosystem clean and healthy. Visitors join the area’s fishermen during the Hareed Festival (Arabic for Parrotfish) to catch hundreds of thousands of parrot fish that return to Farasan to lay eggs.

Indeed, taking a trip to Al-Qandal Forest is perfect for sightseeing, but also the feeling of stepping into a tropical paradise that you may not find anywhere else. For anyone visiting Al-Qandal Forest, it is also an ideal location for hiking, diving, and birdwatching. 

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