Images via @travel_s1, @onaseef & @welcomesaudi
With its natural wonders, quiet beauty and wealth of ancient sites, Saudi Arabia’s AlUla is the perfect location for celebrating Ramadan. As well as special accommodation offers, the vast Saudi region that boasts a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years is where you can delight in some spectacular iftar and suhoor settings this Ramadan. The organisers at the Royal Commission for AlUla have also ensured there’s a host of exciting outdoor adventures to take pleasure in.
AlUla Old Town
Unique Iftars and Suhoors
Far from city lights, surrounded by remote desert lands and gifted with dramatic rook formations, AlUla has an idyllic setting for enjoying those special Ramadan meals, not to mention star and moon gazing.
Here are some of the amazing happenings you can book:
Star and Moon Gazing Iftar and Suhoor Experiences: These must-attend Ramadan gatherings are being held outdoors amongst Gharameel’s mystical rock formations on alternative nights, starting at 5:30p.m. and 10:30 p.m. respectively.
Elephant Rock Suhoor: This special suhoor provides the unique opportunity to enjoy games and gather with family and friends under the stars, amidst one of AlUla’s most iconic natural rock formations. The special Ramadan-only setting is open from 6p.m. – 1a.m., and only for the first 10 days of Ramadan.
The Old Town Market: The market has numerous restaurants and cafes, including Merkaz, Al Rahbas, Suhail, One O' One Burger and newcomer Palm Garden. They will be open from 3p.m. to 5a.m. daily, offering iftar and suhoor options and refreshments.
Ramadan Night Adventures
The Adventure Night Trail is a three to four-hour guided hike through the extraordinary canyons of Al Madakheel and Sharaan Nature Reserve. It provides opportunities to discover the local flora, fauna, as well as various rock art and drawings. Rated from easy to intermediate, the adventure starts from 9p.m. on Thursday and Saturday nights only.
The Hidden Valley Night Hike is an hour and a half journey through one of AlUla’s most secluded and enchanting canyons. Offering stunning views as well as wide open desert landscapes, the hike starts from 9p.m. and is only available on Fridays during Ramadan.
The Jaddah Night Hiking Trail starts from 9p.m. on Mondays through to Fridays during Ramadan and leisurely takes intrepid adventurers high above the valley and the AlUla Oasis. The nightly three-hour hike allows you to look down on the hundreds of date palms far below, lit by a star-studded night sky above.
The Elephant Rock experience during Ramadan centres around the onsite café, Key. Starting from 8 p.m. and going on till the early hours of the morning, the never to be forgotten experience is perfect for enjoying some delicious sweets and warm beverages to stimulate all the senses.
Morning Heritage Excursions
Hegra: Built in the first century BCE by the Nabataean Kingdom, Hegra is an ancient desert city home to thousands of tombs cut into sandstone mountains. Tours to the historic sites around the first registered UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Kingdom are being conducted once daily at 3:30p.m. during the week. It’s also possible to tour from 9 a.m. and 3:30pm on the weekends during the Holy Month.
Dadan & Jabal Ikmah: The tours showcase the magnificent stone building remnants of the Dadan and Lihyan kingdoms, followed by Jabal Ikmah’s open air library of rock inscriptions from ancient languages as varied as Aramaic, Dadanitic, Thamudic, Minaic and Nabataean. Other highlights are also featured in the tours that can be booked on weekends from 4p.m. throughout Ramadan.
Old Town: Conducted by a local ‘rawi’ or storyteller/guide, the tours allow visitors to explore the labyrinth of mud brick buildings that date back as early as the 12th Century, right through to the 20th Century. During Ramadan, they are operating from 4:30p.m. during weekdays and 9a.m. and 4:30pm on weekends.
The Oasis Trail is a free activity that can be conducted without a guide between 8:30a.m. and 4:30pm daily. The three-kilometre walk starts at Dadan South and ends at the Old Town, passing by the green oasis of AlWadi. This experience, suitable for families and nature lovers of all ages, offers visitors an extraordinary nature stroll through the AlUla farms.
During the Cycling trail, visitors are surrounded by AlUla’s unique landscapes as they follow the pack leader on a leisurely bike ride crossing through the sand dunes. The 14-kilometre trail boasts stunning vistas and is suitable for ages 12+. During Ramadan only one tour will be available from 5 p.m., with an expected return by 7:30 p.m.
For bookings, contact your local travel agent, or visit: www.experienceAlUla.com / https://www.experiencealula.com/en/plan-your-trip/travel-packages