Mountains to Valleys: A Look at Saudi Arabia's Higher Terrains
Celebrate national day on Saudi heights!
When one thinks of rural Saudi Arabia, the things that might come to mind are the Kingdom's arid desert landscapes, and perhaps some appropriate rock formations, stark mountains, and valleys complementing the scenery. However, as we will soon see, Saudi Arabia’s higher terrains offer a lot more to discover, from lush greenery to historical treasures, as well as diverse peoples who call these mountains home. Here are four stunning sky-high landscapes to explore:
The Mountains of Tanomah
Tanomah has no shortage of stunning landscapes for outdoor activities. Situated around the Asir region, Tanomah is home to natural forests, juniper trees, green mountain slopes, waterfalls, ancient structures, and much more. Its grassy fields are an ideal spot for campers to unwind, and the surrounding craggy, reddish peaks are perfect for passionate climbers. Hikers will get to be closer to nature, but also have a rare chance of discovering stone structures and minarets.
The Baha region is home to two stunning mountains: Shada al Asfal, and Shada al ‘Ala. Not only will visitors get astonishing views of nature, the mountains are also home to caves and grottoes engraved with drawings and inscriptions that date back more than 3,000 years. In addition, you may stumble upon ancient towers, which earned the region its nickname "Land of 1,001 Watch Towers," along with the chance to partake in various outdoor activities. Baha is also home to a local town known for its coffee plantation and honey production.
The mountainous town of Rijal Alma is quite unique for rock houses that reflect the region's cultural and archeological heritage. In fact, it was considered for registration as UNESCO World Heritage, with Saudi authorities working around the clock to meet the requirements. Similar to structures in neighboring Yemen, each house is built using local stones, and can reach as high as seven stories. In addition to the city's heritage, Rijal Alma was once a major route for travelers coming from Yemen and the Levant.
Finally, let’s have a look at what is currently one of Saudi Arabia’s tallest mountains. Situated 20 kilometers from Abha city, Jabal Sawda (or “Black Mountain '' in English) stands firmly in the stunning, southwestern region of Asir. Picnic goers and hikers will be treated to breathtaking views of nearby rocky terrains, and a chance to get closer to local wildlife and stunning juniper trees. Indeed, it is an ideal spot for outdoor activities and, with a peak reaching over 3,000 meters above sea level, it’s also a great way to enjoy cooler weather and the sight of fog.