Top 6 Beautiful Winter Destinations in Saudi Arabia
Looking for a winter getaway with snow and mountains around? At Umrahme, we always look for ways to keep you happy and entertained and that’s why we bring to you an informative guide where you can escape the mundane city life to enjoy the winter months amidst nature.
With temperatures declining and cooler winds kicking in, Saudi Arabia is the perfect destination to fulfill your winter vacation dreams. It welcomes winter from December to February where Jeddah and Riyadh experience the coolest weather.
With vast terrain and striking landscapes, you have plenty of options to select from for your ideal getaway based on convenience, budget, and days of travel.
Here’s a list of the top 6 beautiful destinations in KSA to enjoy the winter months and have a joyful time with your family and friends amidst snow-capped mountains and misty skies:
1. Visit the snowy mountains in Tabuk region
Located in the northwestern part of Saudi Arabia, the Tabuk mountains are known for its picturesque valleys and towering mountains where it snows every year during winter.
Over 15 mountains are located in this region among which Jebal Al-Lawz is the tallest peak. Popularly called as ‘the Mountain of Almonds’, this mountain is situated closer to the Jordanian border and rises 2,549m above sea level.
You can reach Tabuk province from Medinah via a 7-hour road trip, or by air to Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Airport – the international and domestic terminal in Tabuk’s airport.
The Tabuk province provides ample opportunities for hiking, camping, skiing, picnics, and learning about the flora and fauna of the region. There are plenty of hotels to choose from and restaurants to enjoy the local delicacy for a memorable experience.
2. Play with snow in the capital of Aseer province
One of Saudi Arabia’s top winter vacation destinations, Aseer is known for its high mountain peaks, cold temperatures, and unspoiled wilderness.
Drive down to Abha, the capital city of Aseer during the months of January and February to experience snowfall. The entire town turns white at this time of the year drawing tourists from all over the country and abroad.
You can visit the Aseer National Park, home to over 300 species of birds, and hike through the trails for an adventurous day. Go camping with your family at the many camping sites available for tourists or hop on to the Abha cable cars to enjoy the panoramic views of the Sarawat mountains.
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3. Be mesmerized by the gardens of Rawdat Khuraim near Riyadh
The lesser-known side of Saudi Arabia is this hidden green oasis amidst the dry, sandy desert. Rawdat Khuraim is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Just a 1.5-hour drive from Riyadh, this little sojourn is the most convenient and easy-to-reach destination for the ultimate winter getaway.
The oasis is also known as ‘the King’s Forest’ because King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz owns a private farm there where he usually retreats during the springtime.
During winters, Rawdat Khuraim starts teeming with specific flowers known to blossom particularly in that region only, rare animal species, trees, bushes, and other local vegetation. It is an ideal time for an overnight stay or a weekend trip where the desert is transformed into a carpet of lush greenery. Wake up to the smell of forest air, chirping of birds, and misty mountain views.
4. Enjoy a family picnic at Al-Bujairi Heritage park
Once winter sets in, family picnics and outdoor parties are a must. If you don’t prefer long road trips or hiking through the mountains, then this lovely park is the ideal location to enjoy the cooler months. It is the perfect place to keep everyone entertained, including children located in the city of Riyadh.
There is a lot to enjoy at Al Bujairi Heritage Park with its buzzing and vibrant vibe. Tourists can enjoy a variety of attractions, from rides for children to food stalls and markets. The park also hosts variety of workshops, light shows, night markets, and story nights highlighting the culture and tradition of Saudi Arabia.
The park covers an area of 60,000 square meters and is replete with facilities such as jogging tracks, cycling tracks, lush-green lawns to cater to the health of its visitors. A visit to Al Bujairi Heritage Park in Riyadh is a wonderful way to relax and spend quality time with family and friends.
5. Reach the Edge of the World at Jibal Tuwaiq
If you’re an adventure buff, then this place is a must-visit destination. Located 90 km from Riyadh, the Tuwaiq mountain range or Jibal Tuwaiq is a narrow-elevated platform that cuts through the plateau of Najd and stretches 700 km from Jordan to Saudi Arabia’s central region.
Among the mountain range, there lies the highest peak called the Jibal Fihrayn which has earned the title as the ‘Edge of the world’ due to the formation of different rock layers and fascinating geological features that nature has shaped it into.
Thousands of tourists visit the landmark each year to hike to the top of the cliff and take in its scenic beauty. A word of caution here is, there are no proper roads to reach the cliff. If you are planning a day trip, we would highly recommend visiting with a group, preferably in an SUV and a good GPS device.
6. Hop on for an adventure at Thumama desert
When you think of deserts, you conjure up images of hot sun and rugged sand dunes with dusty winds. While these places can be extremely hot during the summers, they transform into striking landscapes, cooler temperatures, and lush valleys covered in snow during the winter season.
Taking advantage of declining temperatures, locals and tourists flock to the desert during winter and indulge in activities like camping, gazing at the mesmerizing sky during sunrise and sunset, and hopping on for desert activities like dune bashing.
One such way to enjoy desert life is to visit Al Thumama desert which is a 24 min drive from the city center of Riyadh. It is the largest and most popular desert in the Kingdom.
Pack all your desert essentials like snacks, meals, tents, sleeping bag, first-aid kit, and items required for a bonfire or barbecue night and get ready for an adventurous trip.
Drive through the enormous sand dunes for a fun ride, enjoy the breathtaking sunsets while sipping on Arabic coffee, or indulge in other desert activities such as camel riding, dune bashing, quad biking, etc. During your stay in the desert, you’ll also find a variety of restaurants and shacks selling delectable snacks.
When you are in Riyadh during winter, a desert safari and a weekend getaway at Al-Thumama desert is something that you cannot miss!
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Whether it’s hiking to the edge of the world, enjoying the pleasant weather at Rawdat Khuraim, or escaping the city life into a more tranquil place at Al-Bujairi Heritage Park without traveling much, people can choose their ideal winter getaway with the help of this guide.