Top Ten Things To Do In And Around Abha

Blue Abaya’s Top 10 list of tourist attractions and sightseeing activities in city of Abha in Asir Province of Saudi-Arabia, and its surroundings including Asir National Park, Jebel Al Soudah, Khamis Mushayt and Rijal Al Ma’a.

Click here to read more Blue Abaya travel articles and destination guides from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!

Head over to this post Saudi Road Trip Riyadh-Abha to find out more about driving to Abha from Riyadh.

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The city of Abha, located in the Asir Province, is a very popular holiday destination during the summer months due its beautiful scenery, the famous misty mountain tops and cooling breezes.  Tourists from all over the GCC flock here to escape the sweltering summer heat. At an elevation of 2200m above the Red Sea level, the mountainous Abha region enjoys pleasant weather year round. Asir region has plenty of attractions to do and it might be a challenge to decide between all of the fun and interesting activities.

misty mountains asir province ksa

1.  Visit the New Abha resort and The Abha Lake Dam. Stroll around the lakeside in the 300,000 sqm garden and dine at the luxurious Abha Palace Hotel with fantastic views of the lake and the city. You can take a scenic cable car ride from the resort to the Green Mountain.

2. Take a thrilling cable car ride down to Habala, the Hanging Village. This ancient village was built halfway down a cliff face and it used to be only accessible by ropes. It’s believed that the villagers fled the Ottomans here and lived in isolation completely self-sufficiently until they were rediscovered by a Saudi army helicopter. The site is a unique piece of Saudi history but unfortunately it has become quite commercialized in the last few years but it’s still worth the visit. The cable cars usually run only during the holiday seasons.

Habala Rope Village. Photo: Laura Alho

3.. Drive up to the Green Mountain in the middle of Abha city. The “mountain” is actually a hill overlooking the city which is beautifully lit with green lights in the night. There’s a restaurant and café on the top with a nice outdoor terrace enjoying amazing views of Abha. Try the mint tea and sheesha while enjoying the sunset and the cool breezes on the terrace. On the way up be sure to stop at the excellent souvenir shop. There’s also a small restaurant decorated like a traditional Asiri mud house in the basement of the shop.

4. Take a hike in the nature to the various parks inside Asir National Park such asAl Qara’a, Al Souda, Al Wardeh, Dalafan, Al Jarrah, and Al Hassab.Wander around the juniper forests and spot some of the 170 bird species that make this region their home.

5. Take in the jaw dropping scenery in Soudah and marvel at the highest mountains in Saudi Arabia including the tallest peak, Jebel Soudah rising to 2910m. The mountains are famous for the mist covering the mountain tops which makes the atmosphere almost mystical. It’s always cool and serene up here.  Enjoy a picnic in full privacy with only the wildlife to interrupt the silence.


6. Take the Al Soudah cable car ride down to Rijal Alma’a heritage village. Visit the museum and the traditional food restaurant or just take a stroll in the beautiful valley. Don’t miss the beautiful interiors full of al Qatt al Asiri. 

Rijal Alma’a village. Photo: Laura Alho

7. Try some extreme sports in an extremely beautiful environment. Paraglide down from the mountain tops! 

8.  Discover Asir regions traditional architecture by visiting the Shada Palace, Al Milfa Palace and the old mud houses dotted around Abha. Visit the AlMiftaha village turned museum to see how people lived back in the day and check out the local artists displaying al Qatt al Asiri artwork. 
9.  Meet the famous Arabian Baboons that can be spotted beside most of the mountain roads. There’s a population of them near the Soudah cable car ride scavenging food from tourists. Be mindful of children with food in their hands, the baboons might attempt to grab it!

  10.  Explore the legendary Asiri souqs that have been named after the days they’ve been held on for centuries; Abha’s Tuesday market (Souq Al Thulatha) and its sister city Khamis Mushayt’s Thursday Market ( Souq al Khamis). The Tuesday market has a separate women’s souq run by all female vendors and the Thursday Market boasts some of the best gold and silver Bedouin jewelry in the region. Other finds are white or gold honey, colorful straw baskets and hats, traditional embroidered women’s dresses, Jambiyah (daggers), frankincense and ‘shab’ a white powder used by locals as a natural deodorant and antiseptic.

 More travel inspiration from Saudi Arabia: Check out the Wanderlust KSA posts!

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  • No_BishopersMay 8, 2013 - 8:02 pm

    Oh my goodness! When I read about the baboons, I thought it referred to the photo of the man ABOVE the caption! I was shocked! Then I scrolled down and laughed at myself for being stunned.

    The other stunning features are your photos. It’s a vacation without leaving my dead oaks and poison ivy.ReplyCancel

    • J FJune 21, 2015 - 9:04 am

      don’t you worry because I though the same thing too! I’m still rolling on the floor laughing over that photo. :D btw, kudos to the author. this is a very informative blog. I so want to go visit Abha someday.ReplyCancel

      • LaylaJune 21, 2015 - 5:27 pm

        thank you J F :) Hopefully your wish will come true one day!ReplyCancel

  • Mrs AquariusMay 9, 2013 - 3:14 am

    Beautiful photos Laylah! I really want to travel more inside the kingdom, this post was a great reminder of some of the great things there are to see in Saudi Arabia!ReplyCancel

  • LaylaMay 10, 2013 - 11:44 am

    Thank you No Bishopers! I looked at it like you mentioned and laughed too :)ReplyCancel

  • LaylaMay 10, 2013 - 11:45 am

    Mrs. Aquarius! Ya there are so many things to do and places to see, I feel like I’ve only seen a small portion.ReplyCancel

  • Ahad AliAugust 4, 2013 - 10:32 am

    Hello Laylah,

    Awesome post. Got me all I needed to visit Abha. Will be going Inshaa’Allah this Eid.

    Do you have the GPS coordinates for Shada Palace, Al Milfa Palace and Al Miftaha Village?



  • LaylaAugust 7, 2013 - 8:22 pm

    Hi Ahad! Thank you, so glad to hear that!

    Unfortunately I do not have GPS co-ordinates for them, but maybe a Google search might find them for you :)

  • […] 5. Al Soudah The Asir National Park and the Al-Soudah area near Abha are a lush, breezy paradise best visited in the hot summer months. The park offers trekking, camping sites, cable cars, and plenty of other outdoor activities in addition to interesting architecture and friendly people. Check out Blue Abaya’s Top recommended things to do in Soudah, Abha and Khamis Mushayt here! […]ReplyCancel

  • EmilySeptember 29, 2014 - 1:02 pm

    Your website is an amazing resource, thank you so much! I’m wondering if you can tell me about the markets in Abha, particularly what hours they are open and selling items? Looking forward to your reply!ReplyCancel

    • LaylaSeptember 30, 2014 - 10:20 am

      Thank you so much Emily! The opening hours would be similar as in all over KSA, so usually they open around 9-10 am and then close and dhur, then open again after Asr prayer. It really depends on time of year too! Sometimes in the colder months they can stay open for the whole day. Normally they will close around 8 or so, but some souks can be as late as 11..Sorry for not being able to provide more specific information for you. When you get to Abha you can confirm with your hotel what the timings are for the most up to date info. Thanks for visiting Blue Abaya :)ReplyCancel

      • Abha MarketAugust 2, 2016 - 10:57 pm

        Famous Abha market is called Souq Thulatha (Tuesday). Go get your nice piece of the region.ReplyCancel

  • Mom’s Adventures in the Magic KingdomOctober 31, 2014 - 3:43 am

    […] In Abha region we stopped to buy honey from this local salesman. Mom ended up buying a huge canister of that honey which was from Yemen and tasted like heaven! Go to this post for more on tourism in Abha and Asir region: Top 10 Things to do in and around Abha. […]ReplyCancel

  • Dee MangalinoNovember 12, 2014 - 2:40 pm

    We’ve been to Abha last month during the Hajj Holiday. We went to the green mountain to Al Soudah. We just used google Maps on our phone and unlucky for us, we have chosen the longer route. and even got worse because the road is narrow and one wrong steer and we could fall into the ravine.

    Overall, it was fun and one of a kind experience. A piece of advise for travelers going to the Asir Province, prepare some arabic words as some people don’t speak English. Also a 4×4 car would be nice enough to drive on steep slopes. I drove a 1.8 Engine sedan and it barely make it to the top at 10-20km/hr which is kind of embarrassing to the driver behind me.ReplyCancel

  • mohammedDecember 25, 2014 - 10:04 am

    Salaam, I’d like to visit Abhaa but I want to take a flight in, is it easy to get around without a car there, eg taxis?

    And how far is it from Bahaa?ReplyCancel

  • MikhailMarch 2, 2015 - 1:10 am

    (6) Rijal Al Ma’a heritage village is not at the foot of the Soudah cable car, it’s about 12km further down the valley. Also, the traditional houses are not mud brick, but dry stone wall construction. Similar examples exist (sometimes ruined) on top of the escarpment, e.g. Al Azizah just off the main road from Abha to Soudah.ReplyCancel

  • TEN AMAZING PLACES TO VISIT IN SAUDI-ARABIA | Best Vacation Spots infoAugust 3, 2015 - 10:01 am

    […] 5. Al Soudah The Asir National Park and the Al-Soudah area near Abha are a lush, breezy paradise best visited in the hot summer months. The park offers trekking, camping sites, cable cars, and plenty of other outdoor activities in addition to interesting architecture and friendly people. Check out Blue Abaya’s Top recommended things to do in Soudah, Abha and Khamis Mushayt here! […]ReplyCancel

  • […] My mother recently visited us in Saudi and we wanted to show her as much as we could of the country so we decided to go on a road trip around Southern Saudi-Arabia. What an awesome way to explore the Kingdom! I love the fact that you can stop wherever and whenever you like to check out the surroundings. It was Eid Al-Adha time and my husband got almost two whole weeks off work. We planned to have the following itinerary: Riyadh-Kharj-Layla-Wadi Al Dawasir-Khamis Mushayt-Abha-Jizan-Farasan…and back. But we ended up improvising and changed plans on the way, which makes road trips all the more fun! In this post you’ll read about the journey from Riyadh through Kharj, Wadi Al Dawsir, Khamis Mushayt to Abha. Check out all the amazing things which you can do in and around Abha in this post: Top 10 Things to do in Abha. […]ReplyCancel

  • seyed mohamedNovember 24, 2015 - 8:40 am

    would be a good time to visit abha in the month of decemeber ?.

    and rope car would be available during decemeber ?ReplyCancel

    • Laura of ArabiaNovember 24, 2015 - 1:59 pm

      December will very freezing cold up there! I doubt they keep them all open.ReplyCancel

      • SeyedDecember 1, 2015 - 11:20 am


        We have plans to go next week .. Is there anyway to contact tourist spots like haballah cable car, abha lake dam/resort, asir national park before we start ??

        I checked the temperature its Showing 21 /9 .. It would be nice..ReplyCancel

  • abhaJanuary 6, 2016 - 4:04 am

    You should fix your blog design. It’s poor, according to my self-proclaimed web and teeth design expert sistah.ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraJanuary 9, 2016 - 2:56 pm

      really? Can you please explain how this is? I’m open to and waiting for some constructive feedback!ReplyCancel


  • AbdulrahmanMay 2, 2016 - 8:35 pm

    i would like to thank you for seeing and writing about the good in saudi Arabia

    only the beautiful people can see the beauty in any country

    thank you so much i was nice to read through your blogReplyCancel

  • Upali RanatungaMay 9, 2016 - 3:45 am

    I was in this city in 1983-84.I could not believe my vision, as I already heard as the Soudi Arabian lands are mostly deserts.ReplyCancel

  • WaheedMay 13, 2016 - 10:33 am

    What are the timings of abha chairlift?ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraMay 13, 2016 - 10:38 pm

      I’m sorry I don’t have the current timings of the lift. Try to check form local tour operators.ReplyCancel

  • LyreihsJune 12, 2016 - 12:48 pm

    Hello layla. Do you know how to contact a taxi to get around abha city? ThanksReplyCancel

  • LyreihsJune 12, 2016 - 12:51 pm

    A registred taxi company contact number maybe?ReplyCancel

    • Arabian LauraJune 12, 2016 - 2:51 pm

      Try asking the intercontinental hotel! I think Uber should already be working in Abha or very soon it will after the big deal they made with KSA>ReplyCancel

  • Danish LorenDecember 7, 2016 - 4:36 am

    Hi Guys, I recently applied a job in Saudi and my agency are deploying me in Abha,KSA. Will be working with a Polyclinic. Is it really safe to work there? Are people nice too? I will stay there for two years so i really want to know more about the country before i decide. Thanks for the help.ReplyCancel

  • AndrewSeptember 7, 2018 - 9:40 am

    Where is the best part to buy good gold here in abha/khamis?ReplyCancel

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