One thing is for sure, there’s no shortage of incredible places to see in Saudi Arabia. In this list I selected some of the lesser known, hidden gems and extraordinary places to see in Saudi Arabia. It was actually very difficult to select only 20 places out of so many options!
Saudi Arabia is a vast country with versatile landscape and terrain, creating an endless array of places to see and off the beaten path places to explore! For more detailed travel information and how to visit these locations, follow Blue Abaya on Instagram here: Viking in Arabia
For this list I selected one natural location from every corner of the Saudi Kingdom from the North down to the South. I included various different types of landscapes from sand dunes, canyons to mountains, forests, waterfalls and lakes to showcase the vast diversity that can be found in Saudi Arabia’s nature. The land of Arabia is diverse in history, culture, landscape flora and fauna. It’s full of hidden gems waiting to be explored! Take a look at all these lesser known places to see in Saudi Arabia!
- Habala, The Rope Village, Asir Province. The hanging village of Habala, built on a ledge in the the middle of a steep canyon, which was only accessible by climbing with ropes from the cliffs above. The village was inaccessible and the inhabitants were safe and self reliant in their mountain ” hanging village”. There is a cable car that operates in the summer months taking visitors down to the village.
- Turtle Bay, AlWajh. A sandy bay of crystal clear waters where juvenile turtles can be seen swimming in the shallow waters. Nearby seagrass forests and coral reef pinnacles provide a safe haven for the baby turtles.
- Seven Sisters Reef, Yanbu. One of the top dive sites along the 200km Saudi Red Sea coastline. The coral reefs are abundant with marine life and a great spot to encounter hammerhead sharks in Saudi Arabia.
- Rainbow Mountains, NEOM. A mountain range near Jabal Lawz where all colors of the rainbow appear in the landscape.
- Springs of Moses, Maqna, NEOM. Natural springs in a palm tree oasis next to the Red Sea.12 natural springs that legend tells Moses found are located with a view to the Sinai peninsula in Egypt on the horizon.
- Wadi Lajab, Jizan. Waterfalls, natural swimming pools hidden amongst a lush tropical surroundings in Jizan province. Wadi Lajab has water running through it year round.
- Wild Iris Flower Fields, Tumair, Riyadh Province. A field of wild irises bloom here each spring. It’s a magical experience to watch them all open simultaneously at the same time each day.
- Red Volcano, Hai’l Province. A volcanic crater surrounded by red sand dunes.
- Al Naslaa Rock, Tayma. A petroglyph covered rock split in half with laser sharp precision, found in the middle of the desert.
- Cloud Park and Forest (Prince Sultan Park), al Namas, Asir Province. It’s always cloudy and misty at this park you can feel like you’re walking on top of the clouds.
- Valley of the Queens, Tabuk Province. Spectacular sandstone formations stand tall guarding the entrance of this valley near Wadi Disah. The sandstone pillars resemble the Queen of the chess game.
- Yellow Lake, Al Asfar, Eastern province. A huge desert lake in the middle of golden sand dunes.
- Black and White Volcano, Madinah Province. Otherworldly scenery in Khaybar, the White volcanoes are located in the Harrat Khaybar lavafield. The unusual and rare white volcano craters are starkly contrasted by a stream of black lava creating a scene which could be from another planet.
- Dhee Ayn, The Marble Village, Al Baha Province. A 400 year year old stone village built on top of a marble hill, surrounded by a forest of palm trees and banana trees, the village’s name comes from the stream ( ayn) that runs through it year round.
- Secret Lake, AlUla. Beautiful serene and secret spot hidden in the Shallal mountains of AlUla. The water is clear and clean for a cool dip in the hot summer months.
- Saudi Stonehenge, Al Jouf Province. Huge blocks of stone pillars stand side by side in a circular formation. The mysterious site dates back around 4000-5000 years but the purpose of the standing stone structures still remains a mystery.
- The Open Library, Jabal Ikmah, AlUla. A canyon with more than 500 inscriptions from the Lihyan civilisation, dating back 3000 years located along the AlUla valley.
- The Gingerbread Village, Rijal Alma’a heritage village, Asir Province. One of the must-see places in Saudi Arabia. More than 600 stone houses form Rijal Alma village, built on the side of a hill in Asir province. The houses are painted colorfully inside by the women of the village, the art form is called Al Qatt Al Asiri, which is a UNESCO listed intangible heritage art form.
- Hidden Oasis of Zulfi You would never expect to see these lakes and palm trees appearing like a mirage in the desert. The Zulfi desert oases are found in the middle of a vast sand dune desert. Some of the desert lakes have water year round but more appear after the winter rains which normally begin around November every year.
- Broken Heart Island, Tabuk Province. When viewed from Google earth, this deserted paradise island, together with the surrounding coral reef takes the shape of a broken heart. try to find it on google maps! The island is located within the Red Sea Development company’s protected area and at the time being cannot be visited by boat.
Want to know about more amazing places to see in Saudi Arabia? Check out these 10 Amazing Places to Visit in Saudi Arabia
Follow @blueabaya on instagram for more Saudi Arabia travel information and how to apply for a Saudi tourist e-visa.
Check out these beautiful places to see in Saudi Arabia that are not mentioned in this list: Wanderlust in Saudi Arabia
Hello there! I’m Laura, the founder of Blue Abaya- the first travel blog in Saudi Arabia, established in 2010. Travel has always been my passion- so far I’ve visited 75 countries and I’m always on the lookout for new adventures inside and outside of Saudi Arabia! Follow my adventures in Saudi and beyond on instagram: instagram.com/blueabaya