Undiscovered Saudi: The ultimate guide to Abha

The mountainside destination boasts fantastic festivals, flowers and fog.

Saudi Arabia is filled with dazzling destinations. While most people visit Jeddah, Riyadh or, of course, Mecca, there are plenty of places off the beaten track. Thanks to Saudi Vision 2030, the Kingdom opened to tourists in 2019. The country is one of the final frontiers when it comes to tourism and contains hidden gems within a hidden gem. 

Abha is the capital of the Aseer region. Nicknamed the Bride of the Mountain, it sits 7,450 feet above sea level in the Aseer Mountains. The weather is good throughout the year, but it is a popular place in the summer, due to its cooler temperatures. Note: bring an umbrella. 

The city was once cut off from the rest of the world. It was previously under Ottoman control and then conquered by Ikhwan tribes. Now, it is popular with domestic travellers during festivals. Aseer Season runs from July to August and brings together cultural events. Flowerman Festival takes place in September, celebrating flowers unique to the region. 

High City
Abha High City

Things to do

Abha is famous for its lush landscapes, which have the most mesmerising views. Al Dabbab walkway (also known as the cloud corniche) may be the closest you’ll get to being on cloud nine. Located on the edge of the Saraway Mountains, visitors can breathe in the fresh air and walk through the clouds. Other spots with a view include Abha Dam, Abha High City and Abha Al Jadidah Cable Car Station. 

Aseer’s heritage sites include the Heritage House in Al Namas, Jaresh archaeological site, Rijal Almaa village, and Tabab with ancient castles. Cultural sites include the Alraqdi Museum, Abha’s Image in Museums, and Fatimah’s Museum of Aseeri Woman’s Heritage. Plus, Art Street has 10 galleries, a theatre and restaurants.

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