Breaking Travel News

This Summer Beat the Crowds, by Taking a Better Alternative, to Discover an Unexpected Saudi

This Summer Beat the Crowds, by Taking a Better Alternative, to Discover an Unexpected Saudi

As the weather warms up you may have started thinking, of the right destination to choose for a cooler escape. Why not consider a vacation to explore an unexpected destination, Saudi, which contrary to preconceptions has average summer temperatures of between 24°C - 78°F - 27 °C/ 84°F in the mountains and along its coastlines.

And, anyone travelling to the country well known for its ‘Saudi Welcome’, will discover exceptional hospitality as they start to really unearth Saudi culture through its friendly people and palette inspiring food dishes, handed down by generations. It certainly is the new destination for an unforgettable adventure with your family and friends, instead of crowded European destinations or traffic logged staycations.

Think you know Saudi summer temperatures? Did you know that in the summer, temperatures in the mountains and along the coastlines of The Red Sea have a cool temperate climate of 27 °C on the coast and 24°C in the mountains. With comfortable cool summer breezes and stunning sunsets in the mountains, overlooking National Parks of luscious green tree lined parkland, it’s a fantastic destination to explore this summer. While the coasts of Saudi are cooled by sea breezes, the sea is warm but allows for a refreshing swim or scuba dive along its shores and coral reef.

 

A Saudi summer in the mountains

ADVERTISEMENT

Aseer National Park (Cool Region)

Located in the Sarawat mountains, Saudi’s longest mountain range, is a hidden gem, known for its rich heritage, natural landscapes and breezy summer temperatures, averaging 24°C in the height of summer. Summer in the mountains is one of the most special ways to spend your vacation in the fresh mountain air, surrounded by nature and the outdoors. Keen hikers used to The Lake District, the Alps or the Pyrenees – will love discovering the Aseermountains. Home to Saudi’s tallest peak at 3,000 metres, Al Soudah, offers new trails to explore through the park, covering over 6,500 km and reaching 3,100 metres. It extends from the Red Sea coast to the mountains, with a rich biodiversity of flora and fauna and woodland. The lush green mountains are an adventure playground with lots of amenities set up for families, couples and friends wanting to kayak, paraglide, hike or e-bike. Looking to dine outside in the evening with mountain views for a backdrop, as well as Joud Camp which has top notch camping or glamping facilities and mountain huts to enjoy, evenings under the stars while having a barbecue.

 

A 3-day itinerary:

Day 1: Explore Aseer – Take a ride on the Al-Soudah Cable Car and visit a scenic lake and park.


Day 2: Hike in Aseer National Park – Choose from a variety of hiking trails in Aseer National Park part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its Juniper forests, and wildlife.


Day 3: Discover Rijal Almaa and Wadi Lajab – Visit Rijal Almaa a UNESCO World Heritage site famous for its architecture. In the afternoon head to Wadi Lajab a stunning valley with towering rock formations.


Taif in the Sarawat Mountains

Taif is characterised by its year-long cool weather and known as ‘the friend of the clouds’. It is located on the eastern slopes of the Sarawat Mountains about 1,700 m above sea level. Taif is famous for producing fruit grapes, berries, pomegranates, and figs and importantly for us girls, Taif roses, are coveted for their lingering fragrance. Form an orderly queue Ladies!

 

What to expect in Taif – A mountaintop retreat where beauty and cool weather intertwine, it has some not-to-be-missed sites – the city is filled with historical monuments, lively markets, unique gardens, and cultural activities such as the annual Taif Rose Festival.

A 3-day Itinerary:

Day 1: Explore Al Shareef Museum – Start your day at the Museum, followed by not to be missed authentic rustic restaurant Mezo. Head to one of the many rose factories in the afternoon in Taif to explore the authentic scents.


Day 2: Hike in Al Hada – A morning hike to the Al Arous Al Hada waterfall is worth the view, in the afternoon head to Sesed National Park, which offers seasonal streams, picnic areas and kid’s zone.


Day 3: Discover Al-Kaaki Palace – Spend the morning at Al-Kaaki Palace, the exquisite architectural artistry combined with Juniper wood, granite stone and stained glass is simply awe-inspiring and a testament to traditional craftsmen of old.


Al Baha

The jewel of the Southern mountains is Al Baha, which enjoys Juniper, Acacia and Olive trees, with natural forests and flowers, it enjoys a moderate weather during summer days and the remnants of its rich history are still visible in the highlands, much akin to the Scottish highlands the province is graced with dense forests, mountains and waterfalls and has a rich history of historical villages, heritage museums and markets to explore, detox and disconnect in Saudi.

 

A 3-day itinerary:

Day 1: Immerse yourself in culture and history at the Al Baha Museum


Day 2: Visit Shada Mountain Park


Day 3: Wander the old town Al Qala


The Saudi Coast in the Summer – Jeddah and the Red Sea

The coastal city of Jeddah (and Al Balad, its historic centre) sits overlooking the Red Sea, a vibrant cosmopolitan hub. Today it is home to flourishing arts, culinary scenes and cultural events. No other Saudi city has been more open to outside influencers such as traders, international artists, and pilgrims due to its geographically strong location.

The city’s old town Al Balad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with maze like streets, unique architecture and life-filled souks and markets, is also famous for its scuba diving, marine life, coral reef and water-sports activities, which are seeing more and more visitors discover the city each year as e-visa applications are now instant.

 

Head by car or take a flight to the Red Sea, to soak in the luxury, sustainability, and innovation on the west coast of Saudi, which today redefines how hospitality is delivered. One of the world’s last true hidden treasures, The Red Sea is surrounded by the world’s fourth-largest coral reef system and spans over 28,000 square - kilometres with an archipelago of more than 90 untouched islands, pristine beaches, dormant volcanos, sweeping desert dunes, mountain canyons and historical cultural sites. The Red Sea is a crossroad of land and sea with a rich cultural backdrop full of fascinating history.

 

An underwater wonderland, the Red Sea is home to 175 species of coral reefs, 195 species of fish and critically endangered species such as the hawksbill sea turtle. The Red Sea goes beyond sustainability to have a regenerative impact on the environment. To avoid over-tourism, the annual number of visitors to The Red Sea will be capped at one million.

 

A 3-day itinerary will leave you wanting more, but it can give you a good immersive feel for the city and the region:

Day 1: Start your day with a visit to Al-Rahma Mosque – also known as the Floating Mosque. Then head into Al Balad, Jeddah’s historic district. Wander through the narrow alleyways lined with traditional coral stone houses.


Day 2: Explore the Jeddah Waterfront & beyond a scenic coastal walk of over 30 kilometres. In the evening, enjoy a seafood dinner at a restaurant on the Corniche.


Day 3: Head by car or take a flight to the Red Sea, soak in the crystal waters and spend the day full of sea excursions from fishing, kayaking, or simply cruise the sea on a jet ski.


Saudi is open and welcoming and as a year-round destination that caters to many budgets across activities and destinations, there really is something for everyone. The only dilemma you may face is which destination to choose!

Visit Saudi has partnered with Anghami, the largest music-sharing app in the MENA region, to curate four exclusive summer playlists as part of Saudi’s Summer Program. The Red Sea Beach Vibes, Mountain Disconnect, AlUla Wellness, and City Summer Weekends playlists capture the essence of Saudi’s summer destinations to enhance your weekend getaways and trips to disconnect in Saudi. Discover the perfect soundtrack for your summer by searching “Saudi Summer Sounds” on Anghami.

It has never been easier to visit Saudi – visa initiatives have been continuously developed, with the eVisa program now including 66 countries, including the UK, the EU and special administrative regions and the free 96-hour Stopover Visa. eVisa applications are instant for UK, US, or Schengen visa holders, as well as residents from the UK, US, or European Union countries, who are eligible for the eVisa programme.

SAUDIA and British Airways operate regular routes between Saudi and the UK. Flights operate from London Heathrow, London Gatwick, Birmingham, and Manchester with direct flights to Jeddah, Riyadh and Neom Bay. With 51 inbound flights now operating weekly, the busiest routes are London – Jeddah, Manchester – Jeddah, and London – Riyadh. The Red Sea International Airport and AlUla have been receiving a regular schedule of domestic flights since 2023, with flights now operating from Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dubai.