"ABHA - The Highest Peak!" Abha by June.b

Abha Travel Guide: 26 reviews and 73 photos

And you think that Saudi Arabia is all desert?

...think again! With a very high altitude the climate in this region ranges normally from the coldest 9 or even less on winter to about a tolerable 24 deg.C.

Abha is the country's premier tourist destination, attracting thousands of local and some foreign visitors each year. Located on the southwestern highlands and a part of the Asir region of the Kingdom.

I went there several times, last being some couple of years back. I always enjoy the climate respite in this place to escape the humidity in the city. Abha has many attractions from natural vegetation, mountain ranges, dam, forest, to cable car rides going up to the cloudy (ah-ah, not fogs) mountain park of Al-Sooda (Abha's main tourist attraction) as well as the mountain plateau of Habalah that looks to me like those ones in that Marlboro ads on TV.

A quiet place with friendly people. One summer, we drove to Abha stopping at the summer capital of the Kingdom, Taif, for some photo taking and to pick up some drinks and stuff to eat while driving, it was one of those really fun drives with friends. After Taif, we stopped for a night in Al-Baha which also has a good cold climate and rich vegetation. One thing I like about Baha is its peaceful environment, small town and looks to me like everybody knows everyone.

I normally spend about 3 to 4 days everytime I go to Abha, compensating the 8-hour long drive to there which is tiring and exciting as well, especially when you reach the point where you will ascend towards the mountain where the city lies.

We don't normally make hotel booking as there are lots of cheaper accommodation options there which is also a good idea because you can always bargain for the cost. Within the city centre itself, there is a cable car ride that will take you to the "Green Mountain" which is actually some sort of a park with a big coffee house and a great dining experience with spetactacular view of the whole city. It's good to come during the daylight here to see a clear view of the city and fascinating in the evening to sip a cup of coffee to watch the city lights. We did not take the cable car though going up on the Green Mountain as we drove up there which is kind of exciting and scary too because the road is so steep going up, it felt like we're ascending and descending on a 75 deg. angle and the car would upturn with a slight mistake.


You can virtually touch the sky!

If sky means the clouds, then, yes... you've reached the sky and you can ride and get lost amongst the clouds.

Going up to the peak of AlSooda Resort, you'll pass by series of clouds that you can actually be enveloped in it. Though of course you need the flying carpet to get lost with the clouds, LOL! But my dream of touching the clouds came true anyhow in this palce, in a plane, yes, you can be in level with the clouds but you cannot touch it unless you dare to smash one of the airplane's window ;-)

The rainbow ride

Took us about 10 hours to reach the city of Abha up the highest mountains. The last remaining hours going up is breath-taking, both for the fantastic view and the thrill and fear of dangerous curves everywhere. Well, you'll se the signs that says so anyways.

You'll pass by many villages, small and inhabited by indigenous tribes people or the more modern houses along and near the main roads, by the local people and moneyed metro-people who established vacation houses around the area. Whenever we reach the hours of dusk and we're still on the road passing by small villages, I always have this funny feeling that we are in a horror movie setting. You know, those abandoned towns that sleeps so early and even the only store near the gasoline station gets closed right before darkness and you won't see anyone along the street, some stray dogs barking perhaps... and the chill of the cold winds caress your arms partly exposed on the car window and suddenly you feel like you want to shut the window up.... and the car engine would stop and there you are along a dark road with no cars in sight.......... Creepy, isn't it?...... Is it me or my weird imaginations?

I got lost on my stories... well, getting back to Abha..... we passed by sparkling mountian streams, not a usual sight in other parts of the country, and those rice terraces dating back to maybe a couple of thousand years....you'll see plenty of these going up the mountain resort of AlSooda.

  • Intro Updated Nov 16, 2005
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Comments (1)

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM

    Thanks for your New Year?s greeting. This is a surprising (at least to me) page on a little-known part of Saudi Arabia.


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