Nestled high in the mountains of the Asir Province, the city of Abha, Saudi Arabia, is a diamond waiting to be explored. Combining ancient traditions with modern living, it is a cultural montage unlike any other. It’s my pleasure to ignite your wanderlust for this spectacular destination.
When To Go
The best time to visit Abha is from April to October. With temperatures averaging around 22°C, the weather is perfect for countryside walks and outdoor exploration. The Saudi Summer festival, usually held in July, is another reason to visit during these months.
How to Get There
Abha International Airport serves as the main gateway to this city. There are direct flights from major Middle Eastern and European cities.
Where to Stay
The city boasts a variety of accommodations to suit all budget levels. For an authentic experience, I recommend the traditional Saudi Arabian guesthouses, known as “Istiraha”.
What to Do
Abha offers a wide spectrum of activities. Bask in nature at the Asir National Park, ride the longest cable car ride in the world at Habala Village, or shop for local handicrafts at Tuesday Market.
Where to Eat
Abha’s culinary scene is a gastronomic adventure. Try local dishes like “Jareesh” and “Saleeg”, or opt for international flavors at many cosmopolitan eateries.
The city is replete with picturesque sights. Don’t miss the breathtaking view from Habala Village and the tranquillity of Lake Saad.
If you’re new to Arabic culture, guided tours provide a concise and enlightening introduction. Choose from city tours, historical tours, or even adventure tours to meet your interests.
Arabic is the local language, but English is widely spoken. Dress modestly, respecting the local customs. The Saudi Riyal (SR) is the official currency, and ATMs are readily available.
Abha’s nightlife, though not akin to its cosmopolitan counterparts, is vibrant in its own way. Cafés and family-oriented amusement parks stay open until the early hours of the morning.
The city has a well-developed transport infrastructure. Buses, taxis, and rented cars are available, but I found walking to be a delightful way to soak in the city’s charm.
The city’s shopping scene is a blend of modern malls and traditional markets. The latter, known as “souks”, are great for buying authentic Saudi Arabian souvenirs.
Abha’s rich cultural heritage is strongly influenced by its tribal history. Traditional music, dance, and handicrafts are an integral part of the city’s identity.
Abha’s food scene is a gastronomic delight. Local spices, fresh produce, and traditional cooking techniques make every meal an adventure for the tastebuds.
The city’s natural surroundings offer a wealth of outdoor activities. Hiking, off-road driving, and bird watching are some of the popular pastimes for locals and visitors alike.
Abha, in essence, is a destination that knows how to blend its cultural richness with modern amenities. So pack your bags and let this Saudi Arabian gem charm you with its hospitality, vibrant culture, and scenic beauty.