Abha Day Trip – The ‘Coolest’ place in Saudi Arabia

Marhaba! Live in Saudi Arabia and trying to decide where to go to beat the desert heat? Well, I’m here to offer you a treat! Pack your bags and visit Abha! Never heard of it? What to do there? Where is the place? Here are your answers. Everything you need to know about an Abha day trip.

Where is Abha?

Abha, the capital city of Aseer Province near the Red Sea is known for the scenic mountains of Asir National Park, a home to birds and the towering Jabal Soodah peak. It is a small city but offers a respite to anyone who wants to take a break and forget their worries between the clouds of this beautiful hill station.

Our Abha day trip – the first glimpse

My Abha visit was a sudden trip I took with my family. We were living in Jizan and we decided to drive down to Abha. We drove through the towns of Sabya and Darb, and after passing Darb, we drove for a long time on hilly roads and finally reached Abha.

We reached our hotel (Abha Palace Hotel) and I crashed on the bed (Not much of a road trip person). After resting for a few hours I decided to walk around and enjoy the cool wind blowing. When I stepped out, I was astonished to see the clouds so low (a sight which you think you won’t see in Saudi of all the places), the wind so cold and the clouds so dark. I took a deep breath and started walking around the hotel. It was bliss to walk around with the breeze blowing in my hair and making me feel rejuvenated.

The traditional Saudi fare

Afterwards, we had lunch in a nice restaurant. Traditional Saudi fare is different from most of the cuisines due to the fact that it was invented in a time of paucity of resources. There is a lot of ingenuity involved in how to extract maximum flavour with minimum resources. We had Laban, a curd based drink which all gulf people love and a hearty lunch of kebabs and rice. Post which we decided to explore the city.

Kebab and rice - Abha day trip
Kebab and rice

Abha Day Trip – everything to see in a day

We visited the mud-walled Shada Castle, which is now a handicrafts museum. It is a representation of the beautiful traditional architecture of Asir region. It has a variety of fascinating local handicrafts, household items and more. It is also one of the very few traditional buildings left in Abha, making it mandatory to tour when in the city. Surrounded by modern architecture, this mud-walled tower itself is a great insight into Saudi Arabia’s past. We climbed up onto the roof of the palace to see the high walls which in ancient times gave the women of the household some privacy.

We also paid a short visit to the Al-Muftaha district which had a market where we shopped for different kinds of crafts (similar to the souq I mentioned in Muscat Diaries). Late in the evening, while we were returning to our hotel we passed a mountain which took my breath away! We saw Jabal Al Akhdar or as translated “The Green Mountain”. This entire mountain is lit up with green lights and even the clouds above it were green due to the lights!!! It was a sight to behold.

Our Abha day trip as the title suggests was only for a day, so we couldn’t spend much time there and enjoy the cool weather of Abha, but, you must make time and go to this place as it definitely takes away all your stress and gives you the perfect environment to sit and feast on its beautiful surroundings. Till next time, Allah Mak!


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