Travel Guide| Al Baha
When you visit the city of Al-Baha, you’ll understand why the sharif Hussein of Mecca once referred to it as the ‘Garden of Hejaz’ after witnessing the seamless harmony between the urban area and its more natural surroundings.
As the capital of Saudi Arabia’s Al Bahah region, visitors began to call it the ‘Pearl of Resorts’ – and you can find out exactly why after booking your own cheap flight to Al-Baha with Flynas today.
Attractions and Things to Do in Al-Baha
Al-Baha is well-known for the natural landmarks surrounding the city. However, within the city itself there is a great transition into more modern attractions and resorts as you’d expect.
Here are some of the more popular places to visit:
Dhee Ayn Village
A short drive from Al-Baha’s urban centre, this beautifully restored marble village is something all visitors simply must make sure they get to see while staying here. The scenic route to Dhee Ayn will take you back in time as you navigate through Al-Baha’s surrounding mountain region, before arriving at this stunning UNESCO world heritage site. A natural oasis, the village gets its name from the mountain spring that forms the waterfall within its grounds.
Raghadan Forest Park
Covering 600,000 square meters, Raghadan Forest Park represents the perfect family outing. There’s plenty do for all, with playgrounds for children and numerous sun shelters and picnic spots dotted around the park. This makes it an ideal place to relax and unwind throughout the day. There are also some breath taking views of the surrounding hills and valleys – home to various types of wildlife such as the native baboons that inhabit the area.
The three museums local to Al-Baha are the best places to go if you want to know more about the historical character of the region and immerse yourself in a world of authentic Saudi culture. At the Al-Amiriyah and Al-Belqerb Museums you can find traditional Arabic kitchenware and leather goods, whilst the Al-Arsh Heritage Museum caters for more archaeological artefacts – telling the unique story of the ancient Al-Baha province from the stone age onwards.
Kherah Forest Park
Like the Raghadan Forest Park, this place is ideal for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and taking in everything that nature has blessed the region with. You could argue that the larger Kherah Forest Park is a little more adventurous than Raghadan, as night camps tend to be more common here. There is also a vast array of fascinating species of wildlife – from unusual insects and birds to the Saudi tree frog.
Eating Out in Al-Baha
Al-Baha has a wide variety of different places to eat at. Whether you want to grab a light bite or sit down with all the family, you won’t have to look for long around the city to find an option to suit your needs.
Name: Al Bustan Restaurant
This lively eatery can be found within the Raghadan resort and is famous in the area for its Turkish barbecue parties – making it the perfect place to bring the entire family. There is such a wide range of food served – from traditional Arabic cuisine to oriental dishes and even some popular western foods comprising of meat fish and vegetables.
Name: Fifth Season
Fifth Season is the ideal setting to enjoy a wide variety of easy to enjoy meals in a fantastic atmosphere. Easy to find in the city centre on the busy King Saud Road, dining here is simple thanks to a mouth-watering combination of both eastern and western dishes - but this place is arguably more popular for its Lebanese-inspired kebabs than anything else.
Name: Lychee Restaurant
If you want variation between all different types of cuisine than this is the place for you. From kebabs and pittas to pizza and pasta, there is enough selection on this menu to ensure that you won’t leave hungry. It’s also a nice atmosphere – with a view directly into the kitchen so you can see your food cooking away before it arrives on the table in front of you.
You’ll feel like you’ve literally been swept in to this restaurant from the streets of Istanbul itself. The authentic Turkish feel makes it a nice alternative to the usual options in the city centre of Al-Baha. There is a big focus on kebabs here too – and is great if you just want to enjoy a quick bite to eat, rather than a sit-down meal.
Hotels in Al-Baha
There are plenty of places to stay in the Al-Baha region – whether that be budget accommodation or something a little more upmarket.
We’ve listed a few of our most highly-recommended places below.
Golden Tulip Resort (4 Star)
Price: 358 SAR – 548 SAR ($96-$146, £72-£110)
This is probably the most popular place to stay within the urban area of Al-Baha. You can expect truly first-class traditional Arabian hospitality when staying in this intimate and modern resort with all the amenities required to make your stay in Al-Baha a memorable one. This includes a restaurant, meeting and banquet halls, as well as a health and fitness centre.
Al Faleh Al Baha Hotel (3 Star)
Price: 219 SAR – 229 SAR ($58-$61, £44-£46)
A stone’s throw from downtown Al-Baha, with all the restaurants and shops you could need during your stay, the Al Faleh hotel is a welcoming place in a vibrant location. With spacious rooms, each equipped with a flat-screen TV, minibar and all other necessary amenities - you’ll feel more than comfortable throughout your stay.
Al Eairy Apartments (2 Star)
Price: 75 SAR – 408 SAR ($20-$109, £15-£82)
This Aparthotel is great for travellers on the move looking to stay for a short period of time whilst they explore everything that Al-Baha has to offer during the daytime. The basic, yet charming rooms are all fully equipped with a kitchen, TV and air conditioning – which comes in extremely handy during the summer months as you’d expect.
Transport in Al-Baha
In terms of making your way to the various specific tourist locations that Al-Baha has to offer, it’s probably best to book each day through a tour operator – as there are plenty to choose from.
Public Transport is relatively scarce in the area, as it’s a small city. Therefore it’s easy enough to walk around at your leisure, which enables you to fully absorb all of the beautiful surroundings of the Al-Baha province.
Al-Baha Domestic Airport is 45km east of the city centre and is easily to get to and from via the many taxi services available.
Weather in Al-Baha
Like most places in Saudi Arabia – Al-Baha can get extremely hot.
That said, in the hot season from May to September, the temperature can still drop dramatically when the sun goes down.
This is mostly due to its mountainous location, with the city situated 2,500 metres above sea level.
The hottest day of the year in August tends to have an average high of 95°F, whist the coldest day in January tends to have an average low of about 51°F
Events in Al-Baha
There are a number of events to look out for depending on what time of year you intend to travel to Al-Baha. There really is something for everyone – here’s a few we think you should definitely check out.
Name: Al Bahah Summer Tourism Festival
If you’re looking to visit Al-Baha around July time, then the annual Summer Tourism Festival is not to be missed. The entire month plays host to a variety of recreational and cultural activities for the whole community to get involved in – from sporting events to literary programs. There are also some great prizes up for grabs throughout the duration of the festival.
Name: International Honey Festival
This eight day festival organised by a collection of local Saudi Beekeepers is a celebration of the honey industry in the Al-Bahah region – which is well-known for its production of high quality honey. Beekeeping enthusiasts flock to the festival to participate every year, so it could make for an interesting day out during your stay.
Name:Al Baha Hill Climb
The Al Baha hill climb is a 19-car race on a mountain track which spectators can watch from afar. This always generates an exciting atmosphere and is actually difficult to miss if you happen to be staying in the city during the first week of August. If this is the case – we definitely recommend checking it out.
Name: Eid al-Fitr
With the end of the period of Ramadan comes the beginning of Eid-al-ftr – typically taking place in the weeks between August and September. It’s a nice time to visit Al-Baha to enjoy the public holiday where people come together to exchange gifts, indulge in great foods and enjoy being in the company of friends and family.
Name: Saudi National Day
The national day of Saudi Arabia is celebrated with songs, dances, and festivals – whilst the roads and buildings in every city tend to be decorated with Saudi flags. September 23rd is the day people come together to learn about Saudi heritage and how the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was established – which tends to be a highly immersive and celebratory experience.
The currency in Saudi Arabia is the Saudi Riyal (SAR)
The exchange rate is fixed at around 1USD = 3.75 SAR.
Given its geographic location above sea level – Al-Baha is arguably a more desirable place to visit in the summer, when the climate is much more moderate.
As far as knowing what you can and can’t take with you - alcohol is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, so we would strongly recommend that you avoid travelling with it.
For travellers who are not yet immunised against Diphtheria, Hepatitis, and Tetanus it may be worth getting vaccinations prior to travel, although this isn’t essential.
Then you can start getting excited about your trip to the remarkable city of Al-Baha.