In the Northwestern region of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia lies a city known for its numerous hidden archaeological treasures. The city has become a popular spot for archaeologists and historians trying to unravel the mysteries of the Arabian peninsula. The city in discussion is the city of Al Ula and is a must-visit when visiting Saudi Arabia. There are several Al Ula flights from and to the location, which is the safest and the quickest option for reaching the city. The airport closest to Al Ula is the Prince Abdul Majeed Bin Abdulaziz-Mogayla Airport that lies at an approximate distance of 31 km from the heart of the city.
If one already happens to be in the city of Medina and wishes to travel to Al Ula. There is also an option for doing a road trip from Medina to Al Ula. The distance is roughly 331 km and would take you roughly a day to reach Al Ula. Road travel is another option on how to reach Al Ula, but this option would need a lot of time. So go for it only if you have time, money, resources and patience to spare. The best way of how to reach Al Ula still happens to be air travel. That helps one save both time and money while being the safest option available. Below is an interesting read on Al Ula tourist attractions one can enjoy when reaching Al Ula via flights.
Tourist Places To Visit In Al Ula
1. Al Ula Viewpoint
The first Al Ula tourist attraction that we had the chance of exploring was the Al Ula Viewpoint. It is one of the least visited landmarks in Al Ula and one needs to go a bit off route to be able to access the location. For that, you would need to head west to the north of Al Ula where roads 375 and 70 intersect. From there you would need to take an unmarked route into the mountains. The route will lead to a couple of old rusty signboards marking the start of the unpaved road that leads up to the viewpoint. On reaching the spot you will be welcomed to a mesmerizing sight of the entire city of Al Ula.
2. Al Ula Antiquities & Heritage Museum
The Al Ula Antiquities & Heritage Museum is the next destination to explore after taking an Al Ula flight. The museum is a contemporary style archive offering interactive and informative visuals to its visitors. Depending on the area of interest that excites the visitors. The informatics plays out in the form of visuals that keeps its visitors captivated to Al Ula’s history. The museum stays open from Sunday – Thursday and the operation hours are from 8 AM – 8 PM.
3. Al Mabiyat Village
The next on the list of tourist attractions is the Al Mabiyat village or the Al Ula Old town village. The village is an important historical location as the carbon deposits found in the village date back to 2000 years. There is a paved road that goes through the heart of the village that divides the village into the east and the west. The western side of the village over the years has seen major renovations taking place over the years. However, the east side still remains untouched to any kind of restoration efforts. The location may or may not be available for access. But if you manage to gain access, a closer look at the mud and clay walls would reveal Islamic inscriptions revealing the many secrets of ancient Arabia.
4. Jabal Ikmah
A tourist place in Al Ula that must be on your list of places to explore when on an exploration trip on how to reach Al Ula from Riyadh is the Jabal Ikmah. This unique location has stood strong and withstood the test of time. The walls have ancient Islamic inscriptions that speak of the different tales by ancient travellers. Archaeologists believe that the location was a resting place for travellers passing by. Who took out the time to mention the tales of their journey on the mountain walls. That somehow has remained intact for so long without any traces of damage.
5. Al Ula Fort
Our search for the te top tourist attractions in Al Ula brings us to the Al Ula Fort. The fort stands atop a narrow piece of land that protrudes out to form a natural rising structure in the middle of the desert. In the 6th century, natives of the region built a fortified fort atop this piece of protruding land. That was constructed using red sandstone blocks to gain a tactical advantage against invaders. The fort provides a 360° view of the valley surrounding the fort.
6. Al Ula, Tantora
The next location is more of a spot where an annual festival takes place every year. The Winter at Tantora festival marks the beginning of a yearly festival that begins in the month of December and goes on till the next year. The festival showcases events on weekends that range from concerts to live performances by local musicians performing their pieces. There are also several activities and events that take place at the festival every year. That is perfect for an eventful evening with family and friends.
7. Jebel Khuraibah
Another popular destination that is among the top tourist attractions in Al Ula is the Jebel Khuraibah. The location of Jebel Khuraibah is the location of the former capital of the ancient civilization of the kingdom of Lihyan. There is a very popular tomb that is known as the ‘Lion’s Tomb’ which lies right at the foothills of this mountain. The tomb gets its unique name because of the two faces of lions that adorn the entrance wall of the tomb on either side. The structure is a Nabatean style architecture that can be found in Saudi Arabia apart from the city of Petra in Jordan.
8. Madain Saleh
This next tourist attraction is kind of a spooky one. The reason we say this is because in a religious book of Muslims known as ‘Bukhari’. There is a reference to the Madain Saleh, where the prophet Mohammad himself warns his companions from entering the houses at Madain Saleh. Telling them about the ill fate that might befall them, if they were to enter the houses or tombs at the location. For this very reason, the site has not been accessible to historians and Archaeologists who wish to access the area. An overnight stay is strictly forbidden with the premises of Madain Saleh. However, some travel agencies offer overnight camping options outside the south city gates of Madain Saleh.
9. Al Ula Palm Garden
A peaceful retreat from all the exploration and myth-busting may happen at the next Al Ula tourist attraction known as Al Ula Palm Garden. Although it is not a very unique location, the idea of a lush green park in the heart of a desert city does sound intriguing. The park is open for visitors and one may spend some peaceful time soaking up the sun in the city of Al Ula at the Al Ula Palm Garden. The garden serves as the perfect retreat on a chilly winter afternoon for a picnic with family and friends in the centre of Saudi Arabia.
10. Jabal Al-Fil
The last location on the list of Al Ula tourist attractions is the popular Jabal Al-Fil or popularly known as the Elephant rock. The geological wonder has taken shape over many years and is almost three storeys tall. Unlike the several man-made nearby Nabatean tombs. This massive sandstone giant was carved out by thousands of years of erosion from sand and wind. The massive giant is a true geological masterpiece and the might can only be experienced in person. So, make your way to Al Ula and explore the vast expanses of several hidden archaeological wonders that adorn the region.