SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Winter Season spreads the culture of hiking

December 27, 2020

JEDDAH — As hiking is relatively new to Saudi Arabia but its popularity, especially among young people, has rocketed with enthusiasts taking advantage of Kingdom’s environmental conditions and opportunities through this hobby.

The Saudi Winter Season, which has been launched by the Saudi Tourism Authority (STA) from Dec. 10 until the end of March 2021 in more than 17 destinations across the Kingdom, aims this year to spread the culture of hiking and mountain walking among the society and to educate people about the geographical features of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Winter Season provides an excellent opportunity for hiking enthusiasts to experience an integrated event that includes hiking which makes the experience unforgettable.

Muhammad Jamil, CEO of Hike-Max tour operator from Riyadh, confirms the remarkable demand for this enjoyable tourism experience, saying: “The factors that have contributed to the increase in the popularity of hiking in general are many, including, but not limited to, the nature the mountainous and sandy Saudi terrain, which is characterized by cold and aesthetics during the winter season, and a tourism experience that is somewhat new to the tourism patterns in Saudi Arabia, in addition to the full provision of services.”

There have also been several hiking and mountaineering events in areas characterized by mountainous terrain, such as Taif, Abha and Qiddiya.

Hiking in Saudi Arabia during winter is a different experience from hiking anywhere else in the world. Head north, near Tabuk, for the best chance to see the breathtaking stillness of shifting sands under a coat of fresh snow.

Jabal Sawda, in Asir National Park near Abha, is thought to be Saudi Arabia’s tallest peak. It soars over 3,000 meters and offers many climbing, hiking and camping spots to choose from. Seasoned hikers can take the trail down the peak, but there's also a large walkway near the summit for strolling.

On the other hand, the “Edge of the World”, or The Stretch, as locals call it, is among the most beautiful and unique sites in the world. It is among the 17 sites dedicated to hiking tourism and listed by the Tourism Authority as part of the Saudi Winter initiative.

Al Sharaf Park in Tanomah Governorate in the Asir region is among the new tourist sites that has been opened by the Saudi Climbing and Hiking Federation.

Dhaka Mountain in Taif is another favorite. An extension of the Hijaz Mountain Range around 2,500 meters above sea level, its natural beauty draws visitors to explore and to embark on adventures there.

The Saudi Winter Season provides over 300 experiences and packages offered by more than 200 private sector establishments. The campaign allows Saudi nationals and non-Saudi residents traveling as families, in groups or as individuals, as well as GCC nationals, to discover the Kingdom's geographical and climate diversity. — SG


December 27, 2020
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