Exploring Abha The Jewel of Asir Province in Saudi Arabia

Abha is a captivating city located in the Asir Province of Saudi Arabia. Situated at an altitude of approximately 2,270 meters (7,450 feet) above sea level, Abha offers breathtaking natural beauty, a pleasant climate, and a rich cultural heritage. This scenic destination attracts both domestic and international tourists, making it a popular choice for those seeking an escape from the bustling city life. In this article, we will delve into the important aspects of Abha, including its geography, climate, attractions, and cultural significance. Saudi Arabia has introduced an electronic visa system known as the eVisa for travelers visiting the country for tourism purposes. The Saudi Arabia eVisa allows visitors to explore various destinations in Saudi Arabia, including the beautiful city of Abha in the Asir Province.

Exploring Abha The Jewel

Geography and Location

Abha is nestled amidst the majestic Sarawat Mountains, providing it with a unique topography and stunning vistas. It is situated in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia, about 990 kilometers (615 miles) southwest of the capital, Riyadh. The city lies close to the border with Yemen, surrounded by lush green landscapes, mountain ranges, and picturesque valleys.


One of the remarkable features of Abha is its moderate climate, which distinguishes it from the typically arid Saudi Arabian climate. The altitude contributes to cooler temperatures, and the city experiences mild summers and cold winters. During summer, temperatures average around 23 to 25 degrees Celsius (73 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit), while in winter, temperatures can drop to around 8 degrees Celsius (46 degrees Fahrenheit). The pleasant weather throughout the year makes Abha a year-round destination for travelers.

Cultural Significance

Abha has a rich cultural heritage deeply rooted in the traditions of the Asiri people. The city showcases this cultural legacy through various events, festivals, and museums. The Asir Museum, located in Abha, displays artifacts, handicrafts, and traditional costumes, providing insights into the region's history and cultural practices.

Additionally, the vibrant Asiri culture comes alive during the Asir Summer Festival, a month-long extravaganza held annually in Abha. The festival features traditional dances, music performances, camel races, and a showcase of local arts and crafts.

Cultural Etiquette and Rules:

When visiting Abha, it is essential to respect the local customs and adhere to cultural etiquette. Here are some important rules to keep in mind:

  • Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites or public places. Both men and women should ensure their clothing covers their shoulders and knees.
  • Public displays of affection are frowned upon in Saudi Arabia. It is important to maintain appropriate behavior in public.
  • Alcohol consumption is strictly prohibited in Saudi Arabia, including in Abha. Make sure to respect this rule and avoid bringing or consuming alcoholic beverages.

Abha in Saudi Arabia offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and exciting activities. Whether you are seeking adventure, relaxation, or a taste of Saudi Arabian cuisine, Abha is sure to captivate you with its charm and warm hospitality.

Top Ten Attractions In Abha

Here are the top ten attractions in Abha, Saudi Arabia, with detailed descriptions and key information presented in bullet-point format:

1. High City:

High City Green Mountain Abu Kheya Park

  • Location: 6169 King Abdul Aziz Rd, Al Shifa, 2970, Abha 62521, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Formerly the Asir National Park, High City offers stunning views of the surrounding areas, along with retail outlets and fine dining restaurants.
  • Highlights: Magnificent valley views, altitude walking among clouds.

2. Green Mountain:

  • Location: Jabal Thera, Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Located in the heart of Abha, Green Mountain provides splendid views of the city's natural beauty.
  • Highlights: Cable ride, popular spot for sunset visits, scenic views.

3. Abu Kheyal Park:

  • Location: Al Shifa, Abha 62521, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Nestled atop a small hill, Abu Kheyal Park features well-paved trails and breathtaking valley views.
  • Highlights: Leisurely hiking, Jacaranda trees, picnic spots, children's play areas.

4. Art Street:

  • Location: King Khalid Rd, Al Muftaha, Abha 62521, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Art Street showcases the cultural wealth of Abha, featuring art galleries, murals, and installations by local artists.
  • Highlights: Illuminated at night, vibrant cafes and restaurants, Jacaranda trees.

5. The Fog Walkway:

  • Location: Al Sahab Walk, Al Dabab, Abha 62522, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: The Fog Walkway offers the experience of walking through clouds along the mountainside.
  • Highlights: Overlooks Tihama Mountains, benches for admiration, children's playgrounds.

6. Al Muftah Art Village:

  • Location: 6F8W+567, Al Muftaha, Abha 62521, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Al Muftah Art Village promotes the work of local artisans, showcasing galleries, exhibitions, and traditional Asirian designs.
  • Highlights: King Fahd Cultural Center, Al Muftah Theater, Archaeological Center, Media Center.

7. Abha Lake Viewpoint:

  • Location: King Abdul Aziz Rd, Abha Al Jadidah, Abha 62512, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Situated by the Abha Dam, Abha Lake offers a scenic getaway with green spaces, picnic spots, and great views (subject to weather conditions).
  • Highlights: Anomaly in a desert city, picturesque views, photographers' delight.

8. Jabal Sawda:

  • Location: Asir Mountain Range
  • Description: Jabal Sawda is the highest peak in Saudi Arabia, known for its cool climate, berry trees, hiking trails, and sunset cable car rides.
  • Highlights: Stunning natural beauty, hiking for all levels, breathtaking sunset views.

9. Al Raqadi Museum:

  • Location: Thirah, Abha 62521, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Al Raqadi Museum showcases personal artifacts reflecting the artistic history of Saudi Arabia, offering a traditional shopping experience.
  • Highlights: Pottery works, lanterns, clothing, photographs, paintings, Asiri Council, heritage shopping.

10. Shamsan Ottoman Castle:

  • Location: Shamasan, 3738 - hayi, 8826 Abha 62521, Saudi Arabia
  • Description: Shamsan Ottoman Castle, situated at the base of a towering mountain, provides ancient beauty and serves as a stunning backdrop for photography.
  • Highlights: Recently discovered tombstones, open throughout the day, historical charm.

These ten attractions in Abha offer a diverse range of experiences, including natural beauty, cultural displays, artistic expressions, and historical significance, making it an ideal destination for travelers seeking a rich and varied experience.

Ten Things To Do In Abha

Here are ten things to do in Abha, Saudi Arabia, with important information presented in a pointwise format:

1. Visit Abha Dam Lake and New Abha Resort:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Explore Abha Dam Lake and its surrounding 300,000 sqm park.
  • Must-see: Enjoy the opulent Abha Palace Hotel with spectacular views.
  • Don't miss: Take a cable car journey from the resort to Green Mountain.

2. Ride in the cable car to Habala, the Hanging Village:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Take an exciting cable car trip to Habala, a unique village built halfway down a rock face.
  • Historical significance: It served as a refuge for peasants fleeing the Ottomans and remained secluded until discovered by a Saudi army helicopter.
  • Note: Cable cars are usually operational during holidays.

3. Explore Asir National Park:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Saudi Arabia's first national park, covering around 1,600 square kilometers.
  • Biodiversity: Home to over 300 different bird species and pristine wilderness areas.
  • Facilities: The park offers 67 campsites and 45 picnic areas for visitors.

4. Discover the beauty of Shamsan Castle:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Visit Shamsan Castle, a historical site just 10 minutes from the city center.
  • Historical significance: Witness the age-old remains of the castle and experience its rich history and antiquity.
  • Note: Shamsan Castle attracts history and antiquity enthusiasts from around the world.

5. Paraglide in Abha and marvel at the beauty from the mountains:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Experience the thrill of paragliding and capture the breathtaking views of the mountains.
  • Best time: Evening flights offer a spectacular glimpse of the green slopes.
  • Timings: Paragliding is typically available from 2 PM to 7 PM.

6. Visit the souks in Abha:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Explore Abha's famous Souq Al Thulatha and other legendary Asiri souks.
  • Cultural experience: Learn more about the city's culture and the Kingdom's history.
  • Shopping: Find intriguing local souvenirs, traditional apparel, jewelry, and culinary items.

7. Explore Rijal Alma Village:

Explore Rijal Alma Village

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia (1.5 hours from city center)
  • Highlights: Discover the 1000-year-old heritage of Rijal Alma Village.
  • Scenic road: Enjoy a picturesque drive with steep inclines and lush greenery.
  • Architectural marvel: Witness the unique buildings that characterize the village.

8. Experience Habala, The Hanging Village:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia (1 hour drive from city center)
  • Highlights: Visit Al Habala, also known as the Hanging Village, in the early morning for stunning views.
  • Breathtaking scenery: Clouds suspended below the cliffs offer a mesmerizing sight.
  • Adventure and nature: Enjoy the thrill of exploring this unique village suspended on a cliff.

9. Enjoy the Beautiful Waterfall Park:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Spend time in the compact green space with well-maintained paths, lawns, and flowering trees.
  • Family-friendly: Kids can enjoy a special area while visitors relax and admire the surroundings.
  • Sightseeing: Take the opportunity to explore major attractions within the park.

10.Visit the Art Street:

  • Location: Abha, Saudi Arabia
  • Highlights: Experience the vibrant and charming atmosphere of the Art Street.
  • Seasonal beauty: Adorned with Jacaranda Trees, the street offers a welcoming ambiance, especially during the spring season.
  • Artistic displays: Discover feature installations, murals, and enjoy coffee shops along the street.

These ten activities provide a diverse range of experiences in Abha, allowing visitors to enjoy the city's natural beauty, cultural heritage, adventure, and artistic attractions.

Adventure Activities

Here are some adventure activities you can enjoy in Abha, Saudi Arabia:

Adventure Activities

1. Paragliding in Abha:

  • Location: Abha Al Jadidah, Abha 62512, Saudi Arabia
  • Timings: 2 PM - 7 PM
  • Experience the thrill of paragliding in Abha, soaring through the air and enjoying breathtaking views of the mountains.
  • The best time to go paragliding is usually in the evening when you can witness the stunning sunset and the green slopes of Abha.

2. Hiking in the Asir Mountains:

  • Abha is surrounded by the majestic Asir Mountains, offering excellent opportunities for hiking enthusiasts.
  • Explore the scenic trails that wind through the mountains and enjoy the breathtaking views of the valleys, lush greenery, and waterfalls.
  • Popular hiking trails include the Wadi Mahala Trail, Al Soudah Park Trail, and the Wadi Bin Hammad Trail.

3. Off-Road Adventures:

  • Abha's rugged terrain makes it a perfect destination for off-road adventures.
  • Rent a 4x4 vehicle and explore the off-beat paths, rocky terrains, and desert landscapes surrounding Abha.
  • Experience the adrenaline rush as you navigate through challenging trails and discover hidden gems of natural beauty.

4. Rock Climbing:

  • Abha is home to several cliffs and rock formations that offer excellent rock climbing opportunities.
  • Engage in this exhilarating adventure sport and challenge yourself as you scale the cliffs and reach new heights.
  • Experienced climbers can explore popular climbing spots such as Al Soudah Park and Wadi Mahala.

5. Ziplining:

  • Abha offers ziplining experiences that allow you to glide through the air and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes.
  • Try ziplining at popular locations like Al Soudah Park, where you can soar above the treetops and experience an adrenaline rush.

6. ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) Rides:

  • Embark on an ATV adventure and explore the rugged terrains and desert landscapes surrounding Abha.
  • Rent an ATV and ride through the sandy dunes, rocky paths, and off-road trails for an exciting and adrenaline-filled experience.

7. Camping in the Wilderness:

  • Abha's proximity to the Asir Mountains and national parks makes it an ideal destination for camping enthusiasts.
  • Set up your tent amidst the picturesque surroundings, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
  • Camping spots such as Asir National Park and Wadi Mahala offer campsites with basic facilities for a memorable overnight stay.

8. Mountain Biking:

  • Explore the scenic trails of Abha on a mountain bike and enjoy an adventurous ride through the mountains.
  • Rent a mountain bike and navigate through the off-road paths, enjoying the stunning landscapes and challenging terrains.

Remember to prioritize safety and follow local regulations when participating in adventure activities. It is also advisable to check with local authorities or adventure tour operators for any specific guidelines or requirements for each activity.

Best Places To Stay In Abha

Here are the best places to stay in Abha, presented in a detailed format with headings and important information:

Abha Palace Hotel:

  • Location: Overlooking the Al Sad lake.
  • Reputation: Known for its palatial experience and excellent hospitality.
  • Facilities: Exquisite delicacies in the kitchen and comfortable rooms for a pleasant stay.
  • Highlights: Impeccable service provided by the staff, ensuring a memorable experience for guests.

AZD Hotel:

  • Location: Central location in Abha.
  • Room Features: Plush and comfortable rooms equipped with amenities such as sound-proofing, air-conditioning, and fireplaces for colder nights.
  • Facilities: Various amenities provided for a comfortable stay.
  • Highlights: Focus on comfort and attention to detail, making it an attractive choice for visitors.

Assalam Palace:

  • Location: Well-connected to popular tourist attractions in Abha.
  • Room Features: Spacious and comfortable rooms for a relaxing stay.
  • Facilities: Restaurant serving good-quality food, eliminating the need to venture far for meals.
  • Highlights: Convenient location and comfortable accommodations make it a strong option for travelers.

Intercontinental Abha:

  • Location: Situated on the Al Soodah Mountains, offering picturesque views.
  • Room Features: Excellent rooms designed for comfort and relaxation.
  • Facilities: Range of amenities provided to enhance the guest experience.
  • Highlights: Stunning mountain views combined with warm hospitality make it a popular choice for visitors.

Please note that it is always advisable to check recent reviews, availability, and additional details before making a final decision on where to stay in Abha.

Shopping in Abha

Abha, situated in the Asir Province of Saudi Arabia, presents a plethora of shopping opportunities that cater to both residents and visitors. Whether you seek traditional attire, handicrafts, artwork, or general merchandise, Abha boasts numerous destinations to fulfill your shopping desires. Discover below some prominent shopping spots in Abha:

Abha Palace:

  • This renowned shopping destination specializes in women's dresses and local garments.
  • Featuring an extensive collection of over fifty stores, it offers a diverse range of traditional clothing options.
  • Conveniently located, making it easily accessible for finding local garments.

Al Raqadi Museum:

  • Although primarily a museum, it also presents shopping opportunities.
  • Within the museum premises, you'll find several souvenir shops.
  • Browse through a selection of handicrafts and handcrafted souvenirs, including captivating showpieces.
  • Experience a unique blend of cultural exploration and shopping delight.

Al Muftah Art Village:

  • An absolute must-visit for art and culture enthusiasts in Abha.
  • Bustling shops that specialize in local art and handicrafts await you.
  • The village comes alive at night, creating a vibrant and lively atmosphere.
  • Explore and purchase exceptional artworks and traditional crafts.

Al Rashid Mall:

  • Abha's largest shopping mall, catering to diverse shopping needs.
  • Offers an extensive array of retail stores, encompassing both local and international brands.
  • Provides a spacious and comfortable shopping environment.
  • Ideal for families with children, as it features various attractions and entertainment options.