Saudi is a holiday destination that has to be experienced to be believed.
Blessed with unparalleled natural beauty, year-round sunshine, glistening modern cities, and a rich heritage, this sensational nation has much to offer travellers.
Untouched beaches, verdant mountains and terracotta desert all from part of Saudi’s diverse terrain and provide plenty of opportunities for adventure, exploration and relaxation.
Family-friendly activities are also in abundance, while a myriad of fascinating cultural attractions await to be discovered.
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Flights: You can fly direct to Saudi from London Heathrow. If you wish to travel from other UK airports, you may be required to stop along the way.
Passport/visa requirements: Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date you enter the country. You will also need a visa to enter Saudi. Multiple-entry tourist visas are valid for a year and can be used for visits of up to 90 days.
Packing essentials: Saudi enjoys hot summers and warn winters, which means it’s wise to pack light clothing, sunglasses, a sun hat and sun cream. Both men and women must dress modestly at all times, with females required to keep their knees and shoulders covered.
Saudi Arabia is a destination with something for everyone. Offering breathtaking natural treasures, a rich heritage and scintillating activities, this phenomenal country ticks all the boxes for a holiday that will be remembered forever.
If adventure is what you’re looking for in your next escape, Saudi is sure to satisfy your every need. As well as being home to the largest sand desert on earth, Saudi also boasts lush oases, soaring mountains and awe-inspiring vantage points. What’s more, it is bordered by the Red Sea to the west and the Persian Gulf to the east, with a host of stunning golden-sand beaches lining the 2,000 kilometres of coastline.
All of this means there are endless options for adventure, exploration and activities. Dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding and desert camping can be enjoyed out in the desert, while aquatic pursuits include scuba diving, snorkelling and boat trips.
Those looking for Instagram-worthy snaps can take a hike to The Edge of the World (300-metre-high cliffs also known as Jebel Fihrayn), pay a visit to the verdant Al Ahsa Oasis, or embark on a quest to conquer Jabal Abayad – the country’s tallest volcano.
Saudi also has much to offer when it comes to culture and heritage. Not only can you explore five UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Al Ahsa Oasis, Al-Hijr Archaeological Site (Hegra), Al-Turaif District in Diriyah, historic Jeddah and Rock Art in the country’s Hail region), you’ll also find ornate mosques, busting souqs and fascinating museums.
For stunning architecture, a trip to Al Rajhi Grand Mosque, in Riyadh, is a must. Although not open to non-Muslims, the structure is a sight to behold, especially when lit up at night.
Al Rahma Mosque, in Jeddah, is another picturesque place of worship, which is built on stilts over water. As well as being able to take in the exterior scenery, you can also take a peek at the decorative interior during a visit outside of prayer times.
Saudi’s history, culture and art can also be embraced in the surrounds of The National Museum of Saudi Arabia, in Riyadh.
Modern on the outside, this sublime attraction takes visitors on an interactive journey through the ages, with eight galleries to explore and more than 3,700 antiquities on show.
Those looking for a one-of-a-kind souvenir of their holiday in Saudi may wish to seek out a traditional market.
Souk Al Zal, in Riyadh’s historic Diriyah enclave, has been open since 1901 and is the perfect place to discover traditional handicrafts and pick up a unique keepsake.
Saudi is a holiday destination for every season, enjoying pleasant weather all year round.
During the summer months of June to September, temperatures average around 45°C.
The warm weather continues throughout the rest of the year, with autumn temperatures reaching 30°C and visitors still seeing balmy days during the winter, despite the nights being cool.
Rainfall is scarce in Saudi, with the chance of a shower most likely in the spring, especially in the central region, or over the Asir Mountains to the south west of the country.
You crave adventure and dream of exploring awe-inspiring natural scenery.
You enjoy experiencing fascinating cultures, unique customs and diverse cuisine.
You seek one-of-a-kind attractions, ornate architecture and unforgettable activities.
Saudi is a paradise for food lovers. Every meal promises a spectrum of diverse culinary delights, all full of rich flavours, and enhanced by fragrant spices and the freshest ingredients.
Maybe start the day with a savoury Shakshuka, made up of eggs cooked in tomato sauce, peppers and herbs. Simpler flatbreads, cheese and date jam are lighter breakfast options, or you could go for a masoub, featuring banana, ground flatbread, cream, cheese, dates and honey.
Lunch in the Middle East is regarded as the main meal of the day, and it’s the perfect time to sample Saudi’s national dish, Kabsa, which is made with rice, meat, vegetables and spices.
Dinner brings more treats for the taste buds, with harees, a traditional porridge, and thareed, a spicy stew, among the choices available.
Those with a sweet tooth will also find a variety of pastries and sweet buttermilk cookies on the menu for dessert, while a rich Arabian coffee, known as qahwa, is the perfect way to end your evening meal.
Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Saudi and takes place during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, to mark the first revelation of the Holy Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
Muslims observe Ramadan by abstaining from food and drink during daylight hours. This is done in order to exercise spiritual discipline and to inspire reflection and contemplation. After sundown, the fast is broken with a celebratory meal.
To mark the end of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate Eid Al Fitr. In Saudi, this is a public holiday, with businesses and schools closed and the hosting of festivities and fireworks displays. Due to Islam following a lunar calendar, Ramadan takes places on different dates each year.
Held on September 23, Saudi National Day marks the unification of Najd and Hijaz, which took place in 1932. The nations merged to become the Kingdom of Saudi, after the family of King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, of the House of Saud.
National Saudi Day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, music and streets lined with Saudi flags.
Taking place between June and July, the Jeddah Festival attracts thousands of people to discover traditional Saudi cuisine, crafts and much more. The event features over 200 events, and kicks off with a fireworks display over Jeddah Corniche.