Deserts and Oasis
Saudi Arabia's geography is dominated huge deserts that cover more than half the country, dotted with sparkling oasis. These wilderness areas offer visitors the perfect opportunity of experiencing desert life, with camping trips, safaris and extreme sports including sand skiing, caving and paragliding becoming increasingly popular throughout the Kingdom.
Islands and Seas
The Kingdom’s 2,640 km of pristine coastline, tropical seas and coral archipelagos make Saudi Arabia a paradise for beach-lovers, divers, and anglers. Water sports venues are available on both Gulf and Red Sea coasts, offering windsurfing, jet skis, fishing and diving trips, while the country’s many modern beach resorts provide everything you could want for a perfect family beach break.
Mountains and Valleys
With mountains running along much of the west coast and the Tuwaiq Escarpment bisecting Nejd, Saudi Arabia offers plenty of opportunities for mountaineering and hiking – or simply enjoying the mountain scenery and the temperate, green valleys from the comfort of an organized tour. Resorts in Asir even have a number of cable car routes serving the peaks.
Vast open scrubland and plains cover much of Saudi Arabia. In the east, coastal extend along the coast while in the west, coastal plains stretch inland to the foothills of Sarawat Mountains. The plains of Nejd in the country’s heartland extend to Ha’il where they meet the Great Nafud Desert.
Caves and Al-Duhul
With some of the largest subterranean cave (duhul) complexes in the world, Saudi Arabia’s underground natural wonders provide an exciting new facet to the Kingdom’s tourist attractions. Ancient, majestic and startlingly beautiful, Saudi’s many cave complexes have only recently come into prominence. For centuries they have stood forgotten but now, following the efforts of the Saudi Geological Survey (SGS), residents and tourists have started to visit and be aware of these natural treasures. Some of the best cave systems to visit include Duhul Hit between Al-Kharj and Riyadh, Umm Jirsan Cave 100km north Madina, and the caves around Al Ahsa oasis.
With an arid climate, no permanent rivers and few standing lakes in Saudi Arabia, any springs, seasonal lake and swimming holes are a popular draw for locals and visitors alike, who come to swim, enjoy spa treatments or simply enjoy the cool waters and green landscape
The most significant of these are Uruq Bani Ma‘arid in the Empty Quarter, Ibex Reserve Protected Area in south Riyadh , and the Farsan Island maritime protected area, all of which are popular tourist attractions for those wanting to discover Saudi Arabia’s diverse fauna and flora.