Jeddah

Enjoy hiking in Taif

© YIM Hafiz
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If you are looking to get outdoors and head for a long road trip out of Jeddah, then you must definitely visit Taif. This is the perfect place for a getaway in the mountains which is a three hour drive from Jeddah passing from Mecca to the eastern side. Taif is a popular summer resort, high up the mountain where you can get some spectacular views at the height of about 1800 metres which actually more than Mecca in comparison and this place is much better than plain desert in Mecca. The place is quite cooler on the mountain above than the rest of the Saudi. The king had his palace built over the mountain to retreat the coolness.

See also : Shopping spree at Red Sea Mall

This is a fertile region which has rose farms, pomegranates, honey and grapes production. There are more than 3000 gardens in the area like the Al Rudaf Park, which is a large park with small zoo and some interesting rock formations. A rock carving site which is to the north about 40 kilometre which was earlier a site of pre-Islamic souk. You can go hiking over the fragrant valley and enjoy the cable car ride to the mountain top.

Other place to visit is Wadi Mitna which was a sanctuary years ago. You can visit the shops and buy the famous souvenir, rose water and perfumes which are made from the rose farms. Make sure to be careful of the wild monkeys over there like baboons who look out for food. Come here to the mini hill station and cool yourself from the terrific heat and relax.

Location: Taif is about 2 hours away from Jeddah."

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