The Asir Province located in the southwestern part of Saudi Arabia, bordering Yemen and the Red Sea, is known for its temperate climate with some spectacular historic villages. The capital city of Abha itself isn’t worth it as the true gems of the region lie outside of the capital.
After breakfast at the hotel, we headed south to visit a few villages between Abha and Najran:
- Al Jahamah
- Al Khalaf
- Al Habala
The heritage village of Al Jahamah in the Asir region has a unique architectural value. It contains about 500 or more houses built of red mud. Classified by the Tourism Authority as a heritage tourism area, it embodied a distinct civilizational and cultural heritage.
We arrived in the morning and the place was deserted, abandoned and lonely!
The archeological village of Al Khalaf is estimated to be five centuries old. Subjected to Turkish invasion, the village buildings are defensive in nature, in terms of secrecy in the roads that penetrate the village and the towers. There are about 20 towers of circular and square shape, and the length exceeds thirty meters. These towers are used for observation and providing protection for the tribe.
Beautifully-colored doors to some of the houses still adorn the landscape of the village.
[Colorful doors at Al Khalaf archeological village]
[Mosque at Al Khalaf archeological village]
[Narrow alleyways at Al Khalaf archeological village]
[Alleyway rooftop made of wood and mud at Al Khalaf archeological village]
Known as the “hanging village”, Al Habala is a 370-year old village built into the face of a mountain, in a valley.
In old times, Al Habala could be reached by rope, but now this village is reachable by cable car on Fridays and Saturdays. Some locals still live there and perform local dances for tourists. Unfortunately, the cable car was closed on the day we were there!
[Location of Al Habala hanging village]
[Zoomed-in Al Habala hanging village]
After a long drive back to Abha, and a late lunch at Maestro Pizza, we headed to Abha airport to drop our rental car and take the domestic flight to Riyadh on Saudia Airlines.
We checked-in to the airport lounge for dinner followed by a late evening flight.
Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = SAR 3.65 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
|Lunch||$4||Maestro Pizza. Total of $16 for a large pizza for 4 persons.|
|Snacks||$1.75||Water, chips and ice-cream.|
|Total Costs||$16.40||Per person|
|Overall Costs||$1,229.01||Per person|
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Abha, Rijal Almaa
Exploring the southern mountain area.
Al Jahamah, Al Khalaf
Historical villages of the south.
Day 8 – NEXT »
Sights of capital city.