Top 10 Scenic Road Trips Across Saudi Arabia for Nature Lovers

Saudi Arabia, with its vast and varied landscapes, offers some of the most spectacular road trips for nature lovers. From rugged mountains and pristine beaches to sprawling deserts and lush oases, the kingdom’s diverse terrain provides a perfect backdrop for unforgettable journeys. Here are the top 10 scenic road trips across Saudi Arabia that promise breathtaking views, rich cultural experiences, and the joy of exploring the great outdoors.

1. Riyadh to Al Ula

Starting from the capital city of Riyadh, this road trip takes you through the heart of Saudi Arabia to the ancient city of Al Ula. The journey covers approximately 1,000 kilometers and offers a stunning contrast of landscapes, from the urban sprawl of Riyadh to the vast, open desert. As you approach Al Ula, the dramatic sandstone cliffs and unique rock formations become a visual feast. Don’t miss the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra (Madain Salih), the Elephant Rock, and the lush oasis that makes Al Ula a must-visit destination.


2. Jeddah to Taif

This scenic route from the coastal city of Jeddah to the mountain town of Taif spans about 170 kilometers and offers a diverse range of landscapes. The journey begins with the Red Sea coastline and gradually ascends into the cool, verdant hills of the Asir Mountains. Along the way, you can stop at the quaint town of Al Hada, known for its beautiful viewpoints and cable cars. Taif, famous for its fragrant rose gardens and cool climate, provides a refreshing escape from the heat of the lowlands.

3. Abha to Rijal Alma

A road trip from Abha to Rijal Alma takes you through the picturesque Asir region, known for its stunning mountain scenery and traditional villages. The 50-kilometer drive offers breathtaking views of terraced hillsides, lush valleys, and ancient stone houses. Rijal Alma, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a well-preserved village renowned for its unique architecture and rich cultural heritage. The vibrant colors of the buildings, set against the backdrop of green hills, create a picture-perfect scene that will delight any nature lover.

4. Dammam to Al Ahsa Oasis

Traveling from Dammam to the Al Ahsa Oasis covers approximately 150 kilometers and showcases the beauty of the Eastern Province. Al Ahsa, one of the largest oases in the world, is a green haven amid the desert. The region is known for its lush date palm groves, crystal-clear springs, and historic sites. Visit the Qaisariah Souq, the stunning Al-Qarah Mountain with its unique rock formations and caves, and the serene lakes of Asfar Lake.

5. Riyadh to the Edge of the World

A short but exhilarating road trip from Riyadh takes you to the Edge of the World (Jebel Fihrayn), one of Saudi Arabia’s most iconic natural landmarks. The 90-kilometer drive leads to the dramatic escarpment that offers panoramic views of the vast desert below. The sheer cliffs and the feeling of standing at the “edge” create an awe-inspiring experience. The area is ideal for hiking and exploring, with several trails offering different perspectives of this stunning landscape.

6. Tabuk to Wadi Al Disah

The road trip from Tabuk to Wadi Al Disah is a journey through some of the most striking landscapes in the kingdom. The 200-kilometer drive takes you through a series of valleys and rugged mountains to the stunning Wadi Al Disah. This oasis, nestled in a canyon, is known for its towering red sandstone cliffs, palm groves, and flowing streams. The dramatic scenery and the sense of isolation make Wadi Al Disah a perfect destination for nature lovers seeking adventure and tranquility.

7. Yanbu to Umluj

A coastal drive from Yanbu to Umluj, often referred to as the “Maldives of Saudi Arabia,” offers a picturesque journey along the Red Sea. The 150-kilometer route is dotted with pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and coral reefs. Umluj is famous for its stunning islands, which can be explored by boat. The white sandy beaches and turquoise waters provide an idyllic setting for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing in nature’s lap.

8. Jizan to Farasan Islands

The drive from Jizan to the Farasan Islands includes a ferry ride to this archipelago in the Red Sea. The Farasan Islands are a hidden gem, known for their unspoiled beauty, rich marine life, and historical significance. The islands offer a mix of sandy beaches, mangroves, and coral reefs, making them a paradise for snorkeling, diving, and bird watching. The journey from Jizan to Farasan Islands combines the thrill of a road trip with the charm of a maritime adventure.

9. Al Khobar to the Empty Quarter (Rub’ al Khali)

For those seeking the ultimate desert adventure, a road trip from Al Khobar to the Empty Quarter (Rub’ al Khali) is a must. The drive covers around 600 kilometers and takes you deep into the largest continuous sand desert in the world. The journey offers an unparalleled experience of the vast, rolling dunes and the serene beauty of the desert. Guided tours are available for dune bashing, camel rides, and camping under the star-studded Arabian sky, providing a unique and unforgettable desert experience.


10. Al Ula to Hail

The road trip from Al Ula to Hail, spanning approximately 400 kilometers, takes you through some of the most dramatic and varied landscapes in Saudi Arabia. The route passes through rocky plateaus, sandy deserts, and lush oases. Hail, known for its historical significance and natural beauty, is home to the ancient rock art sites of Jubbah and Shuwaymis, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The petroglyphs, depicting scenes of hunting and daily life, offer a fascinating glimpse into the region’s prehistoric past.


Saudi Arabia’s diverse and stunning landscapes make it an ideal destination for road trips. Each journey offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventure. Whether you’re exploring the towering dunes of the Empty Quarter, the lush oases of Al Ahsa, or the dramatic cliffs of the Edge of the World, these scenic road trips provide an unparalleled opportunity to experience the kingdom’s natural wonders. So pack your bags, hit the road, and let the breathtaking beauty of Saudi Arabia unfold before your eyes.

More articles: Exploring Saudi Arabia’s Natural Wonders: A Guide to the Most Beautiful Desert Landscapes