When most people think about visiting Saudi Arabia, extreme temperatures come to mind. However, this is not always the case. The country also has a pleasant and mild winter, but summer can be extremely hot. Other places have warm, and one of such sites is Abha. Abha is referred to as Saudi Arabia’s city in the sky.
Abha is located in the southern part of Saudi Arabia in Asir Province. It is the capital city of the province of Asir.
Abha’s Quick Tips
One of the greatest attractions to Abha is its unique architectural heritage. The unique architecture is mainly due to the environmental and topographical conditions of the area. The city is also remote and free of external influences.
Mud and stone houses
These are the examples of the architecture to expect while at Abha. The stone and mud houses were built in rows and some being more than three stories tall. They have thick walls that repel the heat and capture the cool desert air in the night. This ensures that the interior of the house is cool in the daytime and hot at night.
One needs to drive to the outskirts of Abha to see these houses some of which are more than 300 years old. If you have a tour guide, they will explain the construction technique of the houses which is quite fascinating.
Here are other places to visit while in Abha
Built in 1927, it was originally used as Amara of Abha province headquarters. It is however used to preserve several manuscripts, old house painting as a tool as well as photographs of life in Abha during the second half of the last century as a museum.
Further away from the mud villages is a water hole known as Wadi Mahala that houses various bird species. It located about 6.2 miles from Abha city.
Asir National park
Asir National Park was set up in 1976 as one of the major attractions to the city. The park sits on 1.1 billion acres of land and sea. Asir national park is home to the highest mountain in Saudi Arabia, the Jabal Soodah.
Where to Stay While in Abha
When visiting a new place, one needs to know where there are going to be staying. Here are the top 3 hotels to check in a while at Abha.
Abha Crown Hotel
Rated as the best hotel to offer accommodation at Abha, The Abha Crown Hotel is located just 300 meters away from the reservoirs park and offers free private parking as well.
All the rooms in the hotel are fitted with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. They are rooms with a sitting area where you can relax after a long day of site seeing around the city.
Abha Palace Hotel
The Abha Palace Hotel is located 800 metres from the reservoir park and offers accommodation with free Wi-Fi. All rooms in the hotel have a TV and air conditioning. While here the popular places to visit ate the Muftaha palace, Muftaha palace museum and the Abha palace Theme park. It is also important to note that Abha airport is just 18 km from the hotel, quite convenient.
Located 3.3 miles away from King Khalid University the units also offer free Wi-Fi. The units provide a great view of the city, and all come with a living room, a kettle, a satellite TV as well as ironing facilities.
Where to Eat in Abha
Abha has a mix of cuisines from the Middle East dishes, Indian dishes to the American dishes. Here are the top three places to have a meal while at Abha.
Assalam Palace Hotel 10th floor revolving restaurant
The restaurant offers a tasty buffet with a revolving view. The food is a mix of both western and Arabic cuisine. They have excellent services as well and ideal for families.
Al-sinara is a seafood restaurant that offers personalized services to its clients. It is also ideal for families.
The restaurant is built to have a modern environment and serves a mix of Chinese food and seafood.
Where to Shop At Abha
Shopping is an excellent way to spend time at Abha especially because Saudi Arabia does not have bars, cinemas or nightclubs to entertain you.
While at Abha the best place to shop is at Abha mall which is located in King Abdul-Aziz Road. The mall is one of the best shopping centers in the city with many restaurants, shops, and entertainment zones.
This is the largest shopping center in the city and is located between Abha and Khamis Mushait. Asser mall has an amusement park, 167 shops as well as more than 20 restaurants.
Tuesday is Abha’s market day where one can buy precious antiques and souvenirs in a well-known market near Abha known as Al-Fnaneen
Things to Do In Abha, Saudi Arabia
Here are the top three things to do while at Abha:
Visit the Abha Resort and the Lake Dam
Take a walk around the lakeside which as 300,000 sq. of garden around it. After that, you can dine in the luxurious Abha Palace Hotel which has a great view of the lake and the city as well. You can also take a car cable ride from the resort to the green mountain.
A Car Ride to Habala
Habala is an ancient village that was built down the face of a cliff. The village was only accessible by rope. The villagers are believed to have fled the Ottomans here where they lived in complete isolation before they were discovered by the Saudi Army helicopter. This is a unique history for Saudi Arabia which is worth a visit.
Take a Drive Up To Green Mountain
The mountain is in the middle of Abha city. In the real sense, it is a hill overlooking the town with green light lit into the night. It has a restaurant and a terrace that offers a great view of the city.
Abha city has a lot to offer for a person who is looking to have a whole new experience. From the revolving restaurant to the cable rides. It is a city to marvel upon, and you will surely not get enough of it.