Saudi Arabia is full of beautiful places that beg to be liked, like turquoise blue waters, natural rock formations, ancient buildings, and dramatic viewpoints. Saudi Arabia is a photographer’s dream because it has amazing natural structures, jaw-dropping architecture, and a wide range of landscapes.
Dhee Ayn Village, Al Baha
Dhee Ayn is called the Marble Village because it is built on a rocky outcrop of marble that looks white in the sun. But the houses themselves are made of simple pale stone and slate, and there are only about fifty of them left today. The buildings are about 400 years old, but the village was built around the 10th century. They had been left empty for a few decades until Saudi’s Commission for Tourism and National Heritage started a program to make this heritage site a popular place for tourists to visit. A walk through its quiet, pretty streets is a great way to get photos for Instagram.
The beautiful old tombs of Hegra in AlUla will take your grid to a different time. Deep in the desert of AlUla is the fascinating archaeological site of Hegra. It is made up of carved red rock, tombs, and places where people used to meet. Most of the remains are from about 2,500 years ago, when the site was a home to nomadic Nabateans. There are still 111 structures, most of which are decorated tombs that are very big. In 2008, the site became Saudi Arabia’s first UNESCO World Heritage site. Come during the day, when the sun casts interesting shadows, or in the evening, when the sun’s setting rays light up the red sandstone.
Al Naslaa Rock, Tayma
When you pull out your camera to take a picture of Al Naslaa Rock, you’ll think it’s strange, beautiful, and defies gravity. This old petroglyph is made up of two huge boulders that are balanced on two small rock platforms. There is a very small space between them, as if a laser had cut a single boulder in half. This strange landmark might not look as grand in a picture, but it will make for a great topic of conversation in the comments section. This shallow body of water in the Eastern Province’s wetlands is surrounded by sand dunes and lots of greenery. It is a thriving, diverse place for wildlife to live. Winter birds come to the lake to breed during the breeding season, which is a great time for beginning wildlife photographers to take pictures of them. It can be hard to get to the top of the sand dunes, but when you do, you’ll be able to take amazing pictures of the calm water and its bright green edges.
Al Balad, Jeddah
The historic center of Jeddah is known for its intricately designed houses, which were built with coral from the bottom of the Red Sea and have colorful balconies called mashrabiyyahs. These balconies are made of rawasheen, which are patterned and painted wooden structures that maximize natural light and air flow. Al Balad is another UNESCO world heritage site. It is also known as the Gate to Makkah (Mecca). Some of these beautiful buildings are thought to be over 400 years old, making them a great background for photos.
Al Wahbah Crater, Hejazi
This volcanic crater is about 2.5 miles wide and 250 meters deep. It’s worth the time it takes to get there because it looks like the moon and is one of the most stunning places in Saudi. After a two-hour drive from Taif and a two-hour climb to the top, you can look down into the crater’s heart, where sodium phosphate crystals make a layer that sparkles and can be seen from above. You can take pictures by going around the edge of the crater, walking down to its plateau, or going to the nearby lava fields. Jacaranda season in Abha, Asir: Majestic, mountainous Abha is always a dramatic backdrop, but in late April and May, the beautiful blooms of the Jacaranda trees that line the parks and streets make for incredible, almost surreal photos that just beg for a #nofilter caption. If you want to see more pretty purple flowers, you can go to the Wild Iris Flower Fields in Tumair, Riyadh. Every spring, a field of these delicate flowers blooms there.
Alua, Elephant Rock
AlUla is full of interesting sandstone rock formations that have been shaped into strange shapes by wind, rain, and sand erosion over thousands of years. One of the most well-known is Jabal AlFil, which is also called Elephant Rock because it looks like an elephant with its head and trunk bent down. It is 52 meters tall, and the orange, red, and brown colors, as well as the dramatic shapes and shadows, make it a good addition to your grid. Saudi Arabia is ready for you to explore. It has a wide range of landscapes, a thriving art and music scene, food that looks good on Instagram, and natural wonders that are worth traveling for. Check out Visit Saudi for more off-the-beaten-path ideas for places to stay, things to do, and places to see.