• A 5,000km+ journey around North and North West of Saudi Arabia


    I’ve been meaning to type this up for a while but just been so so busy.  So, it has almost become a yearly event now, around Hajj holidays, I usually embark upon a road trip to some amazing places in and around Saudi Arabia.  Last year, I went on a 3,000km+ road trip all by myself and discovered some amazing places.  This year, I slightly out did that one and went on a 5,000km+ road trip with 2 other cool guys for company.

    Here’s a brief breakdown of the places we visited:

    Ha’il > Uqdah > Dumah Al Jandal (Umar Ibn Al-Khattab Masjid, Mared Castle, Lake Dumah Al Jandal)  > Sakaka (Zaabal Castle)  > Tabuk (Al Tawba Masjid)  > Haql > Georgios G Shipwreck > Al-Badd (Well of Musa (A.S.)) > Madyan (Shuaib (A.S.)'s People) > Wadi Tayyib Ism > Magna > Catalina Plane > Sharmaa > Al-Muwaylih  > Duba  > Al-Disah  > Al-Wajh > Al-Ula  > Al-Hijr / Madain Saleh > Yanbu  > Badr  > Madinah > Makkah > Taif

    So let me expand upon some of the highlights below:

    Ha’il and Uqdah

    I’d actually covered Ha’il and Uqdah in last year’s road trip.  However, this year, with slightly more time and people for company, we decided to go inside the Uqdah valley.  It was actually a beautiful picnic spot and the time we visited, it wasn’t too hot.  Not a lot to see apart from nice rock formations, a couple of trees and a nice quiet village but worth a visit.

    Dumah Al Jandal and Sakaka

    Our next stop was Dumah Al Jandal where the historic Umar Ibn Al-Khattab Masjid is located.  This masjid is said to have been built upon the orders of Umar Ib Al-Khattab (RA) during his return from Jerusalem (Al-Quds).  It is one of the oldest masajid which has to an extent kept its original shape and the minaret.  

    Next to the Masjid is the Mared castle.  Unfortunately, there wasn’t much information about it, however, it is a pretty old castle which you can climb to the top.  Has a pretty decent view of Dumah Jandal and the masjid from top.  After this, we headed over to Sakaka and spent the night there.  The following morning, we visited the Zaabal castle, again, not a lot of info but worth a visit.  Then we drove back towards Dumah Jandal and visited the Dumah Jandal Lake.  The lake was a pleasant surprise.  The area surrounding it was pretty clean, there was enough parking space and the time we visited, it was pretty quiet.

    Tabuk

    Tabuk has Masjid Tawba.  This masjid is said to be the spot where the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions camped during the battle of Tabuk.  Of course the masjid has not retained its original architecture or shape, but, there is a picture at the back of the masjid of how it looked during the Ottoman rule.

    Haql

    What can I say about Haql.  It was stunning.  Truly a beautiful place to visit.  Haql is one of those places which many would not associate with the typical desert image of Saudi Arabia.  Driving through Haql, you could easily be mistaken for driving through some European city in some spots.  Haql isn’t too far from the Jordanian border, and, there are some spots in Haql where you can see the coasts of Egypt, Palestine and Jordan.

    Truly a beautiful place which I would recommend to anyone.

    Georgios Shipwreck

    Driving down the coast from Haql, is not only a soothing experience with the coast on your right, but, you’ll also discover the Georgios G Shipwreck.  The story behind it can possibly be found online but it’s a nice little spot to visit.  There’s a beach, crystal clear blue water and the weather is awesome.

    Al-Badd

    Our next stop was the small town of Al-Badd.  This is where it is claimed that the well of Musa (AS) can be found.  The well of Musa (AS) is from the story in the Qur’an when Musa (AS) left Egypt and reached a spot where people were taking water to drink and to give to their cattle etc.  Musa (AS) spotted two women standing on the side and decided to help them.  Some sources say that this incident took place in Al-Badd and some also claim that the two women were daughters of Shu’aib (AS).

    Allah alone knows the reality, but, what is claimed to be the ruins of the people of Midyan, Shuaib's (AS) people, are not too far from this well.  The well itself cannot really be seen now and the whole area has been fenced off with warnings of fines for trespassing.  With regards to the ruins of the people of Midyan, like Madain Saleh, this is now a Saudi Tourism site and is only open during the official visiting hours.  Please do remember that Islamicly, these places should only be visited for contemplation purposes, if it all, and not for tourism purposes.

    Wadi Tayyib Ism

    If you fancy a trek, visit Wadi Tayyib Ism.  At the opening, you are literally on the coast.  A beautiful spot to sit and relax.  Then, you can driven in between two mountains, park up and begin your treak.  The trek itself can be never ending and we were told that if you carried on walking, you may end up at Jabl Lawz.  We turned back 30 mins in.  On the way, you’ll see trees, running water in certain spots and some nice birds.  It’s worth a visit if you enjoy walking.  If not, just enjoy the coast outside.

    Magna

    I have mixed feelings about Magna.  One the one hand, it’s a nice little picturesque town with the coast nearby.  On the other hand, it is limited for amenities.  We were super hungry by the time we got to Magna but found no restaurant.  We were even planning on spending the night there but drove around and decided to move on.  In conclusion: good for a quick drive through but don’t expect too much.

    Catalina Plane Wreck

    So there’s a really interesting story behind this.  Have a read online if you get the chance.  Getting to it can be a little tricky and definitely don’t attempt it if you’re not driving a 4x4.  You might just find yourself stuck in sand with no one around to help you.  When you do get to it, you’ll find the remains of the plane plastered with graffiti.  It’s worth visiting and it is right on the coast so if you don’t like the plane, you could always chill on the beach.

    Duba

    Duba, like Haql, was beautiful.  A nice little city with a modern look and friendly people.  It is actually described as the Pearl of the Red Sea by the locals.  We really liked Duba.  You have the marina in the centre of the city, some good places to eat, nice masajid and a nice park on the coast to relax.

    Madain Saleh + Al Ula

    I’ve written extensively about Madain Saleh from last year’s trip so won’t repeat it here.  With regards to Al Ula, this time we spent some time exploring the historical aspect and visited the fort and also saw the old Al Ula.  It was a nice experience and Al Ula is generally a beautiful place to visit.

    Yanbu + Badr

    Yanbu doesn’t need many words.  It’s a beautiful city with some nice beaches and a wonderful lake full of many types of birds and fish.  Badr is always a good reminder of one of the greatest moments in the history of Islam and just standing there remembering what took place in that city gives one goosebumps.




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    3 comments:

    1. Can i get your contact number if you are in saudi?

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      1. Apologies akh, I don't give my number out, but, you are free to contact me using the contact link above or any of my social media pages if you have any questions.

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