Winter Charm: Your guide to winter in Tabuk
Winter Charm: Your guide to winter in Tabuk
With red sands, rock formations, and historical marvels blanketed in snow, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful season of the year in the province
As winter descends, days grow quieter in many parts of the world – people retreat indoors, escaping those cold stings for the warmth and cosiness of home.
But in Saudi, the season takes on a different vibe, as the fresh, crisp weather creates the perfect setting for a life of outdoor fun and adventure; road trips, kashta, hikes, and exploration of all sorts become the norm. The drop in temperatures is a call to enjoy the changing scenery, and specifically to witness parts of the Kingdom’s desert landscape transform into green oases (thanks to rainfall).
One region where this change is most evident is Tabuk, located in the north-west of Saudi and one of the Kingdom’s most charming winter destinations. To truly enjoy its winter charm, this guide features Tabuk’s key heritage sites and historical landmarks, camping spots, and adventurous landscapes – where you can marvel at the clouds over its mountain peaks during the day or the stars at night. We also introduce you to some of Tabuk’s most welcoming hotels and must-try restaurants.
Al Zaytah Mountains
These mountains offer one of Tabuk’s most attractive camping sites. A major tourist destination, famous for its outstanding geographical formations, it is where visitors can live one of the best winter camping experiences. And it begins with contemplating the scenery that seems to be straight out of a painting. In addition to enjoyable times with family or friends, a highlight is watching the waterfalls from the mountain tops after the rains. Another joy is seeing how flocks of migratory birds land on the water only to fly away again. Al Zaytah is also a magnet for hiking enthusiasts, with its rocky craters and incredible geological diversity.
Wadi Tayyib Al Ism
One of Tabuk’s other remarkable camping sites is Wadi Tayyib Al Ism, located on the coast of the Gulf of Aqaba, 20km from the city of Tabuk (the capital of the Tabuk region). Camping here is an exceptional adventure that allows visitors to enjoy the secrets of the region, where rocky mountain and beach unite before turquoise waters. And the surrounding mountains, palm trees, springs, rocks, and geological formations have made it a hotspot for camping and adventure fanatics.
This area is popular for its diverse terrain, making it a natural gem in the region. Camping enthusiasts converge here as its beautiful surroundings include trees, soft soil, and interesting rock formations. They all merge to leave quite an impression on visitors during the winter season.
Areas for Adventure
Jabal Al Lawz
Jabal Al Lawz
A visit to Tabuk isn’t complete without exploring Jabal Al Lawz, the most renowned tourist spot in the region. Thrill- seekers wait for the snowfall to climb the mountain for a view over the clouds and a magical winter atmosphere. About 2,500 metres above sea level, Jabal Al Lawz will be at the heart of Trojena, a landmark NEOM project. The distinctive world-class ski destination is set to combine amazing natural and urban landscapes.
Wadi Al Disah
Explore the greenery surrounding one of Saudi’s most famous valleys, Wadi Al Disah. Part of NEOM, the tourist destination is characterised by stunning nature and fresh water sources, featuring a number of high mountains, diverse rock formations, and a rich terrain of natural structures. Hiking enthusiasts can wander around the valley, explore its springs, and rest in the shade of palm and citrus trees, while the scent of basil pervades throughout the valley. A trip to Wadi Al Disah promises stunning trails, farms, and natural attractions.
A hundred kilometres from Tabuk city, lies the village of Bajdah, where rock columns form a picturesque natural landscape. During winter, rain and snow covers the village’s red sand, and visitors can walk around and enjoy the scenery. They can also admire the view of Tabuk’s breathtaking mountains, their natural formations, and the caravans of camels in the desert.It's a sight you won't soon forget.
Tabuk Castle Shuaib Caves
Dhat Al Hajj Fort
Your winter travel itinerary must include visiting a few historical sites. The Tabuk region boasts many archaeological marvels dating back thousands of years, an integral part of the Kingdom’s identity. One standout is Dhat Al-Hajj Fort, located between the Halat Ammar Center and Tabuk city, about 85km away. It is one of the best-preserved 16th century forts on the Hajj route.
This castle is worth a visit if you’re interested in the history of the region. It’s one of its most famous archaeological sites and a favoured stop for caravans and pilgrims. Tabuk Castle has witnessed many significant events and was subsequently turned into a museum that should be visited for an in-depth insight into Islamic history. Admire the splendour of the building’s architecture and its unique exterior, characterised by its pronounced stones, from the walls to the towers.
These caves house a Nabataean burial site with 16 graves, as well as Nabataean inscriptions and geometric rock cavities. Coming to Shuaib Caves creates a rare opportunity to survey rock-cut tombs that are thousands of years old and the art that richly decorates them.
Grand Millennium Tabuk
While some visitors like camping, others prefer to have their creature comforts and stay in luxury hotels, and Tabuk certainly doesn’t fall short in that area. One of the recommended choices is the five-star Grand Millennium Tabuk. There are also some Hilton hotels, including the Hilton Garden Inn Tabuk, located in Tabuk city and boasting wide-ranging facilities.
Camping may provide unique outdoor dining experiences, especially when the stars are out and the fire is burning. However, we'd also recommend the warmth of one of Tabuk’s famous restaurants. We advise trying Ain Sukkar, offering a menu of diverse and delicious dishes prepared by talented chefs. Alternatively, there’s Jandofly, famous for being the best seafood place in the region. Its delicious shrimp dishes and long list of grilled seafood are definitely a must-try.
Ain Al-Sukkar / Ain Tabuk: Al'awayshah, Tabuk 47914
Jandofly / Jandoufley: King Abdul Aziz Rd, Alulaya, Tabuk 47911
Images with thanks to Duhim Alduhim