The Asir Region

An Ecotourism Hotspot
Source : 
iT administration

Summer is one of the most awaited seasons of the year. Planning a summer vacation is usually one of the most exciting things to do; people from around the world hunt for the perfect tourist destination: a place where safety, nature and great weather come together. They want to be able to enjoy a temperate climate, a beautiful, bewitching nature, cultural heritage and archaeological sites. As the premier destination for ecotourism, all of the reasons above are what makes the Asir top the list for tourists to experience the true soul of southern Saudi Arabia.

Outstanding Nature

Jabal Sawda is a peak in Saudi Arabia with an elevation of around 3,000 meters – making it the highest point in Saudi Arabia. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the kingdom with an awe-inspiring terrain, dense juniper forests, and waterfalls that have inspired poets and artists for ages. Tourists from around the world are routinely met with clouds that hug the peaks of the mountains just above the valleys - a place many would describe as the rose of Asir. With a rich variety of national parks and wildlife, Asir is also the home of Dalgan, Nahran, Bani Mazin, Al-Masgi, and Shaaf Al-Waleed in Namas that all form a pristine reflection of beauty and hospitality.

Environment

Ecotourism is one of the main features of the Asir region. With over 70% of the Kingdom's plant species, Asir is home to green pastures, animal sanctuaries, rivers, and waterfalls.

Landmarks and Historical Sites

One of the most famous sites in the region is the ancient Shamsan Castle, which contains traces dating back to the 3rd Millennium B.C. The Ottoman bridge near the Justice Park in Abha is another historical landmark that was designed and built from stone and is 80 meters long. Jahwa City in the province of Namas is also a tourism destination for many; it is a beautiful cultural area that vibrates the traditions and culture of the people who lived there.

Traditions and Culture

When exploring the construction of traditional old houses and buildings in Asir, one would undoubtedly notice the art and diversity in the structures that mirror the atmosphere of the area belonging to it. The villages and museums in Asir carry the story of the past in communities such as Al-Muftah, the Abha Heritage Fortress, the Fatima Museum in Abha, and Ben Haanmsan village in Khamis Mushait.

Running parallel to the rich architecture and museums in the region, the old markets are a sight to see that will take all who wander its alleys back in time. The Tuesday market, the Khamis Mushait market, and the Al-Yazeed market are perhaps the most sought after by tourists due to an abundance of tasty and nutritious raw honey that is locally grown.

In recent years, the region has made significant efforts to attract international tourism, especially in the city of Abha, where it was chosen as the 2017 Arab Capital of Tourism.