There’s much more to Saudi Arabia than vast ochre deserts. With more than 2.5 million date palm trees blanketing a verdant expanse just inland from Saudi Arabia’s Gulf coast, Al Ahsa is the archetype of a lush desert oasis. And the UNESCO World Heritage-recognized region recently added a new feather to its cap: in October, Guinness World Records declared Al Ahsa the largest self-contained oasis in the world. What that means for travelers is that there’s plenty to choose from. From hot and cold springs to historic mosques to sweeping panoramic vistas, you’ll find a lot to explore in this 6,000-year-old oasis, which has long been a gateway to the Arabian Peninsula for travelers from the East. Don’t miss a chance to sample a khalasah date before you leave —locals proudly proclaim it’s one of the world’s best. But while the date farms are an obvious stop on your Al Ahsa itinerary, here are some other sites you can’t miss.