The first thing anyone notices when they arrive in Taif is its scenic sierra. Resting on the slopes of the Sarawat Mountains, it’s only natural to want to explore the peaks that surround this ancient city. There are many different trails to follow to take it in its breathtaking natural beauty.
Prepare a coat or a lightweight jacket in the summer, because the higher up you go, the colder it will get, but it’s absolutely worth it. The view from Jabal Dakka in Al Shafa, the highest peak (3km above sea level) of the mountains, is absolutely magical. It’s not an easy trek, but once you reach the top, you know you’re witnessing something extraordinary. With views of the mountain range around you, and of the city of Taif below, there is nothing comparable.
Around 20 km away from Taif, Al Hada is the second of the two major mountain ranges in Taif. A little under 2 km above sea level, Al Hada’s climate isn’t as cold as Al Shafa’s, which will offer you a nice alternative. We recommend the Light Walkway, which is beautifully illuminated with bright colorful lights in the evenings. It is a comfortable trail that is suitable for all levels, and it’s even fun for the kids. There are cable cars across the region as well for those who want to just experience the scenic view. Finally, we recommend Saddat Al Beed for the more experienced hikers, with beautiful campsites at the base and peak of the trails.
If you’re less in the mood for a hike and more in the mood for a walk, the numerous rose plantations are for you. Taking a walk and a nice picnic surrounded by the fragrance of roses is an experience that can’t be replicated. A walk around any of the plantations with the family gives you a perfect opportunity to explore Taif’s natural beauty. We recommend the King Faisal Park in Qadeera. While there is a rose festival every year at the park, you don’t have to wait until the Spring to take a walk through it. Home to roses that are used to make local fragrances, be sure to get your hands on some of the perfumes sold around the city and take the scent with you wherever you go.
It is difficult to put into words just how awe-inspiring it is to be up close and personal to this natural wonder. Located in Harrat Kishb, which is about 250 kilometers away from Taif; the crater is 250 meters deep and 2 km in diameter. It takes anywhere between 45–60 minutes to go to the bottom of the crate, but once there, you’ll be just a fingertip away from white crystals that shimmer beautifully, revealing just what nature can accomplish. Please note that the site is best for winter hiking, so make sure to plan your trip accordingly.