Al-Bahah is one of those few Saudi Provinces whose landscapes break all the stereotypes of Saudi Arabia, which is often seen as an endless sand dunes desert. The word al-Bahah (or Bahah without al which is equivalent to "the" in English) has many meanings; it means water and the maximum of it, the courtyard of a house, the high and abundant palm tree.
Indeed Al-Bahah will surprise you not only with its majestic mountains rising above 2000 meters, which are covered by greenery, but also with its cool and humid climate in summer. There can even be hail falling in the middle of the summer!
An adventure trip in Al-Bahah Province is all about enjoying the enchanting views, discovering the South-Arabian traditional arts, and discovering its heritage buildings.
Al-Bahah and Baljureshi
Located less than 30 kilometers from each other along the impressively high cliffs of the Sarawat mountains, Al-Bahah and Baljureshi are in fact respectively the current and the former capital of the Al-Bahah Province. And they share much more as both cities offer stunning viewpoints on the cliffs of Al-Bahah Province, historical and traditional sites, and green parks.
The city of Al-Bahah will welcome you with its picturesque old villages which can be found throughout the whole area to the outskirts of the city. All of these traditional buildings are now abandoned but locals are proud to see visitors attracted to this testimony of the know-how of their ancestors.
The Tuesday Market in Al-Bahah is one of the largest traditional souks in the area.
All products and crafts that are sold in the souk have come from local providers and include such items as kadi, basil, honey, wickerwork, household items, textiles, livestock and birds, and more.
Baljureshi offers one of the most dramatic viewpoints of Al-Bahah's natural wonders. Indeed, from the park located at the bottom of the majestic rock formation of Jebel Heznah, the sight from the top of the escarpment that separates the Sarawat mountains from the Tihama plain more than 2000 meters lower is breathtaking.
Visitors making a stopover at Al-Heznah will meet a familiar figure of the Province's lanscape: the stone made towers, called in Arabic "qasaba". Controversy surrounds their function — some argue that they were built as lookouts, and others that they were keeps, or even granaries. Perhaps it is a combination, although the correct position of a watchtower, on a hilltop, is the wrong place for a keep or granary.
Throughout the whole Province many charming traditional villages embellish the landscapes but the most famous is the historical village of Zee Al-Ain, the jewel of Al-Bahah Province that will take you by surprise. Located down the cliffs of the City of Al-Bahah it gathers unique features that make this place enchanting - the most striking being the whiteness of the marble hill the village was built on, which contrasts with the darker shades of the grandiose Sarawat mountains in the background. To complete the picture postcard view, a nearby natural spring provides water to a lush oasis surrounding the bottom of the hill.
Coming from the city of Al-Bahah, the road down the Sarawat mountains offers many spectacular viewpoints along the majestic escarpment which alone are worth the trip.
Jibal Mussala Ibrahim – Sheda
Unlike other mountain-like areas one can find in the west of Saudi Arabia, the Jibal Mussala Ibrahim has the shape of an alpine mountain with a difference in height of 1700 meters from its base to its summit, that peaks at 2222 meters.
From afar, the Jibal Mussala Ibrahim reveals its imposing silhouette with its sharp granite summit pointing at the sky, and the view from the nearby Wadi Suqamah is simply majestic. A small road with stunning viewpoints leads to the hidden treasure of that place: a village perched half way to the top (above 1600 meters) whose name is Sheda (شدا).
The weather in Sheda is much cooler and slightly dryer at the top allowing some rare plants and trees to grow around the village of Sheda, such as the elegant while flower Capparis Cartilaginea and the wide-trunk tree Dendrosicyos that is also found in the remote island of Soqotra, off Yemen.