Nature and Outdoors

A DESERT OASIS BECKONS NATURAL WONDERS AND OUTDOOR EXCURSIONS

AlUla is such a noteworthy destination because of its layer upon layer of human history and a wealth of natural wonders waiting to be explored. Few locations can boast such a rich combination of heritage, culture and natural beauty.

There’s also a sense of openness, vastness and quiet that invites visitors to wander in AlUla’s living museum. From mazes of dramatic rock formations to rolling, sand-swept dunes to a valley cloaked in palm and citrus groves to millennia-old clues in basalt lava flows, be sure to leave plenty of time in your AlUla itinerary to commune with its expansive natural offerings.

Nature & Outdoors

Jabal AlFil

Set in golden desert sands and climbing three storeys into the Saudi Arabian sky is the awe-inspiring Elephant Rock, also known as Jabal AlFil, one of AlUla’s many geological marvels. The “trunk” and “body” of this monolithic red sandstone beast were hewn by natural forces — millions of years of wind and water erosion.

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Nature & Outdoors

Sharaan Nature Reserve

In addition to its enchanting history and culture, AlUla is home to raw, breathtaking wilderness and an array of diverse flora and fauna. At Sharaan Nature Reserve, 1,500 square kilometres (579 square miles) of soaring red-rock canyons, sprawling desert and valleys carpeted in delicate wildflowers offer a treasure trove of natural wonders.

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Nature & Outdoors

Stargazing

Experience the enchantment of a desert stargazing tour led by local experts. Far from city lights and surrounded by an otherworldly landscape, marvel at constellations aglow such as Orion and the Big Dipper. Stand in childlike awe as you catch sight of the Milky Way. AlUla's ideal conditions for stargazing mean the enormity of the universe is illuminated right before your eyes.

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Nature & Outdoors

Inscriptions

For thousands of years, travellers on popular pilgrimage and trade routes in north-western Saudi Arabia often stopped in city hubs to do business and rest. Many of the visitors left messages, inscriptions or rock art, carved and etched into stone to mark their journey through the extraordinary landscapes that now comprise AlUla.

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Nature & Outdoors

Geology of AlUla

Throughout the region, you’ll see sand-drifted canyons, red-rock cliff faces, black basalt atop towering mesas and more unique outcrops and rock formations — all surrounded by seas of desert sand deposits. These imagination-spurring rock formations add to the wonder of AlUla, as some have naturally taken the forms of humans, animals and architectural structures.

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Nature & Outdoors

Geology of AlUla

Throughout the region, you’ll see sand-drifted canyons, red-rock cliff faces, black basalt atop towering mesas and more unique outcrops and rock formations — all surrounded by seas of desert sand deposits. These imagination-spurring rock formations add to the wonder of AlUla, as some have naturally taken the forms of humans, animals and architectural structures.

Learn More

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