Riyadh, the city, has been changing so fast over the past couple of years. It has been hard to keep up with the places to visit inside the city center. One day, the place is there, then they’re gone (or closed) the next. If there are places that you must visit in Riyadh that are interesting and unchanged, you’ll see them in the desert. And Riyadh, the province, has a lot of deserts.
Here are some must-see and must-visit places in Riyadh’s great outdoors. If you’re here for a quick visit, these places can be visited in one or two days. If you’re new, you need to guides who know these places esp. the Edge of the World.
RED SAND DUNES / 24.36491581737214, 46.3613743262396
The Red Sand Dunes located 40 minutes away from the DQ is one of the first places of interest that you must visit in Riyadh. The pristine sand dunes colored red orange fascinates both locals and expats loving for some escape from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Some of the popular activities here are quad biking (starts from SR 30 per 30 minutes), dune bashing (starts from SR 100), camel riding (SR 30 for 15 minutes), and sand boarding.
HIDDEN VALLEY / 24.324294248715034, 46.32469200716091
The Hidden Valley is almost always the second stop after a visit to the Red Sand Dunes as it’s just a few kilometers away. It offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and overnight camping. It has large rocky cliffs that visitors climb to get views of the surrounding desert sand and escarpments.
AL-QURAINAH WIND TURBINE / 25.13183623810052, 46.189014567962104
This lone wind turbine of Riyadh has caught the attention of visitors on their way out of Riyadh and into the desert. It stands mighty proud; a mesmerizing vision after seeing just plain sand and little villages on the way. The wind turbine provides electricity for a nearby farm. It has a fence surrounding it and the only thing you can do here? Take photos.
HEET CAVE / 24.490495381277594, 46.9973886881164
This hidden cave in the outskirts of Riyadh is considered as one of Saudi Arabia’s most unique natural wonders. It has an eye-shaped entranceway and a steep descent of around 300-500 meters of loose rocks and sand to get to an underground lake where people take a dip after a walk under the desert sun.
EDGE OF THE WORLD / 24.957779366706987, 45.98945193945465
You should not miss The Edge of the World! It is quite an experience from the moment you traverse its rough, gravelly route to the viewing of the dramatic cliffs that overlook the seemingly unending plains below. Sunsets here are breathtaking and mesmerizing! Located in the rocky desert northwest of Riyadh, the Edge of the World requires requires an expert driver/guide and a 4×4 vehicle. (Do not just rely on Google Maps.)
This article was originally published in DQ Living Magazine, written by The Pink Tarha’s Janelle Yasay.
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