Read on to explore Taif, KSA!
Ta’if is a city located in the Mecca Province of the Western part of Saudi Arabia and is the center of an agricultural area known for its grapes, pomegranate, figs, roses and honey. A popular summertime vacation destination in the Kingdom, Ta’if offers fantastic views, hiking trails and cable cars, as well as, a number of rose farms open to visitors and available for tours.
During the summer months Arabian horse racing is moved from Riyadh to Taif. The opportunity to see the horses in action is yet another added attraction to a summertime visit to Taif. Taif is one of three places in the Kingdom established by the National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development dedicated to the study of endangered animals and plants and to their breeding in controlled conditions. Below you will find a list of other popular attractions located in Tai’f.
Places to See:
Al Rudaf Park: Located south of Taif is a large natural park where clumps of tree lie scattered amidst magnificent weathered granite rocks. The site also has a small zoo.
Wadi Mitna: Muhammed’s sanctuary built in 619 AD. Muhammed came here to gain support of the Hawazeen and the Tawfiq but was stoned by the tribes. He was later given sanctuary by his fellows in a small house now used as a mosque.
Ta’if Rose Plantation. In the month of April the rose fields are filled with small, fragrant pink roses that are picked at dawn and later distilled into Ta’if Rose Oil.
Shubra Palace, the regional museum of Ta’if, located in a building built around 1900, which served King Abdul Aziz as lodging in the 1930s.
Rock Carving Site: Located 40 km north of Taif, this was the site of the Okaz Souk, the largest and most well-known of the pre-Islamic souqs, or gathering places. The souq was a scene for annual social, political and commercial gatherings. It was also the location of competitive recitation of poetry and prose. The buildings remain, including prominent outlines of walls of basaltic stone.
Turkish Fort: The remains of the fort are located near the Rock Carvings. Legend has it that Lawrence of Arabia fought here in 1917. Many battles have been fought there and numerous graves can be found at this site.
Nature Reserve: Located between Al Hada Hospital and the Sheraton Hotel and at the top of Al Hada Mountain is a large nature preserve. Al Hada, which means tranquility, offers a great view of the preserve of trees and plants and is also a good location to catch the sunset over the mountain.
Al Shafa: A small village situated high upon the Sarawat Mountains rich in agricultural products and fruit gardens. This site provides a great backdrop for photographers and also offers camel rides.
Taif also contains a number of historical palaces such as the Palace of Ismaiel, The Palace of Bahawat and The Palace of Shubra which were all built in the local construction style for which the western region of the Kingdom was famed.