Discover Saudi Arabian history, culture and art in Asir Province. In the provincial capital of Abha, you can explore centuries-old neighbourhoods, admire Ottoman-era architecture and dine at authentic restaurants. Venture out of the city to hike in the mountains and visit remote towns, villages and oases.
Things to do in 'Asir
Abha, the lively capital, is a great base to explore Asir Province. Walk around the Al Bastah neighbourhood filled with fortified houses built from rocks, mud and slate. The main square is lined with shops where you can buy handmade souvenirs. Stroll across the historic Ottoman Bridge to Adl Park. It stretches across the River Abha and features impressive stone arches, pillars and buttresses.
Step back in time in the Al Nasb neighbourhood. Like Al Bastah, it’s filled with fortified houses built from mud and stone. Many are covered with climbing plants. Look carefully and you’ll notice centuries-old carvings and inscriptions on the walls and doorways.
Learn about local arts, crafts and traditions at Al Muftaha Village. The cultural village is anchored by a beautiful mosque decorated with calligraphy. Around the mosque are small galleries, studios and museums where you can admire works by local artists.
Visit ancient villages like Thee Ain hidden in the Asir Mountains. It rises up from a palm-fringed oasis and was built in the 8th century to defend the region from the Ottoman Empire. Peer into the abandoned multi-story stone houses and visit the beautiful mosque.
Al Soudah Mountain towers 3,000 metres above sea level and is a popular hiking destination. Trails wind through the juniper forests and take you to scenic viewpoints where you’ll get sweeping views over the surrounding banana plantations and citrus groves.
Restaurants in Asir Province will tempt you with delicious local dishes like “heneeth” slow-roasted lamb and “aseeda” whole wheat porridge flavoured with spices. Cool off with a glass of Saudi champagne, a non-alcoholic drink made with apple juice, sparkling water and fresh mint.
Getting around 'Asir
Abha is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore Asir Province at your own pace, or you can hire a private driver. Abha International Airport is a 30-minute drive from the city centre.