Traveling to Saudi Arabia isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world. The Saudi Arabian government is a bit tentative about who it offers visas to.
For one thing, Jewish people aren’t allowed in at all. And if you’re a woman under the age of 30, you’re only allowed to visit if you’re accompanied by a husband or brother. You also can’t travel in Saudi Arabia as a couple if you and your partner are unmarried. Plus, you can only visit through an approved tour company with at least four people in your group.
These intense and rather arcane roadblocks aside, if you do have the opportunity to visit Saudi Arabia, you’ll be amazed at all of the beauty and history that this small desert country has to offer. Here are just three places that we suggest visiting if you have the chance to travel to this region of the world:
Najran is on the Yemeni border and offers excellent peaks into the history of Saudi Arabia. The architecture and culture is mixed with the neighboring Yemen. The city is full of colorful people and unforgettable experiences. Plus, it’s one of the most tourist friendly destinations in Saudi Arabia. Hardly anyone who visits this unique city will walk away disappointed.
- Madain Saleh
Madain Saleh is home to the tombs of the ancient Nabatean people. The scenery here will remind you of Zion National Park in Utah, but amongst these towering pillars of stone, you’ll find epic ancient tombs carved into the rock. You’ll also get to experience the Hejaz Railway, which was built by the Ottomans, and the nearby town of Al-Ula, which has a lush oasis, museums, and more ancient ruins and tombs.
- Farasan Islands
The sandy beaches of the Farasan Islands were a favorite diving destination of Jacques Cousteau. If you are a scuba diver, this is definitely where you want to be. The islands are also the perfect place to go bird watching, as you’ll have the chance to spy on countless varieties of exotic birds, as well as gazelles and other wildlife. Plus, there are sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, and the water is crystal clear.
Whatever you choose to see in Saudi Arabia, remember to contact us to arrange your Saudi Arabia visas. Obtaining a visa to Saudi Arabia can be a bit of a complicated process, but we promise it’s worth the effort.
If you’ve been to this beautiful kingdom — or anywhere else in the world! – we’d love to hear from you. Post your favorite travel stories and memories in the comments section below.
Rob Lee is co-founder of Swift Passport and Visa Services. Originally from Michigan, Rob is an avid fisherman and SCUBA diver who enjoys adventure travel.