Commute options include cars and cable cars…

Taif is one of the most exciting and beautiful cities in Saudi Arabia, and, just like a metaphor for life, a lot of what makes it great is the journey.

The city is located 2,000 metres above sea level and overlooks the Tihama plains, and the route to the city goes through Al Hada, a green mountainous area with a ring road passing through it. Taif can be found at the peak, making it one of the country’s most scenic drives.

Because of the height, the weather in mountainous areas is relatively cool. As a result, it has been the go-to destination for Saudi families for generations in the summer when most regions of the Kingdom experience very high temperatures.

The road to Taif is worth the trip alone

What makes the trip so exciting is the journey through the mountain terrain. From Jeddah, the trip will take around two hours, but once you get to the Al Hada Ring Road, it only takes half an hour. The road curves and ascends over the mountainous area, and it offers an incredible view from the cliff edge.

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During the drive, you can expect to run into many wild baboons that live nearby in the mountains. Further down the road, travellers will see the famed fruit market of Al Hada road, with vendors selling local produce. You can find some of the freshest and most delicious apricots, peaches and pomegranates at this fruit market.

After this, the road will begin to flatten as you approach Taif, and you’ll know you’re near when you pass by a street of amusement parks with Ferris-wheels and rollercoasters. If you have some time, check out the park rides to break up the uphill journey.

There’s another fun route up the mountain…

If you aren’t feeling like a drive, Saudi Arabia’s longest cable car runs will take you up to the peak. The 4.2-kilometre cable car route is easily one of the most exciting commute options. At the bottom, it starts at Al Kar Tourist Village and goes all the way up to Taif.

Taif Cable Car, Wednesday to Saturday, 1.30pm to midnight. Return tickets cost SAR60 for adults and SAR30 for children.

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