The ultimate guide to visiting Jeddah’s Eastern Forest
An oasis in the desert…
The sandy dunes of the desert around Jeddah are undoubtedly beautiful, but if you are looking for some greenery, there’s a hidden gem not too far away from the city that very few people know about.
The Eastern Forest, or Ghaib Sharqiya, is a sprawling man-made forest just off the Jeddah-Jummun highway. There are more than 80,000 plants and trees spread across a 2.7 million square metre sanctuary.
The dreamiest oasis
Winding roads allow cars to travel through the Eastern Forest Jeddah, so it is possible to see a lot in a short space of time.
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However, if you want to take it all in, we suggest parking somewhere safe and exploring the area by foot. Keep your eyes peeled for butterflies and listen out for all sorts of birds as you make your way through the lush landscape.
There’s also an observatory with a breath-taking view of the forest, which is well worth the climb to the top. It really is the perfect escape to nature. Aside from a mosque with a charming garden, there aren’t any other buildings (or even shops) in the Eastern Forest.
The journey is relatively simple, but you will have to know what you are looking for, as a high brick wall surrounds the forest, and the entrance is unassuming. The hidden gem is well and truly hidden (probably why so few people ever visit it). The Eastern Forest is now on Google Maps, making it all the easier to locate.
Although entry is free of charge, the Hidden Forest is only open to the public on weekends. In addition, only families or groups of women are allowed access. It’s important to remember that there are also no shops inside or nearby, so you need to pack food and water with you. We’d recommend packing for a picnic and can’t think of a better place for one.
Eastern Forest, Jeddah National Park, Al Montazah, 4050 Jeddah 23484, Thurs to Sat 9am to 6pm.
Images: Social Media