10 great things to do at AlUla's Winter at Tantora festival

From hot air balloon rides to fashion pop-ups and AlUla’s first food festival…

As part of the ever-impressive AlUla Moments calendar, the dazzling desert destination sees the return of Winter at Tantora from Thursday, December 22 2022 to Sunday, January 22 2023. The region’s longest running festival features the best of fine arts, music, fashion, and food promises a month of exciting pop-ups and unmissable experiences.

Here’s 10 fabulous things to do at Winter at Tantora this season.

Savour the flavours of AlUla at the region’s first food festival

Running from December 29, 2022 to January 14, 2023 will be AlUla’s first ever food festival. Throughout the festival, guests will learn about local flavours, dishes and restaurants, through one-of-a-kind masterclasses with world-renowned chefs, innovative food stalls, sensorial activities, workshops and so much more.

Browse the fashion boutiques at Ashar Valley

From December 28, Ashar Valley is set to welcome a string of luxury pop-ups, featuring exclusive items and designs inspired by AlUla. Immersive retail experiences will come from Assouline, Michael Cinco and Azza Fahmy, amongst others.

Take a stroll under the date palms on the Heritage Oasis Trail

Stretching almost 3 kilometres from the Heart of the Oasis to AlJadidah, this beautiful, designated trail is the perfect way to immerse yourself in AlUla’s natural beauty. There’s several entry and exit points, and it’s free and open to visitors day and night. Along the way, stop at a stall selling freshly squeezed juice, capture the picture-perfect Instagram shot on the palm swing, and stroll the AKreem trail where lush farms still produce mint, coriander and jasmine. Discover your own route and go it alone, or book a two-hour guided experience where a local guide can important in-depth knowledge.

Admire the views from above in a hot air balloon

While AlUla’s undoubtedly beautiful landscapes can be enjoyed from the ground, the best views can be seen from above. Throughout Winter At Tantora, AlUla will offer tethered and untethered daily flights, where guests can drift gently over the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hegra, around unique rock formations and over lush farmlands. The untethered flights take off at 7am (SAR 900 per person), while the flights are from 4pm (SAR 100 per person).

Find your zen at the Five Senses Sanctuary

The Five Senses Sanctuary previously formed part of AlUla Wellness festival, but will be back with indoor and outdoor yoga and meditation classes from December 31 until the end of Winter at Tantora.

Climb the magnificent rocks of AlUla

Adrenaline junkies, this one’s for you. Experience AlUla partners with The Warrior Group for a two-hour rock climbing experience of the spectacular AlUla mountains. Test your limits while taking in the natural beauty every Tuesday to Saturday from 8am. Be sure to wear comfortable outdoor clothing and closed toe shoes. Tickets are SAR120.

Dine at a renowned pop-up from Marbella

Mamzel is a headspinningly beautiful restaurant that’s become renowned in the Spanish party hotspot of Marbella, and it lands in AlUla especially for Winter at Tantora. Known for its international menu, incredible entertainment and dazzling decor, Mamzel will pop-up in AlUl’s breathtaking canyons. As much about the show as it is about the dinner, Mamzel is bringing some of its most captivating acts from the shores of Spain to AlUla for the pop up. We’re promised a mesmerising dinner show, so we can’t wait to see this open.

Test your green fingers with an eco-gardening experience

This Winter at Tantora season, there’s a new green fingered experience to try, eco-gardening. In the lush AlUla Oasis, this three-hour interactive workshop invites visitors to learn more about plant nurseries, a gardening, composting and more. You’ll also get to interact with different animals that can be found on an AlUla farm, such as chickens, turkeys, pigeons, peacocks, rabbits, sheep, and goats. Tickets are free, but you need to pre-book.

Celebrate all things citrus

The AlUla Citrus festival returns every weekend of Winter at Tantora throughout January. Free and open to all, across the three weekends, market stalls will be filled with unique citrus fruits to try and buy. There will be other local citrus-based products, live music, kids’ activities, cooking sessions and more.

Listen to some top artists perform at Maraya Hall

Previous seasons of Winter at Tantora have seen performances from international stars like John Legend, Lionel Richie, Andrea Bocelli and more, so we’re excited to see who graces the jaw-dropping Maraya Hall stage this time around. Saudi singer Mohamed Abdo is confirmed for December 30, while beloved Arab star Assala Nasri will perform on January 13.