Sporting Life | 24/11/2020

KSA: 4 Popular Outdoor Winter Activities To Try

By Alba D'souza
Copywriter, SSSPORTS.COM

A dip in temperatures is always an invitation to hit the outdoors. With landscapes and activities to explore, we’ve listed our top 4 to get your adrenaline pumping and body moving.

Hiking

🔥 350 kcal/h

Hiking in Edge of the World, Acacia Valley, Wahba Crater, Fifa Mountains

The Kingdom boasts of heart-racing trails which offer the ultimate hiking experience. An economical and convenient activity, hiking requires no special equipment per se and is a good start for those looking to get moving.

Edge of the World

This awe-inspiring cliff stands in the middle of the desert and is about 56 miles (90 km) northwest of Riyadh. Getting here requires some trekking through Acacia Valley which offers bonus jaw-dropping panoramic views of the surrounding desert lands.

Wahba Crater

Carved into the western edge of the Hafer Kishb basalt plateau, the crater is around 250 km and a two-hour drive north of Taif, or about a four-hour drive from Jeddah. With the Wahbah crater road leading to the site, you simply trek downwards towards the shiny white bed of the crater. Since overnight camping is possible, the absence of light pollution makes Al Wahbah an ideal stargazing spot.

Fifa Mountains

If you’re in search of lush green trails over rocky or desert hiking trails, then the Fifa mountains are a must-do. Located in Jizan, this ‘heaven on earth’ trail offers views of fortresses built along the mountainside and mostly-agricultural circular terraces, which lends a pyramidal feature to the mountains. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, check out the natural hot springs in Al Khoubah also located in Jizan.

Scuba Diving

🔥600 kcal/h

Scuba Diving Abu Tair, Cable Wreck, Jebel Al Lith

A lot of people are unaware of the benefits of this all energy-consuming activity. The weightless underwater environment coupled with water dissipating heat away from the body 20 times faster than air, ensures you burn calories. With a wealth of world-class dive sites along its coastline, ideal water temperatures, excellent year-round visibility and very few currents, diving in Saudi Arabia’s coastal waters is becoming a dream for scuba enthusiasts.

Abu Tair

Also popularly known as ‘Cable Wreck’, this famous secret location is situated 70km from Jeddah. Divers often catch a glimpse of whitetip sharks, schools of goatfish and blue-spotted rays at this dive site, which is best explored during calmer waters, when the shipwreck is lit by light coming through crystal blue waters.

Jebel Al Lith

If you’re not a fan of the movie Jaws, we suggest you skip this site. Best visited during March and June when whale sharks make an appearance, this coral island dive site boasts of a reef wall that extends south, down of the coast of Saudi Arabia.

Rock Climbing

🔥650 kcal/h

Rock Climbing in Al Sharaf, NEOM, Olympic

A high-risk activity, rock climbing tests both your physical and mental strength. This demanding sport strengthens muscles, improves flexibility and offers therapeutic powers which connects climbers with nature. The climbing community is Saudi Arabia is small but growing quickly.

Al Sharaf

A historical climbing destination part of a mountain park, Al Sharaf features 42 unique lines and 11 extensions. A ten-minute drive from the centre of Tanomah by car, the crag is easily accessible, offers favourable temperatures all-year-round and is a great location for climbers just starting out.

NEOM

Located between Al Sharaf and Bir Bin Hirmas, NEOM is the epicentre of extreme sport. Popular among climbing enthusiasts, NEOM is also host to BASE jumpers and wingsuit flying.

Olympic Crag

Located in Al Shafa, this crag offers great climb weather across all seasons. As a tribute to future climbing enthusiasts, this site was the first professionally developed climbing area in the Kingdom.

Sandboarding

🔥300 kcal/h

Sandboarding in Red Dunes, Empty Quarter, Rub' al-Khali

No snow, no problem! Given the land is surrounded by desert, this extreme sport has easy all-year-round access. While most surfers use custom sandboards, the use of skateboards and sledges are common too. Unlike its counterpart, snowboarding, which offers ski lifts, sandboarding requires you to walk up a dune after every slide. While your glutes and quads are put to test, your lungs put in an effort too. Sandboarding definitely has its share of danger and thrill, which explains a peak in interest over the last few months.

Red Sand Dunes

A 45-minute drive outside of Riyadh, these dunes are an ideal getaway from the city. With a variety of dunes to choose from, keep an eye out for ATVs and off-roading vehicles in the area.

Rub’ al-Khali

Popularly known as the Empty Quarter, it is the world’s largest sand desert. Rub’ al-Khali covers a quarter of the Kingdom’s land; its sandy elevations are a match to mountains with their high altitudes. While these dunes can offer the ultimate sandboarding experience, a reliable guide is required.

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