When exploring Saudi Arabia, one must not overlook Taif. It is a city comparatively near Mecca and Jeddah, which has a rather temperate climate that attracts various locals and travellers to set out for the city and bask in the comfortable weather. Those going here can visit through Taif Regional Airport, one of the minor gateways into the region. It hosts a number of domestic and international flights to nearby countries, making Mecca more accessible for pilgrims.
This port of entry has an illustrious history as it is where the plane of Ibn Saud, the founder of the Kingdom, first landed. The years followed with an increasing number of people visiting here, which pushed for a change of the airport's status. This came about in 2009, when Taif Regional Airport became a regional port of entry and reduced the amount of traffic coming and going from the three major airports in the area.
What to see & do
Called the City of Roses, Taif in summer often offers a fragrant welcome for those coming near from the orchards. Tourists will also find various gardens in Taif itself and in Al-Hada and Al-Shifa, which mainly produce honey-sweet figs, grapes, pomegranates, and prickly pears. Such an environment has made it the unofficial summer destination for the royalty and many of the locals eager to get away from the humidity of Jeddah and other parts of Saudi Arabia in certain times of the year.
Those eager to see more of the countryside can check out Taif National Park, where one can view the terrain with the lush trees, shrubs, and natural rare wild herbs. A dam, Mu'awiah bin Abi Sufian, can also be found here, which can make a powerful sight after heavy rains. For more nature appreciation, one can also go by cable car to the top of Al-Hada Mountain which features a fine hotel and restaurant. The view can be fascinating here, as well as the wide range of facilities.
Active pursuits are also on offer in Taif where one can then walk to the nearby mountains for adventurous climbing trips. After a day of hiking and other rigorous activities, one can go back to the city proper and venture to King Fahad Garden where one can dine in any of the restaurants and indulge on some shopping with the green turf just nearby for those who prefer to stroll around.
Those going here for the first time will find it a fascinating place to explore with the tree-lined streets and traditional architecture. One can start with the Shubra Palace, a historic building that was once the residence of King Abdul-Aziz. The Cabinet also used to preside here during summers before it was turned into the Taif Regional Museum, where visitors can check out the artefacts that feature the local history and culture of the province.
Those who want to check out historic villages can visit Al-Ma'dan Village, which is famous for its stone fixtures. There is also Al-Lasab Dam, which lies near an archaeological site of old abandoned houses and broken pottery dating back to the Islamic era. Kara Archaeological Road is also a major attraction, which was restored for its significance as an ancient passageway more than a thousand years old.
How to get around within Taif
Limited information can be found about the public transportation in Taif, but one can take the buses here, which go around the busy areas of the cities. Taxis are also available, which can be taken when the buses are crowded. They take passengers to different areas, including to and from the bus station.
How to get there
Those out to visit Taif can schedule flights to Taif Regional Airport. Airlines serving here include Air Arabia, AlMasria Universal Airlines, flydubai, Gulf Air, Flynas, Nesma Airlines, Nile Air, Qatar Airways, Saudia, and Turkish Airlines. They transport passengers between Taif to designated destinations such as Abha, Asmara, Bahrain, Cairo, Dammam, Doha, Dubai, Istanbul-Ataturk, Kuwait, Riyadh, and Sharjah.
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Airports near Taif
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