Plan your summer road trip.
Saudi Arabia is packed with must-see sites and exciting activities that warrant a road trip with family and friends. Pick a short day (or two) trip, or go the extra mile and plan out a weekend or longer of adventuring on the stunning open roads of the country.
Along the West Coast
Via Route 15 and Route 5/Route 55m
Jeddah to Yanbu is a great road trip for those who would like to experience the immense deserts, azure beaches, and agricultural sights of Saudi Arabia.
- Drive three and a half hours from Jeddah to Yanbu by taking Route 15 and then Route 5/Route 55m.
- On the way, you’ll even come across merchants camping in tents while selling traditional souvenirs and delicacies.
- Once in Yanbu, continue your beach day or roam around the city and explore Yanbu’s lush parks.
From the city to the Highlands
Via Route 15
Starting in Jeddah, take Route 15 and head to Al Baha while passing through the beautiful city of Taif and various smaller towns.
- After around 2 and a half hours, you’ll reach the mountainous city of Taif, where you can experience the captivating mountain ranges, cold breeze, and green scenery.
- On your way, you can even explore the Bedaiwi Fortress on King Khaled Road, where you can roam around the ancient ruins of what was once a great Hijazi fortress.
- In the next 2 hours you’ll pass through a handful of villages, including Al Sir, Qia and Ghazali.
- After another hour and a half, you’ll find yourself in Nakhaal, which is when you’ve crossed the Makkah Province into Al Baha.
Drive to the Islands
Although a slightly longer drive, a road trip from Jeddah to Umluj is unmissable due to the great pit stops, including desert towns and seaside horizons popping up at a bend, the final destination is the incredible Umluj with its alluring azure waters.
- After leaving Jeddah, you’ll be heading down Route 5/55m, where you’ll pass through the recently renovated, ancient area of Dhahban.
- An hour into driving, you’ll find the gated King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) on your left, where you can take a break from driving and check out the many restaurants available in the city.
- After continuing along for another hour, you’ll be at the Mastourah village, the phenomenal desert on the sea.
- At the halfway mark of the trip, you’ll be passing through Yanbu, and specifically through its industrial section named Yanbu Al Sina’iyah.
- Once reaching Umluj, you’ll be able to take a dip in the beautiful Umluj waters or book a boat trip, all while also looking out for the friendly dolphins swimming around.
Route 40/Route 80
- Despite the long drive from the two major cities of Jeddah and Riyadh, the route is packed with exciting stops that consist of unmissable and beautiful historical sites.
- After exiting Jeddah, stop by the Usfan neighborhood in Asfan and check out the historical Pilgrimage fort, one of the last few forts in the country.
- Continuing on the route, you’ll come across the cozy and traditional village of Al Khamrah, where you can stop at the markets to stock up on supplies or roam around the village.
- Along the route, you’ll find yourself at AlUla, with natural wonders, ancient ruins, and an abundance of activities that will leave you in awe.
- Upon reaching the outskirts of Riyadh, you can pass by The Edge of The World, a name given to the mountain of Jabal Fihrayn for its unique and breathtaking view of the horizon.
From the Center to the Southwest
- Starting from the vibrant city of Riyadh, you’ll be passing through the cities of Al Kharj, Wadi Al Dawasir, and Khamis Mushayt before finally reaching Abha.
- When reaching Kharj, make sure to check out its lush farmlands and famous date trees. You’ll then be passing through Wadi Al Dawasir.
- Your penultimate stop will be the quaint city of Khamis Mushayt, named after the Thursday market that was initially present in the city in the 1970s.
- Upon leaving Khamis Mushayt, you’ll continue on Route 30 until you finally reach the city of Abha, where you can enjoy attractions such as the Asir National Park, Abha Dam, Jabal Soudah, and more.
Pick the right ride
If you don’t mind splurging a little on petrol, a 4 x 4 would be your best option to handle the Saudi roads, especially for off-road terrains. If on a budget, a mini-SUV of any sort will be a good fit.
From the East to the West Coast
Route 40/Route 80
- Filled with exciting mountainous roads and unique wildlife to witness, a road trip from Dammam to Jeddah is long yet thrilling. It’s perfect for nature lovers!
- The country’s only coast-to-coast highway, Route 40, takes you directly from Damman all the way to Jeddah passing through Taif, Riyadh, Khobar.
- Through the breathtaking Hijaz mountains, you’ll find yourself passing through a couple of wildlife sanctuaries located north of Taif, Mahaat as-Sayd, and Saja and Umm Al Ramth, which is situated on Makkah Al Mukarramah Rd.
Road Trip Essentials
- Antibacterial wipes
- Face masks
- First-aid kit
- A cooler, snacks and water
- Electronic chargers
- Cash in hand
- A bathing suit and a towel
- Car repair kit
- Driver’s license
- Car manual
- Extra car keys
- Portable gas container
- Hand sanitizer
- Tire chains
- Portable chargers