There are some lesser-trodden highways in the Kingdom your inner roadie will be desperate to venture onto by the end of this article. So get your car serviced and head on to one of these highways for a ride that you could convincingly call ‘the ride of your life’.
Dammam – Hofuf
This highway is a wide stretch of a relatively empty road that runs through the desert. While this may sound cliché for a typical journey on a highway in Saudi, wait till you get to the last 50 kilometers of this highway because this is where the enjoyable portion of the highway starts. Enigmatic sandstone formations (some of which stand isolated) flank the western side of the highway; never failing to impress passersby. Plus, you will also see the Dammam- Hofuf train passing by you, so you can test your car’s speed compared to it – needless to say, as long as you’re driving within speed limits.
Al Ula – Wajh
Exotic locale, breathtaking scenery and sweeping trails on the Al Ola – Wajh Highway will keep all your senses in check. This is definitely not the safest road on the list, but it sure does provide one of the most exhilarating driving experiences in the country. You’ll hardly come across any significant sections of straight roads; the roads just keep twisting and turning. A ride through this highway will make you feel as if you were driving on the roads of a car chase from an old James Bond movie – without the bad guys chasing you of course.
One of the highest roads in the country, this highway makes way through dramatic mountain passes of the Sarawat mountain range. With consistent steep inclines and perpetual zigzag bends, it passes through one of the most beautiful landscapes of the country and is a must for nature lovers. Think about it this way; deep gorges next to a paved highway, clouds that appear so close almost as if you could touch them with your hands and patches of luxuriant greenery all around. A true bliss – except when it’s foggy though.
Haradh – Badha
This classic stretch can be said to be the perfect driving road. It is the world’s longest straight road, stretching for around 260 km with absolutely no bends. The highway connects the Haradh area with Badha on the UAE border. Perhaps an ideal locale to shoot the next Fast and Furious movie, where else would the producers find such a long straight highway after all?
Abha – Rijal Alma
The drive starts in the picturesque town of Abha and goes down from the tallest peak of the country, Jabal Souda, to the historic town of Rijal Alma. If you think you are one of those who can travel through back-to-back hairpin bends easily, then this road is for you. It is not only that the hairpin bends here are narrow; they are extremely steep as well. Enjoy all this while you take in gusts of fresh air as you pass green color coated mountains, out of which the road seems to be carved.