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Top Five Day Trips Every Riyadhi Should Take

Profile photo of Jou Pabalate

Jou Pabalate

Regional Editorial Manager at Destination Riyadh

Discover Riyadh and its surroundings by driving out this weekend.


  1. Edge of the World

IMG_0907Location: goo.gl/maps/DvJ18xrbw2S2

The Edge of the World is like the Grand Canyon of Riyadh. It’s perfect for adventurers whether you’re a newbie or a rock climber in the making. The vast valley of cliffs guarantees a wonderful view of the skies and the best terrains this side of the Kingdom.

Stopover: Acacia Valley, great picnic spot with an array of fauna, butterflies, dragonflies and birds. When the extreme heat hits during the peak summer months, the area tends to dry up but otherwise, mornings up until June should be green in the area.

  1. Heet Cave

Screen-Shot-2016-04-24-at-12.05.19-PMLocation: goo.gl/maps/go3JvgpWHDJ2

Situated on the side of Mt. Jubayl at the Wadi Sulay, just out of Alkharj Road is a cave that shelters an underground lake. Heet Cave is also known among locals as the Ain because of its eye-shaped opening. You can in fact take a dip into the crystal clear waters but we advise everyone to not attempt diving deeper if you aren’t a trained professional and don’t have the right equipment. What amazes us about Heet Cave is it’s open all year round—the entrapment protects the lake from getting hit by the drought.

DR Tip: There’s no lifeguard on-site.

  1. In-City Trails – Diplomatic Quarter

20160219_095647Location: Many starting points within the DQ, our suggestion is to start from the Starbucks and that will lead you to the end point of Kindi Plaza or vice versa.

What we love about the DQ trail is that it offers an amazing nature experience but also a relatively safe environment for families. The trail is encapsulated within the grounds of the Diplomatic Quarters but stretches all the way to the borderlines of Wadi Hanifa.

Stopover: Tuwaiq Palace gardens and the small parks situated along the way. Each one has a special attraction—from a bonfire pit, artificial waterfall, creeks and fountains.

  1. Thumama National Park

DSC00283Location: goo.gl/maps/RiHarcW4meo

Camp central, heritage site and adventure time all rolled into one. Drive off to Thumama for some off-road fun, they’ve got everything from horseback riding, kite flying, flying itself at that and RVs. There’s also a designated area for campers to rent out tents and have a barbecue. Visit the valleys and mountainside within the area to see old dwellings and historical tools (think rough house towns from old western movies but way cooler).

  1. Al Diriyah and Hanifa Valley (Wadi Hanifa)

IMG_0246Here’s your game plan: You can either start with a hike around Hanifa Valley while the weather is still manageable then head to Al Diriyah to do more trekking but with a more historical twist. Al Diriyah is a must visit because it has preserved a good portion of its land to reflect old Riyadh. After you go all Tomb Raider, have a bite at Bujairy and top your night with a visit to the old souks.

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