Introducing Saudi Arabia
The birthplace and spiritual home of Islam, Saudi Arabia is as rich in attractions as it is in stirring symbolism. It is also one of the most difficult places on earth to visit.
For those who do get in, rock-hewn Madain Saleh is Arabia's greatest treasure. Other wonders abound, from the echoes of TE Lawrence along the Hejaz Railway to the mudbrick ruins of Dir'aiyah. Jeddah, gateway to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, has an enchanting old city made of coral, while the Red Sea coast has world-class diving. Elsewhere, this is a land of astonishing natural beauty, particularly the plunging landscapes of the Asir Mountains in the Kingdom's southwest.
Best of all, there are few places left that can be said to represent the last frontier of tourism. Whether you're an expat or a pilgrim, Saudi Arabia is one of them.
Jenadriyah National Festival: a guide to Saudi Arabia’s festival of arts & crafts
This is an excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals...
Need to know
Saudi Arabia: travel books to read before you go
This excerpt from Lonely Planet’s archives provides a selection of travel literature to get you in the mood for your trip...