Al Ula Viewpoint

Top choice in Al Ula

The views as you wind your way up to this gem of a spot offer glimpses of what's to come. At the top, the road plateaus through a windswept, lunar landscape of black basalt rock, before arriving at a sad-looking park with a precarious fence at its edge. Suddenly the breathtaking view comes into sight and the entire Al Ula valley, surrounded by majestic red-rock mountains disappearing into the horizon, sprawls out before you like a surreal painting.

Standing here, it's easy to see why the likes of the Nabataeans chose this Martian-like landscape, suited as it was to hiding entire settlements completely out of sight. Few panoramas in Saudi Arabia compare.

To get to the road for the drive up, head west at the junction north of old Al Ula, where routes 375 and 70 meet. From here, drive into the mountains along the unmarked road, and soon a pair of rusty little frames will announce the start. The road is safe enough but has no lighting and should not be attempted after dark.