Updated: Dec 19, 2021
Taif City is the main transient point going to the major cities and towns in the southwestern regions of Saudi Arabia. Traveling by land riding in public transport, the connecting trips are here. The city also serves as the take point going to the different tourist spots of the nearby towns, like Al Hada, Al Shafa, and others. Because of this, I decided to call this city the Haven of Heights for the Spectacular Sights, though most of the heights and the amazing sights are in the nearby towns.
Taif City is the place where old Palaces are found. The heritage palaces were the early kings. Royal families and influential figures once lived.
Places to Visit in Taif City
1. Shubra Palace
Shubra Palace has been converted into Heritage & Historical Museum. This is the palace whom the First King of Saudi Arabia, Kind Abdulaziz Al Saudi was staying during summer.
2. Jubrah Palac
This was one of the homes of the 2nd King of Saudi Arabia, King Saud Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
3. Old Souq (Old City)
Old Souq is the old Taif City. What you can find here are the old buildings of the early development of the city. Old Souq has become one of the major attractions because of the distinctive features and designs of the building that shows the early artistic and architectural craftsmanship and creativity of the local builders at that time.
Activities You Can Do
Buying of Native products
Drinking Flavored teas served by the coffee shops inside the old city
Buying pure and fresh honey products. Saturday morning is the best time to do this, because it is the time when local honey producers, beekeepers bring their products for selling in the market.
4. Fruit Market
Here, you can find the complete fruit produces, local and imported. Local fruits are sold cheaper than the price in supermarkets.
Outside Taif City
The nearby places suggested that you must visit during the day and come back to Taif at night:
Worood Al Shafa Factory
2nd Rose Perfume Factory
Dhaka Mountain Peak
Valley View Point, Shafa Center
Al Hada Mountain Viewing Area
Al Hada Zigzag Road
Taif Old City
Warood Al Shafa
Warood Al Shafa is factory-cum private park. The lagoon behind its processing building paints a different setting of a wetland in the wilderness.
Your visits could be a combination of sightseeing, learning, and shopping. Besides the processing room, they the shop where you buy all the products made from flowers, from perfume to cosmetics, soap, and other vanity maintenance items.
Read more here: WOROOD AL SHAFA PERFUME FACTORY (underratedadventures.com)
A farm area. You will find here flower farms, vegetable farms, and orchards. I stayed much longer in this area; we just passed by riding our car and took few minutes to film a video about the scenic environment, viewing the trees' grasses and cactuses thriving the mountain's slopes. You can stop a little while in this area to satisfy yourself beholding the place. The place could be more vibrant if your visit coincides with the blooming period of the roses. My stay was after the flower harvest period, so roses were all newly pruned and had to wait for weeks before another blooming. Though, you could also see wildflowers all around.
Road elevation is on a vantage ground, giving you a chance to view places on the lower ground and mountain ridges on the other side. I suggest you drive slower to feel the energy of running the car on the slope of the mountain. Here I asked my guide to stop the car to shoot for a video and still photo.
Pass through this point gives you exhilarating glimpses of the mountain ridges all around. As we reached the higher slope of the road climb, I asked my guide to park the car for a while. As usual, I took the camera to shoot the cinematic landscapes that even made me imagine looking at a painting of a mountainscape.
Maharath Al Warood Factory
The factory is literally on top of the hill. It is nestled at 2,200 meters above sea level. If I were to name the place, I would name it Eagles Nest Perfume Factory.
The owner and staff were all accommodating. They toured me around the farm. The only regret is that I came not the time for blooming and harvesting flowers, so my camera shot no rose flowers. I was hoping to do a documentary video about the oil extraction from the flowers. The owner gave me a one-on-one briefing about the process instead. Though without the flowers, the visit is still more than worth remembering because of the mountains' stunning sights around it.
To Read more, click here: AL MAHARATH ALWAROOD FARM & PERFUME FACTORY (underratedadventures.com)
Aside from being the 2nd perfume factory I visited. Spending time watching over the different colors of plants down and top the hills. The factory has built a watchtower where visitors could have a better vantage point for shooting and sightseeing. The wind velocity was strong most of the time, so when I climbed, I struggled to stand firm with a steady camera while shooting.
They have a lodging facility for visitors who would like to do a nature escapade, overnight camping, and mountain adventures
Click play tab below to watch the video on making rose oil perfume:
Click below link to watch another video of Maharath Al Warood
To view the location via google, click this link: https://www.google.com/maps/place/%D9%85%D8%B5%D9%86%D8%B9+%D8%A3%D8%A8%D9%88+%D9%88%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%AF+%D9%84%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B1%D8%AF+%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B7%D8%A7%D8%A6%D9%81%D9%8A%E2%80%ADemail@example.com,40.2717537,374a,35y,38.83t/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x15e9eb06722d97cb:0x2ca29b8548e771ca!8m2!3d21.1219849!4d40.2726227
So far, Daka Mountain has the highest peak in Shafa Mountain range. With an altitude of 2500 – 2900 meters above sea level, the wind velocity ranges from 80 – 100 kph, I guess. I only based the estimate on my experienced of being born in a typhoon path province in the Philippines.
In this place, I struggled the most, standing against the wind while shooting. I climbed the stone surface at the viewing point; however, I did not stay long because I was getting blown by the wind.
The struggles you will experience makes the adventure extraordinary, thrilling, exciting, and a memory lasting.
Read more here: AT THE PEAK OFJABAL DAKA (DHAKA) (underratedadventures.com)
Click below play tab to watch the video.
Valley View Point, Shafa Center
Monkeys are grabbing food. They move around like humans. Sometimes they cause a traffic jam on the road.
Enjoy viewing the valleys down the hill and nearby mountain ridges. Here you will have an actual interaction with the wild baboons. So, it is essential to bring something to feed them because they expect every visitor to have something to provide them.
The moment I got out of the car, the entire troop immediately came running. I was not prepared with any food item to give, except the croissant I had in my backpack. Good, there was a carrot vendor around, so I bought one plastic bag of carrots. After throwing some to the troop, the Alpha male grabbed the plastic bag from my hand.
Click the arrow slide below to see other images
It was an excellent experience because I exerted no effort interacting with them. Unlike my first video of wild baboons in Riyadh, I had to trek the mountain top to see them. In my first attempt, they did not appear.
Here, sometimes you have to pay extra attention to the food items you have in your hands, in case you are from the supermarket because there is a chance that you become a victim of snatching, not from humans, but the monkeys.
I and my guide settled for lunch at the park, around 1.5 km away from the Valley View Point, and still, they were some of them followed us. A group of local guys also had lunch, and suddenly I heard them scream in laughter. I realized that one aluminum tray of rice was grabbed from them by the monkey.
Read more here: AL SHAFA VALLEY VIEWPOINT (underratedadventures.com)
Al Hada Upper Viewing Point
My 2nd day of adventure started at the upper viewing point of Al Hada Mountain. Most of the time, accordingly, the viewing area is covered by fogs. But during my visit, it was clear. So I had the chance to see the rocks gulley and view the 90 degrees slope angle (Approximately).
Standing 2000 meters above sea level overlooking rocky gulley between hills surrounding the areas. Visiting families with small kids need to be watchful; otherwise, you might see them falling into the depth of the ravine.
Al Hada Zigzag Road
Spectacularly striking and spellbinding! That's the minimum description I could give to this place. I settled myself filming besides the cable car's take-off station (at the time of my visit closed because of COVID 19); my eyes almost do not blink, being appalled by the sights. Cars from and going to Makkah rolling up and down the zigzag.
Here, you will also encounter wild monkeys living and the chance of seeing different species of rock lizards.
Read more here: THE MEANDERING ROAD OF AL HADA (underratedadventures.com)
Jabal Labnan (Mount Lebanon)
This mountain point is not far from Al Hada. Another excellent place for a weekend retreat. Sunset and sunrise watching could be some of the activities you can truly enjoy. According to my guide, on a clear day, the Holy City of Makkah is viewed. My guide invited me to try special tea from the tea vendor positioned in the area. Indeed, it was a great tea, the aroma, and the taste.
Read More here: JABAL LEBNAN (Mount Lebanon) (underratedadventures.com)
To describe Taif, it is a tropical city in a desert country. A place of nature's bloom.
Its distinctive features are the attributes why Taif is known as one of the summer capitals of Saudi Arabia. I knew it used the principal summer capital, but I heard the title was transferred to Abha lately, so Abha now is the principal summer capital.
Residents show a sense of hospitality and Saudi inherent welcoming culture to the visitors.
The city may be small, but it has all the facilities that travelers need, from lodging houses and hotel accommodations, dining and shopping. Traffic flow is another plus factor to me, no traffic jams.
During the morning of Fridays of Ramadan Season, streets are empty
Above and below are night time looks of Taif City
For other utility services, like telecommunication services, the signals are excellent, and the internet speed makes no difference with all the major cities in Saudi Arabia.
There are many more places and landmarks to see and enjoy in Taif other than what I have mentioned. Those that I have stated here are only the places I have visited.
The short period I stayed, the spots I have visited, the magnificent sights I saw, I could not afford to take one and leave the other, and I would prefer to have them all.
Efforts I have exerted, the time and money I have spent, the slopes I have scaled up, and all the mountain peaks I have climbed all fed me with the feeling of pride and gratitude. I have no doubts this city is a haven of heights for spectacular sights.
Guides: Abdulaziz Aljuaed
Mobile: +966 50 122 6668
Mobile: +966 50 426 5634