With hundreds of mudbrick buildings and a labyrinth of winding streets, AlUla Old Town invites you to discover the rich culture of its storied past. A living museum of ancient history and a testament to the region's vibrant heritage; step back in time and leave the stresses of the modern world behind as you explore this historic town. Once a hub of civilization, where traders, pilgrims and travellers would gather to rest and swap their goods, this archaeological site provides visitors with a window into the area's past with its vibrant culture and heritage.
Pay a visit to the Masjid Al-Izam, the restored Friday mosque believed to have been visited by the Prophet Mohammed and learn something new as you discover the town's ancient tantora, known to us as a sundial. History seekers can trek to the top of the 12th century citadel and soak in the sensational bird's-eye views of the town before strolling along what was once the incense route, stopping at the bustling stalls that now line it or exploring with the help of a local Rawi tour guide.
Meet with civilisations from a bygone era as you discover Hegra, Saudi Arabia's first UNESCO World Heritage site. The largest preserved site of the Nabataean civilisation south of Petra, explore this fascinating heritage site with over 110 impressively decorated tombs, carved into sandstone outcrops that surround this 1st century BCE necropolis. Visitors will also find wells and stone-lined water channels demonstrating the civilisation's expert craftsmanship, 1,500 petroglyphs and remnants of Roman walls with gates and towers that once encircled the city. Be among the first to discover these relics of AlUla's 200,000 years of human history and piece together the puzzle of this fascinating ancient civilisation.
Looking for adventure in AlUla?
The ancient city of Dadan is a stone-carved wonder that sits astride the valley's oasis and is truly something to behold. Dating back to the late 9th century BCE, this mysterious city beckons you to uncover its distinct history and archaeological remains. Built high into the red rock cliffs are the Lion Tombs. Carved into the summit of the sandstone to protect all those laid within, the seated lion burial niches bring about a wonder of the ancient craftsmen of Dadan and how these intricate monuments were created. Due to the proximity to incense trade routes, Dadan was one of the most developed 1st millennium BCE cities in northern Arabia. Today it is under archaeological excavations with many large sculptural items being found; but Dadan remains largely unearthed, with its many secrets waiting to be found.
Tucked away in a remote canyon valley of terracotta-hued rocks, Jabal Ikmah is the largest "open library" in Saudi Arabia.
Enjoy a unique glimpse into the past as you uncover hundreds of historic inscriptions and drawings, including musical instruments and animals, inscribed by the ancient civilisations of the Dadanites and Lihyanites, as well as ancient travellers. Dating back to the 1st millennium, these inscriptions are records of day-to-day life many years ago. This site is truly special with some of the highest concentration of, and most varied, inscriptions in AlUla.
For more inspirational content, make sure you check out the rest of our luxury online travel magazine, Elegant Traveller!