Distance from Riyadh: 1038 km, a short flight away. (Flight)
Distance from Jeddah: 739 km, 7 hours, 2 minutes. (Flight/Road)
Distance from Medina: 360 km, 3 hours, 11 minutes. (Road)
For your next weekend destination, don’t you wish to do something different? How about taking a trip back to the pre-historic times? Head to Mada’in Saleh, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia; a short drive away from Medina. This incredibly historic archaeological site, also called Al-Hijr, has origins that can be traced back to the 1st century AD, and was part of the Nabateans kingdom, which gave the world the extra-ordinary city of Petra.
Recommended: Taking an experienced guide alongThe people behind these ancient sites, the Nabataeans, have a very interesting story. Nelson Glueck, a famous archaeologist, called them ‘one of the most gifted people of history’ and rightfully so. Through their skills and ingenuity, they were not only able to sustain in an area engulfed in an arid desert, but thrive for over one thousand years. They made Mada’in Saleh a thriving hub of commerce and culture, which has left an indelible mark even on the modern-day culture.
Just like in Petra, the site mostly has structures for funerary purpose, which amounts to a total of 131 tombs cut into boulders, rising sharply from the desert surface. Apart from the tombs, you can also the see the Diwan and the Siq – a narrow passageway between two boulders that has a few small altars.
You can check out the top hotels in Medina for a comfortable stay and a visit to Mada’in Saleh and if you are interested in weekend getaways from Riyadh; You might like to visit the following attractive locations.
Najran: 979 KM from Riyadh, 898 KM from Jeddah.
Farsan Island: 1,209 KM from Riyadh, 753 KM from Jeddah.
Al Soudah: 973 KM from Riyadh, 580 KM from Jeddah.