Exploring the best of Ha''il
رحلة حائل عروس الشمال
12 JAN 2021
Source: Kareema Al-Otaibi
Before I go on a trip to explore my dear country, I try to identify those destinations that offer pristine nature, ancient history and cultural heritage. Ha’il, the so-called bride of the North, fitted the bill perfectly and so I started preparing an itinerary carefully allowing us time to practice our photography, hike, explore and visit historical places.
Ha’il Regional Museum
On a beautiful winter day, the journey of my fellow explorers and I began. On our first day in Ha’il, we headed directly to the Regional Museum because it is close to the airport and is considered a gateway to the rich history of the province and the Arabian Peninsula. It displays many archaeological treasures and heritage collections from the prehistoric era, Stone Ages, and early Islamic periods.
Ha’il is known for its two famous mountains, Aja in the north and Salma in the south. The city extends in the form of an arc that surrounds Mount Samra, where the famous Islamic figure Hatim Al-Ta'i used to live. Because the mountain offers panoramic views, I hiked there so I could see the beautiful Ha’il city from a great vantage point.
Rock art of Jubbah
The next morning, an exciting destination in Jubbah governorate awaited me. Ha’il has some of the largest and most important sites for petroglyphs in the Arabian Peninsula. The most well-known is arguably the protected rock art area in Jubbah, around 100 kilometers away from Ha’il – it dates back to around 10,000 BC. Upon our arrival to the site, we were welcomed by special tour guides who gave us a detailed visual explanation helping us to learn about most of the inscriptions and rock drawings.
On our way back, we headed to a village called Twaren in the historic eponymous valley between the Aja Mountains, a historical area where Hatem Al-Tai’s home lies. The region is rich in historic monuments and ancient homes dating back to more than 1,500 years ago.
A hiking trip in Shuaib Jaw
On the third day of our trip, we were so excited to be going a wonderful three-hour hiking trip in the Shuaib Jaw area located in the Aja Mountains west of Hail. This tourist park and valley extends about 40 kilometers between the mountains and typically attracts nature lovers and adventurers. The valley is filled with acacia trees, palms, beautiful birds and fresh water.
Airif Fort and the popular market
In the heart of Ha’il city is Airif Fort, an ancient fortress located at the top of a mountain that overlooks the city. It is considered one of the heritage landmarks of Ha’il and is visible from all parts of the city.
I always conclude my trips by visiting the region’s popular souk, because where else would you enjoy true local heritage in all its simplicity?